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An extract from Chapter four of “Trek to the Summit.”   (thecarrendarchronicles.com)

CharlotteCarrendar
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May 29, 2012 11:37PM
CharlotteCarrendar:- :: “There is no joy on this earth where we reside without an equal weight of pain to balance such joys out. The scale of which is the balance of life” So lovingly carressing her cheek, whisking away the falling tear before it fell from her face. The look in his eyes, one of understanding, calm. “It is coming to terms with such events that will lead to an inner peace. Faith, whether in someone else or yourself, will give you such inner strength to the sense of balance and perspective in life. Without balance, a life is no longer worth living” ~No longer worth living.~ How true those words were. Charlotte knew the importance to act and to act now. It meant for her to rise so sharply, and make that mad dash to the stairs. Though the removal of her black silken cloak, would have both men watching on, seeing not only her mark, but a good proportion of her backside, as she leapt up the stairs. (Charlotte)”We have to get to the temple.” -words that followed blurted out by the equally excitable Furtuno dashing from the apartment, his voice sing out as he raced to the elevator doors. (Fortuno) “Charlotte!! I am coming too!! Let’s meet at the lobby floor!!” At the top of the stairs, and with no second thought that she would be robbing the hotel of its finest Chef, she yelled back. (Charlotte)”We be down as soon as we are packed! -followed by- “I wonder where I put my swiss army knife.”
Running into her closet, she turned on the light switch, and it illuminated up, row upon row of designer clothes, shoes, dresses, fight suits, mountain gear, snow gear, beach wear and at the very back a long black cupboard, that when unlocked by special code, revealed her weapons. Both modern age and those from her mother’s era of Lacardis. Rifling through the racks of hunting gear, she quickly tossed out a khaki shirt, matching shorts, and long sleeve jacket. Then padding over to her drawers, she pulled out her smalls, and started to dress properly, fine lace knickers and bra to match in black spider like webbed lace. Next her shorts, which she pulled on follwed by her shirt, that she slipped over her head. Sitting down on her love seat, she slipped on the socks, and reached for her leather boots, that were specially designed for trekking. If Laguna had followed her in, she would look up, and point to the racks of men’s clothes, left behind by her former husband. (Charlotte)”There is a lot in there, your size, if your looking for pants, or a jacket. Not sure if the style suits, but its better than wearing something of mine.”- a small quip, but she was so serious, about getting dressed in a hurry. Add to that Laguna may have already had clothing there ready to wear, but in her hurry, she wasn’t making much sense. Boots now on, she rose to standing, then appeared to be lost in her train of thought. What if they had missed the chance to catch up with Fung Le? What if he was already out of the city? Pulling on her jacket, Charlotte would sweep her hair up into a pony tail, tying it off with a hair band from her dresser. At the right end corner of her closet were two backpacks, and one she cared to hand to Laguna. (Charlotte)”I know you probably don’t need this, but it may come in handy and make the trip more comfortable. Tent, sleeping bags, and emergency kits, such as first aid and camping essentials. Charlotte opened up the black cupboard and pulled out a gun belt, slipping it on around her waist, and took off the rack, two Glock 17’s, both semi -automatic pistols, along with four magazines, which she fitted to the back of her gun belt in a special series of holders. Lastly a pair of aviator sunglasses, snapped up and slipped into her shirt pocket, and she was standing in front of her tall mirror. (Charlotte)”I look like Lara Croft…well, a dark haired version any ways. Though I think my chest is smaller. Those pixel girls are always a bit top heavy. Noob fantasies, I don’t know. SO.”
