Himalaya 8 – Bucket

Story so far

Craig a medical student, had been climbing in the Himalayas during a solar eclipse when he saw two Unicorns who had licked his hands. When he touched an injured climber, Ben he was miraculously healed. Later in Katmandu Craig sat by an unconscious girl holding her hand and telling her the story of the Unicorns. She too was miraculously healed.

Back at University, Craig now feared that either he had been hallucinating or he had the power to heal.  Either way he faced problems.

On the first day of term he received a letter from Katmandu. He dropped it and it was picked up by a girl, Tania (Titania).  

When Craig opened the letter, it also contained a drawing from the girl (Alisha) who he had healed.

The picture showed him, with the two unicorns and also a fairy (Titania) wearing a crown. The fairy even looked like Tania. 

Craig’s other letter from his twin sister Ali (Ailsa) she was concerned about him so was moving to be closer to him.

Ben, the climber and a detective came to Oxford because he could now see people’s auras.  Ben could tell if someone was telling the truth. However Craig and Tania didn’t have a coloured aura to read.

Craig’s first day on the wards had seemed to have gone well with no one being healed. But later he helped a girl, who had a harp, she had a fall at first Craig thought she had broken her leg.. He also saw Tania were she should not have been.

Tania had thought she had cancer but tests, today, showed that she was clear of cancer.  Craig realised he may have cured her. He worried that the side affect might be that she could appear in places miles away.

Craig sat on the side of his bed.  He had locked his door when he came in because he didn’t want to be disturbed.  After the events of today he needed time and another letter from Kathmandu needed to be opened.

He had been in a rush this morning, so he had not collected the mail. It was a shock to look at the picture it had contained. The Staff at the home had written that Alisha had been pleased with her present of paper and pencils and she had drawn him a picture.

He just stared at it. Then he felt a presence by him.  He looked up and it was Tania. But not the usual Tania, this Tania was almost translucent.  A translucent Tania that had entered through a locked door. He uttered her name in shock.

He could see her lips moving but no word came out. He fumbled for a pad and pen and wrote ‘Can you hear me?’ Tania nodded, then pointed to the picture.

It was all surreal, Tania was like a ghost in his room. She was as translucent as the Unicorns had been. He wondered what would happen if he touched her. The unicorns had touched him but then there had been consequences. Best keep his distance for now.

“You look like a ghost.” Craig muttered. Then he held out the picture so Tania could see it. “It came this morning but I didn’t pick it up until tonight. How could Alisha know that today I would met a girl with a harp in a park. She has even drawn a jagged line for the skyline which looks like the skyline of the Oxford’s spires you get from South Park.”

Craig waited as if expecting a reply but then realised that he could not hear Tania. Instead she pointed to the left side of the picture.

“I wondered about that. It looks like someone’s hand by a bucket on its side and something else beside it. I can’t quite make out what it is. But there was no bucket in the park. For now it’s a mystery. Maybe something is going to happen with a bucket.  I don’t have one do you?’

Tania shook her head. 

“You know its very unnerving seeing you looking like a ghost, and not being able to talk to me. Perhaps you should go home and ring me.”  Craig suggested. Tania nodded and disappeared, just as the Unicorns had done. She just faded away.

Almost immediately Craig’s mobile rang. “Are you OK you were just like a ghost?” Craig answered.

“What did you think I had kicked the bucket? “Tania joked. “I feel very dry. I need a drink but for the moment and I feel shaky. I need to sit down. Otherwise I am fine.” Tania cheerfully replied.

“I could see a translucent you but I couldn’t hear you. How did you get into my room?” Craig asked as it occurred to him. That having a ghostly figure appear in his room could create a bit of a problem. It could be embarrassing.

“I wasn’t trying to get in your room. I was just trying this ‘moving out-of-body’ thing and tried to get into my bathroom. I ended up by the fountain again. I suppose I was thinking about water. I could see your light on and just thought about you and there I was standing looking at you. I was as shocked as you were.” Tania explained.

Craig’s phone bleeped. “I have another call, who could be calling at this time of night? I best answer it, its Ali’s number.  I’ll ring back.”

But the call wasn’t from Ali.  It was from one of the stable lads using Ali’s phone. Ali had had an accident. She had been knocked unconscious, so they had sent for an ambulance. The nearest A & E was John Radcliffe Hospital, so could he meet them there?  Craig was stunned.   Shakily Craig asked what were her injuries, what had happened?

All Harry, the stable lad, could tell him was that they had found her in the yard unconscious with a bump on her head.  They hadn’t moved her. Just put a horse blanket over her.  She appeared to have fallen over a bucket. There was water and glass where she had fallen.  Now he came to look, her hand was bleeding but not much.  The ambulance had now arrived so he was moving away.  Harry rang off.

The thought that kept going round in his head was ‘Ali has fallen over a bucket”. It took several minutes for Craig to gather his thoughts into a logical order.

He rang Tania back and told her “Ali has fallen over a bucket and they are taking her to JR.  She is unconscious. I am going up to A & E on my bike.”

“I’ll meet you there.” Tania offered.  “Fallen over a bucket.  Be careful Craig. If it was foretold, it may mean you have to heal her. Just be careful, the doctors are already suspicious about my cancer suddenly disappearing. Try to get to her before the doctors. Linda’s wards rotation means she is in A & E tonight. You know Linda, the girl with the red hair on our course. Use her to get to your sister before the doctor’s do.  I am still feeling a bit weak but as soon as I can I will be with you.” 

