An Excerpt from "The Golden Ankhs of Crystal Land"

by Tameko Barnette

"I want to go over there too," Takiya said.

"No, my dear, you need to stay here at the Sycamore Tree. Someone is on their way to help you. You need to stay here. You can dance later," Alatabo said.

Takiya poked her lip out and made a very silly, sad looking face. Alatabo ignored all of that and gave her a hug. "Just call my name whenever you need for an emergency and I'll appear." Takiya shook her head in agreement. Alatabo disappeared in a flash returning to Jaima, so they could work on her garden.

Takiya walked over to the Sycamore Tree. The trunk of the tree was big and wide. Its branches were long, bright, and full of vibrant green leaves. Takiya's mind was full of questions and fears. She had no idea what to do. At the same time, she knew she couldn't interrupt Hero's drumming. She promised Alatabo she would stay at the tree.

Takiya stood in front of the tree just staring at its trunk, branches, limbs, leaves, and almost ripe figs. This Sycamore tree was over one hundred years old and would produce over a ton of figs every three months. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know how to figure out how to get home. How is this tree gonna help me and Hero get home? She thought to herself.

She looked across the park at Hero and the other drummers. Hero was in a trance as he drummed fast and then slow, fast and slow, fast and slow, as if he knew the songs by heart. Takiya noticed little bolts of lightning coming from Hero's hands and from the drum itself. Suddenly, she saw a bright golden circle of light all around Hero's body.

Takiya realized she could feel energy; warmth coming from Hero as he played the drum glowed like an angel. She heard a voice that resembled her own whisper softly inside of her mind, "Sit down and close your eyes." Takiya sat down with her legs crossed like she learned from her grandmother, Ayamey, who spent a lot of time each day meditating. Takiya closed her eyes. She remembered what her grandmother taught her to do. She would say, "Clear your mind and focus on your heart space."

Takiya cleared her mind, which wasn't easy. She could still hear the drumming and wanted to get up and dance with it. But she ignored the urge to dance. Instead, she decided to allow the drums and electric energy coming from Hero to help her relax and focus on her heart space. Her breathing calmed down. She was at peace, even as she searched her heart space for how she and Hero could get back home.

With her eyes still closed, she began to see a golden figure appear before her. It looked like an ankh. Just like the ankhs that Alatabo gave to her and Hero. Then, she saw a man who looks like he was wrapped up almost like a mummy, but he wasn't a mummy. He was holding something long in front of him with both hands. Then, she saw the words: Ptah and his Djed Pillar Staff. The image of this Ptah person faded and right after that, an image of she and Hero standing like Ptah with their golden ankhs in their hands, like he held the Djed Pillar Staff was vivid in front of her.

This image faded and then, she opened her eyes. The music got louder, but Hero was no longer playing the drums with the other kids. He was standing right in front of her with his golden ankh in one hand and her golden ankh in the other hand. "Come on, T," he said.

As they held their golden ankhs in their hands waiting to be lifted up into the sky through another portal the same way they got there in the first place, yet nothing happened. Suddenly, Alatabo, Jaima, and Ayamey appeared in front of them, by the Sycamore tree. The drums were still creating the warm electric energy and everyone could feel it. "What's wrong?" Hero asked. "We're not going anywhere. What are we doing wrong?"

Ayamey spoke to Takiya, "Sweetie, do you remember what we used to chant together when we would meditate? All you have to do is say it three times. Remember what I told you about the number three."

"What is your grandma talking about, T?" Hero asked. The glow of golden light was still all around his body.

Takiya closed her eyes for a moment and when she opened them she said, "OM."

Hero and Takiya stood side-by-side with their golden ankhs in their hands like Ptah holding his Djed Pillar staff. The sounds of the drums stopped. Takiya instructed, "Inhale." And they both exhaled saying as loud as they could, "Ooooooooommmmmmmmm!"

Everyone else in the park, including Alatabo, Jaima, and Ayamey joined them in their chant as well. A thunderous vibration began to shake everything around them as everyone chanted, "Ooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmm!"

A funnel cloud of wind and electric energy hovered above Takiya and Hero and it turned into a bright blue color. Everyone inhaled and exhaled even louder, "Ooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm!"

An Excerpt from "The Golden Ankhs of Crystal Land" by Tameko Barnette

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