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Ryan's Psalm

October 17-November 26 1870

Donegal Ryan turned to Jeff Bolane and said, "We must trust in the Lord in all things, follow me." Ryan walked over to the smoke covered depression where the volcano had formed. Without hesitation, Ryan stepped over the lip and into the pit.

The Pit was filled with warm, soft flakes of gray ash. Ryan walked to the center of the pit, where the ash came to his naked shoulders.

Bolane watched from the edge of the pit, moving only when sharp pains in his eyes grew too much for him to handle. Reluctantly, he joined Ryan in the center of the pit.

Ryan wiggled his eyebrows and took a deep breath. He plunged down into the ash, sending a veritable snow storm of ash to float in the air above the pit. Ryan surfaced in a moment holding his robe and his ten gallon hat, both covered with ash that they looked like gray velvet. "Seek and you shall find."

Bolane took the hint and plunged into the ash. He found his boots, hat, pants and suit. Like Ryan's they were covered with a thick coating of ash. The ash would not wipe away nor would it tear, it was like cement in strength and hardness.

Ryan walked out of the ash pit and put on his stiff hat and robe.

Jeff Justice Bolane put his suit and boots on also finding it quite uncomfortable, raspy and stiff.

"Our Mission has been a failure as of now because we are not purified in the eyes of God.Therefore we must sojourn in the Wilderness for forty days, facing the demons of Satan and perhaps seeing the Face of God.

A sudden storm came up filling the arroyo with water. Bolane was shocked but pleased that the rain washed away the stiff ash. Beneath the ash his reptile leather suit was unstained by the tar. There was in fact no blemish was on it at all nor was there any pigmentation, it had been bleached a pure white, as had his boots and hat. The leather also seemed to be somehow thicker as if it had taken on some of the properties of the stone, yet it was still pliable.

Ryan's robe and hat had undergone the same treatment.

Ryan and Bolane ran out of the arroyo to high ground, seeking to escape the flash flood which followed.

They walked south across the salt pans and through the ravines in Northern Arizona, across the Black Mesa, through the Oraibi Mesa, across the vast desert composed of eroded canyons of many vibrant hues. They cross the Little Colorado River and in four or five days, Ryan lead them up a small mountain, at least Bolane had thought that it was a mountain. As they walked up the steep curved slope, Bolane could feel a strange overpowering force, similar to what he felt from Ryan or the other Chosen he had met.

Ryan paused at the lip of a large crater. The crater was about a mile across and about three miles in diameter, it was about six hundred feet deep. The ridge that surrounded it was higher on the south side. Inside the crater and surrounding for several hundred feet was a fine white powder.

Ryan smiled at Bolane. "You can feel it, can't you. The residue of God's might resides in here, the same energy which transformed you and I. This is the impression of God's fingertip, made when he created the world. There are two others I have heard of, one in Africa and another down in Mexico way, the other two must be in the ocean somewheres. He held the globe in one hand and drew the shapes of the land with the other"

Ryan and Bolane descended into the crater, feeling the burning itching crawling sensation of God's power increase with every foot they descended, Once they had half tumbled down the thick, powder and gravel slopes, Ryan had discarded his clothing and knelt naked in the crater's dust.

He told Bolane to do the same. They must spend their forty days in the Wilderness without food or water, except that provided by God.

Bolane grew ravenous after the first day. By the second his high metabolism was screaming for food. Plus, his skin was painfully sunburned from a full's day exposure to the sun. Their hair grew back and the stubbled growth was painful and irritating.

Ryan went farther and farther into visions until he was nearly in a catatonic state. Bolane remained unmoved. He became extremely depressed to discover that as his body healed of the burns, it was replaced by translucent, flesh colored scales, originating from the spot on his thumb where Ryan's blood thorn had pierced him. Only by swallowing a bloodthorn a day could he keep it contained on his arms, chest, back and collar. Yet swallowing one was like drinking a vial of acid, some days he just could not stomach the task and so the scales grew slowly.

By the third day, Bolane decided that God had provided him with the means to get food and so called to him any animals nearby. From the bottom of the crater came dozens of explosions of sand.

