http://www.americanwestjourney.com/chapter_04CE.htm

前一回 第 四回 ﹕意识半存留;神魂胡不归

Previous Chapter.04: Lost Spirits' Soul' and Mind

http://www.americanwestjourney.com/chapter_05CE.htm

第五回 ﹕九命難渡流沙河 ;  十世相逢成同宗

Chapter 05: To paint the White House brown

The sun broke through the clouds and melted the dew clinging to the freshly cut blades of grass. Friar Sand awakened wiping the dust from his eyes. Spitting hay from this mouth he took notice of his surroundings. Large bushes of hay laid stacked against the barn wall. Old farming machinery were scattered through the area. Friar Sand cautiously stood avoiding the pile of glass that he lays next too. Looking upward he realized that the roof of the barn, which was once made of glass, was now completely shattered. The pain in his pain answered his question about what shattered the roof. But, how did he come through the roof was a question that he couldn't answer.


On the ground next to him, laid a large piece of glass which mirrored a reflection in it. As Friar Sand moved closer to the glass he noticed a brown skinned reflection of a man with large white teeth. He quickly turned around to notice that he was the only person in the barn. Therefore, the reflection  could be none other than his own. His hair was short and his face was freshly shaved. His skin was brown and smooth. He resembled a well-maintained young adult.

 

As he marvels at this image, he was started by a high-pitched voice coming through the barn door entrance. "Uncle Wugene, Uncle Wugene, you are back", screams the little voice excitedly. With her arms in full extension she approached Friar Sand and gave him a hug. Having no time to respond, Friar Sand stood motionless.

 

 "Uncle Wugene how is Africa? Have you found what you were looking for?" exclaimed the little voice. Jumping in his arms she began to chirp away like a singing oriole asking him over and over again how was his trip. Before he could answer, another female voice comes from the barn door. "Katrina baby, who are you talking to??"


A beautiful black woman stood at the door with a huge smile. The woman hugs both him and the little girl together. "My baby brother is back from his trip, how was it?" spoke the woman enthusiastically. Confused, Friar Sand looked at the woman blankly but suddenly has the urge to speak.

 

"How is everything." Friar Sand stood stunned by what just came out of his mouth.

 

"Uncle Wugene, you came home right in time for church", said Katrina competing with her mom for talk time. Friar Sand was quite bewildered and didn't know how to react. He was tugged on the arm by Katrina. "Yea!" pulling Wugene towards the house, " Come on we don't want to be late for the sermon!" she yelled. Katrina leaded him to the driveway. Sight of the car surprised him because he had never seen anything like me before. His attention was diverted when he saw a crowd of kids running after an ice cream truck.

 

 

Tyra continuously talks never realizing that it was the very first time Friar Sand has ever seen a car. She opened the door and didn't notice that Friar Sand stumbled upon stepping into the front seat. "The church will be excited to see you back", explains Tyra. Tyra put her seat belt on and took off down the road. "How was Africa? Did you get to see the African queen? ...Oh, I missed you so much", said Tyra. Friar Sand has never been in a car before so naturally he looked around like a curious baby. He plays with the windows by making them go up and down and sticks his head out of sunroof. Tyra was so concerned with getting to church on time that she stopped the questions and let him and Katrina enjoy the ride and the city's pleasant morning scenery.


As they pull into a long driveway,
Wugene curiously looked as they draw nearer to the sanctuary grounds. The church was made of solid brick with the title Mount Messiah in gold letters suspended above the doors. Before the three could get out of the car; the melodious harmony of the organ pipes could be heard. As Friar Sand approached the stairwell he over heard the conversation of two women. "It's been four days. The police have searched everywhere. "I hope nobody hurts my baby", one woman stated to the other. "Everything will be alright sister, just have faith in God", said the other woman convincingly. Friar Sand proceeds up the stairwell, and at once a vision entered his mind. He was shaking, all of sudden, he knew the kid's whereabouts! He closed his eyes; he even knew the kid's whole name. As the images become clearer he heard very loud music, as if the kid and the music were linked together. Yet, this all happening so quickly that Friar Sand has no time to think about what he just envisioned.


Katrina hurriedly walked up the stairs waving Tyra and Friar Sand to quicken their pace. "We don't want to be late now", warns Katrina. Black failed have their children trained quite well when it comes to going to church. A great sense of love could be felt from observing black families and their relationship with God.


