The Future Lies Beyond The Horizon Oct06


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The Future Lies Beyond The Horizon

All of life awaits you just Beyond the Horizon, just out of sight.  Even with very good binoculars the horizon is as far as you can see.  Even Fortune Tellers and those who pretend to go further, are only guessing as they tell you what you want to know and often what you don’t…  just to seem more authentic.

Daisy and her friend, Rosanne stood in Daisy’s room about to part after a lengthy conversation about future plans.  School was ending and they were both graduating from High school and anticipating a long busy life that seemed to lie ahead.

Daisy admitted that she almost sought out a psychic, because she was so anxious about the future.  Her friend, Rose told her that it would be a silly waste of money and that, she, her closest friend, could guess her future better than a total stranger ever could.

“But they do it for a living so they must have some sort of insight.”  Daisy insisted.

“I will make you a deal.  You pay me the money and I will read your future in the cards or your palm, even tea leaves if you wish.” Rosy laughed,  “ Even if I had a Crystal Ball, it would make no difference, they’re all the same to me!”

“That’s silly you don’t know the future.”  You’re just a, a, a… Person!”

“I know you…  that gives me an advantage over any stranger.”  Rose insisted.

“Okay.  Here’s a dollar.”  Daisy took the single paper dollar out of the jeans pocket.

“Now you tell me.   Will I be accepted into Cal Tech for next year?”

“Boy do you see cheap Psychics !  A whole buck!  What kind of an answer do you expect for a dollar?”

“The truth.  I always expect the truth.  And I just happen to have that dollar in my pocket as change from a purchase.  I’m willing to pay a real Psychic more.”

“Really? What did you buy that cost an even four dollars? “  Now Daisy laughed again.

“If you know the future, you would know already how I got that dollar.”

“Not necessarily. That is the past. Nobody pays five cents to learn the past.”

“Okay, Smarty, it was my change from a fifty, when I filled up my car gas tank last night”

Rose took the dollar reluctantly and stuffed it into her own pocket.

“So,  now I will give you your one dollar’s worth of the future,”  Rose closed her eyes, as she paused to think about it, then looked back at her friend.  The answer is, No!”

“No?”  Daisy shook her head.  “What kind of Future Telling is that?  Why not?”

“Why not?  is another question and another dollar.”

Daisy patted her pocket.

“I don’t have another dollar.  You’re my friend.  Just tell me why you don’t think I will be accepted at Cal Tech.”

“Sorry no credit.  Cash only.”  Rose began to walk away.

‘Come on, Rosy, You must have a reason to say, No.”  Rose held out her hand palm up, waiting.  Daisy opened her desk drawer and put a handful of change from a small open box used to lighten her small purse of the heavy coins.

“There!  That is more than a dollar.  So tell me.  Why do you think I will not be accepted into Cal. Tech. College this year.”

“How many times have you applied?”

“Just this first time.”  Daisy answered. “But I don’t see what that has to do with it.”

“That is the answer.  No one gets into Cal Tech the first time.  The second maybe… the third possibly… after that they know you mean business and you will get in for sure.”

“You’re kidding!”

“Ask around… My cousin went there and she knows.  “In fact, she told us how on the first day of school, with everyone meeting in the auditorium, the speaker stood in the front then he told them

“I am here today to tell you the bad news.  Everyone of you is from the top of the class in your High School. I know that because that is who we look for.  You are accustomed to being the best.  So in this school you are in for an unpleasant surprise.  Exactly one half of you are about to become, below average.  It is unavoidable, figure it out. But don’t let it worry you.  Below average here is tops out in the real world.    Just keep doing your best and if you are still above average… Congratulations!”

“So Miss Daisy”, Rose told her,  “I know you are an A student, but that only carries average weight getting into the Calif. School of Technology, but you will get there eventually.  I myself, am going to try for an Eastern School called, Harvard.

“Oh oh,”  Daisy said, “Good luck to you too.”  Daisy smiled.  “And that is free information to you, so don’t forget…”  Daisy smiled, “You always get what you pay for.”

We know Roseanne was accepted at Harvard, but then decided to enter U.C.L.A. right here in California. She had not foreseen her own future correctly, nor had Roseanne foreseen Daisy’s.

Daisy got into Cal Tech on her first try and the first letter she received in her new dormitory was from Roseanne and it contained a one dollar bill and a handful of dimes and quarters.  The note said,

“Refund for poor Fortune Telling.”

Thus the two friends had gone merrily into their own destinations, having made the changes without more difficulty than might be expected.  Nothing would have turned out  differently,  even if they had been given then correct advance knowledge.

But that did not keep them from wondering what was still just over the horizon.  As you saw we have just stood beyond that horizon to learn their futures for ourselves.  We know where they will go to College before they will.  We know that both girls will be seen together from time to time as they spend some time in their own family homes on holidays.

Daisy is seen studying Astronomy, her mind having been often in the stars since childhood.

Roseanne will major in Engineering, a very new interest, so both young women will be very busy with their studies.  Left at home will be Daisy’s brother, Will and a sister, Sally, both younger and still in High School and Roseanne’s two sisters.  The oldest is Jane and Sue is younger, both also still in High School.

Daisy has had the same boyfriend since Junior High, named, Todd.  Their common interest, studying the stars and wondering what is beyond the great beyond keeps them together their noses deep in books, they read everything by important physicists.

Roseanne meets a new fellow every few months as she wonders if she will ever meet the One.

Right now Allen is the closest, being in her, “Engineer’s of the Future”, class and willingly working with her to help her with her brand new interest.

From Beyond the Horizon that is all we can see of their future for now. If we step back in place we will see no further than they do… just to the horizon… not beyond, which for them is Graduation from High School.

The telephone rang with a cat’s meow.  Rose dug it quickly from her pocket before she is accused of bringing an animal into class.  Bringing a Cell phone that is not turned off is bad enough.  She saw that it was from Daisy so she made note and turned it off to call back later.

Realizing that Rose would be in class, Daisy texted out a message.

“A surprise B party for Todd on Sat. nxt.  Hope U can bring a B.F.  my house at 8.   C. U. Daz.”   Rose read the message with a slight smile.  She slipped her hand under the desk and punched out. “I’ll B there.  Ro”   For the rest of the class her mind was on what to take as a Surprise Birthday gift to Todd and whether to invite Allen or… she looked around the room to assess the other possibilities.

The two girls had not gotten together for a long while.  Rose really looked forward to that next Saturday night and catching up with Daisy and even Todd if necessary.  The party was at Daisy’s house, so Roseanne wanted to look nice in case there were some unknown guys at the party.

Was a new dress in order?  Rose decided to go shopping at the end of this class since it was already Wednesday, the party was only ten days away.

Allen caught up with her leaving the school grounds, almost running toward the Village.  The little nearby shops had cute clothes.   Rose wanted to look around carefully for the perfect outfit.  That search alone could take days.

