By: Yvette Jessen
Dyeland was such a wonderful place for Adam, especially during this time of year. The heat of summer had worn off to reveal the colors and coolness of autumn. The Angel of Death truly enjoyed the long days with his friends, but something about this time of year revitalized him. Now, with it being his second observed birthday, he truly had a reason to smile.
It was not actually his birthday, as he did not know the precise date, month, or even year when the Father had created him. Yet, for whatever reason, because of his fondness for turkeys and the harvest, it seemed almost fitting for him to celebrate his life on or around the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday.
As for Adam, none of the Dyeland inhabitants knew of his real date of being created and it was so far back that Tess often referred to it as the ‘unwritten history’. Of course, that did not stop his friends from debating it and the Angel of Death did periodically inquire, but that was always in relation to other angels. When he asked the Father about Nigel, He said that the Victorian angel had been created near or around the Middle Ages. Perhaps that accounted for his friend’s fondness and appreciation for Victorian England.
That’s such a strange issue, he thought as he came outside and suddenly felt the wind wafting against his face. Oh well, perhaps the best rationale for all this time travel stuff was the fact that the modern calendar had yet to be invented during the time of his creation and leave it at that.
At any rate, Adam’s observed birthday still dawned a beautiful day. The sun was warm, the breeze cool and the colors entrancing. The leaves had changed and now he could see tints of red, orange, and yellow. Yva once called it an ‘Indian Summer’ and she complained that in the southern United States, she rarely had seen the beautiful shift of nature as was in Dyeland or Germany.
On this particular autumn day, Adam had busied himself inside his castle during the morning hours. He had made some turkey shaped garland to hang at Willy’s factory as part of the festivities. This, added to the Thanksgiving celebrations that Lady Beth or Henry hosted, would fill out the first half of October. That is until Lady JenniAnn was to announce where the Halloween festivities were to take place at the end of the month.
Adam smiled despite himself. Andrew hated Halloween, and their friends had always gone out of their way to make it a fun holiday for all Angels of Death. Adam took a deep breath as he contemplated what he was going to dress as this year.
First I have to get through the Thanksgiving and observed birthday, he thought as he sat down on one of the soft lounge chairs and allowed his body to relax.
It was very rare for him to get so much time in his Dyeland home for relaxation. In fact, ever since he and Sir Sven had finished with the turkey pens, he had gone and asked Cliff to fashion a gazebo for him. This was an exact duplicate to the one that Nigel, Yva, and Sir Sven had on the Heavenly Playground, albeit a tiny bit smaller.
As he stretched out and relaxed, he came to the realization that this was the ideal way for him to spend the afternoon before his birthday party.
On the table next to his lounge chair, a white colored plate sat. This carried his favorite kind of sandwich, turkey like substance with cheese, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and mayonnaise. Along with that, a matching cup held his freshly squeezed orange juice. This was topped off with a chocolate chip cupcake for dessert. This was sitting on a napkin covered with Halloween decorations and to the right of the plate.
All of these tasty snacks were enjoyed while Adam did some reading. He had borrowed a book from the Tunnel patriarch’s library in the Tunnels. He had, thusly, selected Jonathan Swift’s satire, Gulliver’s Travels.
In his opinion, the day could not have been planned any better than it was.
As he bit into the sandwich, he chewed the bite as he began to read the words of the satire. ‘My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire, I was the third of five sons…’
Adam swallowed the bite of food before washing it down with a gulp of orange juice. Minutes turned into hours as Adam felt himself being drawn into the life of Lemuel Gulliver and his trip to Lilliput, a land that was described as being somewhere in the South Sea. Forgetting about his lacking geographical skills, Adam continued to read. As he did, the angel started to ponder how interesting it would have been to just take a ship and go off like Swift’s character had done in the story.
Oh what an adventure that would be, he thought as he finished his sandwich and closed his eyes, the book now falling out of his line of vision and landing across his outstretched legs.
