F O U R
No, he says. He is not going to lead anyone into danger. He tells her he is searching for the Creator, the One he believes is seated on the top of the Shouting Mountain. The whole world is sick and dying, poisoned by the flying serpents that once flew all over the earth, striking all the big villages that once held many people, he explains further, as she nods in agreement, lifting her stumps. He has been gifted with powers to heal (and no man has greater powers than his), but they are not enough to heal the whole world. He could use them to destroy the whole world if he wanted, but he could not use them to make a whole new man without death and dying in his limbs. That is the medicine of the Creator alone. So he has come all this way from his own village far to the south, just to learn from the One he has heard lives on the highest rocks of the earth--those that crown Shouting Mountain, the holy place of the Ancients.
The wise woman replies that she has never been to the crown of the mountain. No one of the Mountain's confederated tribes has yet dared to try it. It cannot be done by climbing the mountain's skin, she added. There is nothing for a man to breathe--the birds themselves die and fall to the ground if they venture into those terrible heights. But there is a way--the mountain itself has provided it, leading up through the heart of the mountain--the paths of God's breath, they call them, blasted long, long ago by His mighty nostrils. They are full of good air to breathe. Yet no one has gone up them, even though they are the ways to the summit. Will you still be going since you must go alone? she asks. Quinn nods. She turns away to disguise her sadness for his soon death, and a man-servant close to her beckons for him to follow, and leads him to the path of God's breath that they hope will lead him to the top and not off into some tangle of tunnels leading to places he will never find his way out of.
Quinn enters a vent created by superheated gas and steam long ago. It blew a hole all the way to the top, and there are hundreds of such vents riddling the mountain, though this one is the largest and, hopefully, will lead him to the mountain crest.
There is a roaring sound in the distance, and then Quinn sees the lakes foam and leap, as a great wave races across them, all the waters gathered together and rushing toward the vent that leads downward.
Strengthened by the thought when he most badly needed strength, almost blinded by his tears, Quinn continues on after the Hoop, as it climbs higher and higher in the steam vent. Finally, the Hoops stops, just where Quinn faces two impossible barriers, a wide, deep lake, and a sheer cliff hundreds of feet high.
Then Yeshua handed Quinn a ring with a stone that glowed pure and brilliantly white, but as Quinn took it from Yeshua's fingers, a pattern appeared, and it glowed blue around the edges. Never had such a stone existed before, and no one else would receive one like it. It was the White Stone, given to every one of Yeshua's true followers! Quinn received this knowledge of it when he slipped it on.
As for himself, he would do all he could to help the many hurt by Shouting Mountain's floodwaters, and after that he would go home to his people and his village, find his flute, and play a song to his father's spirit. He could go home to his people.
Your son has returned home and will light your medicine pipe.
And I will make your bed blankets warm with my singing--
so you will not lie cold and alone somewhere in the dark.
Come in from the hills, come in from the sea,
and lie still, lie still, and be warm, and I will take your hands in my hands.
"Yeshua the Creator's Son warned us all, and we got away from the waters in time," they explained to him. "But Sealtown would not listen to us and is gone--and there are many hurt people, waiting for you to come. They have no hope--and we do not have the medicine they need."
Immediately, Quinn felt this was his first moment of real life--he had-- in a twinkling of an eye--been born again as a new man!
He was running! His lameness was healed, even as he ran toward the ruins of the city and the people who needed him. And the medicine Yeshua needed to heal the world? Quinn, as he reached out to the wounded, the suffering, even the dying--found Yeshua's medicine had been put in his hands--and this was so, because now all were healed.
As he reached out amidst the tumbled ruins of the formerly splendid city, touching and healing every one who pressed toward him, he recognized the grand official holding his young son, and the fish-monger, and even his sad-hearted wife--they had been spared! And he recognized even many of his captors and and persecutors--and forgave and healed them all too, in Yeshua's name, as they wept and cried to him.
Many other things Quinn the Bluebird, Pilgrim, and Starboy did that day in Sealtown, but if they were all written, I suppose the world would not contain all the scrolls telling of his healings.