She heard Allen call out,

“Hey, Babe, slow down.”  Rose only slowed a bit to hear what he was saying,  “ We have a lot to do for this new class project.”  Allen added breathlessly, as he caught up.

“What new project?”

“Were you asleep in class? We are assigned to work out a plan for a new gadget or toy that needs batteries to move it, then after putting a plan on paper, we need to build it and demonstrate it for the class next Wednesday.  So we don’t have that much time.”

Rose was listening with confusion.  She had been mentally planning for the party her friend Daisy was giving.  It was a week from this Saturday and thus Roseanne had not heard a word of that new Engineering assignment.

Allen stopped walking and pulled Rose to a halt to continue,

“He said to work in pairs.   I assumed that we would… If you don’t want to…  just say so, but most everyone immediately paired up.”

“Of course we will.” Rose said, even though she had no ideas at all about what the heck they might build to work with batteries. She tried to excuse herself,  “But today I have some things to do in the Village.  How about you draw up something and come to my house tonight and explain it to me.”  Allen looked pleased.

“I had a good thought for a toy, but if you have a better idea let’s hear it.”  Rose dodged again.

“You show me what you thought up and then we will decide, okay?”

“Sure.  You draw yours and I’ll draw mine.  We only need a simple sketch to show Mr. Johns. Then we only build one or the other.”

“Fine.  I’ll see you tonight.”  Rose began to rush away again then called back.  “On my way home I’ll pick up a pizza, what do you think about that?”

“Great.  I’ll see you about six.”  Allen left happy.  Rose dashed off to find a gift for Todd and a super outfit to wear.  She looked at her watch. 3:15.  Not much time, unless she was lucky.

A very sexy blue dress was in the front window of a nice shop and Rose loved it at once.  She was happy that it was in her size and looked just as good on her as it did in the window.  So she bought it and now had more time to think about the surprise birthday gift.

The Village Book Store was right next door, so in she went.  Even luckier than the new dress was the idea for a gift to Todd.  It was on the cover of a large colorful book on Astronomy, sitting on the big sale table.

Better yet, if she could get Allen to go along with it, they could build this same System pictured in full color on the paper book cover for their Engineering Project.  No need to buy the book either, as almost all of the info needed was in her head,  once the Book cover gave her the good idea.

Rose sat right down in the Book Store to sketch her plan while she was so clear about it.  It was so simple that Allen might not approve it as being their Engineering thing, but she needed him to help with the simple, but beyond her ability, engineering part that was needed right in the center.

So she would have to not only be all sweet as honey, but he must agree that the two of them would give it to Todd on his birthday.  Quite a lot to ask of any brand new boy friend, but that was the way it had to be.  She didn’t have another backup idea for either the class or the gift.

Rose folded her small sketch, picked up her new dress and headed home.  She passed a light and lamp store and quickly turned in.   She soon was led to a small round glass ball with a light in it and as it was just right for her project she asked,

“Can that be made to light with batteries?”   The salesman took her to another section and showed her one made with batteries for camping use.  Perfect, she bought it.

Rose went home wishing every shopping day was this easy.  She could only hope that Allen was this easy also. If he was,  she had killed two birds with one… well spent hour.

Rose had to sit looking thoughtful, as Allen carefully explained the little racing car he had designed for them to make for the Engineering class.

“How trite!”   She thought as she sat listening and guessing that half of the boys in the class, and it was mostly boys, would be designing a little car of some sort.  What would the other girls be thinking…  A doll of some kind, maybe. If she hadn’t thought of this Astronomy thing as a gift for her sister’s B.F.  what would she have designed?  She came up blank,

But as Allen talked on,  she continued to try to think of something else, but  came up with nothing.   Allen simply had to go along with this simple System,  Besides, she had already purchased some needed parts for it.  She was getting nervous picturing him refusing it.  Maybe she should quickly redraw her sketch and try to make it appear more… what? Something, more… Astronomical! But there wasn’t enough time.

Then  Allen stopped talking, and waited for her reply.  she knew she was expected to praise his idea.  She knew she must and so gushed a tiny bit,  but then explained the Surprise Birthday party and her wondering what sort of a gift they should take, then doing a good job of showing off her simple pencil sketch.

Allen was speechless.  “I knew it.”  Rose thought when he said nothing, and she began to wonder if she could actually make it by herself.  Probably not.

“How did you come up with that idea?”  Allen finally said,  “I’ll bet no one else will, it’s so different and there will be ten little cars at least.”  He was smiling.  “Thanks partner for being so…  original!”

Rose was overwhelmed by his praise.  Did he really mean it?  Then she took the little battery operated lamp out of its bag.  The round ball that lit up softly was demonstrated.  “All we need now…” Rose began,

“Yes I know.”  Allen said.  “If we don’t use it, we can take it back.  But if I can get it to work for me,  it’s a good start.  When are we going to make the other nine parts. “

“As soon as possible.  If we use paper Mache’,  it will need to dry.  I thought we could hurry it up in the oven, but these balls must all be much smaller than this center light ball.

“Yes I am sure,  but it’s still pretty easy.  Painting them will be fun.  Do we put their names on them?”  Allen asked

“We can decide later, but I don’t think so.  The viewer must need to think.”

“You’re right let’s let… no, make them think.”  Allen smiled, “You’re place or mine?”

Rose was happy.  “Right here and right now!”   She said, as she began at once to tear the newspaper into tiny pieces. Then she handed some small balloons to Allen. Make the first one as small as a little bit of air will make it firm enough to hold the wet paper, then eight more just a bit bigger for each one.   The largest one must still be a smaller than the center lamp, though.”

Soon the nine papered with flour and water dipped newspaper balls were drying in a low oven.   Rose looked them over and asked,

“Help me decide about that ninth one.  Do we need it or not?”

“Let’s see how it looks when we get to it.”  I’m going to design the center circle that turns around on the same batteries as the light.”  What are you going to hang it on it?”

“Maybe three firm wires crossing over the top of the light battery case, creating six arms.”  Rose replied.  She had already bought some wire at the hardware store along with the clear fishing line.

As soon as the little paper balls were dry they put tiny hooks in the hole, where the balloons had been flattened and removed.

By the next day a coat of white glue had dried on the balls to firm them up hard and shiny before the appropriate colors were painted on them, followed by several coats of clear varnish.

Each was hanging on six inches of clear fishing line, ready to place on the wires crossed on the top of the light, which will be mounted as soon as Allen has it able to turn a gentle little circle on top of the light bowl’s square little battery case.

“What are you going to use to make the rings around Saturn and Jupiter?”  Allen asked Roseanne.

“I have cut some clear, firm rings of plastic and will glue them on after I paint some little sparkle dots and baby moons on them.”  Rose told him.  In her mind she could see the colorful painted Planets all revolving around the now clear orange, painted, softly lit, largest ball hanging right, in the center, the Sun.