Through half-closed eyes, Adam raised his head when he suddenly spotted a ship adrift on the water not far from the shore. Looking around the small island of Tourkia, he recognized that his castle and the turkeys were still present.
He knew that sometimes ships would drift through the waters that surrounded various areas of Dyeland, but this one was very strange, almost uncanny in appearance. In truth, it looked like a large object adrift on the water. Even from several kilometer distance, it looked as though it could have easily stretched the entire length of his small island.
He got to his feet, the food now forgotten as he left the gazebo and made his way across the grassy terrain until he reached the white sand of his beach. Casting a glance around, he could see that the small beach houses were still positioned along the places where the grass met the sand. He headed straight for the water, all the while feeling taken aback by the ship’s massive structure. The closer he came to the water’s edge, the better he was able to see the dark mahogany wood that covered the sides of the ship. His eyes scanned upward until he spotted the mast. It was covered with white colored sails, all of which reminded him of the wings of some great bird.
Where did this come from? He pondered.
At that moment, nothing else mattered. The Angel of Death’s instincts were telling him that the Father had no doubt placed the ship to the west of his island and right in the middle of the Indigo Ocean. It seemed to be coming closer, as though wanting to pick up a passenger before it continued on its voyage.
“How very strange,” he muttered under his breath as he kept his gaze on the vastness of the ocean as well as the ship. This seemed to be drifting its way closer and closer. By this time, and for some strange reason, he could now make out the name that was etched across the front side: Antelope.
“Antelope?” He muttered. “Isn’t that the name of some animal? Why would they give a ship such a strange name?”
As his feet touched the edge of the water, the whole scene somehow changed right before his eyes. Instead of being on his familiar island to the north of the Dyeland mainland, he was somehow hurled into another reality.
Glancing around once again, he discovered that the scene had changed without his knowledge. He stared for several moments, the first thoughts going through his mind were literally screaming: Holy Toledo! The castle and turkey pen were no longer there. Instead of seeing anything familiar or recognizable, what he saw was what looked to be lush hills and buildings across a vast landscape behind him. It looked to be England, but not the modern day country that he was familiar with, but instead, it resembled something straight out of the Renaissance.
Casting a quick glance down at his clothing, the first thing he realized was that his shoes, instead of his comfortable sneakers, were now elegant black patent leather with a large Pilgrim style buckle affixed over the top.
Did I travel back to the first Thanksgiving? He asked himself. Somehow, this seemed a fitting birthday present for him to experience the good side of the first Thanksgiving feast, as opposed to the general Puritan and Indian wars that happened after the British settlers had arrived in the new world. For the life of him, Adam could not figure this out. Why was he in a place that looked remotely like England if he was going to be celebrating Thanksgiving? Perhaps that is why the ship is here, he thought. It will provide me passage to the feast.
Of course, the questions hurled about one after the other as he finished taking in the clothing he now wore. Just as he had assumed, his other articles had changed as well.
Instead of wearing his casual dark blue flannel colored shirt and stonewashed jeans, he was now donned in dark gray colored knickers that extended halfway down his legs. Meeting the pants, gray colored socks extended up to his knee. They were thick and very warm socks, the kind that one might wear when out on high seas. Adam concluded that whatever he was doing in this place, that part of his destiny included to board that ship and sail to wherever it was the voyage would take him.
At the same time, he contemplated his wardrobe style. Although it did remind him of Nigel’s general style and essence, there was something in it that was somehow different than what his fellow angel would even wear. For whatever reason, it seemed as though he was now dressed for a time that was long before the time that Nigel would generally call home. Perhaps he was further back in time than just the Victorian era.
Staring down at his shirt, he recognized what looked to be an old fashioned beige colored peasant shirt as well as a thick blue vest and matching waistcoat. His salt and pepper hair was now wavy and long – much longer than he could consciously remember. It extended halfway down his back and was elegantly tied back by means of a black velvet sash.
Yva would love this look, he thought smugly as he watched a small boat had separated itself from the ship and was now slowly moving through the water and towards where he was standing.