As the triumvirate entered the great walls of the church the pastor's deep voice echoed over the music. The organ pipes bellowed a sweet melodious tone, as the powerful microphone speakers; amplify the pastor's powerful words. Although this church has air condition, you would never know it. Especially, on this very warm Sunday morning.


'Praise God, Praise God, Good morning church', said the Pastor. 'Good morning', the congregation replied in unison.

 

'This morning church we are going to give honor to God by taking up an offering for the church's children's ministry.' Reverend Johnson said: 'Our children are planning to take a trip to the Martin Luther King Museum of Black History so we need to support their educational growth.' 'Amen', replied various members of the congregation.

 

"We now are all God's children, and we shouldn't forget that God has a plan for each of us, we shall remember God's unconditional love toward us, we shall take a moment to thank God every day," Reverend Johnson wiped his sweating face:" Let's praise God, Amen." "Amen", replied various members of the congregation.


As Katrina, Friar Sand and Tyra sat down in the pew, they were greeted with a head nod by Mrs. Mosley.

 

Mrs. Mosley was well known at the church for her elaborate and bright clothing. Every Sunday was like a fashion show to her as she struts in the church. Today she was draped in her mink shawl with a diamond studded necklace.

 

"Does the church have any guests today or anyone just in the neighborhood visiting this morning", asked Reverend Johnson. But before anyone could speak, Reverend Johnson spots a familiar face in the crowd. He wiped his face which was dripping with perspiration from the intense heat.

 

"Let the church say Amen." The Church responded, "Amen." Reverend Johnson continues, "Our Brother Wugene has just arrived back from his pilgrimage to Africa. He was a very wise, fearless man who decided to venture out into the world and find the truth for our people. Brother Wugene! Will you please stand up and tell your brothers and sisters here today about the future and the truth of our hometown."


Friar Sand felt very overwhelmed seeing that he didn't know exactly where or who he was but everyone else seemed to know. Reverend Johnson motions Friar Sand to stand up and address the church.

 

As Friar Sand began to stand, Mrs. Mosley quickly moved her feet so that it wouldn't be possible for Friar Sand to even accidentally step on her alligator shoes. People failed to applaud as Friar Sand approached the podium.

 

"Tell us about your travels Brother Wugene." said Reverend Johnson as the applause subsides.

 

Friar looked at the congregation, which was made up of people of all kinds. Although the church was predominately Black, a few White, Latin, and Asian people were represented throughout the audience. All of a sudden as Friar Sand stood in front of congregation, he felt compelled to speak about everything else except his trip. It was as if Friar Sand had an epiphany as soon as he opened his mouth. "Mr. Watkins you don't have to worry about your stationary store. Your problem is going to be over very soon."


Mr. Watkins looked at Friar Sand as if he has two heads. "How do you know that my business is doing terrible, my business was doing well you when you were last here
Wugene?" said Mr. Watkins quizzically.

 

"It's all in your eyes," answered Wugene, without hesitation. Mr. Watkins shook his head. "Nobody is buying enough pens and paper to save the store. Tomorrow I will speak to a lawyer and I'll have to file for bankruptcy."


"You don't need to go tomorrow; somebody is coming to see you today." Mr. Watkins remains silent not sure of how to respond.

 

Friar Sand scanned the congregation and found the two women who were speaking outside in front of the church. "Tyson Taylor is still alive. Send the police to capital Town Street and you will see a large man carrying a huge stereo on his shoulder. A few people were break dancing like this." Friar Sand mocks the rhythm of a break-dancer. "Capital Town mailed pre-approved credit card to all people without credit. Tyson applied and got his first credit card even he is only 11 years old. Without anyone knowing, he exceeded his credit limit buying toys and candy. He has ran away from home to sell all this toys so he can pay for the bill. "Although Mrs. Taylor is not present with us this morning, someone should call her and tell her that one of the dancers on Capital Town Street knew where Tyson is."


The enter room was silent, when an old gentleman stood up. "Who do you think you are, yelled Mr. Coley, "You can't predict the future. "


"Yeah, get out of here. You are not a prophet", Mrs. Rogers screams angrily.

