Fin's Odyssey Continues
The caravan wound its way through the wilderness. Fierce wind snatched at their sodden clothing. Driving rain punctuated with sporadic hail pummeled the monitors as they dutifully accompanied their precious cargo to its destination. It had taken nearly six hours to complete the task the ground quakes had begun to wrest the giant bone from the shroud of clay and stone that had imprisoned it for who knew how long.
The diggers and rubble-rousters had helped of course but when the weather turned ugly most of them abandoned their tools to race back to the warmth and safety of their clubhouses. But monitors are made of sterner stuff. Fin had never been so proud of his lads as when they voluntarily took up mattocks and spades to continue the work the others had begun. No tower kid world be out in such inclement and unpredictable weather, but Fin's monitors never flinch at the prospect of getting their hands dirty.
They were chilled to the bone when they finally reached the where-house. Finger's characteristic leather gauntlets were soaked through and caked with mud. His hands were numb with cold as he fumbled for the master key Brad had placed in his trust. The enormous building was perhaps one of the most centrally located in the inner circle; equally distant from the tower, the wall, the fringes and, the sea. For Finger's purpose, it was perfect. He had long thought so, but in the past events had always conspired to keep him from seeing his dreams made reality. Perhaps this time would be different...or so he hoped.
The lock grated and he slid the doors just wide enough that his weary lads could bring the battered cart inside the cavernous building then shut them tight. The timing couldn't have been better. The sky let loose with the worse assault yet. Hail the size of hard-candies rained down and, despite their conical helmets and padded jackets, several of the boys yelped as they scuttled to the safety.
The massive building was musty and dry though its high ceilings and tremendous size prevented it from being particularly warm. Still, to the weary guardsmen it was the sweetest form of sanctuary. Offering protection from the wind driven ice that still clattered noisily against the corrugated metal of the roof and pinged off the frosted windows.
Finger paced trying to chafe warmth back into his arms. Savage unlashed the tarpaulins that had protected their prize. Several of the others helped him shake the ice from the folds of the heavy fabric and nominally arranged the material into a nest like pile before tumbling into it. Fin had spent many hours in this place; uncovering the mysteries of each cask and crate. Several of the larger items had been covered with sheets to protect them. These he hastily retrieved so the rest of his people could have some measure of comfort and warmth as well.
When the boys were situated Fin took the opportunity to visit some of his favorite boxes. This one contained a metal hook wrapped in a piece of crocodile hide. That one was a portrait of the infamous queen of hearts. Here is a stack of gold bricks—once part of the great road that ran clear across the world; beginning near Housefell and termination in the heart of the emerald tower district. Everything in this building had special significance; they were fragments of the world as it had been in ages past…
Fin knew It wasn't just dog-boys who exist forever in the NOW; most of kid-kind live each day with no thought to the past…and very little thought for the future; it was a curse of being ever-young. Even so, no one had the heart to destroy these irreplaceable artifacts. They were hidden away and forgotten till Fin had found mention of them in one of the archives. Having been to the other world meant he saw things a bit differently from the masses. To him the lure was irresistible…It meant the stories were true. In ages past Peter the Great crafted these reed pipes with his own hands. The first little mother stitched the leather carry case and wove the belt from the strands of her hair, as a gift for him. The thought still blew Finger's mind.
Fin did not want to hoard artifacts the way the pirates did…or worship them like Yudo and his mush brained followers. He wanted to display these priceless treasures in a fitting manor; which meant putting them in context so any kid could understand where they had come from and why they were important. He hoped boys and girls from the tower and beyond would want to come see them. In short he hoped to transform this place into the first Neverlnd museum.
The Bone could be a major attraction. He knew the stories; still Fin never imagined Sea serpents were quite so large. He removed his dirt crusted gloves and ran a hand across the smooth surface of the bone. As old as the thing was it was not the least bit brittle. His pulse quickened with excitement as he recalled the legends of kids who tamed such beasts…even riding on their backs. Feeling a bit like Beanie the brave, Finger impulsively swung himself up into the throne like hollow. Savage had been entirely correct it was comfortable up there...too comfortable. It had been a long day…Shifting rocks and hauling dirt is hot sweaty work. Before Fin knew what was happening, he was sound asleep. A sleep so deep he slipped the confines of his world and ended up in a far different place...