Friday, August 28, 2009

Scenes 56 & 57

The silhouetted figures of Mishiekonga and General Mad Anthony Wayne can scarcely be made out against the navy-colored eastern sky. Dawn is still a concept. They huddle briefly, then Wayne gestures and wanders off. Little Turtle remains fixed, calm, turned toward the rumor of the sun. They remain there, along the ridge above I-70, until the angry buzzing of the last copter has been replaced by whippoorwill song, and the traffic has begun to pick up. Wayne lights a candle and produces a rolled sheet of paper from his coat. The two of them study the unfurled sheet. Wayne points and slashes with his finger. He’s a bossy guy. But Mishiekonga is unfazed.



Professor K ensures that Myron and Blinky are up well before dawn. They load up the truck with archaeology texts, nineteenth-century maps, some obscure German decoder thing, and a case of Gatorade. Before they get in the vehicle, the professor fusses over Blinky’s bandages. She looks at the two of them, narrows her eyes, and says, “Zis is a very important ting you do. Ze big forces. Zey are converging.” They both nod.

Their mission has been spelled out. They’re heading for Newark, Ohio, to the site of a first century earthwork that Little Turtle has identified as imbued with magical power. Cosmic action is anticipated.

For the record, Newark is pronounced “Nerk.”

Myron gets behind the wheel. They rumble out of the Transportation Department complex and merge with eastbound traffic on Interstate 70, headed toward Columbus. Nerk is on the far side, another hour past.

They stop at a trucker’s place on the way there, to get some breakfast. Myron eats an enormous platter of food. Blinky drinks coffee and reads. He’s looking at one of the books that Professor K sent along.

“I don’t get it,” says Blinky. “There isn’t anything here about the lost tribes of Israel.”

“Of course there isn’t, Blinky,” answers Myron through a mouthful of egg. He finishes chewing and says, “I did not want to get into it with our expert the fraulein. But she’s a crackpot.” Blinky frowns.

“Whoa,” he avers.

“Blinky. The land bridge across the Behring Strait was formed during the Ice Age. Approximately 15,000 years ago.”

“And?” says Blinky.

“Remember Moses? And the Egyptians? Pharoah and the plagues?”

“What’s your point?”

“Think. Do you remember any mastodons in Egypt?”

Blinky is puzzled.

“Any saber-toothed tigers?”

The gears are grinding.

“Or giant sloths? No, you don’t remember any, do you. Here’s why. The Ice Age comes before that. Before the Egyptians, and before the Israelites. In order for the lost twelfth tribe of Israel to build the Indian Mounds, they would have to have crossed the frozen Behring Strait. Except they do not exist 15,000 years ago! Not possible.”

Blinky is unconvinced.

“Okay,” says Myron. “How do the Israelites get here, Blinky.”

“How else?” says Blinky, like the answer is obvious.

Myron sighs. “Spaceships,” he says.

“You can’t prove me wrong! Can you?”

“You can’t prove a negative. You can prove a positive. You can prove gravity.”

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