“Mom, when we step into the Thin Spot, will we see Polly and Mr. Popper right away, or does it take time to get there?” Keona asked her mother.
“You’ll see some bright, beautiful lights. Then everything will spin, up and down, left and right, and side to side. The air will feel thick like water, and you’ll see the other travelers going to their own particular destinations. It will take, maybe ten minutes, after that. It’s like riding on a fast moving stream of air.” she said. “Oh, Polly and Mr. Popper will be so glad to see all of you.” she said as she looked down at Una and Thea.
Every summer, for as long as she could remember, she had wanted to go and stay with Polly and Mr. Popper. This time she was getting her wish. Not only was she going to see them, but she was going to take her sisters with her, and best of all, she was going to spend the whole summer with them in the village of the Savages!
“I’m so excited to go. I can’t wait to see grandma and grandpa.” Keona said.
“You’ll have so much fun. Polly and Mr. Popper are always off on some kind of adventure. It will be a summer to remember.” Skyla Barns Nautical Noot said excitedly.
Skyla Barns, was the mother of the girls. She was of the tribe of the Nautical Noots. They were a tribe that lived by the sea. They lived off of what the sea could provide. They were great fishermen. They were hard workers and also loved to farm the earth.
Skyla Barns was a young lovely women. Tall and slender, but muscular from the hard work she did in the village. Her shoulder length brown hair, complemented her eyes, like the moon complements the night sky. But her smile was the thing that would captivate you. She had a smile that was welcoming, and at the same time mischievous. As if perhaps, she knew a secret that, if you tried hard enough, she might just tell you. She was a master of Reflexprophecy. If you were unsure of where your life was headed, you could make an appointment with her. She would come to your house with her special lounge chair, that she would unfold, and have you recline in. She would then massage different places on your feet. This would cause you to see things that might be. I say might be, because once you would see these things that might be, you could change them, by changing your behavior. For instance, if you loved to eat candy and drink soft drinks, and you saw that by the time you were thirty all your teeth would be gone, you could stop drinking soft drinks, and cut down on candy, and you would change your destiny. She also loved to work with the earth. She made waterfalls and caves, and courtyards with talking cobblestone. She once made a flower garden that was nothing but dirt in the morning, but by evening was a veritable jungle. Then the next morning would be gone and grow anew each day, always different.
“I don’t think it’s much further to the Thin Spot, girls. I know we’ve traveled for a long time, but it will be worth it.” Jessewheatzer said.
Jessewheatzer was the son of Polly and Mr. Popper, and the father of the girls. He had met Skyla Barns, when he had left home in search of the things that young men go in search of, and then meet young women. After which, they can’t remember what they were searching for. He had fallen in love with her instantly and they married. He stayed on with the Nautical Noot tribe and raised the girls there. He became an Au Courant Aggregator; a fancy title for someone who collects the present. People would hire him mainly for weddings and special events, but some would hire him just to document their lives. An Au Courant Aggregator, of which there are few, and Jessewheatzer is one of the best, capture pieces of the present and store them in books. If, say, you hired him to capture your wedding, he would take a moment of the bride’s wedding dress, and maybe, a moment of her hair shining in the morning sunlight. Maybe take a moment of the scent of the bridal bouquet and the warm wet feel of the first kiss. And maybe take a moment of hearing the bridal procession and the laughter of the guests at the reception. If the two were preoccupied enough, he sometimes could capture a moment of pure love. Later he would put these in a book. When the book was opened, whoever opened it would relive these moments as if for the first time. They would feel the kiss. They would laugh with the friends. They would wear the wedding dress, and they would love and be loved. It was a special gift and an awesome responsibility to be an Au Courant Aggregator.
He was tall and ruggedly handsome, with a muscular physique that was wrought by hard work. His eyes were blue like Polly’s, with the same depth of vision. His hair had tamed down from when he was a child. At that time it looked like a dandelion ready to blow away in the wind. Now it laid down, mostly, except when there was an electrical storm brewing, and then it would stand up as if so alarmed it wanted to fly away. The Nautical Noots would always know when a storm was coming, simply by looking at Jessewheatzer’s hair.