Rose felt sure it had to be the perfect Birthday gift to an Astronomer type guy like Daisy’s, Todd.  Where he might hang it, she could not guess, but it was actually very pretty.  Allen had even painted the miniature Earth with blue and white Oceans and purple and green mountains… but no name on any. That information was for the viewer to determine.

She had painted the Mars red, of course, and the tiny Mercury a gleaming silver.  Allen painted the giant, but still small compared to the Sun, Jupiter, lavender with streaks of purple and Rose glued on the moon carrying clear circle.

Saturn was yellow surrounded by a clear ring of tiny specks and Venus was given a dainty shade of pink.  Uranus and Neptune were a far away pale ice blue, with silver glitter. And a very small stray ball, formerly the Planet, Pluto, was painted a fluffy snow white.

Allen had a switch that hung down to a golden button end to pull the light and flat     turning-ring on or off.

It was very pretty even turning in this dark, un-lit room.  Allen could not wait to present their wonderful Solar System to the well lit school class.  He knew it would be unusual.

Rose was anxious to see what Todd would think of it at his Surprise Party.

That Class Project was first, so Allen practiced his oral presentation.  Rose was impressed by how very good he looked doing it, so they should get a pretty good grade.   A couple of days ago, she had not even heard the Teacher when he talked about that project challenge, but luckily, Allen had, so she, as his partner, would happily get an equal grade.

Rose was glad he wanted to do that spoken presentation, as even though she loved working on it, she was suddenly a little bit shy when he suggested that she might want to stand and explain it to the class as it was her idea. But she declined.

They found a flat box wide enough to put it into and covered it with tissue paper.

As Allen took it up to the front when his name was called,  she watched fascinated as their Teacher stood to hang the Solar System on the chain holding the school room ceiling light.

Allen pulled the switch and the easily recognized Planets slowly circled the center’s shiny, lit up, Sun . The class applauded it.  Rose was amazed.

Five little well made, Cars had been demonstrated, remotely and four pretty, beautifully dressed, Dolls had either talked or walked.  Several scary, Spiders crept around and a couple even squeaked.  Three oversized, green, Dinosaurs roared and walked across the Teacher’s desk.  Five long Freight Trains and a Funny, Circus Train circled the library table.

Then it was Allen’s turn.  He was called last because the Planets hung alone and he proudly presented them all, one at a time, as they passed in front of him.  He could give the name and the number of moons with size and climate information.

It was obvious that the Teacher, Mr. Johns, liked this the best.  Now Rose was happy, sure Todd would be pleased also.

But then a problem arose.  She was called to the front as Allen concluded his talk.  Mr. Johns had asked Allen how he had come to think of this Solar System and had been told that it was Roseanne’s idea.  Allen and she worked together from her hand written pencil sketch, which Allen had given to the Teacher.

Mr. Johns had a plan of his own.  He wanted to enter it into the City wide show of the student’s various inventions.

“But she tried to explain that her idea was to give it to her sister’s boy friend for his Birthday this coming Saturday.  He is a budding Astronomer and that was why she had designed it in the first place.  She explained that Allen had a different idea for a racing Car, but he chose to work on mine instead.”

“That was very clever of him to see a good new idea when it comes his way.  He was right to choose this original piece to present.  That is exactly why I would like it to represent our school in the City wide Challenge.  I think it could win!”

“But then I will not have a gift for Todd.”  Rose complained, while trying not to sound like she was complaining.

“If I Photograph it, you can give him the picture and tell him it has been entered in the City Challenge and that it will be his after next month.   What do you think?”

Rose hemmed and stalled.  Then the Teacher promised a very large photo with a box of Candy and the Blue Ribbon,  if it actually won in the City Contest that is.   So she agreed. They left the Solar System and its protective box of tissue paper with Mr. Johns.

Allen had accepted her invitation to go to the party with her and she did have a super new dress, so all was well.

On Friday Mr. Johns brought them a beautifully framed photograph of their Solar System taken with good lighting that showed off the colors and all Planets, and handed over a beribboned box of chocolates to go with them.

Roseanne thanked him and he reported that the Solar System had been very well acknowledged in the City Hall where the entries were being accepted and judged, then on display for a week.  He was very proud to have it represent his School.

Roseanne took the Candy and Photo to have ready for the Surprise Party the next evening.

Then she was no sooner home than the telephone rang and it was Daisy.  Her tone of voice made Rose think she was crying and she asked her,

“Daisy dear, what is the matter?  Are you crying?”

“No!”  she reported back in a more angry voice “I am just very upset.  I’m angry, that’s what.  I am not crying!”

“What happened to upset you?”

“It’s Todd.  Do you know what he has done?”

”Of course I don’t.  Did he guess about your Surprise Party?  Is the Surprise ruined?”

‘No, well yes! that too.  He has ruined everything and he still does not know about the Birthday Party I planned for him.  His actual Birthday is on Sunday and I suppose that is what just got to him.  He called me up on our family telephone to explain, as nice as pie, mind you,  that since he is turning 18 on Sunday and he will become a man of voting age, and must begin to think like a male adult and stop all of this kid stuff for good.  So we should stop seeing each all the time.  Oh we can be friends , but as I will still be 17 for five months yet, I am too young to understand what becoming a grown-up means to a man.  Do you believe it?  He said he will always remember me as his best childhood friend but … well it is hard to explain. He said, but hopefully, someday when I am an adult, too, I will understand what it means to become an adult and the need to act like one.   Then he simply hung up.   I just sat there stunned.  Now what do I do when all of his childhood friends come to my house to Surprise him on Saturday?”

“Did he say he was going to be there?”

“No, I just told him I had planned something for Saturday and asked him to come.  I had no reason to think for a second that he would not.  Now my friends and his are all too young for him.  So we are a only good, old,  I mean… young, childhood friends of the past.  Can you believe it?  He is too old for me now.  Wouldn’t you be angry too?”

“Do you want me to help you cancel the Party?”

“Good heavens, no!  I want you to help me make this the town’s best Party ever without him!  I want it to make the papers, as the Social Event of the month!  Any Ideas?”

“Maybe a couple.  We need more 18 and 19 year old guys for one thing.  And I think I know how we can get it in the Newspapers. And even better, on T.V.”

”You’re kidding me right?”  Daisy’s voice picked up some hope.

“This is what happened.  Allen and I made a project for our Engineering class.  It was my idea because I was making it to Surprise Todd at his party, but first we presented it to the class and the Teacher loved it.  So he asked to enter it into the City Wide Contest as from our School.  It was seen by the papers and the T.V. and Allen and I were asked to explain it for the Papers and for a T.V. show about the Students of Today.