“As long as you come in person.” Craig stressed. “Don’t think they could cope with a ghost walking round A & E.” He rang off.  Grabbed his jacket and bicycle clips and was soon peddling towards the Hospital.

How had Alisha known about the Harp and bucket? Were the pictures telling him what to do? The first had been about Tania as a fairy. He had healed her without realising. This picture he had received today was about a harp and bucket. Had Tania been right and it meant he had to heal Ali? But what would the consequences be?

Dancing in the dark

The room was crowded with couples dancing. It was unbearably hot or that’s how Liz found it. She just wanted fresh air. The French windows were ajar and the air drew her outside. The terrace over looked the golf course and appeared to be empty.

The night air was refreshing and she stood her hands on the rail looking out into the darkness. She could make out the dark silhouettes of the trees and the wide expanse of the freeways.The scent from the lilac trees that surrounded the terrace drifted across on the breeze. She took a deep breathe and enjoyed the heady sensation.

“Care to dance?” A voice quietly spoke from the darkness behind her.

She turned in surprise. She had thought she was a lone. She could not see the face of the man. Its was hidden in shadow. She certainly didn’t recognise the voice.

Liz paused, hesitant to reply. Then said “As long as it’s out here. Not in there.” The hint of mystery added spice to the intriguing situation.

The music that drifted out changed to a slow tune. Liz found herself gripped comfortably in the arms of a stranger. Somehow her head ended up resting on his shoulder. The physical closeness and the smell of the lilac was intoxicating. She had no idea who her dance partner was but felt the excitement of the moment.

The music changed again still a slow song. His hold changed and he whispered in Liz’s ear.

“Do you know Lilac means first love?”

She tried to move away suddenly nervous, after all it was her engagement party. He gripped her tighter. She felt his strength holding her tight. Softly he kissed ear.

“You’re not my first love.” Liz whispered back. Bringing to feel apprehension.

“You’re mine. You were four!”

“Oh! I don’t remember.” Liz muttered in surprise, completely taken of balance.

The hold slackened, her partner turned and walked away.

She saw the figure disappear into the crowded room and she was alone in the darkness. Who was it?

The Good Duke’s Christmas

It was day after Christmas the old man awoke.

He straightened his red night cap which rested on his snow white hair.

He swing his legs out of bed and dangled them above the cold stone floor.

He remembered the days when he had jumped out of bed dressed and then set out barefoot to walk round his Dukedom visiting all his churches and handing out alms to the poor and needy.

Now he just felt tired and cold as he looked down at his feet. Not the tiredness of exhaustion but of boredom with nothing to look forward to on a cold wintry day.

Christmas day had been a sad day. None of his daughters had been able to come and stay with him and to make matters worse the bridge that crossed the river prevented anyone from the town coming to visit or sing carols to him.

Of course he was not totally alone. His cook had cooked him a magnificent diner. There was the biggest Goose in the dukedom. There was always a competition to find who could supply the biggest goose. There was duck and pork and at least 10 kinds of vegetables with 4 different kinds of stuffing, not to mention the different sauces.

Paul the cooks son had been weighed down by the heavy platters as he had carried them in to place on the great table that would have seated 30 people easily.

The old man had eaten alone, one small slice from the goose and just one or two vegetables.

Then there had been Figgie pudding with brandy sauce as well as other desserts. He could not face any of them.

Later he had opened the gifts sent by his daughters. His eldest daughter who now lived in lapland and she had sent him deer skin boots lined with fur. This for a man who often walked barefoot.

His next daughter who lived in Norway had sent him ski poles. Does she think I am old and cannot walk without sticks he thought.

His youngest daughter who lived in Finland, had sent knitted mittens, scarf and a jumper that was too large and brightly coloured and patterned. Does she think I am fat he thought.

He got up and walked to the window and drew back the curtains as he looked out he could see Paul pulling a sledge up to the castle. He could see across the river to the town with smoke coming from every chimney and he thought of all the families gathered round the nice warm fires.

And the old man remembered the times he had gone sledging with his daughters and then came into sit round the fire. Thats what he missed it was the children and their laughter.

In the dining room his breakfast was laid out he just picked at the food.

Later he walked to the dining room window and looked out on the cold winters scene, the snow on top of the bird bath must have been two foot high. No visitors today he thought.

Then he noticed a distant shape, moving in the deep snow. His cataracts blurred his vision so he called Paul and asked him what was moving.

“Its one of the old men from the alms houses collecting wood sir.”

Now how often do we look on a view and see what is there and never see what is missing. Now as he looked the old Duke could see the alms houses and the orphanage and no smoke was coming from any of the chimneys.

“But if the old man was collecting wood would it be wet and not burn well,” he said aloud.

“Sir, with the bridge broken no one would have been able to deliver wood to the houses, maybe they have no other wood.”

The old Duke thought for a moment. “Paul go get your sledge and fill it with logs from our store and send your mother to me.”

It did not take long to load the sledge not only with logs but all the food that had not been eaten on Christmas Day. What they could not get on the sledge they put in two rucksacks.

The Duke put on his new boots. His large knitted jumper, his scarf, his mittens and wrapped his cloak round him and with a ski pole in each hand he set out with Paul pulling the sledge.

It had begun to snow again and the going was hard until Paul could hardly pull the sledge any longer.

“Follow me” the old Duke said and soon they reached the tracks left by the old man who had been collecting which made the going easier. Then two men came, one the old man and the other from the orphanage and in no time they had reached the Orphanage.