Seconds later, the occupant of the small boat waved and he found himself returning the gesture. Coming closer, Adam took in the boy’s features and for some reason, he was reminded of Charlie Bucket, Willy Wonka’s heir. Not, the Charlie Bucket of today, but the twelve-year-old boy he had once been.
As he watched the boy pull the small boat up onto the sandy terrain the angel came closer and took in the boy’s behavior as well as his strange mode of dress. Like him, the youth was dressed in knickers, shirt, vest and waistcoat. Only the boy wore a strangely shaped hat atop his head.
Reaching Adam, the boy removed the triangular shaped object from his head and bowed slightly, no doubt a sign of politeness. Adam, not knowing what to do returned the gesture.
“Doctor Gulliver; I presume?” The boy eventually spoke, his words more an affirmed statement than a simple inquiry. Adam raised his head and rested his hand against his chest as if to ask ‘who me?’
Before he could so much as say a word, the boy continued speaking. “My name is Charlie Nantucket, and the good Captain St. John has asked me to come ashore to bring you aboard.”
“I’m sorry, but you must be mistaken for another, my name is not Gulliver, it’s Adam,” the angel said.
“No sir, your portrait was sent with the communications and you are indeed the ship’s new surgeon,” the boy said politely. He removed several slips of paper from his pocket and sure enough, a sketched drawing of Adam was in his possession, the words ‘Dr. Lemuel Gulliver’ printed beneath them in some strange stencil.
It was no secret that Adam was now confused by the words and the picture that the youth had shown to him. In fact, he could not help but wonder what was happening and why. If this was not even on Tourkia, how was it even possible that the entire beach could be deserted like this?
“The Captain sent word that you would be meeting us at this designated time and on this particular day, my dear sir,” the boy said. “He went on to say that you were to become the ship’s surgeon and that you had accepted the commission with payment in advance.”
“But, I’m not the person you think,” he objected.
“Sir, you are the only man on this beach at this time, you must have taken a blow to the head if you do not remember,” the words emerged with an overconfidence that the angel was not used to hearing in one so young.
Reluctantly, he allowed the cabin boy to help him seat himself inside the small boat. As the youth began to paddle in the direction of the large ship, Adam could not help but wonder how he would manage to take on the task of which he had supposedly been commissioned.
Reaching the side of the massive structure, Adam could see that several of the crewmates had cast a rope like ladder over the side. This, he guessed would enable him to climb up and over the railing so as to reach the deck of the ship. Reluctantly, with the boy following close behind him, he managed to board the ship, only to be met by a strangely decorated man, who stood at the top of the ladder.
“Welcome aboard, Dr. Gulliver,” the man said as Adam looked at the strange awards and merits that covered the man’s waistcoat. Everything about the man rang familiarity. In fact, the whole crew of this ship seemed to scream the very same.
This is unbelievable, he thought as his eyes scanned the group. There were, strangely enough, women aboard the ship, which seemed not pass with the time period he was in. A lady with a large wooden spoon in her hand was standing off to one side. A scowl lined her face as she regarded Adam with disdain.
Her expression seemed to read, ‘oh great, another mouth to feed’. Smirking, Adam realized that she looked exactly like Lady Beth. His gaze shifted as he regarded the captain. He wanted to say something, but the only word that emerged from between his pursed lips was a simple utterance. “Mick?” His mumbled question, instead of bringing a smile to the captain’s face, made the stern expression shift to that of anger.
“I am Captain St. John, Doctor Gulliver and you will address me as such,” he snapped without so much as a blink of an eye. “Now, the question I must raise to you is simple. Are you a spy?”
“A spy? Me?” Adam stammered. “No Captain St. John, I am not.”
“Well, how did you know that my first name was Mick?” He asked. “All of our correspondences were formally exchanged.”
“My apologies if my words were offensive, it’s just that you look very much like a friend of mine from back home. His name is, coincidentally, Mick,” Adam said softly. “I must reiterate my apologies if I offended or insulted you.”
