Don’t Cross the Guardians

…or “Nice Bike”
First posted 08/16/10

There are no horses or horse-like creatures in Norway. That is what I learned when I was there last night. Something happened and the trees killed, hid, or mutated every horse-like creature (even the unicorns).

Humans are kept in the top of the trees when they come to visit. All of the trees grow very tall with no branches except at their very top. These branches are thick and strong, they are enough to support foot-traffic. In some places the branches are thin enough that you can look down and see the Guardians. They keep the peace. They make sure nothing from the forest goes to the canopy and nothing from the canopy goes to the forest.

The Guardians are vaguely owl shaped. Proportionally they seem too tall to be owls and their wings are almost non-existent. They are mostly white, but people claim to have seen some that are very strange colors. From so high up it’s hard to tell how big they are, but whenever someone accidentally falls you get to see the comparison. Whenever someone falls, a Guardian will wait for them to reach just above ground height and will catch them, then toss them back to the canopy. Only then, if you happen to be watching, will you see that the Guardians are about three times the height of a human.

I have found the edge of Norway, and hence the edge of the Guardian’s domain. There are a lot of them here. The tree tops end just before the boundary. Anyone who tries to jump for it is intercepted by the Guardians. They don’t get tossed nicely back up into the trees, instead they are torn limb-from-limb. But just beyond the boundary I can see horses. The horses in Sweden are safe, but they need our help to save the horses in Norway. A large group of us have come to the boundary. We hope to out-number the Guardians. We’ll all jump together and as spread apart as possible. Maybe they can only catch some of us.

I jump.

There’s an explosion somewhere, I think. It’s loud, hot, and noisy.

I’m riding my bike home from school. It’s a very tall bike. When I stop and lean the bike over to rest my foot on the ground I span two car lanes. Fortunately, I don’t lean over very fast. It’s a very slow process guided by my strength of will.

I come to an intersection and can see someone I know on the left side of the intersection. I lean my bike over and say hi. It’s someone I went to school with, but it’s so strange to see him. I know he’s coming to town soon, but I didn’t think he was here yet. He’s also riding a bike, but it’s a mix between a motorcycle and a bicycle. We talk, but I can’t hear the conversation. Then the light changes and I have to pick my bike up and move on.

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