The children were cold and huddled together but the fire was soon lit and a great pot put on top of it. The vegetables and cut up meat were put in the pot and in no time the smell of a delicious soup filled the air.

Everyone from the orphanage and the alms house said it was the best soup ever. And they all ended the day singing and dancing.

And the old duke said “this is what I will do every Christmas, I will not be alone I will invite everyone to join me.”

Wenceslas was a Bohemian Duke in Czech in the 10th century

One biographer wrote in 12 century wrote,

On rising every night from his noble bed, with bare feet and only one chamberlain, he went around to God’s churches and gave alms generously to widows, orphans, those in prison and afflicted by every difficulty. So much so that he was considered, not a prince, but the father of all the wretched.

Roman Emperor Otto 1 posthumously conferred on Wenceslas the regal dignity and title and that is why in the legend and song he is referred to as a “king”

Himalaya 7 – Innocent

Story so far

Craig a medical student, had been climbing in the Himalayas during a solar eclipse when he saw two Unicorns who had licked his hands. When he touched an injured climber, Ben he was miraculously healed. Later in Katmandu Craig sat by an unconscious girl holding her hand and telling her the story of the Unicorns. She too was miraculously healed.

Back at University, Craig now feared that either he had been hallucinating or he had the power to heal. Either way he faced problems.

On the first day of term he received a letter from Katmandu. He dropped it and it picked up by a girl, Tania (Titania).

When Craig opened the letter, it also contained a drawing from the girl (Alisha) who he had healed.

The picture showed him, with the two unicorns and also a fairy (Titania) wearing a crown. The fairy even looked like Tania.

Craig’s other letter from his twin sister Ali (Ailsa) she was concerned about him so was moving to be closer to him.

Ben, the climber and a detective came to Oxford because he could now see people’s auras.

Craig met Ben and he discovered that Ben, could now see people’s auras. Ben could tell if someone was telling the truth. However Craig and Tania didn’t have a coloured aura to read.

Craig’s first day on the wards had seemed to have gone well with no one being healed. But later he helped a girl who had had a fall until the ambulance arrived. He also saw Tania were she should not have been.

Craig watched as the ambulance disappeared from sight. The few people who had gathered round had also dispersed. He walked back to the bench where he had left his bike. There was no sign of Tania. Had he imaged she had been standing by his bike?

There was one way to find out. He rang her mobile. “Hi Tania. Where are you?”

“I am on the bench by the river, where you were talking to your friend yesterday.” Tania innocently responded.

“I thought you were in South Park.” A confused Craig answered.

“That’s miles away. I suppose you are going to come up with some fantastic story about a harp driving off in an ambulance.” Tania sounded amused.

Craig was speechless. Tania asked if he was still there. “Just getting on my bike. I’ll be with you shortly.`I got delayed.”

Light was beginning to fade when he finally reached Tania still sitting on the bench. “Hi. Are you OK. I was beginning to worry when you didn’t come to the ward.” Enquired Craig

“I am fine. That’s the problem.” Tania responded cheerfully.

Craig shook his head in disbelief. Could today get any stranger, he thought.

“I wanted to talk to you.” Tania started to explain, “I thought of coming to see you the other night but got cold feet. Then yesterday you had someone with you. I have been so worried I needed to talk to someone.”

“You can talk to me any time.” Craig offered supportively. He was wondering how he had ended up in this position when up until last week he had barely spoken to Tania.

“You’re going to think I am fantasying.” Tania seemed doubtful. “I don’t know where to begin.”

“Start at the beginning. My life has become one long fantasy. So I will understand.” Craig reassured.

It took Tania a few moments to gather her thoughts. “It was in the break I went to the doctors. He sent me to see a specialist.” She paused to see Craig’s reaction. Then she continued, ”They did a biopsy and I have been so worried, I had no one to talk to. I don’t think I had said above half a dozen words to you until the first day of term.”

“You must have been so worried. Don’t you have family to support you?” Craig said holding her hand supportively.

“No. They are in Australia. Anyway I hesitated talking to you. Its kind of personal. Today I went for the results.” Tania went quiet as if not sure how to continue.

“When I arrived you said you were fine?” Craig asked.

“That’s it. I am fine. They kept me for hours doing tests. They couldn’t find anything with me. They just kept double checking things. They couldn’t believe there was no evidence not even a scar. It’s like I never had cancer but the tests from the biopsy they had done came back positive. I had to talk to someone. I didn’t know who else to talk too.”

Craig was stunned.

“Say something, Craig, I am not making it up.” Tania seemed agitated and took her hand away.

“Tell me why did you think I would tell you a story about a harp driving off in a ambulance?” Craig mind was going in circles.

“I tell you I had cancer and you talk about harps in ambulances” Tania angrily stood up and started to walk off.

“Tania wait, let me try to explain. Only you will think it’s fantasy. I can heal people.” Craig paused as Tania turned back to him. “It sounds unbelievable but I healed Ben in the Himalayas. Then Alisha who sent the picture. I thought it only happened in Tibet. But what if I have healed you and a girl with a harp?” Then suddenly he sank back onto the bench. His head in his hands. “There are side effects. What have I done?”

“Side effects?” Tania came back to stand in front of him.

“Ben can see auras. He can tell if someone is innocent or guilty. Alisha can draw pictures of people and things she has not seen. How did you know about the girl and the harp?”

“I sat here and sort of dreamed it. You were helping a girl with a injured leg. There was a boy with a phone. On the path was a harp and a skate board. It wasn’t real. Just a daydream.” Tania sounded doubtful. “I don’t even know why I said that about a harp in an ambulance.”