“Are we almost there Dad.” said Thea. Hours earlier she had seen the clearing in the tree line on top of the mountain that they were now on. She had thought it was a clearing, but it was actually a hole in the sky. This was a Thin Place. There were several of them throughout the world. They were hard to spot. From a distance they looked like clearings when they were on a mountain top. In the woods, or on water they were much harder to see. A hole in the dimension of space and time does not look like a hole in the ground, or a doorway. It really doesn’t look at all. It just is. The shamans of old had found this one on Mt. Washington. There happened to be another one just outside the Savage’s village, and so, this would be the portal for the girls to see Polly and Mr. Popper. The shamans had used these thin places to travel to the City of God, where they would inquire of Him for their tribesmen. People like you and I began to use theses places as a portal to our loved ones.
“I see the clearing up ahead. It should be here somewhere.” Jessewheatzer replied.
As they got closer there was a most unusual place directly in front of them. They could see through it, yet things behind it were slightly bent, or skewed. If you weren’t looking hard enough for it, you would walk on by and never know it was there.
“Is that it!” shouted Una.
“I think it is.” Skyla Barns replied. “It’s time for you all to enter the thin place. We will be in touch with you when we can and we will be here on the first day of September to bring you home.” she said with a tear in her eye.
“Remember, when you enter the thin place hold hands. Keona will be in charge, because she is the oldest.” Jessewheatzer reminded them. “Keona, remember that you will need to think about Polly and Mr. Popper with all your might, in order to get to the right place.” he warned.
When you entered the portal, it would take you to wherever your heart’s desire lie. If you traveled in a group you would hold hands and choose a person to lead. That person would have to concentrate on their heart’s desire and that is where you would end up. Keona knew this would be a breeze, because she had wanted to spend the summer with Polly and Mr. Popper for so long.
“Give us hugs and kisses, and off you go.” said Skyla Barns, choking back her tears.
The girls all gave hugs and kisses to their parents, and then walked toward the thin place holding hands. Keona first, then Una, followed by Thea. Jesseswheatzer and Skyla Barns watched as the girls walked closer to the portal and then suddenly disappeared.
Inside it was so bright that they had to squint to see. There was a swirl of colors in every direction that made them all dizzy. They couldn’t tell if they were right side up, or upside down. They didn’t know if they were standing on the ground or the sky. Una started to feel sick, and then it stopped. It was calm and they could feel the movement beneath their feet, even though they were simply standing still. It felt like they were floating in a gentle river. The air was thick like water, but comfortable.
“Look at the people!” Una said.
All around them were people of all races and tribes. Strange looking people with odd clothes carrying bags and baskets. Some with families, and some by themselves. Some with dogs or cats, and some even with elephants and ostriches. Everyone standing completely still yet moving by in every direction on all sides.
And then with no warning, and nothing but a familiar feeling, they were there. Keona could feel the hot humid summer air on her skin. She smelled the familiar fragrance of honeysuckle and lilacs, and then there she was.
“Polly!” Keona yelled, letting go of her sister’s hand, as she ran and jumped on her grandma.
“You’re here!” shouted Polly as she picked up Una and hugged Thea and Keona all at the same time.
“What about me. Don’t I get any hugs?” said Mr. Popper, pretending to look sad.
With that, all the girls jumped on him and they hugged each other and laughed.
“That seems like so long ago.” Keona thought. “Who would have thought that only two weeks ago we came to see Polly and Mr. Popper. That was before the Music Water was stolen; before we volunteered to help; before we crossed the Great Tuffaluktee and got separated from Mr. Popper, and before we met Pesadilla and escaped from Dream World.” she pondered silently to herself, as she sat with her sisters on the edge of the pool, while Polly hunted through Donkeyhotie’s saddle bags for something for them to eat. “Mom said, Polly and Mr. Popper were always off on some kind of adventure, but I never thought it would be like this. I can’t think of a better way to spend my summer.” she thought with a smile of contentment on her face.