“None taken,” he said, but turned to his first mate, this one looking very much like his fellow Angel of Death, Henry. Instead of wearing thin and elegant glasses, the man was donned in strange, thick-rimmed spectacles. “This is my First Mate, Henry Angelo. He will show you to your quarters and tend to your needs while you are on board with us.”
“Thank you Captain St. John,” Adam responded and allowed Henry to lead him below deck to a small room where he would reside during the voyage.
The days that followed his initial meeting with the crew passed quickly. Before he knew it, ten days and nights had passed, thus leaving Adam to conclude that for whatever the rationale, he was there for a reason. Strangely enough, he had even grown rather accustomed to being addressed as ‘Doctor Gulliver’ and no longer felt inclined to correct the men when they addressed him as such. For the life of him, he could not understand or even piece together why that was the case.
The movement of the ship as well as the salty air was somehow becoming the norm, but there was no denying that it somehow rejuvenated him. In addition to that, he discovered that the boy who had retrieved him from the shore aspired to become a ship’s surgeon as well, and that enabled them to become friends.
The further south they journeyed, the stronger the wind became, which pounded against the hull of the ship. After several days, the sounds were no longer strange or foreign to him. He learned quickly that there was not a great deal of medical help that he could have rendered. The men were healthy, as well as extremely self-contained. Instead of practicing the occupation that had brought about his commission, he found himself spending many of his days helping the men up on deck and learning about life at sea. In the evenings, he spent his time helping the woman in the kitchen.
As dusk befell the occupants of the Antelope on the tenth evening since his coming aboard, Adam had started to notice the dark clouds were rolling across the horizon much quicker than usual. It was becoming dark very fast and the crewmates who were not very strong or experienced were ordered below by Captain St. John. It was not until the storm met them at its height around two the following morning that someone came to his cabin and began to pound insistently on the door.
“Master Gulliver, we require your assistance up on deck. Every able bodied crewmate must report to help immediately,” the voice of the first mate could be heard on the other side of the door.
Adam immediately picked up his satchel. This contained his notebook, his watch as well as several odds and ends. He figured that if he were to get separated from the ship, he would have some means of survival. Swinging this over his shoulder, he came out of the room, joined Henry Angelo, and found himself walking the length of a narrow hallway. The closer he came to the stairs that would lead him up to the ship’s deck, the wetter and more slippery the floor became.
As he emerged from the stairwell, a large wave of water met him as he came out. As he got further away from the safety, the more he was able to detect the sounds of the men screaming for help and assistance.
He went over to help them as the wall of water rammed against the side of his body. Hold onto whatever you can, he practically willed himself, but the sea carried a rage that he was not even prepared for. As the gushing of water hit against his side, his body practically stung from the impact of it.
Lucky for me, I don’t bruise easily, he thought as he instinctively grabbed one man’s arm and managed to prevent him from getting washed overboard with the latest in a series of waves.
The darkness of the night was soon illuminated by lightening as it filled the area. Along with the water, the eerie looks of the frightened men resonated his mind as the ship was tossed about like a toy while the sounds of fear filled the air.
As the night continued to wear on, Adam tried with all his might to help treat the men, whom he had befriended. Somehow, during this short span of time since his departure from English soil, the angel’s memories of who he was had faded somewhat. He had become a part of this crew, and the large ship had become his home.
Sadly, it was a home, which he would soon be forced to leave.
As his thoughts drifted, he could detect the furious sounds of the sea as it washed over him. Within an instant, he went from standing on the deck of the ship, to floundering about in the raging coldness of the salty ocean.
Without warning, Adam had been forced overboard. The storm was now at its peak, the fury and threat of his drowning seemed almost inevitable. Splashing about in the water, he tried with all his might at swimming back to the ship.
Where was the ship? He asked himself. What is going to become of me? Will I be a casualty of a storm and lost at sea? As these questions filled his mind, he could feel the water as it stung his eyes. If the ship was anything like him, then it was most assuredly taking a rather massive beating from the storm. Instead of contemplating or trying to figure out how this had even happened, he started to make his way in the direction that he thought he had initially come.