“But it was real and I saw you by my bike. Then you were gone. The other night I saw you by the fountain in the courtyard. When I went down you were gone and the porter said you had not come into the courtyard. Were you there or did you dream that too?” Craig questioned Tania.

“I dreamt it and you saw me.” Tania was as shocked as Craig.

“It’s your side effect.” Craig tried to make sense of the chain of events and explain it to Tania. “Alisha drew a picture of me on the mountain. I thought I had imagined seeing Unicorns and they gave me the power to heal. Ben was healed, then Alisha.”

Alisha’s side effect is that she could draw you and she made you a fairy with wings. She drew you as Titania. That’s what you can do, fly from place to place and I could see you. You knew what happened in South Park. God! What have I done to that innocent girl. What’s her side effect going to be?”

“This can’t be for real?” a stunned Tania sat back down by Craig. Then another thought occurred to her. “If you can cure people what about all the people you saw today in the hospital?”

“I think I have to both touch someone and think about the unicorns. That’s what happened with Ben and Alisha. The day we had coffee we were looking at Alisha’s picture and talking about it. I must have touched you. The girl in the park had a top with a unicorn on. I was just talking to her to calm her. On the wards I wasn’t thinking about unicorns and most of the time I had surgical gloves on, so nothing happened.”

“I need time to think about this,” Tania was thoughtful. “But if you did heal me, thank you.”

“I have just remembered. I am meeting my twin sister on Saturday. She knows something is wrong. She’s moved down from Scotland because she was concerned. How can I tell her all this? She just will not believe me?” Craig looked worried. “Come with me. She can’t ask too many questions with someone else with me.”

“She’ll think I am your girl friend. How are you going to explain that?”

“I don’t know but that’s the least of my worries.”

Himalaya 6 – Harp

Story so far

Craig a medical student, had been climbing in the Himalayas during a solar eclipse when he saw two Unicorns who had licked his hands. When he touched an injured climber, who he was looking after, Ben was miraculously healed. Later in Katmandu Craig sat by an unconscious girl holding her hand and telling her the story of the Unicorns. She too was miraculously healed.

Back at University, Craig now feared that either he had been hallucinating or he had the power to heal. Either way he faced problems.

On the first day of term he received a letter from Katmandu. He dropped it and it picked up by a girl, Tania (Titania).

When Craig opened the letter, from a nurse in Kathmandu, it also contained a drawing from the girl (Alissa) who he had healed. It showed him, with the two unicorns and also a fairy wearing a crown. The picture was a accurate depiction of the event in Himalaya and he was surprised the fairy even looked like Tania.

Craig’s other letter from his twin sister Ali (Ailsa) told him she was moving to be closer to him.

When Craig met up again with Ben he discovered that Ben, a police detective, could now see people’s auras. Ben could tell if someone was telling the truth. However Craig and Tania didn’t have a coloured aura to read.

Ali rang Craig on his mobile before he went to the Hospital. Ali was again worrying. She insisted as only a twin would, that ever since Craig had been to Tibet, something was different.

Just don’t keep harping on.” Craig informed his sister. “There is nothing the matter. I am fine.”

Ali had arrived in Abingdon and started her new job. At the moment all she got to do was muck out stables. She hoped that when the yard got to know her, she would get to look after some of the famous horses. Apart from stallions like ‘White Orchid’ who had won the Grand National, some of the mares were well known too, like ‘Golden Harp’. But Ali could tell Craig all about it if he would met her on Saturday in Oxford. Craig had no choice but to agree.

For Craig it was one more thing to fret about. It was his first day on the geriatric ward. He would have to go round with the registrar Doctor Roberts who had a reputation for being hard on the students. Craig’s worry was what if he touched a patient and they were cured? There would be a lot of questions he could not answer, especially as the two people he had healed seemed to have developed strange side effects.

He cycled up to the Hospital. He arrived in time. He needed to keep a low profile incase he got distracted, as he had in his last lecture. He didn’t have Tania to help him out today. He did wonder why she was going to be late but that was the least of his worries.

Craig found the ward rounds were disturbing, any moment something could go wrong. Craig touched a number of patients. Doctor Roberts asked him a number of pointed questions. He stumbled through his answers but he thought he had given credible replies. The other two students in the group had been equally anxious, so he had not stuck out like a sore thumb.

By the end of the shift Craig was exhausted but he breathed a sigh of relief. He had expected the day to end in disaster but it had been surprisingly normal. No one had been miraculously healed, in fact one patient had died, a man in his eighties. The man’s family had been at the bed side, as the death was expected.

Craig cycled into South Park. He found a bench and sat down to take stock of the day. It had just been ‘normal’. The only odd thing was that Tania had not turned up at all.

He looked out across the city at the magnificent sight of Oxford’s spires. He watched as a teenage boy and girl pushed a harp precariously balancing on a scooter down a steep path. It could only happen Oxford.

It was then it occurred to him to search for the similarities between Ben and Alisha’s cures. It had to be the Himalayas. He had healed them both in Tibet. He hadn’t healed anyone today so therefore he could heal people in Tibet not Oxford. He was safe after all his weeks of worry.

Craig’s mobile pinged. It was text from Tania. ‘Meet me. The bench where you were yesterday. We need to talk’

“What was wrong now?” Craig thought.

