Wordcarpenter Books

Chapter Forty




He waited for Josh outside at the airport having a smoke, watching the lightning strike in the distance. Hearing the thunder that followed always made him feel like he was home. Breathing the air tasted like candy compared to Asia.

Josh showed up in his pick-up truck.

"You're tanned," he said. He still had some small scabs on the bridge of his nose.

"Yeah, well I've seen a lot of sun lately."


"You'll see it, man. Just-"

"Yeah, okay. Nice one." He patted Thomas's shoulder and smiled. "Good to have you home brother."

They left in his truck along the wide-open expanses of the prairies.

"Listen, Grandfather wanted to see you as soon as you arrived. I think he's keen on seeing what you've brought." Thomas found it strange that they both have orange bandanas around their necks and were both wearing red shirts. It wasn't Thomas's usual look.

"Good because I would like to see him too. I've been dying to know what the engravings say."

"He wants to have a sweat lodge first before we reunite the stones."

"Actually, that's probably a good idea. Get rid-"

"Of the negative. Exactly." Josh looked at him for a moment, taking note of the burgundy beret he was wearing and his new pair of Birkenstocks.

"You've changed. What happened over there?" Thomas could only smile. Where to begin? What part comes first? What did happen? Instead of scrambling for a quick answer, he looked out the window at the flat farmland of wheat, took a deep breath and savored the smell of the rain. He felt calmer, quieter, more comfortable in his silence.

"It's good to be back," he said. "Time is the ether of change."

"Truth is one; paths are many," he replied, sensing his philosophical vibe.

"The path to sureness is littered with incomplete truths. But time is the master of all things."

"The snowplow that pushes all incompleteness aside and clears the road. And what remains is smooth and wise."

There were lightning bolts on the horizon. They both waited for the thunder.

"You know, together we are a thunderbolt," he said. There was an undercurrent of meaning in that statement. And it meant everything to Thomas.

"The phoenix and the thunderbird."

"Or a thunderstone. In Native mythology, when lightning strikes a stone falls. It's the spark from where thunder and lightning touch." The rain had stopped but the thunder and lightning kept the skies on fire.

"And you know when lightning strikes?" he asked.

"No. Can't say I do."

"It's whenever a thunderbird winks his eye. As a thunderbird, I can tell you." They drove on in silence and he was aware of Joshua's unconditional acceptance of him as his twin.

Part One - Canada
1.      The Twin From the East Returns  
2.      The Sundancer  
3.      Waxing Gibbous 
4.      The Second Coming of the Messiah 
5.      The Sacred Twin Story 
6.      The Sign of the Pahana 
7.      Palongawhoya and Poqanghoya 
8.      Rainbow Thunderbird and Red Phoenix 
9.      The True White Brother 
10.    The Lost Louis Riel Notebooks 
Part Two - Hong Kong
11.    A Mixture of Revulsion and Pity 
12.    A Classroom of Scallywags 
13.    Illegitimati non Carborundum 
14.    The Distant Fire of Empyrean
Part Three - Burma
15.    The Monastery of Sacred Tablets 
16.    The Outpost of Tyranny 
17.    When the 12th Moon Comes 
18.    The Pigeon Left & the Crow Took His Place 
19.    Go North and Find Your People 
20.    Finding Orwell 
21.    Though the Monkey is in a Hurry, the Tree Branch is Not 
22.    The Castle at God's Toes 
23.    The General and Sergeant Betel Nut 
24.    The Tattooed Station Master 
25.    Reverend Crow's Life's Work 
26.    Yield Not to Adversity, But Press on More Bravely 
27.    A Bitter Cuppa Tea 
28.    The Thirteenth Tribe 
29.    When a Lamp is Lit You Must Expect Insects 
30.    John the Christian 
31.    A Guardian Angel Named Hanna 
32.    The Bar Car & Betel Nut 
33.    The Son of Light 
34.    Slipping the Karmic Knot
Part Four - Hong Kong
35.    The Tonsure Warning 
36.    The Phoenix Reborn 
37.    Touching the Empyrean 
38.    Joshua the Gatekeeper 
Part Five - Canada
39.    Lapsit Exillis 
40.    Thunderstones 
41.    The Time of Great Purification  

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