Excerpts from Bartholomew the Adventurer

From The Eleventh Ring:
“Blindly reaching out for his bottle of Madame Beffy’s Headache Tonic, he knocked over a vase filled with glass marbles. They fell to the floor with a great clatter. As he watched them bouncing and skittering across the stone tiles, he had an unexpected thought. The wild, chaotic path of the marbles was not really chaotic at all. Each marble was precisely following the known laws of physical motion. He was not witnessing chaos, but order and perfection. Each marble was exactly where it should be at every moment in time.”


From The Eleventh Ring:

It was on the fourth day that he came face to face with the rabid wolf. He was walking through a dark forest, absently listening to the soft crunchy noises the pine cones made under his feet, when his ears perked up at the sound of a low growl.
“Good heavens, I believe my stomach is telling me it’s time for lunch.”
As he looked around for a place to prepare his meal he spotted the wolf. It stood about thirty feet behind him and was both enormous and terrifying. Its teeth were bared and covered with white foam, its red eyes narrow and threatening. With a low growl it crept towards Bartholomew.
Bartholomew responded in the manner of a true intrepid adventurer. He gave a loud yelp, dropped his pack, and scampered up the nearest tree. Soon he was high above the wolf. It wasn’t until several hours later that he was able to descend from his lofty perch. He gathered up his pack and was on his way again. As he strolled along, he pondered his reaction to the wolf.
“I did successfully avoid being eaten by the beast, but the manner in which I avoided him was quite unsuitable for a rugged adventurer. I believe I shall begin carrying a stout walking stick to use as a weapon of defense in case the need arises again.”

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *


From The Thirteenth Monk:

“Edmund, I am the Thirteenth Monk, and I am going to tell you a story that may help you understand the true nature of the song we will sing for you. When you hear the story it may sound familiar to you, as though you have heard it before, perhaps a very long time ago when you were young, or even before then.” Edmund closed his eyes, listening to the calm, soothing voice of the Thirteenth Monk.
“There was once a bunny who lived by the ocean. Every day he would stroll along the sandy beach and pick up thoughts which had washed ashore. He would find them in shells, under rocks, and sometimes even tangled in seaweed. “Oh, this is a good one,” he would say, “we see chaos, but if we look carefully, if we look beneath the chaos, we find order and perfection.” And into his bucket the thought would go. When the bunny had reached a ripe old age he gathered all the thoughts together and placed them carefully into a large silver cauldron heated by the fires of life. Using a straw broom, he stirred them thoroughly, and as he was stirring he listened carefully. Much to his surprise he heard the ocean singing a wordless song of incomparable beauty. The bunny closed his eyes and said, “Ah, it was all worth it.”
The Blue Monk stood up. “We will sing for you now, Edmund. It is the ocean’s wordless song of incomparable beauty. It is the song of the universe, the song of your past, the song of your future, the song of life.”
Edmund’s eyes were still closed when he heard the first Blue Monk sing.


From The Thirteenth Monk:

Edmund extended his long silver arms, cupping his hands together to form a bowl. He stood motionless, his red eyes flickering brightly. Bartholomew watched as a diaphanous wavering sphere the size of an orange formed above Edmund’s cupped hands. The sphere began to grow more substantial, changing to a translucent blue green color, pale clouds swirling about inside it.
Bartholomew’s insides turned to ice. This was most certainly what Clara had warned him about. “Edmund, you need to stop and tell us what you’re doing.”
The sphere grew larger, tiny blue sparks shooting out from its periphery. It rose up from Edmund’s hands and was now hovering above the ship.
“Edmund, what is that? What did you make?”
“I am not precisely certain how I am doing it, but I believe I am creating something called a spectral doorway.”
“A spectral doorway? What is that? Where does it go?”
“I’m afraid I don’t know.
“Edmund, you have to stop this right now!”
“That’s quite impossible. I have no idea how to undo what I have done.”
Bartholomew and Oliver rushed to the stern of the craft. Edmund’s creation was expanding with increasing speed and was now enveloping the Adventurer II. Ghostly gray clouds within the sphere swirled wildly while miniature bolts of lightning created scenes of ethereal dancing light and shadow. In one fractional instant the sphere exploded with a monstrous blast, the concussion rattling the ship and leaving only a world of madly churning clouds and brilliant thunderous flashes of light. The wind howled and shrieked like an unchained demon, tossing the Adventurer II violently about, threatening to flip her over at any instant.
“What have you done??” Bartholomew’s cry went unheard, drowned out by Edmund’s terrifying creation.