Craig was about to get on his bike to ride down to the river, when he heard a scream and a boy’s voice shouting ‘help’. It was the two teenagers and both the scooter and the harp were on the ground a short distance away. He rushed to see what was wrong. The girl was lay on the path, her leg twisted at an angle which suggested to Craig that it was broken. She was screaming with pain. Craig prevented her from trying getting up. He held her hand and told her he was a medical student and she was in safe hands. If she could answer a few questions it would help.

“What’s your name?” Craig asked trying to sound calmer than he felt.

“My sister’s name is Jane.” Interrupted the boy, which wasn’t what Craig wanted.

“Ok Jane, I am going to give your brother my phone and he’s going to dial 999 and get an ambulance.” Craig passed his phone to the boy and instructed him to go a few yards away so he can talk to his sister.

“Tell me where it hurts and I can see what I can do to help.” Craig hoped that Jane had calmed down enough to speak to him.

“Mum will be so cross. I don’t need an ambulance. I will be in so much trouble. Where’s my harp?”

The girl sobbed.

“No. Your Mum will understand. Does your leg hurt? The ambulance people have this special splint that will make it feel easier. Now tell me if you hurt anywhere else?”

By this time the boy had come back and held out the phone.

“They want to talk to you.” The boy insisted.

Craig was able to explain to the operator that the girl, was Jane Morris, and she had a leg injury. He also managed to get the parent’s phone number from the boy, so the operator could contact them.

Jane’s top had a Unicorn on it, so Craig commented about it to try to distract Jane, Who now seemed more worried about the harp.

Craig could hear the ambulance’s siren and he looked across in the direction of the sound. To his surprise he could see Tania standing by his bike, surely she was a mile away by the river?

Within a minute the two ambulance men were beside the girl. They didn’t think the girl’s leg was broken. To Craig’s surprise it no longer looked twisted. For a moment he was speechless.

“We will take you to the hospital and we will get it X-rayed to make sure.” One of the Ambulance men told Jane. “The operator has phoned your Mum and she is going to meet us in A & E.”

“Your brother is going to come with you to make sure you are OK. The ambulance will take your things as well.” Craig informed them both, as they appeared lost and confused. Jane was still fretting about the Harp. Was it damaged? Craig assured her it looked ok.

As the ambulance drove off Craig looked back at the bench and there was no sign of Tania. Where had she gone? Had he healed Jane? Had he got it all wrong? Could he heal people in Oxford too?

Himalaya 5 – Clone

Story so far

Craig a medical student, had been climbing in the Himalayas during a solar eclipse when he saw two Unicorns who had licked his hands. When he touched an injured climber, who he was looking after, Ben was miraculously healed. Later in Katmandu Craig sat by an unconscious girl holding her hand and telling her the story of the Unicorns. She too was miraculously healed.

Back at University, Craig now feared that either he had been hallucinating or he had the power to heal. Either way he faced problems.

On the first day of term he received a letter from Katmandu. He dropped it and it picked up by a girl, Tania (Titania).

When Craig opened the letter, from a nurse in Kathmandu, it also contained a drawing from the girl (Alisha) who he had healed. It showed him, with the two unicorns and also a fairy wearing a crown. The picture was a accurate depiction of the event in Himalaya and he was surprised the fairy even looked like Tania.

Craig’s other letter from his twin sister Ali (Ailsa) told him she was moving to be closer to him.

Ben wanted to met as he too had problems.

Craig sat in the cafe at Oxford station. He had arrived nearly an hour early. He just hadn’t been able to sleep. Life was getting complicated. Last night he had thought he had seen Tania sitting by a fountain, almost under his window, but when he went down, she had gone. Why was she there? Had he been hallucinating again? That was the real problem, that line between reality and fantasy were becoming blurred. He was beginning to question what was real. Unicorns and fairies were imaginary but they kept intruding into his life. Alisha and Ben were both real but both had been drawn into the imaginary world that had surrounded him since his trip to the Himalayas. Even his sister Ali sensed a change in him, so much that she was moving to live nearer him.

As a distraction, he began to read the article in the Lancet that his lecturer had suggested reading before the next Lecture. It was about DNA and the use of cloning in medical procedures. It discussed the possibility of removing cells from a five day cloned embryo to use stem cells to treat diseases like heart problems diabetes and spinal injuries. Also there were a lot of ethical problems surrounding the use of a cloned embryo. In the past designer babies were a considered option but a child inherited 50% DNA from each parents but not the same DNA, so a suitable match was not guaranteed. Just look at himself and his twin. Ali was a girl and he male. But that was only the start, he had blond hair and Ali dark, their personalities were so different. He was studious while Ali loved the outdoors and riding.

Craig’s thought having wandered from the topic he looked up at the clock. Nearly time for Ben’s train. He needed another coffee, so he got two, one for Ben as well.

As Craig returned to his table Ben arrived.

“I got you a coffee,” Craig handed Ben a coffee, “Shall we sit down?”

Ben took the coffee. “I don’t want to talk here. Can we go somewhere private?”

Craig was mystified but suggested they went and walked by the river. Ben wasn’t going to be drawn on why he had come. He just talked about his journey and climbing and just kept postponing the topic he had come to talk about.

Final they found a bench by the river. For what seemed like ages they sat drinking coffee. Then Craig got frustrated by the silence. “What is it that has brought you to Oxford?”

“Its difficult, I don’t know where to start.” Ben replied looking round to ensure no one was near.

“Best place to start is at the beginning.” Craig prompted.

Ben nervously, again looked round. “It started in Katmandu, well that’s when I first noticed it. It’s strange, I don’t understand it. You’re a medical student. I thought you might be able to explain it.” Ben paused.