 

At that very moment, Officer Clark entered the church. He was sweating heavily as if he was running in a marathon. "Excuse me church. I don't mean to interrupt this service but Mr. Watkins your help is needed. A bus has broken down in front of your store. The bus belongs to June Summers and her Presidential Campaign. Since their bus has broken down, they will be late for their next rally. To make up for lost time they will need to buy a lot of materials from your store to make their promotional signs and banners. But Mr. Watkins they need you to hurry back to your store and help them. They will pay you very handsomely for this inconvenience."

 

Mr. Watkins stood and looked at Friar Sand with an expression of great disbelief. He was in such shock that he couldn't utter a word to Friar Sand.


Before Mr. Watkins exited the church, Mr. Watkins stood and turned to Officer Clark, "Please send the police to the capital town street and you will find Tyson Taylor's whereabouts."

 

"How do you know that', said Officer Clark.

 

"Because Wugene said so, now let's hurry up and get to my store." Mr. Watkins said," I'll tell you the details later." The two men rush out of the church.


Friar Sand recants to the two as they leave, "Could you remind the Fire Department, tomorrow Ms.Bernice Bellemy's cat will get stuck in a tree. Tell them not to get distracted when she thanks them for saving the cat."

 

Officer Clark leaves the church with his mouth wide open in amazement. Mrs. Mosley stood up and took off her gold trimmed glasses and said to Friar Sand, "what can you see in my eyes?"

 

"Crystal. I see crystal", exclaimed Friar Sand.

 

"Crystal?" Mrs. Mosley yelled out," Oh! My new diamond necklace I bought yesterday. Yes. It's so gorgeous. I just adore it." Her face lighted up with joy.

 

"It's fake. You have been scammed", Friar Sand yelled back to Mrs. Mosley.

 

"What do you mean it's a fake? I paid a lot of money for it", she replied appalled by his accusation.

 

"It's worthless. You should have bought the other diamond necklace at the first shop instead of shopping around for the bargain", replied Friar Sand.

 

Mrs. Mosley spoke in a frantic voice," I will stop by tomorrow and return the necklace and get my money back."

 

"Too late", retorts Friar Sand. "Why?" asked Mrs. Mosley.

 

"They have moved their store. You may not get your money back, but you may find a crystal which will help Marshal Pigsy to save his face in Indian casino." Friar Sand said calmly.


Mrs. Mosley looked at the necklace, "Oh God, Oh God." she began to cry. Wiping her shawl she exclaimed, "My tears are staining my silk shawl. "Oh God!!"

 

At that moment, one by one every member of the congregation stood up and all asked Friar Sand to look into their eyes. Friar Sand was very surprised that he could speak to the masses about a lot of things without thinking. "Mrs. Hawkins, how many times are you going to keep calling the psychic friends hotline?"

 

"How did you know that I do that?" asked Mrs. Hawkins.

 

"Mrs. Hawkins, just follow your intuition. When your husband comes home late everyday, you don't need to call any stranger to learn that he is cheating on you. Don't pay money to a service that is giving you false advice", Friar Sand cautions.

 

Tyra exclaimed in excitement:" Wugene, you told me that when you came back from Africa you would be a new man. You definitely predicted that one right!" All the people nodded with her together.


Friar Sand said in a very clear and slow tone, "I'm not Wugene!" Tyra looked at him,  confused. Friar Sand signed. He walked out of the church as the congregation applauded.

 

It's something FISHY?


The morning sunshine broke in the window, Friar Sand looked at the reflection of his face on the window's glass. He was also studying Wugene's photos on the wall.


He knew that he could not foresee the future. He could not even learn the capability after he was promoted to be Convolution General in
Tài-Yǐ Temple.

 

Long time ago in the underworld, Yama's promoted him to be the hell angel among his Rakshasa group. Without the earth body, the faces were never important among the ghosts and Rakshasa, All souls of ghost were fading and exhausting in hell's forever nights, the recycle of metempsychosis once was whirligig so fast that he and his co-angels had almost clean out ghost population in their duty zone, he was promoted to the heaven's Convolution General in Tài-Yǐ Temple.


Then he broke the Tài-Y
ǐ crystal lantern in the temple. It was an accident, Monkey King agitated the battle in south heaven, General Convolution was supposed to together his troop, and to join the battalion just to capture the stone monkey who happened to decide that he should be the Emperor of the Heaven. The Tài-Yǐ lantern dropped out of his palm and the crystal pieces drop out of the Tài-Yǐ Palace, down to the earth, planted to be the Tài-Yǐ mine under earth.