We went with Mr. Johns our Teacher and had the interview already and as it will go on the air on Sunday, after your Party, we thought it would be okay to explain why we had made it for a friend of ours as a Birthday gift.  Todd and you were both mentioned. I thought your Party would be over by then and you wouldn’t mind.  So Sunday, the interest you two both have in Astronomy will be the subject on the show, as it inspired us.  Nothing I can do about that now, but maybe get in touch with them and try to play up your wonderful Party.

Mr. Johns said, if we win the blue ribbon they may want to keep it at the City Hall until the County Contest that will show the winners from all of the Cities in the County.  It might keep getting bigger.  I can take you with us to the City Hall to see it and maybe you can think of some way to work it in your favor.”  Rose had another question.

“Do you want to win him back? Or make him regret the way he treated you?”

“I wish I knew. But at this moment, I think he is a jerk.   If I try to not let myself remember all of the fun we have had… in our childhood, that is, then I want a new, more considerate guy.  You have the right idea, keep looking around.  Who did you say worked on the Project with you?”

“Allen, a guy in my Engineering class.”

“There you are.  I have never even heard of him.  Does he have a friend I can borrow for Saturday?”

“I’ll sure find out.  Meanwhile keep cool, and we will see how we can milk this Solar System  Project for your benefit instead of Todd’s.   I’ll pick you up in the morning to go to the City Hall.   It’s time to make lemonade, if you know what I mean,”

“Are you calling my old boy friend a lemon?”

“You got it.  See ya.”

The T.V. station shot a couple of scenes with Daisy as the future Astronomer who was the inspiration for the Project.  Pretty seventeen year old girls are in high demand for their shows and they made the most of them .  The Photograph of the Solar System was held proudly by Daisy.  Somehow, they both forgot to mention Todd.

Some graduating students from other Schools were there to show their Projects.  Daisy and Roseanne soon had made several new friends to include at her Party.

A young man from a different School, named Chad, was most interested in their Solar System and noticing how simply it was made, wanted to build his own. He was studying to be an Astronomer one day himself. Daisy and Rose offered to help him.

“What would you do, different if you did another?”  he asked Rose.

“I would like to have it play an appropriate song as it turns.”  Rose admitted.

“Good idea, maybe I will do that.”  Chad smiled.  “What song would you choose?’

Rose had been wondering that since she thought of it and answered,

“I’ve Got the World on a String. Or I’d like to Teach the World to Sing.”

Chad paused and then gave her his suggestions.  “You are My Sunshine. Or Fly me to the Moon.”  Then there’s “It’s a Small, Small World.”  They both laughed.

“I t is isn’t it?”  Chad and Rose said together, making them both laugh again.

Daisy thought to ask Chad to the Party that night and gave him her address.

Allen came early to pick up Rose, so they could go to Daisy’s Party together.  He stood at the door just admiring Rose’s new blue dress.  He had only seen her in school clothes each day.  Dressed for a party she was something else.   Rose had chosen it for effect and was pleased when she got it.

When they arrived, Rose was caught short by the appearance of Todd driving up.

She paused at the door to wait until he came up the steps.  Todd smiled as she introduced Todd to Allen.

“Is this that famous Todd I have been hearing about.”  Allen asked.

“It is.”  Rose told him as she turned to Todd and said, “We were not expecting to see you here tonight, Todd.  Daisy told us about your curt phone call breaking up with her.

“I explained the reasons to her and she seemed to understand. “  Todd tried to explain. “I was just dropping by to make sure she wasn’t upset or anything.  You are all  dressed up for a party.  Are you all going to one?  Is Daisy going with you?”

“No we are there.  This is the Party.  As I remember you were asked to be here but you declined.”

“I didn’t know I declined a Party.  Daisy just said she had made some plans which I did decline.”  Todd looked a bit confused. So Rose decided to enlighten him.

“You know something, Todd, you have a long way to go to become a man. A real man thinks of other people’s feelings, and not so much about how manly he thinks he is..”  With that start she continued as Todd just starred at her as if trying to comprehend her words.

“Daisy had this Party planned for a long time.  It was a Surprise Birthday Party for you, Todd,  until you called and dumped her.   But as so many of her, and your , friends were coming anyway, it has been changed to a “Freedom Party for Daisy”.   We are now here to help her celebrate her new found Freedom from you.  Of course she would probably welcome you to be polite  if she…”

Just then the door opened, Allen had rung the bell before the discussion began.

Daisy looked surprised at seeing Todd. And stood speechless.  Todd opened his mouth to speak,  but after what he had just learned, did not know what to say.

“I just came by to see if you were okay.”  He finally said.

Daisy did a slow turn to show him herself and her new Party dress all the way around,   then said, politely,

“There,  see?  I am just the same as before,  but more so.  I am a lot older now.  So if you don’t mind,  I will be busy receiving my Party guests and won’t have time for my childhood friends just now.  I’m just sorry you could not make it to the Party I had originally planned, but come by some other time and we can talk about old times.”

Todd took the hint and turned to leave.  Daisy did nothing to stop him, so he drove away.  Rose had been about to invite him in, but this seemed the best way to handle it. Half of the new guests did not know Todd and he would have been busy explaining the break up to the ones that did.

Chad spent most of his time talking Galaxies with Daisy and though he was planning to go to that very good School featuring Astronomy classes in Arizona, he was now going over her list of those at Cal Tech.  He was impressed and told Daisy,

“If we could get together on the School we could work side by side and get more out of the studies.  I’m amazed at what you have done so far.”

“No, Roseanne made that lovely Solar System. “  Daisy felt she must explain.

“I don’t mean that.  It was made for fun.  I just looked over the books you have read like Feynman, Lederman, Gleick, Sykes, and Barnsby Hurd’s,  Fractal Image.  And even those two new Cal Tech grads, Aamodt and Wang.  You, girl,  are way ahead of me.  I need to catch up this summer. So I would like to borrow a couple of your books, if you don’t mind.  That old Asmiov and the Ship of Gold by Kinder.”

“Of course, I’m happy to lend them out, but I must warn you that I am relentless about getting them back, unless I have picked up a couple of extras at the used book store.  You can have the Ship of Gold.  I have three, that only cost me fifty cents each. And it is so good that everyone wants to read it, then give it to another borrower.  I also have two of Blind Man’s Bluff, about the cold war with Russia and the Submarines and two Kurson’s,  Shadow Divers. Do you Scuba Dive?  Anyway you will love the Shadow Divers either way.”

Chad had to smile at her unanswered question. So when she paused explaining books,  he said he might like to try diving, if she did.

The chocolates for Todd were on the table open and the guests soon left it empty.

Poor Todd will never know what he had missed… unless someone told him.

Daisy would not.  Rose had already done her damage.  If his name did not end up on the cutting room floor, as they say in the Television business, he could hear about some things, like the Solar System, now working its way up to the State wide Student Challenge. But only if he or anyone he knew saw the T.V. Show.