“I still don’t understand the problem. I am not a Doctor yet. If it’s a medical problem you should go to your own Doctor.” Craig started.

“No. No, not medical. It’s strange. Weird in fact. In Katmandu I thought it was to do with the altitude. People had a slight colour around them. But now everyone has a colour, its brighter and clear. It changes when they talk. I know it sounds mad.” Ben finished, he looking worried.

Craig watched him for a moment as he tried to make sense of the problem. “Are you talking about a person’s aura? I know, it sounds New age. and I don’t know much about it. But lots of people claim to see a person’s aura.”

“But is it real? I thought it didn’t exist.” Worried Ben.

“Medically it’s not been proved to exist. There is a condition called Synesthesia but I don’t know much about it. I need to know more. But tell me what you see.”

Ben looked around and he could see a couple sat on a bench further along the path. “Well, the girl over there has a red glow round her. That seems to indicate she is telling the lad something untrue. The lad has a faint green glow so he is listening and is believing her.”

“Fascinating what about me? Do I have a colour? So if I told you two statement, one true and one false you would know the difference?” Craig wondered.

“That’s strange too. Everyone has a colour except you. I can’t read you.” Ben stated.

Craig was thoughtful for a moment. “That’s a shame we can’t test your theory. It might be a temporary situation.” Craig tried to sound reassuring, “Is it really a problem if you can see if someone is telling the truth.”

“You do know what I do for a living, don’t you?” Ben instantly questioned.

“Don’t think I do. You were always vague, something in public relations wasn’t it?” Craig commented looking past Ben, he could see Tania in the distance walking towards them.

“Craig, I am Police Detective. Have you any idea what would happen if I started talking about New age stuff?”

“It might be useful to know who was telling the truth.” Craig again looked past Ben, “Listen, a friend of mine is walking this way and it look like she is going to speak to us. We could test if you could tell if she is telling the truth.”

Ben turned and looked at the girl walking towards them. He turned back quickly, “But she is like you. Unreadable.”

Tania pause in front of them. Craig made the introductions. Then Tania spoke directly to Craig. “Hi, Just thought I would tell you I have to go somewhere tomorrow, so I will be late for the ward rounds.”

“Is it wise? It’s the first one.” Craig questioned.

“I’ll tell you about it tomorrow. Can’t stop.” Then she abruptly turned and walked away. Craig watched her go confused by her behaviour.

Ben was confused by her lack of colour, “I’ve looked at hundreds of people and they all have an aura, as you call it. It only you and Tania have a colourless aura. Going back to my job. We deal in evidence, people’s auras isn’t evidence.”

Craig’s thoughts returned to Ben’s problem. “But surely intuition comes into what you do. Having a indication someone is telling the truth could help you.”

They talked for nearly an hour. Then Ben went to get his train still a worried man but reassured by being able to talk to someone. Craig on the other hand was troubled. He had helped Ben and Ben had now acquired an ability which was unexplained but could be useful to him. His encounter with Alisha had appeared to have given her the ability to predict who he would meet and draw things she could not know about.

So why had he and Tania no readable aura? Why had Alisha been able to draw a good likeness of her? Why was Ben able to see who was telling the truth?

There just seemed to be more questions and no answers.

Himalaya 4 – Shield

Craig sleepily tumbled out of bed. It was the first day of a new term at University. He had been worrying about it since coming back from the Himalayas. Now he had to face his biggest fear. What would happen if he touched someone and like Ben and the girl in Kathmandu and their health miraculously improved, as if by magic? Of course the opposite could happen and it would prove it just had all been hallucinations. What would the lecturers think if he had been hallucinating and the problem continued? Would he be send down? Would they think it was drugs? Who wants a doctor with a mental or drug problem? He was between a rock and a hard place.

He showered and dressed picking out what ever came nearest to hand to wear. He could not remember what he needed, so he just throw everything he might need into his bag. He ended up carrying several books.

He staggered out into the corridor where there was a hum of activity. Other students were off to lectures. Several students spoke to him, his answers were short. He didn’t feel like talking to anyone.

Matthew who was on the same course hurried past. “We’ll be late. Come on hurry up”

Craig reached the porters lodge. He stopped to check for letters. He had three. A circular about a concert by the duo Bent referencing the Album Intercept. He couldn’t go so that would go in the bin. A letter which he recognised as his sister’s writing, he would read that later. The third throw him. The stamp told him it was from Kathmandu. Who could be writing to him? He turned it over twice. What could he do? Open it and send all those thoughts and emotions spinning round his head again. He had to leave it until after his lecture was over. He put it in his bag. Then he took it out again. He just couldn’t leave it. He’s need to open it was too great.

He found a bench, it was a warm day for October but he felt cold, as cold as he did on the upper slopes of the snow covered Himalayas.

He heard the clock striking in the distance. He was late for the lecture. He ran, clutching his books and letters.

He was last in, the lecturer was already speaking. He tried to sneak in quietly and sit at the back. He stumbled as he went down the first step in the lecture theatre. The sound of his books flying through the air and landing on the steps near the front row echoed round the theatre. His letter seemed to float gracefully landing on a empty front row seat. Everyone turned round and looked at him.

“Nice of you to join us,” the lecturer sarcastically commented.

Craig hastily almost tumbled down the steps to the front row. A girl helped pick up his books. He sat down in the seat which his letter had landed on, which happened to be next to the girl, after all she was still holding his books and other letters. She handed them to him. He placed the letter in front of him. It seemed to stare back at him saying “Open me.”