A piece of wood about half his height eventually crossed his path and he allowed his weary arm to wrap around it and use it as a life raft. His body, although in the midst of an adrenaline rush, was now trying to survive being alone at sea. This wood was to be his means of getting safely back to the Antelope.
He knew that if he could find the ship again, he would stand a chance of surviving this. Of course, all thoughts of who he really was seemed to have slipped completely out of conscious thought. Now, the concept of survival was what seemed to take precedence to everything else.
The sea somehow did not follow this logic. It soon shifted and Adam felt himself being carried further from and not closer to the ship. As he lost sight of the large vessel in the distance, he realized that the only thing that he could do was to find his way to land.
With his arms, he began to doggie paddle towards the light that was now rising before him. Would this lead him to land? He pondered.
Coming closer and seeing mountains in the distance, he found himself releasing a relieved sigh as he felt the softness of the sand beneath his feet. Land, he thought his hands practically reaching out towards it as though beckoning it to come closer.
Within the hour, he had reached it and as soon as he felt the softness of it cradling his exhausted form, he allowed his eyes to close and he slept.
Several hours since reaching land, Adam opened his eyes to see that he was lying on his back, the soft earth below him, but when he tried to move, he felt pain shooting through his entire body. Where am I? He asked himself as he felt the lightness of what he thought was an insect against his arm.
The soft touch of it somehow made steps up his arm until it was on his chest. Finally able to see better as to what was happening, he recognized several people, all of whom were the size of beans. They were all carrying what looked to be weapons, their eyes regarding him with surprise and shock. The first man looked just like Andrew, in fact, he was wearing his shoulder length hair in a ponytail like he had done when he was assigned to work at the Secret Service several years back. He was armed, and seemed to be decorated as a military man.
The second was dressed in a hooded cloak and reminded Adam immediately of Vincent. His face and features were concealed, but the one thing that he carried was a spear that made him seem completely out of character to the friend that he knew from the Tunnels as well as from his frequent visits to Dyeland.
A third man who looked to be a civilian was standing off to one side with his arms crossed over his chest. In one hand he carried what looked to be an old fashioned bow and arrow that hung down from a leather shaft that was draped over his body. Curly blonde hair peered out from amidst the headgear and a pair of cynical blue eyes were staring at him.
This man caught Adam’s attention immediately, as he was the dressed in the strangest clothing that the angel had ever seen. On his head, he wore a strange looking hat that resembled the top half of an onion with a stalk that stood up straight in the air. This made him appear taller than the two military figures who were standing to one side of him.
His clothing was similar to the way Willy Wonka dressed in Dyeland, but instead of the jacket being purple or singularly colored, he was wearing a waistcoat and pants that were lime green with large yellow polka dots on them.
It was clear that Adam’s inability to move was perhaps the reason why it was these little people were not afraid of him.
“Where am I?” He asked the three of them as the curly headed man made his bow and arrow ready to use.
“Don’t move a muscle,” the hooded figure demanded, the spear now several centimeters from Adam’s head.
Adam, not certain as to what he should do, simply offered a dull nod. “I won’t but please, can’t you, at least, tell me where I am.”
“You are on the island of Lilliput,” the man who reminded him of Andrew spoke.
“I am?” He asked, his voice somewhat laced in disbelief. For whatever reason, he turned his head slightly and beheld a woman who was standing not too far away. She was dressed in a similar lime green with yellow polka dot dress that went down to her knees. It had a full skirt, and made her look more like a pixie than anything else he could have surmised.
Covering her head, he could make out that she had shoulder-length auburn colored hair and was much younger in age than the similarly dressed man. Instead of wearing the onion-shaped headgear, she wore her hair in a floral wreath.
As she hesitantly approached where he was lying, her eyes met his. “W-who are you?” She asked, her voice soft, but trembling. It seemed very clear that she feared him.