Daisy and Chad had spent so much time deep in the book talk to notice when the rest of the guests had left.  Roseanne and Allen clued them in and they had one last cup of coffee together before parting, Chad with four books under his arm,  with two others promised to Daisy from his collection.

Daisy’s younger brother, Will and sister, Sally were there and with Roseanne’s two younger sisters, Jane and Sue. They all made many new friends.  So the music and the games included a wide age group of Students.

Because the party had been planned to please Todd,  they all ate the couple of dozen Pizza’s that had been ordered a month ago.

A huge carrot cake, Todd’s favorite, was redecorated by Daisy to say

“Happy Graduation to all!”

William, Daisy’s brother, spent that long ago party evening getting to know Roseanne’s sister, Jane.  They had hiking and biking in common and had been doing both together ever since.

With Daisy and Roseanne packing to go away to College, they were about to be the oldest kids living at home.

Will and Jane planned to join a long hike to the top of a local mountain peak , which was an all day Saturday round trip.  It was planned carefully by two Teachers as a walking Hike up hill for four or five hours then after that hard climb to the top, trucks carrying bicycles were given out for them to ride the bikes down to the parking place where they started.

The entire junior and senior classes were given the opportunity to sign up for the Hike and Bike Day. Twenty students did.  Most were from the Junior class as the seniors were over booked already.

The experienced mountain hikers were dressed for the climb and knew enough to start off slowly.  There were two Teachers involved, one to lead and one to bring up the rear.  Twenty Students were the body of the climbers.  Thus two dozen good bikes were waiting at the top in a truck with two extras, just in case of a break down or a flat, they were to follow the group down.

Will and Jane each carried their own back packs, as did the eighteen other climbers.

A list of what to bring was given to all Students and then they could bring whatever

they wanted to add and were willing to carry both ways.

The weather was Perfect.  But like all mountain weather, it was not guaranteed.

No matter what was to follow it was a great start.    The road ran in gentle curves to the top of the Peak and the Hikers followed it to the top just as expected, even though it was more of a tiring uphill walk than a hike.  Most of the Students thought of a hike as something that took them through the woods and past the creeks as they wound up the mountain and occasionally down as the terrain took them. Even though most took the walk as ordered, six grew bored with it and left the automobile road to go straight up past the trees toward the peak as they saw it from this trail beginning on the road below.

They expected to get to the top faster than the slow climb the road was taking them up on.  Once there, they would wait for the others to eventually catch up.

However when the walkers finally arrived at the planned station where the truck had hauled the bicycles, the short cut hiking students were not there.  Nor did they arrive as the bikes were passed out.

One Teacher had been leading the group up the road and the other Teacher was following behind.  When they saw a group of six leave the planned path to take the more difficult, but shorter way straight up, they also expected to find them waiting on the top.

The exhausted students took the snacks and drinks made available by the truck drivers and found comfortable places to rest and quench their thirst.

To them the missing six were not their problem.  But mainly they were too tired to care.  If they had to sit and wait for them to come meet the bike truck that was fine with them.

One Teacher and two husky students took a narrow trail that led back down and looked over the cliffs for signs that the six had arrived and were passing time by sightseeing.  Not a thing on the path appeared trampled or recently used. No sounds echoed from any direction below.

They arrived back sure that the six had gotten confused and come a long way around from a different direction and so why not all choose a bike and coast slowly back down the same road they had followed up.  The six would eventually get to the top.

But no one had seen them.  Time was passing and the majority desired the trip down to begin so they could arrive back at the Parking lot on time.  The truck was scheduled to follow behind so if a bike had a flat tire or any problem they could put it on board and give them a spare to finish with.  They did not expect to have more than the two extra bikes.  However with six hikers missing, the drivers  were asked to keep an eye out for them and either give them bikes or take them into the truck as was necessary.  So eight bicycles were still available.

The fastest downhill bike riders arrived at the lot and were quietly sitting around resting .  One by one and in bunches of two or more the students began to cruise in and return the bikes to the First Teacher as he awaited the truck to arrive last.  He was still busy signing the riders back in.

Some students sat in their cars to watch as the slower students and the last Teacher plus the truck and its two drivers pulled in last to end the trip. A few students just signed out and drove away.

The hike had been planned to park and walk up for four or five hours and then ride the bikes down in one or at most two hours.  So when eight hours had passed and everyone had not signed out they began to worry.

Many stood around using the cell phones, which had been all left behind in the cars for the hike, as ordered, and now tried to contact the six who were missing.  There were three cars not being claimed and the one the Teachers had arrived in.   Now all were anxious about the friends who had disappeared in the middle of the walk up and had not been seen or heard from since.

Someone called the homes of the missing Bike and Hikers without finding anyone.

Now it was time to call out the Forest Rangers and ask for Rescuers and Searchers to go out looking for them.  A helicopter began the search from above. But by phone they reported no signs.  No lights or fires or waving stranded climbers… nothing!

Parents, who had been called in the beginning, began to arrive looking worried.“Why had they been allowed to wander off alone in the first place?  They all wanted to know.  Who was in charge?  The Teachers were in a way, but the Students were considered to be in charge of themselves.  They were all almost adults.  Two of the six were Will and Jane, brother of Daisy and the sister of Roseanne.  Many students stayed, waiting to find out what had become of a few friends.

Will Danes, Ron Cooper and Paul Wilson were the owners of the unclaimed cars, and their dates were Jane Allen, Alice Jones and Sandy Browne, six students who had signed on to the Hike and Bike Day and had not returned…yet.

With the theory that they had not ever arrived in the first place was dismissed by their unclaimed automobiles.

Now the Rangers had a description list of the missing students and the search began in earnest.

The worried parents and friends got together to discuss the last sightings.

Road traffic was stopped to prevent confusion if new hikers came to the hill.

Both Daisy and Roseanne were getting ready to join the search.  They were each missing a sibling with Jane and Will among the six.

Their Parents sat together to keep watch for their return.

“Now don’t you two get lost!”  Daisy’s mother called out.

“We’ll check in with you when ever we get close.”  Daisy promised.

Roseanne and Daisy asked the students who had seen the six leave the group,  where they had decided to start up a different trail…

“Exactly where had the six left the main road?”

Allen saw the two girls leaving and dashed quickly to join them.

The three took a ride up the hill road with the Ranger car to where the short cut started , then stood looking at it for something that would tell them that they had indeed gone this way.

However so many others had tried that same path, since they took it, that at first no one noticed anything except worn out and packed down dirt.

Then Rose saw something several feet up the path that she was sure belonged to Jane.  It was a clear plastic hair pin of the kind that Jane used to tie her hair back into a knot when she didn’t want to be bothered with it.  Lots of girls did, but as it hung low on an over-hanging, shrub, Rose could imagine it snagging out of Jane’s hair, if she bent to tie a shoe lace or pick up a pretty rock.