He hardly heard a word of the lecture. The lecturer pointedly asked him questions. It was only the quiet whisper from beside him that helped him survive the lecture.

Everyone trooped out at the end of the lecture leaving Craig and the girl left in the theatre.

“Are you alright?” The girl asked.

Craig realised she couldn’t get out until he moved.

“Yes,” he mumbled. What was the girls name? He racked his memory. He’d been on the same course for four years and she had just been a face in the crowd.

“Sorry Tania. I am blocking you in.” Craig said as he moved clumsily, knocking his books flying. He got into the aisle and bent down to pick up his belongings.

“It’s Titania isn’t it?” He said as she stepped pass him.

She gave him a scowling look, then started to climb the steps.

“Your a fairy and I am a rock.” Craig commented without really knowing why.

She stopped and turned.

“A rock?”

“Celtic rock actually.”

“Well that’s better than a fairy.” Tania said as she descended the steps and went passed Craig and picked up that letter. She held it out to him.

He stood up, just because he felt small beside her. He made no effort to take the letter. It seemed like an age that they both stood still the letter between them.

Tania turned the letter over. “It’s from Tibet. Is that where the Rock went climbing?”

She leaned forward and placed the letter on top of Craig’s books.

“Ever had a letter you don’t know if it’s good news or bad news?”

“You mean like one to say if you have got into the university of your choice or not. Either way you have got to open it. What you need is a cup of coffee.” Tania said taking back the letter and climbing the steps to leave the theatre.

Craig followed. What else could he do.

The Cafeteria was a buzz with students. The tv screen was playing a American foot ball match. Tania homed in on an empty table in a corner. She sat down at the table and placed the letter in the middle.

“I’ll save the table. You get the coffee. Mine’s latte”

Craig was staring at the letter, but after a second prompt he went to get the coffees.

Matthew, the fellow medical student, intercepted him with a nudged. Matthew had a reputation for the ladies. Craig had concentrated on his studies and only occasionally got distracted by girls.

“Your in there, with the ice maiden.” Matthew commented. Tania had turned him down on several occasions.

Craig just stared at him. “Just buying Coffee.” He replied.

Matthew turned, “Good intercept” he said looking at the tv screen and Craig hastily returned to the table.

Tania handed him the letter. “Its a letter from a hospital in Kathmandu. Were you ill out there?”

“No. How do you know it’s from the hospital?”

“It says so on the back,” Tania turned the envelope over and showed Craig the inscription.

“One of the climbers was injured so I went with him. Then I went the following day and spent the day there.”

“Then it’s a thank you letter. Just open it and get it over with.”

Craig did as he was told.

It was a handwritten letter and a folded sheet. He looked at the bottom of the letter the signature was unreadable.

The letter was not much better. It was in broken English so the theme was difficult to follow. He had to keep going back to the beginning to finally make sense of it.

“Well?” Tania asked “Good news or Bad news?”

“Good, I think” Craig said doubtfully.

“Well” Tania leant forward.

“There was a girl,” Craig started.

“There always is.” Commented Tania sitting back loosing interest.

“She was 8 maybe 9 I think,” that attracted Tania’s attention again. “She was unconscious.”

“What was the matter with her?” Tania asked. Craig wondered should I be telling this story to a girl I hardly know.

Tania prompted him to continue.

“She had some sort of accident. The girl had a head injury. They didn’t expect her to survive. She was a street kid, they didn’t know her name. There was no one to sit with her. So I sat and talked to her. I don’t know the full details my Tibetan isn’t that good. The nurse, I think who wrote the letter, didn’t speak very good English. That’s why the letter is difficult to read. I can’t read the signature but I don’t know her name anyway.”

“That was kind of you to sit with the girl. So the nurse wrote to thank you.” Tania commented taking a sip of her latte.

Craig had opened the other sheet of paper. It was a picture drawn my a child with a signature on the bottom of Alisha. He just starred at it. He’s head was spinning again.

“”Craig what’s that?”

Tania had to repeat her question before Craig, reluctantly searching for a answer, could reply.

“They have put the girl in an orphanage but she drew a picture for me.”

How could he explain it. A picture of the two unicorns and a waterfall. A figure with climbing gear holding out his hands. But stranger still, in the top corner was a fairy with a crown on. Had Alisha drawn Titania Queen of the fairies. Had the letter flew throw the air and took him to Titania?

Himalaya 3 – Intercept

Craig sleepily tumbled out of bed. It was the first day of a new term at University. He had been worrying about it since coming back from the Himalayas. Now he had to face his biggest fear. What would happen if he touched someone and like Ben and the girl in Kathmandu and their health miraculously improved, as if by magic? Of course the opposite could happen and it would prove it just had all been hallucinations. What would the lecturers think if he had been hallucinating and the problem continued? Would he be send down? Would they think it was drugs? Who wants a doctor with a mental or drug problem? He was between a rock and a hard place.

He showered and dressed picking out what ever came nearest to hand to wear. He could not remember what he needed, so he just throw everything he might need into his bag. He ended up carrying several books.

He staggered out into the corridor where there was a hum of activity. Other students were off to lectures. Several students spoke to him, his answers were short. He didn’t feel like talking to anyone.

Matthew who was on the same course hurried past. “We’ll be late. Come on hurry up”

Craig reached the porters lodge. He stopped to check for letters. He had three. A circular about a concert by the duo Bent referencing the Album Intercept. He couldn’t go so that would go in the bin. A letter which he recognised as his sister’s writing, he would read that later. The third throw him. The stamp told him it was from Kathmandu. Who could be writing to him? He turned it over twice. What could he do? Open it and send all those thoughts and emotions spinning round his head again. He had to leave it until after his lecture was over. He put it in his bag. Then he took it out again. He just couldn’t leave it. He’s need to open it was too great.