From The Seventh Medallion:

Bartholomew was strolling through the Timere Forest. He liked the forest. There were lovely birds twittering about and glowing beams of sunlight streaming down through the trees. He hummed to himself as he meandered along the forest path. “Hm hmmm hmmm… I do love a nice walk beneath the towering pines…”
“Ah, greetings Bartholomew. Having a pleasant little sojourn here in the forest?”
Bartholomew turned toward the sound of the voice, his eyes coming to rest on Bruno Rabbit.
“Hello, Bruno, lovely to see you. Such a nice forest.”
“Indeed. You don’t seem surprised to see me here.”
“Surprised? Why would I be surprised?”
“Well, it’s your dream, not mine.”
“Mm hmmm.”
“You don’t know you’re dreaming do you?”
“I’m sorry, what did you just say?”
“Bartholomew, I would like you to do something for me. I would like you to stare at your paws. Focus on them, force them to become sharp and real, see every hair.”
Bartholomew looked at his paws. At first they appeared soft and fuzzy and it was difficult to focus on them, difficult to make them stop drifting about like two furry clouds. When they finally did become sharp and crisp and clear something quite extraordinary happened. A brilliant rush of awareness flooded through Bartholomew. He was really there in the forest, fully present in the moment. The entire forest had become as sharp and as clear as his paws. The path he was strolling on had become real. He could see clearly the smallest details, smell the pine trees, feel the soft blanket of pine needles beneath his feet, the warmth of the sun on his fur. “What is this? Where am I? Bruno? Bruno Rabbit? Did you bring me here?”
“Ah, there you are. Awake at last. You have finally woken up inside one of your dreams. Excellent. Now, I would like you to answer one very simple question for me. Why do–”
Bartholomew’s eyes darted anxiously about the forest. “This is a dream? I have woken up inside a dream? How is that possible? What does that even mean?”
“There’s nothing to it. When you focused on your paws, you brought to bear your full awareness and consciousness, making the dream seem real.”
“This is amazing! It’s like I’m really here in the Timere Forest. I can’t wait to tell Clara about this.”
“Clara has been doing this since she was a bunny.”
“Now, are you ready to answer my question?”
“Of course. I think. Are you really Bruno or are you a dream Bruno?
“Is there a difference?”
“Here is my question. Why do you walk in your dreams?”
“Well… what? What else would… umm… to get somewhere?”
“Think, please. There are no laws of physics in your dreams. No gravity. No equal and opposite reactions, no bodies tending to stay in motion. There is no physical matter here, only thought. Why do you tromp along the forest floor instead of soaring and swooping through the trees like some great long eared bird? What is it that keeps your big furry feet planted firmly on the ground?”
Bartholomew looked puzzled. “Hmm… you know, you might be on to something here. If this is a dream, and I’m quite certain it is, the laws of physics and motion really do not apply here.”
“And so…”
“Um…” Bartholomew clapped his paws together. “I’ve got it! The laws of physics here are my own creation. I am bringing them with me from the waking world and allowing myself to be controlled by them. This is incredible! Why have I not thought of this before?”
“And what can you do about these self-imposed restrictions?”
“Well, for one thing, since there is no gravity and this is my dream, couldn’t I jump as high as I want?”
“Why just jump? Couldn’t you fly?”
“I don’t see why not.” Bartholomew raised his arms and grinned. Bruno watched Bartholomew’s features blur as he shot up into the air at precisely four thousand two hundred twenty-nine miles per hour, shrieking like a terrified little bunny.
Bartholomew woke up to find himself back in his bunk on the Mark X Pterosaur as it hummed along beneath the glittering night sky.

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