By the Light of Twin Moons
Johnny Seaver and Alondra trudged up the jagged, barren mountainside of sand and rock.
The two bright moons, round in their full splendor, lit up the sky so torches were unnecessary. Belenos had directed them to meet him at the top at midnight. Johnny and Alondra set out early in the evening. When they emerged from the residence, the hustle and bustle beyond Belenos’s door surprised Johnny.
Belenos’s people had hewn all dwellings into the mountain; Johnny wondered if they had stumbled upon ancient cave folk. Upon seeing Johnny and Alondra, Belenos’s neighbors scurried into their own homes; their eyes ever wary of the two strangers. Like Belenos, his neighbors were tall, and, in the sparkling sunset, their long shadows shimmered like meandering tendrils. Alondra wondered if perhaps these people might be shadows themselves…
“You know,” Alondra said, “they speak the language of the Ancients, perhaps these are the giants David defeated?”
Johnny whispered, “I always thought ancient humans were shorter.”
“I doubt they are humans,” Alondra murmured, as a shadow slunk past them.
“Then, what are they?” Johnny asked.
“The Ancients,” Alondra replied, “they who enter our dreams, live in our forests and rivers, and seas. The masters of air, water, fire and earth.”
“You mean mythical beings?”
They were on the outskirts of town, following the barren path Belenos had pointed out, and beginning their upward climb. Alondra and Johnny soon grew silent; the ascent up the steep mountainside too strenuous for talk.
Johnny wondered if they could rest; he was having trouble keeping up with Alondra. She seemed to never tire of walking.
Two things are obvious. I traveled back in time and met Alondra, and we are not on planet Earth.
“So then,” Johnny murmured, “where are we?”
“Pardon?” Alondra asked but Johnny ignored her; his pensive expression told Alondra he was not talking to her.
In Belenos’s home, Johnny had kept track of night and day, and he surmised they were about the same length as on Earth.
As far as he knew, no one had ever discovered other Earth-like planets. Dad always said the idea was all based on statistics and suppositions.
“The moons only seem identical,” Alondra spoke up, “but they are not. The shadows on one moon mirror the shadows on the other. Also, one glows with a faint copper hue.”
Johnny huffed as he toiled up the rocks and paused for a moment to gaze at the moons.
He gasped, “We’re in another dimension!”
Alondra stopped ahead of him and fixed him with a puzzled expression.
“Yes,” Belenos said.
He sat atop a jagged rock; Johnny, startled out of his reverie, realized they had reached the top.
The moonlight shone on Belenos and gave his skin a magical glow.
A deep, lush valley stretched below them, with trees so thick and strong Johnny thought a squirrel never need touch the ground.
The peak where they stood was arid, but the curly canopy of trees adorned the skirts of the mountain, like frills on a dress.
Johnny glanced back towards the desert, scraggy path and realized where they had been. Belenos and his people lived inside a volcano!
“Now,” Belenos’s deep voice rang out through the night, “we must meet one who can answer your questions.”
Belenos smiled and rose.
“Come, he awaits us.”