He found a bench, it was a warm day for October but he felt cold, as cold as he did on the upper slopes of the snow covered Himalayas.

He heard the clock striking in the distance. He was late for the lecture. He ran, clutching his books and letters.

He was last in, the lecturer was already speaking. He tried to sneak in quietly and sit at the back. He stumbled as he went down the first step in the lecture theatre. The sound of his books flying through the air and landing on the steps near the front row echoed round the theatre. His letter seemed to float gracefully landing on a empty front row seat. Everyone turned round and looked at him.

“Nice of you to join us,” the lecturer sarcastically commented.

Craig hastily almost tumbled down the steps to the front row. A girl helped pick up his books. He sat down in the seat which his letter had landed on, which happened to be next to the girl, after all she was still holding his books and other letters. She handed them to him. He placed the letter in front of him. It seemed to stare back at him saying “Open me.”

He hardly heard a word of the lecture. The lecturer pointedly asked him questions. It was only the quiet whisper from beside him that helped him survive the lecture.

Everyone trooped out at the end of the lecture leaving Craig and the girl left in the theatre.

“Are you alright?” The girl asked.

Craig realised she couldn’t get out until he moved.

“Yes,” he mumbled. What was the girls name? He racked his memory. He’d been on the same course for four years and she had just been a face in the crowd.

“Sorry Tania. I am blocking you in.” Craig said as he moved clumsily, knocking his books flying. He got into the aisle and bent down to pick up his belongings.

“It’s Titania isn’t it?” He said as she stepped pass him.

She gave him a scowling look, then started to climb the steps.

“Your a fairy and I am a rock.” Craig commented without really knowing why.

She stopped and turned.

“A rock?”

“Celtic rock actually.”

“Well that’s better than a fairy.” Tania said as she descended the steps and went passed Craig and picked up that letter. She held it out to him.

He stood up, just because he felt small beside her. He made no effort to take the letter. It seemed like an age that they both stood still the letter between them.

Tania turned the letter over. “It’s from Tibet. Is that where the Rock went climbing?”

She leaned forward and placed the letter on top of Craig’s books.

“Ever had a letter you don’t know if it’s good news or bad news?”

“You mean like one to say if you have got into the university of your choice or not. Either way you have got to open it. What you need is a cup of coffee.” Tania said taking back the letter and climbing the steps to leave the theatre.

Craig followed. What else could he do.

The Cafeteria was a buzz with students. The tv screen was playing a American foot ball match. Tania homed in on an empty table in a corner. She sat down at the table and placed the letter in the middle.

“I’ll save the table. You get the coffee. Mine’s latte”

Craig was staring at the letter, but after a second prompt he went to get the coffees.

Matthew, the fellow medical student, intercepted him with a nudged. Matthew had a reputation for the ladies. Craig had concentrated on his studies and only occasionally got distracted by girls.

“Your in there, with the ice maiden.” Matthew commented. Tania had turned him down on several occasions.

Craig just stared at him. “Just buying Coffee.” He replied.

Matthew turned, “Good intercept” he said looking at the tv screen and Craig hastily returned to the table.

Tania handed him the letter. “Its a letter from a hospital in Kathmandu. Were you ill out there?”

“No. How do you know it’s from the hospital?”

“It says so on the back,” Tania turned the envelope over and showed Craig the inscription.

“One of the climbers was injured so I went with him. Then I went the following day and spent the day there.”

“Then it’s a thank you letter. Just open it and get it over with.”

Craig did as he was told.

It was a handwritten letter and a folded sheet. He looked at the bottom of the letter the signature was unreadable.

The letter was not much better. It was in broken English so the theme was difficult to follow. He had to keep going back to the beginning to finally make sense of it.

“Well?” Tania asked “Good news or Bad news?”

“Good, I think” Craig said doubtfully.

“Well” Tania leant forward.

“There was a girl,” Craig started.

“There always is.” Commented Tania sitting back loosing interest.

“She was 8 maybe 9 I think,” that attracted Tania’s attention again. “She was unconscious.”

“What was the matter with her?” Tania asked. Craig wondered should I be telling this story to a girl I hardly know.

Tania prompted him to continue.

“She had some sort of accident. The girl had a head injury. They didn’t expect her to survive. She was a street kid, they didn’t know her name. There was no one to sit with her. So I sat and talked to her. I don’t know the full details my Tibetan isn’t that good. The nurse, I think who wrote the letter, didn’t speak very good English. That’s why the letter is difficult to read. I can’t read the signature but I don’t know her name anyway.”

“That was kind of you to sit with the girl. So the nurse wrote to thank you.” Tania commented taking a sip of her latte.

Craig had opened the other sheet of paper. It was a picture drawn my a child with a signature on the bottom of Alisha. He just starred at it. He’s head was spinning again.

“”Craig what’s that?”

Tania had to repeat her question before Craig, reluctantly searching for a answer, could reply.

“They have put the girl in an orphanage but she drew a picture for me.”

How could he explain it. A picture of the two unicorns and a waterfall. A figure with climbing gear holding out his hands. But stranger still, in the top corner was a fairy with a crown on. Had Alisha drawn Titania Queen of the fairies. Had the letter flew throw the air and took him to Titania?