Bolane was shocked after the sand cleared and found himself surrounded by cicadas the size of large dogs. They were not exactly like the seventeen year cicadas or locusts in the east having a chitinous covering of bright gold and a black spot resembling a human skull on their backs.

Bolane realized that he had interrupted their sleep cycle and commanded all but two back into hibernation. They were still torpid and so he cracked one over the head with a rock, splitting the shell open and killing it. He began to scoop the warm, slimy meat into his mouth. He found it to taste like raw oysters.

While Ryan sat in a prayer trance Bolane watched the other cicada mature. In a few hours it had grown to the size of a small horse and was covered with a shiny, smooth and sharply angled chitin.

As it matured it became more and more grotesque. The skull was formed like a spiked ball, beneath the spikes grew long, thin tendrils which waved and undulated like sea grass. The locust did not appear to have any eyes but it had a huge maw filled with sharp triangular fangs. The trunk was much like a normal cicada's round and cylindrical. The wings were large, glittering yellow as if cast from gold. Between the six foot wings was a skull shaped black mark. The locust's rear ended in a curled scorpion's tail.

Before the locust could fly it became hungry and slowly advanced on Ryan and Bolane, its tendrils rippling in the air.

Jeff Justice Bolane tried to mentally command the locust to stop but its mind was so filled with hunger it could not heed his command. Bolane was forced to throw rocks at it, aiming several at the only vital spot he could see, straight down its maw. He succeeded in breaking several of its teeth.

The locust fled from this assault and tried to fly out of the crater. It was not mature enough, it took off well enough but did not have enough clearance to get out of the crater. The locust smashed against the sloped wall and cracked open its chitin. It died a few minutes later.

Smelling the food, Ryan came out of his trance. He helped himself to a few handfuls of locust meat before informing Bolane that this was the locust spoken of by John of Patmos, author of the Revelation. However, since the Revelations had been so thoroughly mistranslated it bore little resemblance to the locust described in those pages. Ryan told Bolane that God was slowly revealing the true contents of Revelations.

Ryan told Bolane not to kill any more of the locusts they might need them as a plague.

The locust meat dried like jerky in the sun and so lasted them for two weeks. Bolane fashioned an armor of sorts out of the chitin and he removed the barbed end of the scorpion like tail. He used the barbs, guts and chitin to fashion a bow and arrows.

He skewered a condor who tried to scavenge off of the dead locusts, since Ryan insisted on no fires they ate the condor meat raw and sun dried the rest.

On the third week of their repose in the crater, it rained. filling the crater rapidly. Soon Ryan and Bolane were treading water in a small lake for a few hour at least, until the water receded once again.

It was after the lake dried up that the Dragon burst forth from the crater wall.

The dragon was about the size of a buffalo but had orange and black beaded skin in a pattern reminiscent of a butterfly's wing. The body was elongated with a robust tail, a short neck and a flattened head. The feet were short and spindly with toes of an equal length. The tail was marked in alternating bands of orange and black. The dragons eyes were black and bulbous and it had needles for teeth.

The dragon lumbered towards Bolane in a slow, strange gait. The front and rear feet on opposite sides moved in perfect concert with each other.

Donegal Ryan saw the dragon and screamed.

"The dragon has arrived, now we must find the Whore of Babylon and make her ours."

While Ryan continued his meditations for the rest of the forty days, Bolane spent his time taming the dragon, or the giant Gila Monster. He named it Binky. He tamed it to the point where it would carry Bolane and Ryan as passengers, they were able to find purchase in its hard pebbly skin.

On the fortieth day, their hair all grown back and their skin having healed albeit darker hued and sun weathered, Ryan and Bolane climbed onto the back of Binky the Gila Monster and slowly lumbered out of the crater and towards their destiny.

Home · Ryan's Psalm
Chapter 1 · Chapter 2 · Chapter 3· Chapter 4· Chapter 5· Chapter 6·
Chapter 7· Chapter 8· Chapter 9· Chapter 10 · Chapter 11 · Chapter 12 · Chapter 13· Chapter 14· Chapter 15·
Chapter 17· Chapter 18· Chapter 19· Chapter 20 · Chapter 21 · Chapter 22 · Chapter 23· Chapter24· Chapter25· Chapter 26·
Chapter 27· Chapter 28· Chapter 29


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