She lifted it from the branch and showed it to Daisy.

“Jane’s.”  Daisy said without doubt.  “She came this way.” Allen looked but couldn’t comment.  The three continued up the narrow path, searching for hidden clues as small as that three inch long hair pin.  The next clue was even less convincing and more easily missed by anyone else.

Daisy decided that the missing hairpin  had caused Jane’s hair to come loose, as a high up branch had caught and pulled out a good wad of hair the same color as Jane’s.   Daisy tugged the strands free and wound them around her finger.

“Boy! That must have hurt!”  she said to Rose as she showed her the curl.

“Jane’s for sure.”  Was her answer.  ”I’ll bet Will had to stop and get her free.”

“Maybe they chose a different path after this problem.  Allen remarked looking at the branch that still carried  some tangled hair in the twigs.

Sure enough the path ahead had more invading branches, so they looked to see which way they might go to avoid them.

“Over this way girls.”  Allen said from a decently open path where he stood.

They both followed Allen and found that this new path had more fresh foot prints that fit the Boots Rose knew to be like Will’s.  His boots had overlaying prints all over them.  So he was in front of the six taking them into this new direction.  Encouraged they kept following the new prints.

A large boulder had the boot prints in front of it and the others walking on by.  Will seemed to be resting and another set of prints were now in front.

“Look over here.”  Rose called.  Jane must have decided to stop and comb her hair.  That is why Will is sitting and waiting.  If Jane put her sack down and opened it to find her comb and some rubber bands, she left the spare rubber bands on the ground after using a couple to most likely braid her freshly combed long hair.  Three rubber bands were picked up by Rose and one had Jane’s hair tangled around it.   Her comb was accidently left sitting on a nearby rock.  She had shared a drink with Will and then had left the bottle cap behind but taken the plastic bottle with her, empty, or she would have used the cap to close it.

The knew they were where the six had been at one time, but only two had stopped and been left behind, so they hurried to see if the trail for the first four was as clear as the one Jane and Will left cluttered.

The foot prints continued and another large pair of boots led the way.  Regular  running shoes seemed to suit the two girls and the third boy.

Soon they found the place where the four had rested and drank while the last two caught up.   Bottle caps seemed to be beyond worrying about.  They found two.

Now Will was in the lead again and the trail was clear.  No one else had gone over this path after them.  Searchers had all followed the first path.  These three stayed to one side to keep the prints made by the first group unsullied.

Suddenly just around a bend the path ended.  A straight up cliff was in front of them.

They already knew the group had not gone back, as the prints were all heading this way.  But did they go straight up? Or slippy slide straight down?  That was the only two choices from where they stood.

Did all six do the same thing or did some  go one  way and some the other?

The three of them carefully checked the two directions.  All three of them wanted to go back.  But that was not a choice the lost kids had made… unless they developed wings and flew.

These three were here to find the lost ones, so going back was not a choice.  The piles of loose rocks around the bottom of the cliff,  told Allen that at least someone had  climbed up.  Nothing showed the way down to be smashed down or torn apart by clinging hands.  The all knew they could not go that way without hanging for dear life to every strong branch in reach… and stepping down hard on what was under their feet…Thus  no one had.

“There are really not enough loose rocks to have been knocked off by all six.”  Allen reasoned.  “Do you suppose one went up and then saw a different easier way for the others.”

“That sounds possible.”  Rose agreed.  Allen jumped up, telling the two girls, “You wait here while I go see.”   He felt around for the foot and hand holds needed to pull himself up the cliff.  He was up and out of sight as he went the course of least resistance.  Daisy and Rose waited impatiently.

Then Allen called from out of sight for them to look up on the left around the next bend.  The path didn’t really allow it but they leaned around to see what Allen had found.  A rope hung there with a loop in the bottom and knots along the way up.

By stepping in the loop and pulling themselves from knot to knot, Daisy and Rose were soon standing next to Allen.  Just as five of the six must have done.

The new path continued up the hill with all of the familiar foot prints.

An hour later they were not much higher and the cliff in front of them was impossible.  The trail circled around and around but not up or down.  At the end of that well worn path the footsteps went into a small cave almost hidden behind scruffy bushes.  At this point there was no place else to go, so they took out their flashlights and followed the others into the dark cave.

They waited just inside while Allen tied a string end on the bush at the entrance and let the roll out as they followed the foot prints deeper.  At a split making two tunnels, they followed the readymade foot prints but they were going in to both tunnels and out of one.   Foot prints led facing both ways. In and out again.

The lost group must have become confused and not finding an exit walked back and took the other tunnel.  But they did not return from this one at all.  So they must have found an exit. The girls agreed to continue on as long as Allen’s string would allow.  Then if they were not out somewhere, they would return.  They heard no noise ahead which must mean they had gone out.

Twenty minute more and they came to the first of the lost six students sleeping on the cave floor.  They were all soon awakened by the happy shouts of the finders.

They too felt the exhaustion that had made these six kids simply stop walking and lie down to rest.

The nine tired boys and girls happily followed the string back to the one known opening, where they set themselves up to signal the helicopter that was out searching.  With nine mirrors sweeping the sky, the chopper was soon over them and they were reported found by the pilot.

Students were lifted one at a time into the first helicopter and the second one that arrived just as the first was full up.

Once the whole story was out, someone thought to ask Allen why he had carried that big ball of string in his pack.’He answered,

“I like to build different kinds of kites.  I usually carry one or two folded into my back pack for when I find the conditions are right to fly them, so the string is always there.”

“It sure saved us!”  One of the lost girls bragged.  It was Jane.  “I thought we would never find a way out of that complicated cave full of dead-end tunnels.”  She told her rescuers.  “And I would love to see you fly those kites sometime, Allen.  ”Daisy and Roseanne agreed to that.

They knew they were all lucky that Allen had gone searching with them.  His choices had made the big difference.

All six of the students agreed that the short cut up the hill had been a mistake.  At the time no one had protested it.  The idea seemed to have merit.  No one came forward to admit the cave was known by any of the past hikers.  It was just too far off of the regular trails and the Forest Rangers made it off limits until they checked it out.

No other exit was discovered so the Rangers collapsed the one to prevent any other public problems.

That local mountain peak and surrounding forests were just too popular with the people to allow something like that hole in the earth to remain an attractive nuisance.

And if there were others, it was Public Beware.  This scare had taught the entire school a lesson.

Rose, Daisy and Allen had just made six new friends, even though a brother and sister were part of the new friendships.  While looking all over the mountain for them they were not afraid to admit that the two who were theirs, were after all, the most important.

With all of these new friends, Roseanne decided that it was her turn to have a party.  The guests were all from Daisy’s last party plus a dozen more.