– Picking up her backpack, she waits for Laguna to be ready to join her. (Charlotte)”We barely got a chance to even eat, and yet I don’t feel hungry any more. Hope the Chef isn’t too upset we didn’t eat his creations. Mind you if he is going to be singing on this trip.”- She was talking as though underwater. Nerves perhaps. Charlotte turned and walked to Laguna asking. (Charlotte)”To right the balance, will it mean a further sacrifice? Is that what the tomb is about do you think? A resting place, or am I just going crazy? Wait…my swiss army knife.” Honestly, was she always this mad in a rush? Maybe he should slap her or shake her. One thing for sure, they were wasting time. For sure enough, down in the basement, Fortuno would be waiting. (Charlotte)”Maybe we should hire camels….elephants….donkeys…..where is my knife?” <c>
:: (Thorn) “What the hell, Atriz! My wind element isn’t answering!!” Thorn was in a panic, as the dog catcher was trying to catch her with a net. Atriz was too busy watching the girl up ahead being so close to her Master, Fung Le. (Atriz)”Then eat more beans…Nyah”- not even looking back. That mad old cat was so caught up in her fit of jealousy, that she wasn’t even aware that an evil council worker cat napper/dog catcher was ready to seize up the hapless pussies. (Atriz)”Nyah…girly with my Master. OH..giving her a necklace…Meeeooooowww Nyah nyah. I never get a necklace. Nyah. What has she got that I don’t? Nyah nyah.” Pawing as she sat there, tail all fluffed up, the comical part was that the three toms that she had more or less dismissed as common alley cats, were going all out to rescue the pretty Siamese Thorn. Ganghar was first, leaping up onto the dog catcher’s backside, long claws sinking into his flesh. (Dog Catcher)”YEEOOWW!” Net dropped, part of the mission accomplished. (Atriz)”I am lucky if I get a pat…this is so so wrong. After all these years…how could he just leave me behind with Thorn Child. Nyah.” Suddenly Shilor leapt over Atriz and extended his claws into the dog catcher’s back, and this FINALLY got Atriz’s attention. (Atriz)”Silly toms, what are you…..*she looked behind her and saw the dog catcher doing a funny dance trying to dislodge the cats, that were swinging from his back and rear. (Atriz)”Oh…you horrid human..Nyah. Shoo…get away from the cats. Thorn Child. Never play with the humans. First you attract alley cats, now you are attracting humans. Nyah.” It was becoming fairly obvious, that Atriz, didn’t get out much. Ranga would be the one to free Thorn from the net, and then say (Ranga) “ My lady, I believe you were bought ready to beat up Shilor, please continue when he’s finished,” Rolling her eyes, Atriz retracted her claws and then lowered her paw to the ground. Thorn finally saw that Fung Le was in fact ahead of them and said quickly – (Thorn)”if we don’t hurry we won’t catch up with them, let’s go, the boys will catch up when there done playing, let’s hope they don’t,” The two cats took off together, Atriz unable to help herself and say. (Atriz)”After that performance, I highly doubt they are going to ever stop following you. Nyah..Nyah.” :: <c>

:: A gust of wind, swirling newspapers, the constant of the traffic as it breathed out its choking toxic fumes. Fung Le looked up to the sky, and then placed a finger in his mouth, before holding it aloft and then smiling. (Fung Le)”Now…we must be on our way. Good day Master Su, may you enjoy the rest of this day. We have many to catch up with now. Yes, others are coming.”- He smiled down as the girl beside him was placing the necklace around her neck, the jade circle stone, resting on her chest. (Fung Le)”Suits you too. Who would have known?” You have many questions, and I plan to answer them. Ah…do you see the lanterns up ahead? Come, let me show you.”- If he followed her up the pavement, closer to where the cats were actually heading, she would see a row of brightly coloured lanterns. Each one had a piece of paper dangling from it and Fung Le took one in his hand, and smiled down at the girl. (Fung Le)”Tis tradition, to find the answers to life’s riddles, that we seek the light.” – His free hand extending to the many other lanterns. Did she realise that what he was saying had a hidden meaning, one that related to the very journey that they were to start together. She did not know him from a bar of ordinary soap, and yet he had fed her and gifted her a piece of exotic jewellery. “So I am going to give you some riddles from these lanterns,and as a reward, if you answer correctly, I will answer a question from your heart. Fair?…Fair.”- He nodded and then read the first riddle. (Fung Le)”Ho ho ho…I like this game. Which is faster, hot or cold?”- The first question was from a blue shining lantern with a beautiful flower on the outside. He then moved to the second lantern, one that was green, with a beautiful girl in a pretty silken dress dancing. (Fung Le)” What is it that everybody does at the same time?…Ho ho ho….so funny. Its like a party.”- By now Atriz and Thorn would have caught up with the Master, who had reached the red lantern with the golden dragon on the side. (Fung Le)”Ah…just in time, Atriz, I see you brought Thorn Child, good good. Now, one last question for you, my friend..*he said, looking back fondly at the girl with the jade necklace.* “Of all my siblings, which I have many, I am the number, wise old twenty. I always wear, my long thin hat, And stand on one leg, I’ve never sat. I’m last of last, and last of first, I’m last of the best, and last of the worst. Who am I?” – Fung Le would release the strip of paper from the last lantern, then smile as he folded his arms, hands lost up inside his sleeves. Eyes of gold, so pure and kind, staring at the girl, wondering if her mind could find the answers to the riddles three. :: <3>