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Zachary Rodriguez

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Mary Magdalene, Her Legacy
by Bettye Johnson

Winner of Independent Publisher Book Award 2008! Now the sequel to Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls an Independent Publisher Book Award 2006, bringing forward the four ma..  
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Full Blown Addictions(Coming To Life In Death Valley)
By Zachary Rodriguez
Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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This is where it all begins. Hopi prophecy. Doomsday countdown. Braves Of The Last Days.

There's a flat-line hymn for a heathen's heart. A death song sung for a passing spirit. Disembodied, I hover like a cloud. I sense but cannot touch. I can see but cannot feel. I can't move a muscle yet there seems to be life in me.

The voices around me grow louder. They get so loud that they explode in my ears in a muffled roar, yet I can't comprehend them.

The intensity swells in the room. Judging by the sudden urgency of the scattering blue and white blurs around my body, I begin to put it all together. I must have been in a coma. And now I think I died.

A nurse shoots my arm with a needle. A doctor hangs his head then looks at his watch. I want to scream for them to hear me but maybe I am already. But no one is responding.

A searing, white light enters my consciouness. A tiny hole in the realm, bleeding rays of sunshine. I must be in Heaven's waiting room, I think to myself.

"He's not coming through this time", I hear a doctor say as he wipes the sweat off his brow. A nurse feigns grief but they she is numb and conditioned to death. "He had so much life ahead of him", I hear her whisper. Then that blasted dirge of a wailing flat-line.

"God bless your journey, cousin." I hear someone else say.

A certain silence pervades my senses. I wonder if I even managed to live at all. What I do know is that Heroin couldn't come close to this feeling inside me; tranquility mixed with love times peace squared.

Did I over-dose? Was I murdered?. And if this is Heaven why am I fighting so hard not to let go?.

I need to know the answers before I give way to the tide pulling me. I need to remember. I need to know.


For most of my life I had been stuck inside my head, recycling rusty habits, replaying old, familiar tapes.

I was working as a computer programmer in the Silicon Valley near San Jose, California.

As a functioning alcoholic, my alcohol consumption and burgeoning drug use, would make Gun's N' Rose's proud.

Money had lent me a sense of false pride and security; it helped pay for pasttimes that distracted me from my mind. Ye the void was always there. I still felt empty inside, as if malfunctioning through life with a missing limb. Spiritually dismembered.

Confused about my heritage, I considered myself a Christian yet I didnít belong to an organized religion. My blood was indigenous; my facial features spoke of days long passed, before the onslaught of the Industrial Revolution. Of warriors, Shamans and Tricksters. I could feel my forefathers all the way down to my wanton bones.

And somewhere in the confines of my soul I knew that the Great Mystery was waiting for me to fulfill my destiny.

You cannot force a vision if it isnít yet your time. But I knew without question that my time was upon me.

So I sold or gave away all of my material belongings, keeping only enough clothing to help maintain my appearance and denounced all things related to electronics.

Manifest Destiny: a necessary evil. The white-man came to America with a craven vision. He would bring with him various diseases that would kill off 99 percent of my people and our brother, buffalo.

I hated him for this, yet I was guilty of promoting his project, myself, by working for a technological corporation that manufactured textiles.

I should have known better but alcohol and other drugs blinded me.

The soul in me was crying out to be part of the Old Ways. My blood:Hopi Indian(Spider-Clan), Yaqui Indian, Mayan. My proud warrior heritage.

Hopi prophecy was becoming more evident. The Elders had long predicted the dropping of the atomic bomb( a gourd of ash falling from the sky. The creation of the Internet(cobwebs for communication, and a great road in the sky(airplanes).

To the wise ones, the earth could still be saved. The Fifth Cycle of the planet was rotating into view and would arrive sometime in the 2000 era. Most likely 2012. The time will come when we will experience late springs and early frosts, this will be the sign of the returning Ice Age, says another prophecy. Global warming, the Greenhouse Effect, increasing hurricanes, earthquakes, abnormal heat waves. Without question these were signs of the Hopi prophecy.

Yet Earth would and could be spared but only if a few pure, righteous hearts led the revolution. These selected few would be in their youth and would have baldheads. So goes the legend given by Massaw, the awesome Guardian of the Earth. I knew without question that He was talking about me. So with nothing but a few articles of clothing, a small amount of food, I left on foot in search of a transformation.

Death Valley, California. That was the destination. I boarded a train then hitchhiked with semi-truck drivers. And after ten beyond intense, life-threatening days of fasting I received my first vision. It was so powerful that I cried tears of joy though I was dehydrated. These were tears I imagined were from the shedding of my former soul.

These skies were new to me. I had never seen such beauty. And with such clarity. A raven could be seen in the distance. He was staring right at me. His eyes were calling me, telling me to follow him. Nothing could have been more clearer then if Creator himself had spoken to me directly. And he was. So I believed with all of my heart. And so I followed to where he led me, a small pool of crystal blue water.. A purplish crow with silver eyes that blinded me. Was it my imagination. A mere mirage? Or was it the same experience Moses had when the Burning Bush instructed him on his great calling.

Along the waters edge he appeared . The same sparkle that had blinded me was no longer radiating from the ravenís eyes, but from a mans eyeís that shone like platinum.

He had the facial features pre-dominant in Mexican Indians. His nose was long but fit his face. His straight black hair spoke of Native American ancestry. Although it was easily 110 degrees in the shade, he was wearing something like a brown Pancho with the hood on his head. His shiny black hair pouring down the sides and shimmering like moonbeams dancing on the ocean. His hands were as large as Iíve ever seen; strong as stone yet his aura was as gentle as the brook we met at.