Adam took a deep breath. “I am a shipwrecked sailor, young lady, my name is Adam. May I inquire as to your name?”
“Yva,” the woman said as she came two or three steps closer to him. As she reached where his left hand was bound to the ground, she hesitantly reached out and touched it, her fingers lightly stroking the skin. “He feels different,” she mused. “Papa, when will the enemy emerge from inside of him?” She asked weakly. “I mean; his hand feels real.”
“I am real,” Adam whispered. “There is no enemy inside of me, I am a man, just a bit bigger than all of you.”
“Rubbish,” the girl’s father bellowed. “You are a monster, and if you so much as try to harm any of us, then I will drive this poisoned arrow straight into your gizzard.” The man regarded Adam through hostile eyes. “Why do you inquire as to my daughter’s name?”
“It was an inquiry that was posed as a means of politeness,” he offered. “I didn’t mean to offend anyone with my inquiring. Please, do free me so that I may once again return home to my people.”
It was clear that he had, by this time, opted to not address the men as ‘Andrew’, ‘Vincent’ or ‘Willy’, as this would somehow frighten them. They would think me to be a psychic, he thought as he opted to plead for his freedom through the good willed intentions of the men. “Please, I mean no harm to any of you.”
“Are you the man in the moon?” The curly-headed man asked, all the while drawing back the bow with the intention of firing the arrow and following through with his earlier threat. It seemed very clear that he was not ready to trust or believe anything that Adam had to say.
“No, but I am lost,” he said. “I sailed from England several days ago. The ship was struck in a storm and I have somehow managed to swim to your shoreline and become captive in this very strange land. I only wish to return to the ship from whence I came.”
“Perhaps he speaks the truth,” the woman said, but she still regarded him through wary eyes.
“Yes, I do,” Adam said.
“You should not be speaking to my daughter,” the oddly dressed man said firmly. “She is betrothed to a knight of the realm. His love for her will never fail, but she should not be speaking to, or making eyes at another man.”
“I was not making eyes at him, Papa,” Yva objected. “I was merely speaking with him.
“What difference is that?” He shot back as he climbed down from where he stood and grabbed his daughter’s arm. “You will not see this giant man again, my daughter. Return home and lock all the windows and doors.”
Bowing her head humbly, the girl backed away and quickly heeded her father’s instruction. This was so out of character for Yva, but it was that way with every last person he had encountered since this voyage had begun.
This is all so strange, the stranded angel thought as he watched the girl’s father walk back over to him. Although he appeared physically to look like Willy Wonka, it was indeed not the man he had come to know over time. In fact, everyone he had met since his journey had begun, were not his friends, they were strangers and terribly unfamiliar to him.
Only the girl, the one who had introduced herself as Yva, seemed remotely like the friend he had known back in Dyeland. Of course, her terror of him as well as her obedience to her father reminded him that she, too, was not the same person.
I want to go home, he thought despondently. It’s supposed to be my birthday, and I am stuck here instead of being with the people who are familiar to me. I want to be back in Dyeland with my friends.
As the sounds of hooves beating against the ground could be heard in the distance, he turned his head to see another woman, this one a dark-skinned and heavy set. Her coal black eyes were regarding him, but her clothing was made of a rainbow of colors that reminded him of what Dorothy must have seen when she first stepped foot into Munchkin Land in the original ‘Wizard of Oz’ film.
“Who is coming?” He eventually asked when the sounds grew louder.
“The empress JenniAnn has no doubt sent troops here to find out if you are an enemy or friend to our people. Her generals, headed up by Andrew and Vincent are already here, and they have headed up the guards who are watching over you,” the older woman explained. “Many may believe you to be an enemy as they see one of your size and stature and infer that that must mean death and pestilence to our country.”
“That’s absurd, I wouldn’t intend such a thing,” Adam objected, “I couldn’t.”
“That will be for them to decide,” the young woman’s father said, his voice still laced in the very same hostility. After several moments, he turned and regarded the woman “Tess, you should return home to Yva and see to it that she stays home. I want her to have no contact with this monster.”