Several Teachers were invited and some parents.  It had become a celebration of the

Successful reunion of the entire Hike and Bike Group,  which meant that the Forest Rangers and the Rescue helicopter crew also attended.

The house and yard were crowded with guests of all ages.  Making it a very unusual party.  Most of the talk centered around the lost kids for awhile.  They soon grew tired of explaining why they had entered the cave at all.

The six agreed on one thing.  It seemed reasonable that with the trail ending abruptly that there was a way down or up , so the cave must go in on this side and out on the other… a simple walk through.  But as the Forest Rangers eventually proved, it did not.  “By the time we gave up looking we had kept going around inside without finding the path back out at all until we were exhausted.”  One would explain and the next added,

“ We only had one flashlight between us and it had grown weak, we couldn’t even see our own foot prints anymore.”

Everyone had an excuse for whatever went wrong.  The Teachers saw nothing bad about the short cut climb and were tempted to take a vote for the whole group to leave the road and take the harder, supposedly shorter hike up.  But the trail was narrow and they had the remaining 14 students and two Teachers,  that seemed to be too many for that route , so they kept to the paved road.

Then suddenly the hike lost its interested audience and the talk changed to Colleges and how to chose one, or what to major in when you get there.  How different the dress styles were from school to school and finally they started a discussion on interesting projects .

As things slowed down. Daisy looked at Roseanne and whispered a suggestion.

“Why don’t you put on a turban and a shawl and do your fortune telling act?”

“I would, but I am the hostess tonight.  I agree that it can be very entertaining.  Come with me and I will dress you for it.  No one will even know it is you,”

“I don’t know what to say. I can’t tell fortunes like you do.”

“It’s easy.  Just keep it positive… no bad news or deaths.” Rose drew the reluctant Daisy up the stairs and when she was finished with clothes and make-up even Daisy didn’t not recognized herself.  Gypsy looking clothes were piled on until she looked fifty pounds heavier, Colorful Christmas tree strings of beads draped her neck,

Her hair was lost under the high turban, large fake flowers and huge earrings that were really bracelets.

Rose took a tiny purse size flashlight out of her purse and wrapped it in crinkled up cellophane then covered it with a soup bowl size clear candy dish that further muffled the light.

She located her behind a small table in a darkened corner of the room, with the crystal bowl in the middle and another small chair facing her.

Then she gave her, her best advice.

“Use their hand first.  As you run your finger tips over the sensitive palm, it draws them into your soft spoken husky words.  Then get more fake information from the Crystal Ball.  Be very aware of positive reactions and follow them to interesting conclusions.”

Rose whispered as she left Daisy,  to tell her to try to think like Madame Marvel, the Viewer of the Future,

“I will warn Allen to be amazed by your accuracy.  No matter what you say.  So he must be first.  Then you may choose from among the on lookers for your next victims, I mean customers.  Demand a coin of any kind be placed on the flat spot of the Crystal bowl… oops, Ball.”

On leaving, she made the soft nearby lamp focus on that Crystal Ball.

As soon as she tracked down Allen and explained his part to him, she sat him in the chair facing Madam Marvel.  Two or three guests came over out of curiosity and stood behind Allen.

Rose forgot to tell him that Daisy was the woman inside Madam Marvel and Allen sat mesmerized.

“Place a coin on the Crystal. “  Allen did as told placing a dime on the top of the lighted Ball.  Then Madam Marvel took his hand into hers and heavy with so many bracelets large rings that her own hands were almost invisible, she ran her fingers lightly over his open palm.

A shiver ran up his spine.  Especially when Madame Marvel ask him about his intention to go to Arizona for the Engineering classes and remarking that he may have a change of heart about that choice.  “Perhaps another Collage is in your future along with a new love.”

“May I ask a question?”  Allan asked timidly.

“Ask it, and then I will tell you the answer if I can.”

“About the new love.  Can you give me an initial if not a name?”

“Just a hint.  It will be a flower that begins with a “D”.

“I’m not sure I know anyone like that.”  Allan said slowly.

“Of course not.  This is your Future we are talking about.  I only do Futures, pasts are too boring, because you already know what you already know.  Right?”

“How far in the Future are we seeing?”

“That I cannot tell you.  Just be Patient is my advice.”  She looked over his shoulder and pointed to one of the Rangers.  My Crystal Ball is now picking up you.  I have lost this man,”

A disappointed Allan got up to give the chair to the next guy.  At first the Ranger backed away a step, then he sat on the edge of the small chair as if he was only temporary.

“Your name begins with a W.  Is it Walt or William?”  The Ranger’s eyes grew large and Allan stayed to hear the answer.

“It’s William.  He sat back into the chair in amazement.  “Do I know you?”

“That is not important.  Only that I know you.   I will know you better after you place a coin on the Crystal Ball.  The dime had been swept off unnoticed.

William put a quarter on it and waited for Madam Marvel to search the Ball for a whole quiet minute.  Then she reached for his hand and stroked the palm.  Her voice dropped to a low whisper.

“You will soon have an unhappy wife, who thinks you live in the Forest too much.  If you do not make a change you will lose her one day in the future.  That is all I can tell you this soon.  Next month I might be more certain.”  She then pointed to one of the Teachers.

She was anxious to be read her future and slipped quickly into the chair.  With the efficiency of a Teacher, she dropped a 25 cent coin on the Crystal and put out her hand.

Madam Marvel took it and without looking at the woman’s face began to report that she had a trip in her future, but she did not know where or when.  Only that she would be gone for the whole year.  Someone is expecting you.  I think he is a relative.”  Then she leaned back to look at the woman and saw the full truth, so added, “He is very young.”

The Teacher got up as fast as she sat down. She stared down at the Madam and almost shouted.  “You cannot know that!”  she walked away fast and left the house.

Rose saw this and interrupted Madam Marvel for her break, telling the waiting guests that Madam needed ten minutes,  then she would return.

Rose almost pulled her to the next room and then the bathroom to assure privacy.

“What did you tell her?  I told you no bad news!   She flew out of here as fast as she could.”

“ I only reported what I saw in the Crystal Ball.”

“That is not a real Crystal Ball it’s a Candy dish!  What could you possibly see?”

“Rose I can’t understand it, that little fake Ball is telling me real Futures.  I saw that she was going to visit a young relative, so I told her that.  It’s the truth.”

“Then why was she yelling at you?”

“Because no one knows that she has a young son who was adopted out and he will soon contact her and she will fly across the country to meet him.  If she didn’t know that before, she does now, because your magic candy dish told me.  And I told her.”

“Daisy have you lost your mind?  There is no way for you to know that!”

“But it did and it told me that the Ranger would have an unhappy wife very soon. “

“My God! You didn’t tell him that did you? “

“I had to.  It was the truth.”

“And you don’t think that is bad news?”

“I guess it just came out as I saw it.”

“I told those who were waiting that you would return, so you must for a little while, but please filter that personal stuff.”