He was demoted down to be the Friar Sand in the Flowing Sands River; he was sentenced to wait there until he got called to serve the West Journey. He was waiting for the monk in those forever nights of sands of streams.

 

After hundred of years, he saw the first guy who try to cross the Flowing Sands River.

 

Friar Sand decided that the guy was not the monk to get him out to the journey; he stayed very far to observe the human drown into the sand.
 

When he saw the guy came in with the same face again, he started to count the earth years and figure out there was a palingenesis going on the guy. He had decided that the guy was never the calling for his West Journey Mission, so he still stay very far and watching him drowned.

 

The guy came again, same face, dressed and prayed like a friar this time. Friar Sand did not answer his pray to appear to save him.

 

The fourth time, the fifth time, the guy with the same face kept coming in and each time would start to dress as a monk.


Friar Sand decided it's a comeuppance for the guy, but nevertheless he dived to the bottom of the river to collect the guy's skulls, and he started to form the guy's face on his earthling body.


When Xúan-Zhùang came to the river accompany with fellowship of Monkey King SUN-WÙ-KONG (meaning "Pondering on emptiness")' White Dragon and Pigsy Wù-Néng (meaning "Searching for Abilities"), Friar Sand had nine shrunken skulls hanging on his necklace. the skulls were so small that nobody would think it's only walnut nuts.

 

Xúan-Zhùang gave him a disciple name as Sand Wù-Jìng (meaning "Trying to Comprehend Purity "). He used to be the oldest angel from hell angel to Heaven General, now he becomes the youngest disciple in the fellowship for the West Journey mission.


Now he still got
Wugene's face, and Wugene was in Africa? Isn't he supposed to come to Flowing Sands River again, to cross that river of all sinking and no return? And why am I able to see the future? In Wugene's face? And in Wugene's home town on Wugene's 10th life?


What's the fate waiting for him over here?

 

"Uncle Uncle!" Katrina yelled and awoke him from his day dream: "You have guests!"  Katrina opened the door and entered Wugene's room.

 

Friar Sand disturbed from his good dream slowly nodded to Katrina who hovered over him. "Ok tell them I'll be right there", he said. Slowly raising out of bed Friar Sand was struck with a sight that he hadn't seen for some time. The image was much clearer then yesterday in the barn, yet its recollection was vague.

 

"So this is what I look like," Friar Sand said as he stared into the wall mirror. Friar Sand admired his well-proportioned physique, before he exited the room.

 

As Friar Sand walked down the stairs he saw his three visitors seated. They were sipping coffee that Tyra has so kindly prepared for them.

 

Reverend Johnson stood and shook Friar Sand's hand. "Good morning Brother Wugene, we are sorry to wake you this morning but you have this entire town calling you a prophet."

 

Officer Clarke stood up and looked at Friar Sand with astonishment. "Brother Wugene, Tyson Taylor was found and brought to the hospital and I sent the fire department over to Mrs. Bellamy's house and sure enough, the cat was stuck up there in that tree. Unfortunately however, after getting the cat down from the tree, the fire truck mistakenly ran over the cat, when leaving the scene.  But anyway, Wugene, you are amazing. After hearing the stories that both Reverend Johnson and Mr. Watkins have told me as we were arriving here, I think you have some sort of gift."    

 

Friar Sand smiled:" I know you therefore owe Mrs.Bellamy a favor, she insisted that you shall come here and ask me how to find her neighbor's kid back, even the kid has not disappeared over 24 hours yet, since you got her cat killed, you had to take the case and come to ask me. What's the kid's name?"

 

"Tabatha." Officer Clarke was in shack, he took out a little girl's photo, Friar Sand handed it to Katrina:" Katrina, could you go with Officer Clarke and help them to find your classmate, she was chasing some ducks and stuck into some fishnets along the river side. She is fine, a donkey is taking care of her, I think his name is 'Big Foot'?"

 

"Big Foot?! How do I find them?" Katrina asked excited with the photo in her hand.

 

"Ask your FRIEND," Friar Sand gave her a wink:" What's his name? Demos?"

 

"Demos?" Tyra looked at her daughter:" But it's her toy pony's name, she always spent lots of time with her imaginary pony friend!"