“Yes, William,” the woman said as she retreated from the scene.
Once she was gone, the curly headed man regarded Adam. “You must understand,” he began. “As brave men of this empire, we must protect our ladies from harm that your kind pose. You could run a grave risk to my daughter’s future happiness. You could destroy her wedding and the bringing together our and the brave knight’s family.”
Adam nodded. “I do understand your concerns, but I do not wish for such an engagement. I am content with my life as a bachelor.” As his words emerged, he suddenly felt a small needle like substance against his neck. “Why do you do this?” He asked when he recognized it as being one of the arrows. The man had threatened to shoot a poisoned arrow, but somehow the impact was not so great, this merely made him feel dizzy. “I said I meant no harm…”
The little man did not heed or respond to Adam’s words. Instead, another arrow was fired and he abruptly felt the sting from it penetrating his skin, he closed his eyes and allowed the blackness to consume him.
Seconds later, all conscious thought left him.
When Adam regained consciousness, he found himself in what looked to be a market square. His legs were extended out in front of him and somehow reached from one end of the place to the other. Heavy weights were affixed to his ankles, thus keeping him prisoner in this strange land. “Oh Father, please tell me that this is nothing but a dream,” he prayed softly under his breath as he tried to take in the vast looking area where he was now seated.
He took a deep breath as the sounds of trumpets filled his ears, followed by the echoing voices that called out the words: “Make way for the Empress.” As he rubbed the sleep from his eyes, he managed to turn back towards the south entrance to his cell.
As he was taking in these new surroundings, a white horse approached with an elegant woman dressed in a fancy cloak was sitting side-saddle on the back of the beast. Beneath the lavish cloak, she wore a simple, but elegant, dress lined in matching red velvet fabric. Her blonde hair was pulled up in an elegant bun and a crown of red colored jewels adorned her head.
As she dismounted, she gracefully approached where he was seated. There was no fear in her eyes, not even wonder. In fact, appearance aside, he was reminded of the White Witch from C.S. Lewis’ Narnian Chronicles. This woman regarded him through the same piercing eyes. While she seemed almost cruel by appearance alone, she also carried a strange sort of astuteness that completely took him aback.
“I am the Empress JenniAnn of Lilliput, how shall we address you, giant man?” She asked formally, her voice cold.
“Adam,” he managed to speak feeling the sadness overwhelm him. Lady JenniAnn was not like this, he thought, she was as kind as she was pretty, but never cruel and spiteful.
Before he could contemplate what to say next, the woman continued to speak, her voice low and demanding. “How have you come into my dominion?”
“I was shipwrecked here and was found by several men, and a young woman, Your Majesty.” As these words rolled off his tongue, he could feel his gratitude towards Nigel for having taught him the proper address for such royal individuals.
“I see,” she said, leaving him to wonder if she really did see. “Perhaps I ought to address you to one of my loyal ladies in waiting. Rose will see to your needs, giant man.”
“Thank you,” Adam said, the sadness still residing in his voice. This was nothing like Dyeland, nothing at all. Instead of dwelling further on this, however, he watched as Empress JenniAnn took her leave by gracefully mounting the beast, and riding away.
Once she was gone, he began to look around the area where he was kept. Distant mountains blanketed the perimeters of the town and with unhidden awe, his eyes took in the palaces, churches and houses. As he stared at this remarkable place, he could not help but to recall how Yva and Willy had flown him over the vastness of Dyeland in the Wonkavator. In some ways, much of what he had seen there was the same as what he was seeing now, yet, now all he had to do was stand up to behold it.
“Please, Father, let me go back to Dyeland,” he implored softly under his breath.
“Dyeland?” A voice emerged, this one carrying a soft feminine cadence, which he guessed belonged to the lady in waiting that Empress JenniAnn had called Rose. “Is that your home?” She asked.
“Yes,” he said with a nod.
“What’s it like?” She asked.