“Do maybe three more, then leave without a word.  No matter what you think that Candy dish is telling you, cool it.  Can’t you think of something happy to tell a couple of guests.  So what if you tell them they are going to win the lottery, they can’t blame you when they don’t.  They don’t even know who you are, so keep it that way.”

Rose looked at the clock.  The ten minutes were up, so she let Daisy, aka Madam Marvel go out first.

Back behind the table she continued with one of the young students.  The Crystal Bowl told her that the child would develop a serious disease.  She blanked it out of her mind and reported an all “A” report card instead.  Then followed it with her finding a diamond ring which she would return and receive a big reward.


A boy student took a seat.  He was so obviously a football player that she told him that he would be the star of the last big game.  He left smiling.  Daisy was so sorry that she could not make that happen.  The Crystal said he would break a leg in that game.  Should she have warned him?  Would a warning change anything that was the truth?  She saw lots of truths but not that one.

Her last person was her own youngest child, Sally.  She did not go near the Crystal Ball for fear she would not like what it told her.  So when the Palm told her that Sally was going to win a beauty contest when she was 18, she ignored it and told her she would win a scholarship to the College of her choice.

After Sally, Madam Marvel dashed up the stairs taking the Candy dish with her.  Later when everyone had left and she was helping Rose clean up the house, she admitted that she still had the Crystal dish and they should look at it together very soon.  If it had the magic Daisy was sure it had, they should try to find out for sure.  She knew it was impossible on one level, but the truth she had received said otherwise.

If it was still magic they would soon know.  If it was only a one shot deal, Daisy alone would ever believe it was magic that night.  Daisy was pushing for that real rest.

People who had seen the Solar System often wanted to build one just like it or a bit different.  Some girls who had always thought of Engineering as something vague that guys did, became interested in it, after talking to those girls now involved.

One girl admitted that she began her engineering classes to meet the boys that seemed to fill them, but now she was sold.  She compared it to Fashion, which she had been considering, as it let you make things that were different.  Engineering was never dull, either, always evolving from one fascinating thing into another that was even better.

Patrick one of the senior boys admitted that foods, a girl’s thing, was very creative and extremely profitable.   He was thinking of studying that subject in Paris, so he was currently learning French in High School to be ready.  He even took a small following into the kitchen and demonstrated the making of flowers out of vegetables and fruits.  A beautiful edible bouquet was soon sitting on the coffee table just looking pretty, until Patrick, the creator, was seen lifting one out and popping it into his mouth, then others tried it, until the colorful flowers on long sticks, held together by a half a melon on a plate were gone

Jane told her sister Rose that she had never been to a party where the people were all so different and so interesting. “ How did you do this?”

“I didn’t really.”  Rose explained, “It is just that the ages and the interests are so varied and people love to tell others what they learned that unexpectedly surprised them.”

“I  know what you mean.  I’ve learned some curious things that I’m sure my friends don’t know anything about.” Jane smile at Rose to tell her,  “I want to be like you and make friends of all kinds of people of all ages.”

Rose admitted that it just happened and all because of the Solar System she and Allen had made. It drew so many different people to see it that they then become friends with us.

“How is it doing now.”  Jane wondered.  Rose explained,

So far it has won the School, the City and the State.  Now it must compete in the Nationals held in D.C. this year.  Mr. Johns has to ship it there, or carry it, I’m not sure.  I think it is too simple of a project to win there,  maybe if we had put more time into it.  I don’t know in what way, but it will be seen by lots more people and maybe it just makes folks think of what a small planet we live on and then, I don’t know… they  just feel something like love for their little Earth.”

“Then what will you do with it?’

“We will get it back someday and then I don’t know what to do with it.  We made it as a birthday gift for Daisy’s old boy friend. Todd. I think he’s here some place. Now that they broke up Allen and I are sort of stuck with it…  I guess.

Rose looked for little Sue, Soon she was discovered with Chad, Todd and Sally out on the patio looking up at the stars.

Good Rose thought.  Orion is up there tonight and that is such a good Constellation to learn on.  Then she did a double take.  Was that really Todd out there in the night gazing at stars with a kid who was only17, and two 14 year old little girls.  She looked again. Yes that was Todd, the same guy who had dumped Daisy to become an adult man… or so he said.  Had he abandoned his new found manhood already?  Or was he playing at being noble and sharing his greater knowledge of the vast Heavens with some youngsters?  Either way meant nothing to Rose.  But what would Daisy think?

Rose continued to play hostess to two or three guests at a time.

Allen saw Daisy in the kitchen and then he knew, Madam Marvel had told him that his new love was a flower that began with a D.  Could that mean Daisy was the One?

The Teachers were talking about signing up some students for a Ski Day as soon as that Mountain Peak provided the Snow.  They had a lot of enthusiasm among the guests of all ages to sign on for that fun sounding day.

Allen noticed that Rose was about to add her name and came to sign on with her.  They talked about it afterwards and agreed that one day in the snow could not, create the kind of problem that the Hike and Bike Day had.

That day had become a set of single little problems rolled into one big one.  It could not happen again, of course not.

However it did have potential for something else to go wrong.  But what?

After all the mountain still had no snow on it, a must for skiers.  Would it snow in time for school days off?

Daisy had been after Rose to sit down with her and test the Crystal candy dish.

It all sounded so unreal that it was constantly being put off by Rose.  Thinking of the lack of snow gave her some incentive to take the time to ask that stupid Crystal Bowl.

All it could do was nothing.  And so nothing was at least an answer.

Daisy insisted that they put it on the same little table with the same little soft light and in the evening.  As much the same as possible like everything was when the magic had overwhelmed her. If it didn’t work, it would not be because the setting was different.  She had only reached in and snapped off the tiny flash light.  Now she turned it back on and set it on the table.

To Rose’s surprise, when she asked the questions,  the answers appeared in her brain.  If Daisy asked the question her brain received the answer.

It didn’t take long to learn that the snow was on the way.  They both asked differently and received the same reply.  Ski worthy snow would be plentiful.

“Do we dare ask if all will go well for this group?”

“Why?  If the answer is someone will break a leg. What will we know?  In a group of 30 people someone is actually very likely to do just that.”

Is there anything else you want to ask it, as long as it is still giving out answers?”

“Let’s just sign on for the Ski trip and find out what happens when everyone else does. .. at the time it happens.

There is something spooky about going up to the mountain knowing the unknowable.  So they took the flashlight out and put it back into Rose’s purse. Then the cellophane went into the waste basket.  The candy dish was sent to the dishwasher and back to the shelf with the other serving dishes.  The Madam Marvel outfit was suitable for the Good Will.  Life would continue to unfold normally as it should.

I can only tell you that an interesting event that will happen on that beautiful, sunny Ski Day still remains a distant secret, just Beyond the Horizon where it belongs.