Introduction: Several nights ago I was chatting with my good friend Jeremy about upcoming birthdays and such. Jer mentioned that the love of his life Sassene one day would like a big bright diamond as a gift. It was late as we chatted and I was over worked, but I could see Jer's laughter as I created and Adventure spoof in the likes of Indiana Jones.
PAINTING STUDIO AND THE TEMPLE OF BALDY DORK FROZEN SKULL DOOM ADVENTURE.
When my friend Jeremy told me that Sassene wanted a diamond. I hesitated because Jer nor I have funds for diamonds. Then I did a Google search for lost civilizations and diamond mines. On page one of the search I read about King Solomons Lost Mines.......The following is fiction and fact of the imagination.
After Googling information about lost diamond mines Jer and I took a trans Atlantic flight to London because the search led me to the International Adventure Historical Society Museum. Located near Picadilly Circus the Museum was a dark old ancient structure. I left Jer at the City of London On Line Game Arcade near Madame Tusards Wax Museum. As we passed the Wax Museum, Jer signed to me and tried to turn his chair toward the door. "Jer, It is just a bunch of wax dummies. You will have more fun at the arcade." Jer was playing some Star Wars Games at the Arcade as I delved into the Archives in the Adventure Museum.
There was so much information about lost civilizations, maps, old books........The archives were in a vast cellar or huge vaulted basement below the streets of London. I was thinking this is kind of creepy and not very well lit as I pulled an unmarked worn thin leather book from the shelf. I was astounded at the content. Page after page of doodles that appeared to be crop circles or mazes. I turned them this way and that, upside down and backwards then saw the puzzle was a map to the Lost Diamond Mines of King Solomon!
I tore out the page and went to find Jer..................Sheesh! When I got to the online game Arcade. Jedi Jer was deep into his game and littered with fish and chips. "Dude!" Jer signed. " This malt vineger is awesome!"
I scribbled Jer a note that we were going to get outfitted and were on our way to Africa.
A call was placed to an old Army buddy for links of gear and provisions. I pushed Jer's wheel chair into the Old London Army and Navy Store in Soho.
" 'Elow mates! Must be Stephen and Jer. " How did you guess....I thought.
We were promptly outfitted with jungle gear and all terrain tires on the wheel chair with spares and extra back packs. The proprietor winked and said, " Ya are off then. No charge. Compliments of the White Star Line and your old pals." Jer signed thank you! I tilted my hat and we were on our way to Africa.
On the flight Jer was quiet. Looking out the window at the clouds the seas below and the lands as they gained sight. I was used to deaf people being quiet and was on my laptop chatting with Sassy. She wanted me to repost something in her guest book. Then Jer and I were about to land. I could tell that he was thinking about the Texas School for the Deaf. Good memories. He looked at me and smiled. Gave me a hi five as the plane landed in Africa.
Two weeks later it was hot and very humid in the depths of the old Congo. The Nile sprang from a spring in Gondor and touched the earth. The water of heaven, Father Sky and Mother Earth. Were raining on California Jer and Painting Studio Stephen.
Dripping wet, caws and calls, growels and chirps. Pushing the wheel chair slip and sliding.
" Hey Dude! Look at the size of that mosquito!" Jer signed.
That is not a big bug it is a giant tetesie fly! Smack! Thwack! Buzz it away...............
We were tired and searched out. The map was a dead end. Or so it seemed.
The green was all about. Jungle in and every where. Silence.
A profound still and quiet as the rains became a mist. That began to clear and from the hill side we could see a valley that began to glow as the sun cut the mists.
Then the wheelchair began to slide down the hill. I dug in my bootheels to try and stop the slide and held tight to the chair. Jer looked at me and smiled. I smiled back but knew that both of us were scared..........
We lost control of the wheel chair and slipped, slid and tumbled through the dense vegetation down the hill side to the valley below. It was a most harrowing experience to say the least.
With a thud and a crash we reached the valley. Stunned but intact with stars swirling around our heads we looked about. This was no ordinary valley. There were ruins of ancient buildings and I could hear music. This is most odd, I thought, because the music was not mumbo jumbo jungle music. It was Patsy Cline singing "Crazy". There was a curl of smoke in the distance where the music seemed to come from. I pushed Jer and the chair toward the smoke and sound. As we made our way through the ruins of a lost civilization the music was getting louder. We approached a ranshackle wooden structure that was European in design and quite out of place in the ruins. There was a sign above the door that read. LADY JANES JUNGLE TAP BAR AND GRILL. Jer was like, "Wow Dude!" We were both hungry and thirsty.
