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The following is an excerpt from Kodiak Rising Part Two’s rough draft. I am uncertain if this will make the cut in editing. If it does not make Part Two, it will be maintained for Part Three. I hope you enjoy it!

Josiah remembered the day he was called. Only a boy of twenty, his sleeves rolled up tilling the field, he saw the Grand Horses of the Holy Order come over the hills. His mother busied herself with the afternoon tea ceremony that would be expected by the Holy Order. He’d never seen her so excited, she even pulled out the finest tea service she owned.

“Josiah!” his father called from the house. “Get in here and clean yourself up!”

When the Holy Order arrived at his door, Josiah was dressed in the finest linens his poor family owned. His formal interview would begin and acceptance would be based on not only his actions, but that of his family. The Holy Order needed to ensure good breeding and upbringing.

“Welcome your eminence,” Josiah bowed.

“Quite a lovely home you have here,” said the High Priestess. Her lovely soft features smiled brightly, bringing a warmth into Josiah’s heart.

“Thank you,” his mother said. “Please, make yourselves at home.”

“It was quite a journey out to your quaint farm,” the High Priestess said sitting.

“We enjoy our solitude,” his father answered. “It is a simple life, but a good life.”

“The Harvest will be upon us soon,” the High Priested observed. “I saw a great plane of sugar on your field. Is all of this property yours?”

“Since the days of my fathers,” his father answered. “From here to the apple orchards. The mountains provide us with great protection from the dry lands and water rich in life from the seas.”

“You have been blessed,” she answered smiling. “Now tell me, young Josiah: You seek to join the Holy Order. Why?”

“I am the first borne of my family and the eldest,” Josiah answered rich in ritual. “It is my place to ascend to the Tree of Knowledge.”

“You are correct,” she nodded. “But not every first borne male is of the correct stock. What makes you think you have been called.”

“I have dreams,” he answered truthfully.

“Tell me about your dreams,” she smiled enthusiastically.

“I am standing on a platform high above the clouds,” he answered raising his eyes to the sky. “So high that I can look down upon our home and it is a mere ball, so small I could hold it in my hand. And a man speaks to me. He says we will be leaving this place and venturing out into the vast expanse. We will observe other worlds far from here.”

“What will you be observing on these other worlds?” she asked.

“Life!” he answered with excitement.

“Life on other worlds,” she mused. “That is a lovely mission. You must be excited in your dreams.”

“I am,” he answered smiling. “We are pilgrims on a great quest through the Universal Terrain.”

“Do you have other dreams?”

“I do,” he nodded. “I dream of these other worlds. They are many colors. Some of so large that thousands of our world could fit inside them. There are some made of air, and some made of stone. Some are dead and barren, others are a frozen sea.”

“Do you walk on any of these world?”

“I do not know,” he answered.

“This is most intriguing Josiah,” she answered. “Tell me, how old to you believe you are in these dreams?”

“Perhaps 100,” he answered. “I believe it will happen within my first century or soon after.”

“So you admit that these dreams are predictions,” she asked.

“I always remember dreams that are predictions,” he nodded.

“Most interesting,” she sat back, satisfied. “Do your other children have these same such dreams?”

“No, your eminence,” his mother answered. “They are normal children. Often they play while Josiah here meditates under the Oak Tree.”

“You have a meditation circle?”

“I do,” he nodded.

“I would very much like to see it,” she smiled.

“Of course,” Josiah stood. He offered her his hand, “Please follow me.”

She took his offer and the two walked toward the back door.

“Mother and Father,” she said in passing. “You may remain here.”

They walked out into the back field of golden grass. The Oak Tree stood tall over its field, his great arms stretched high into the sky and covered a portion of the lands in the cool shade. As they came near he showed the High Priestess the circling roots.

“I sit with my back to the trunk here,” Josiah pointed. “The roots created a natural circle in the dirt.”

“When did you discover this?” she touched the roots with fascination.

“In my tenth year,” he answered.

“When was your first meditation?”

“Shortly after I discovered this place,” he answered. “I sat here and it just felt right.”

“Did you have trouble concentrating?”

“No,” he shook his head. “It is quiet here. My brother was a mere infant of three years. He was not permitted to leave the porch. My mother was with child, carrying my sister in her womb and my father was busy tilling the field to the East with the hands. It was quite early in the morning when I first came here. When I awoke from my meditation it was near the evening hour.”

“That is remarkable,” she was mystified. “At such a young age you were capable of such a deep meditation. You are certain you had no training?”

“None, your eminence,” he answered.

“You may call me Elder,” she answered. “You stock is acceptable. I will inform the High Council of my decision and we will leave this place on the morn tomorrow.”

“I am most honored, Elder,” he bowed. “May I tell my parents?”

“In good time, young one,” she smiled. “Let us meditate. I wish to observe you. It will help me discover your strengths and weaknesses. Sit where you normally sit.”

Josiah obliged. His heart was light with the news.

“Have you shared meditation before?”

“No, Elder,” he answered.

“Then we will begin with your first lesson,” she answered sitting in front of him. “Your posture is good, but not quite perfect. Try placing your right leg over your left leg, like this.” He mimicked her. Immediately he felt his back become more ridged.

“You see,” she smiled. “You are now strong, like that of the tree trunk. This is a very difficult way to sit to a beginner. You may discover your legs will ache by the end of your sessions. Fear not, in time you will get used to this. For now, should you discover any discomfort that takes you out of your meditation feel free to readjust.”

“Thank you, Elder,” he nodded.

“Now,” she held her hands out in front of her. “Hold your hands up like this. Good. I will take your hands in mine, like so. Our fingers are entwined creating a bond that is difficult to break. Feel the strength in this pose. We are one. We will meditate together and you will open your mind to me. This first shared meditation will be simple. You will share with me what you see as you meditate. I will not interfere this time. As our lessons continue I will help lead you through more advanced techniques. It is important that you hold nothing back from me, young one.”

“Yes Elder,” he nodded.

They mediated in shared consciousness for many hours. He could feel her in his deep concentration just on the periphery of his mind. She observed quietly as he walked through his mind from room to room. His rooms were empty and what little there was had been covered by large white linens. He would try to remove the linens to see what was under them and found he was unable. He had been trying to remove these for years. Each time the linen became heavier, until it was a heavy as metal. When he reached the end of his travels through his mind, he opened the last door and walked out onto golden grass and the meditation ended.

“That was very good,” she smiled brightly. “You have a solid foundation to work on. Our next lesson will be to fill your rooms. We will start at the front of your mind and work our way back. But now, you must be hungry. Come, let us eat with your family and bring them the news of your acceptance into the Holy Order.”