Afternoon On White Mountain

A time traveller opts to take Leonardo DaVince hang gliding for an afternoon. He befriends him and joins Leo on a journey, waiting for the right moment …

…. they sat together upon White Mountain, basking in the afternoon sun, watching the birds soar on the currents gently rising against the mountain face…

Nibbling on a bit of cheese and sipping a lil wine, a gift from the last inn keeper to grant them a place to rest for a night. Leo spoke softly, almost to himself, “I wish I could soar like them. Just once. I wish I could float upon the air.”

Tony began to open the bag he had been carrying all this time. Leo becoming a bit curious now, as he had not seen this bag opened yet and they had been traveling together for weeks. Out came silken clothes, like table clothes for a fine banquet hall, strangely shaped though, cut into triangles with pleated hems along two edges of each.

He asked, “And my dear friend Leo, should you get to soar like that once, and the price was to keep it a secret for the rest of your life, would it be worth it to you?”

“Yes!,” he replied quickly, then stopped and seemed to consider for a moment. “But why would I keep such a thing a secret?”

“You are a master of so many talents sir. Always unlocking knowledge, seeking to know and understand, yet not troubling yourself with the things which men do with these discoveries and inventions of yours.” Tony now had two of the large clothes spread out, placing small rocks upon the corners to keep the breeze from lifting them away.

Leo, watching with increasing curiosity answered, “The men of the world have come to accept this strange old man. They have brought me before many courts upon charges of treason to their Kings and blasphemy of their Gods. Always though, they decide that what I bring them is more valuable than their precious games of controlling the masses.” His eyebrows raising a bit now, “And what pray tell are you doing young master?”

Tony just smiled and asked, “Please hand me the walking staff I gave you, you’ll soon see.” As Leo handed him the staff, Tony began to unscrew the head of it. To Leo’s surprise, he saw that it had been hollow, and inside were several thin rods of some strange material he hadn’t seen before. He reached out for one, finding it very smooth, strong yet flexible. He watched as Tony slipped one within the hem of the first cloth, up the angled side and fixed it there with a device that made a snap.

“You see sir, many of your inventions have allowed kingdoms to rise, others to fall. Not due to you of course. Men could have used your gifts for anything. They chose though to use them for war and having power over others. Even the masses who pay with their blood and tears for the king’s and priests to live in fine castles and cathedrals have been victimized by what men do with your gifts.”

Leo’s face seemed to drop a little bit as he answered, “You are more polite than most with your words. I have been accused of many things and have come to accept my lot in life. As you can see, I have little more than many of the paupers you speak of. Giving the king my own blood and sweat without proper return.”

Tony smiled back, “I hope to grant you a gift, a wish of yours sir, a proper return as you call it.” He was now unscrewing the top of his own staff, removing another of the rods and fixing it within the clothe. A shape was forming of a large triangle as he slid another rod up the center, fastening the two pieces of cloth together, another snap and then he turned it over to reveal eyelets and what seemed a harness of some sort.

“I don’t usually allow myself to fret over what they will do with my discoveries, but I can see your point and accept it as truth. Yes, they would do all that you say, where as I,” as his face broke into a broad smile and he turned back to watch the hawks for a moment, “I would sail with the birds, touch the sky and wish the same upon everyone who wanted it.”

~ and the dream continues


© Jim Amidon 2000

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