“It’s a wonderful place, and one that I will never take for granted again,” Adam said truthfully. “Everyone there is my size…well not everyone, but they are much larger than the people here.”
“A land of giants,” Rose said.
“Perhaps to you it would seem as such,” he said smiling slightly.
“If it was so wonderful, then why did you leave?” She asked.
“I don’t really know. You see, I was away from it for some time, but I always appreciated being able to go back to it…”
“Go back to Dyeland,” Rose whispered.
“Yes,” Adam said nodding as he closed his eyes. “Go back to Dyeland…”
“…Back to Dyeland…”
“…Adam, wake up.”
Groggily, the Angel of Death shifted and moaned. “Who’s there?” He whispered.
“It’s Yva and Sir Sven,” the voice once more emerged and he felt a gentle nudge against his arm.
Allowing his eyes to slowly open, Adam noticed that he was seated in the gazebo with an open book draped across his lap. “Where am I?”
“You’re on Tourkia, and we’ve come to take you to your birthday party,” Yva said.
Numbly, he nodded as the realization dawned on him that Yva and Sir Sven were both his size. She was dressed in a polka dot dress, but this one was white with black spots and a pink colored ribbon was around her waist. There was no floral wreath in her hair and she did not look the role of a submissive woman as was depicted in his dream.
At that moment, he wondered if he was back home for good or if he would be forced into, yet another, strange situation. He blinked several times as he looked over to see that Yva’s hand was wrapped securely around Sir Sven’s. On each of their right hands were their matching wedding bands.
Instead of speaking, Adam simply stared. “What happened to me?”
“I don’t know, you were mumbling something about Dyeland when we arrived,” Yva said. “Adam, are you sure you’re alright?”
Adam looked down at the book in his lap. “I must have fallen asleep while I was reading. Yva, I had the most amazing dream you could imagine. I was like Gulliver from this book and I ended up in this place that was very much like Lilliput. You and Sir Sven were there, Willy and even Vincent, Andrew, Rose and Lady JenniAnn were there. But, everyone was so out of character.”
“Dreams are weird things, Adam,” Sir Sven remarked bluntly.
“You’re not kidding,” he said, rubbing his eyes as he looked down at his clothing. He was once more dressed in his flannel shirt and jeans. His hair was at its natural length and he could once more hear the soft sounds of the turkeys gobbling from their pen in the distance. He was on Tourkia and back in Dyeland. After several moments, he found his voice once again and spoke. “I was a giant amidst all these little people.”
“Well, maybe your dream does mean something, Adam. After all, today’s your birthday, and you are now the center of attention. That sort of makes you a giant for today,” Yva said smiling slightly. “Papa even said that he would get a special room set up at the factory so that we could celebrate your second Dyeland birthday here. That should make you feel very special.”
“I don’t know if I want to be special,” Adam confessed. “I think I would simply prefer to have my friends nearby and have them behave as themselves. I hated having to use Nigel’s formalities with Lady JenniAnn and having Willy talk to me as though I was a monster. I just want my friends to be themselves.”
“Sounds like a very intense dream,” Sir Sven mused.
“Yes it was, but I think for now, I would prefer to forget all about it. I just want to go to the party, see all my friends, and try to avoid talking about the strange dreams I have been having,” he said.
“I think we all would,” Yva said as they left the gazebo. “Why don’t you go and change for the party. Sir Sven and I will wait for you here.”
Adam nodded, but cast a glance down at the book still resting on his lounge chair. “Perhaps you could give this back to Father for me. I have had enough of this story for a while,” he said as he slowly walked away.
Once the somewhat frazzled Angel of Death was gone, Yva looked at Sir Sven. “I’m not sure if a edible model of Dyeland was actually the best idea for Adam’s birthday present. Somehow I think he may not appreciate it as much as the rest of us thought.”
“You mean, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction,” Sir Sven said.
Yva nodded as she stared down at Jonathan Swift’s novel as it rested in her hands before looking over and offering her husband a sheepish grin.
Happy birthday, Adam!!!