 

"Demos is a very famous donkey, not pony, it's your mind and imagination render the images, so, only those kids able to see them," Friar Sand patted Katrina's head:" So, you know how to find Demos, and Demos will lead you to Big Foot, you don't need to try to make Officer Clarke seeing your imaginary FRIEND, probably they can't see it anyway."

 

Friar Sand gave Katrina a eye-patch:" When you find Tabetha, let her wear this patch because her eye is hurt, tell her to wear this to go to the next ballgame with her daddy, make sure she will wear this patch to the ball game, because this eye-patch will save a ball game."

 

As Friar Sand turned to Mr. Watkins and beginning to speak, Mr. Watkins cut him off. "When I arrived to my store yesterday, I was honored to meet June Summers. Her campaign party has decided to use my materials for the rest of her Presidential Campaign. I may never have to work again. But more importantly Brother Wugene, I told June Summers all about you and she was very adamant on meeting with you soon.'" Reverend Johnson raised his hands in the sky and looked at Friar Sand.

 


Three men drove down to Mr. Watkins store to meet June Summers and her political party. As they exited the car, a middle-aged man wearing a tan suit eagerly approached the group. "My name is Richard Bragg, Wugene; I'm June's running mate."

 

"you have to go to the printing factory tonight to pick up the ballots for your foundation dinner, right?" exclaimed Friar Sand.

 

"Well how did you know that?" Richard Bragg said with amazement.

 

"This is Wugene, the man I was talking to you and June about." interrupted Mr. Watkins.

 

"It is dangerous. There is going to be a gang shootout in the parking lot near that building. If you go there tonight you will be hit in the crossfire."

 

Everyone remained quite. Friar Sand continued by saying, "You need to very careful and duck your heads if you want to come out of there alive."


Richard Bragg stood smirking with a gleam in his eye. "Hey why don't you tell me something I want to hear, like I'm going to win this election? I mean this business about some gang shooting is just an analogy about me winning the election right?"

 

Friar Sand shook his head and admits, "I don't see that. You will be safe. A fire truck will pick you up. Everything connects to Mr. Watkins's Great Father's Warehouse. Only Mr. Watkins can save the entire town from the damage of the fire. So, Mr. Watkins will be too busy to pick you up."

 

Richard Bragg looked at Friar Sand strangely. All that Wugene was speaking was nothing more then psychobabble to Richard. He sarcastically thanked Friar Sand for his advice and stormed away from the group.


Mr. Watkins and Richard Bragg stepped out of the factory with three boxes of printed material.

 

Mr. Watkins looked back to get the last glance of his printing warehouse, and the three generations old oak tree behind the warehouse.

 

Their great grand father was the first black kid ever enter the school, so they have this printing warehouse to print the neighborhood's activity, all the wedding' the church' the school... His father wanted him to learn the printing business every possible day after school, he was there to learn how to make copy and print since his elementary school.

 

When the old oak tree making sounds out of windows, his father always want him to watch the shaking shadows on the windows and told him the story of the Green Tree Knight.

 

Father told him, because the oak tree is over three generation, the green tree knight only be there to protect their family and the neighbors.

 

One raining night his father waked him up and brought him over the window, want him to see if he saw the green tree knight running hors over the grass and the street, the green tree knight was in helmet and armor, duke's pants and horse shoes.

 

He loved the times he spent with is father, the printing warehouse' the green tree knight and the gardening, but he was always seeing the shadow and hearing only the horse's hoof.

 

One night after his father died, he did see the green tree knight appeared, took down the helmet and showing the face, looked exactly same as his father, a very very young and God's image.

 

 

Mr. Watkins nervously looked around in all different directions as they approached their car. Richard Bragg notices Mr. Watkins apprehension but didn't follow.

 

"Well I don't see any gangs around here. No shootouts going on."

 

"Wugene wouldn't know a bullet if it smacked him upside the head", laughed Richard Bragg sarcastically.

 

As they approached the car they cautiously watched in every direction. Taking a deep breath, they placed the boxes in the car truck. The evening was still.

 

As Mr. Watkins started his car they were startled by a loud bang.

http://www.americanwestjourney.com/chapter_06CE.htm

回 ﹕ 唐僧從來不姓唐;  西出陽關今何往

Chapter 06: I do, Xúan-Zhùang