I'd been left out here, alone. By an oil-burning lamp. In the cold, uncaring desert.
It was my only comfort until dawn.
Just as the first of dawn started bringing the earliest glimmer of what I could see with my human eyes, I woke to some snuffling sound near my head.
Opening my eyes, not relishing the hot day coming, I saw the nose of an animal near my face.
"Rise, little one."
I sat up. And saw eye-to-eye with a female coyote.
She was not young. Scars criss-crossed her front legs. Her eyes showed wrinkles of her experiences. Her udders dried and smaller now, but obvious she had born many litters.
"We have miles to go. Leave your lantern. Carry that dolly if you want. They are hunting us - you and me."
At that the old mother coyote walked off a pace. And looked back.
She was the only life I could see in this parched desert.
So I followed as she led me to my new home.
Transcript of opening lecture to nursing students
Hello and welcome to this lecture series.
As students of Rochelle's Lazurai Nursing School, you occasionally run into the rare spirit-turned-mortal, goddess, and other extreme metaphysical types, I've been invited to bring you up to speed on these and others.
Mostly because, I think, that when me and my friends first arrived on earth Earth, we caused a bit of concern as we were all soon being treated in an old saloon by your most senior healers.
The plus-side was that we all recovered. Even though there was - and is - nothing more intoxicating in that saloon of Hami's than the good looks of those who visit it. And the good food, of course.
What you probably didn't hear was that there was a mental-metaphysical side to that treatment that had to be addressed so your physical "laying-on-of-hands" could do its wonders.
You see, I was involved in transporting all these wild girls to Earth. One could bend time and space with her organic tesseracts. Another was a trained outer-space killer and assassin, who 'graduated' when she terminated her last teacher. The third had actually been a self-aware star. (Yes, the kind that burn radioactive white heat and live for billions of years - not the ones with their name in bronze on Hollywood Boulevard.)
These were just your average, run-of-the-mill girls next door.
Each of these gals got interested in human life on Earth, and I just helped them make the transition.
Meanwhile, I was basically one of the "walking dead" - since no doctor or hospital could cure me, and the only thing keeping me alive and in one piece was my own dogged determination to solve my own puzzle.
So, after I got all these three gals here, they all were involved in an explosion that left them unconscious and nearly dead themselves. I arrived shortly after, just to meet with John - that adorable mystery writer - who I knew could help me figure this out. Yes, he's got a reputation through the galaxy...
No, but we'll get into how distant perception works in a later lecture.
What John's good at, besides digging a story out of you, is connecting the dots. I mean, he writes mysteries for a living, so that's gonna rub off on you.
That brings up how he got Gaia to bring Akashi out of retirement to make a house call.
Akashi is that god of all knowledge. Kinda like Saturn, but loves stuffed pastry. So Gaia played a trick on John and had him show up with one of Hami's pastries in his hand...
Scroll Up and Get Your Copy Now.