The man could have been 100 years old. He moved very slows though I could feel the spirit of a powerful warrior beaming through his skin. He stared at me as if we had known each other forever, in this life or another. I thought of turning away but his eyes were so magnetic they imprisoned me. My body was locked in his stare.

I grew afraid as he neared me and when I blinked from his gaze I felt my breath leave my body. I donít know how much time elapsed but he was now standing five feet from me. I shuddered.

I knew you would come, someday. Brave one, come, come sit with me. I wiped the sweat from my brow with a trembling hand but still stood frozen.

He read the terror in my eyes and laughed out loud, It was a laugh that could calm the nerves of a man free-falling to his death. I knew at that moment that he was a Holy man. And I knew that he was no figment of my imagination. But the Eden-like surrounding, I could not say the same of.

The old man led me to an underbrush of vinery near the foot of the beautiful brook. We sat again but this time without speaking with words.. He gazed deep into my soul and left an imprint with his eyes on my spirit. Much the same as when a moist hand rubs against a mirror. Whatever he did to me with his eyes sedated me, deeply. I felt opiated, euphoric and fear no longer drifted inside of me.

He began to speak. " Iíve been waiting for you. Do not be afraid. You are here because you were called. Creator has given you strong medicine but it is not enough. Listen closely, do not overlook one single word."

" My time is nearing when I will meet Great Spirit in the sky. First, I must pass on my knowledge to you so that my power doesnít die with my flesh. You are destined to be a healer and on a grander scale then you can now imagine. Take my energy and with it all the gifts I possess. You will be inspired to heal with herbs, through prayer and spells of divine origin. You will been given the gift of Kokopelli, the healer, the sprinkler of seeds. But you will be a Medicine Man like none other before you. The time is coming for re-cultivation. The Circle is closing. A new cycle is near. You must bring awareness to all, Walks-with-hope. If not, if not, his words seemed to sink with his spirit. Itís better I show you for you must know this fear first hand. Shut your eyes. I followed his instructions then felt his hands press firmly on my head. What do you see?"

A dream was forming before me in my inner minds eye. It was too late to turn back or question his power. I became part of the scene.

"Pssst. Hey. Come here, friend". A small child of around eight or nine grabbed my attention. He was tiny, three feet maybe, but his smile was so gentle that it relaxed me immediately. His eyes would blink several times slowly then close for seconds more, methodically. When he re-opened them again, his gaze was a strong hand to my throat. "Could you play with us here for awhile, he stretched out his hand to point at the landscape peppered with other children.

They radiated innocence upon first impression. And it felt like some element of heaven yet the earth around me was scorched, the smell of sulfer, oil and burnt flesh burned the eyes. Then reaching deeper into my watery eyes, I saw it; his empty heart and bloodlust desire. His eyes became volcano red, filled with hatred. His intention was to murder me, to drink the blood of the older generation. Of all the survivors that still walked the earth this species hated us the most for what man did to the planet.

Through Roaming Hawks eyes I witnessed these young babies determined to renew the world on their own wanton terms. Through canibalistic deeds for survival. Of all the misery and pain that now imprisoned the human and mutated population, these kids were the strongest, the bravest. They had no soul left nor conscience to affect them. Their skin was scaly yet thin, white as leprosy. Their eyes too sensitive to remain out in the sun for very long. One minute alone with them and you would be completely under thier spell. Food for the week. Just enough nutrient to help them survive and breed. In 2028, they were the planets last hope for existence.

Roaming Hawk removed his hands from my head. Horror consummed my spirit. I matched his stare without blinking, as if Iíd fall to my death if I let go of his gaze. He then burst into laughter. "You can stop this from happening. If you believe, Walks-With-Hope. Andrew."

I winced when he spoke my birth name. I had changed my name legally when I turned twenty-two. That was ten years ago. Thee's no way he could have known that.

He smirked. " You have work to do. A year to this date, you must find me again but not in this desert. You will know where to go. The raven will guiide you."

" Wait. Why me?" I pleaded softly. " I donít have anything to offer."

"You have everything to offer. Only the One selected could possibly find me here. Now listen." Roaming Hawkís eyes were distant. He could have been ten thousand miles away. " The prophecy awaits your maturity. You are still a child in a grown man's body. It is time to grow, Walks-With-Hope. You must have faith. You must be strong. And you must not fail." Suddenly light-headed, I couldnít decide if I was dreaming or awake.

And what was the difference.? Roaming Hawk was as real as any human Iíd ever touched but when I reached out to feel his body, my arm felt a cold breeze instead. In an instant I knew the truth. Roaming Hawk was living in my mind as a voice, some type of illusion.

" What are you doing to me? Who are you?." I demanded an answer.

" I am what you what me to be. Right now I'm the voice of your conscience? Tomorrow, the very power in your veins. Your guardian. But this, only you can decide."

" Are you even real?"

Roaming Hawk laughed. "Are you even real?. Faith. That's all you must know no, have faith, and of course, HOPE."

I melted into unconsciouness simultaneuosly with the setting sun. For the first time since I could remember, I felt at peace. Genuinely happy. Filled with confidence, power, fearlessness. I now knew my calling. I would follow that calling and form the basis for BOLD:The Braves Of The Last days. I would become this Medicine Man Roaming Hawk spoke about. I would search to find my Kokopelli, Heyoka, Chief and warrior. Together we'd alter the events of the America and possibly the world. Brett Maldonado, as I knew him, was gone. But Walks-With-Hope was born and he was feeling almighty.

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