The screen door opened and a very striking woman stood on the porch sizing us up and down. Jer was smiling and I touched the brim of my hat then said. "Good day!" To the lady and after introductions she invited us in. As I suspected and old juke box was at the end of the bar. Lady Jane offered us refreshment. I ordered a gin on ice with a twist of lemon and Jer had a banana and wild berry smoothie.
"So, what brings you to these remote parts?" Lady Jane asked as Jer slurped his smoothie.
I hesitated with my reply because I did not want to let the cat out of the bag. " Well, we were up there." Pointing to the hill top. "Then lost control of the wheel chair and fell to the valley."
Lady Jane winked and said, " Guess you are looking for King Solomons lost diamond mine."
Jer's eyes went wide and I nearly choked on my gin. She was friendly so I showed her the map.
She took one look at it and laughed. Then said, " You both look hungry, we will talk about this over dinner."
During dinner she told us that she used to be married to Tarzan but that things did not work out after they moved to the United States. Tarzan had a difficult time finding work, took to drinking and one day he and his chimp ran off with the carnival. She sighed and said that she worked for a few years as an exotic dancer, saved her money and built the tavern in the ruins. I was wondering about the brass pole near the juke box. She also told us that she knew the location of the lost diamond mine of King Solomon and that she would take us there in the morning.
After a good nights sleep we loaded Jer and his wheelchair into the back of Lady Janes beat up old pick up truck and took off through the ruins. An hour or so later we arrived at the base of a volcanic mountian. She stopped the truck and pointed to a cave. "There is the entrance to the lost mine. Mind you, it is guarded by the Yahoolie tribe and if they catch you they will eat you." I had read about the Yahoolie and knew that they were only three feet tall with protuding bellies and wore bones in their noses. A fierce independent tribe. Jer and I thanked Lady Jane and worked our way to the entrance of the cave.
Near the opening we found skeletal remains. Some animal.....but mostly human skulls and bones. It was very creepy and the cave was dark as a moonless night. We found a sign in the rubble that read: Welcome to King Solomons lost diamond mine....NOT! We each lit a torch and ventured into the cave.
Shadows danced on the walls and after some time we could hear drums and chanting. The " Unga bunga, unga bunga, unjga bunga, cowa bunga" Was un nerving and vibrated the cave floor. The cave was getting wider and in the distance we could see light. A orange and reddish glow. We then came to a ledge and could see the heart of the volcano. Streams of lava flowed and there were some ancient buildings. Near the center was what appeared to be a temple. We found a stair way and a ramp that led to the strange looking place below. The drums and chanting stopped as we reached the floor.............
As I pushed Jer toward the temple we had a feeling that we were being watched. As we entered the temple the chanting started again. We made our way toward an alter like table in the center of the temple and there saw a diamond about the size of a lime. My fingers were trembling as I touched and then held the diamond in my hand. The chanting stopped at that moment and was followed by a yell. " Baddy ya di yadda!" That was answered by a hundred voices. There was an opening at the other end of the temple and I pushed the wheelchair toward it as fast as I could. The feared Yahoolie were pissed off and chasing us like a pack of mad dogs. Arrows and spears were falling all around us as we ran toward the opening the floor became wet and we slid into the opening which became a stream. I held tight to the chair as the waters rushed us along we could see daylight not too far ahead. All of a sudden the stream spat us out through the side of the volcano and we were falling in a waterfall.
We landed with a splash and made it to shore. The angry Yahoolie peered over the edge and saw my hat and a wheelchair tire floating in the foaming waters. We made our way into the brush. "Good thing you had that spare tire." I said to Jer as I put on my extra hat. The Yahoolie were no longer a threat and we began to make our way home. Jer signed with one hand. "Dude! Where is the diamond?" I pointed at Jer's other hand which was closed in a tight fist. In all the excitement I handed the diamond to Jer. I placed a hand on Jer's shoulder and said, " Let's go home! " Jer looked up and smiled as I clicked my dirty boot heels three times and PRESTO! We were outside of Sassene and Jer's apartment in California. She was standing in the door way scowling and tapping her foot. Our safari gear was a mess and we looked shabby. "Where have you two been?" Sassy rapidly signed. We tried to look innocent and were Um! errrrrr!
Then Jer approached Sassy and outstreached his arm and opened his hand. The diamond sparkled in the light and Sassene cried with joy! A diamond is forever even if it is only make believe. Sassy and Jer waved as I tilted my hat and went back to the Painting Studio.
As ever be well.
Stephen Craig Rowe
Please visit My Dear Friends Sassene: http://mypersonalstory.spaces.live.com and
California Jedi Jer: http://starwarsfan77.spaces.live.com
Photo and graphic arts in this post are
The work of Sassene.