Eco-Novel, Bee Quiet! Written to inspire the world to go green!

Chapters 1-3


Bee Quiet

 

A Novel

 

Simply EL

 

 

Wake Up Books 

Publication

River Forest, Illinois

  Copyright 2009 by Simply EL

Elaine Carter 

 

All rights reserved as protected by federal, international and local copyright laws.  No portion of this book may be reproduced or distributed by printing, electronic, audio means or Internet sharing without prior expressed written permission from the author.  To do so, constitutes an act of piracy, which is a federal punishable offense.  Small quotes may be used for review purposes.

 The environmental references in this book are mostly factual.  The characters and scenarios in Bee Quiet are from the author’s imagination.  Any similarity to real people or events is purely coincidental.  Any mention of actual names, companies, places or events are portrayed in a fictional manner.

 

Bee Quiet is published by:

 

Wake Up Books

P.O. Box 5322

River Forest, Illinois 60305-5322

Email:  Beequiet@simplyel.com

 

 

Printed in the USA. 

 

The pages are printed on 100% recycled paper using Earth-friendly toner.

 

Wake Up Books ISBN 0-9824678-0-X


 Special Thanks 

  Cover design and logos by: Simply EL and Kathyjo Varco

Thank you, Kathy, for all of your help in making the artwork for this book a reality.

Kathyjo Varco:  Bigsoundmusic.com/kvdesign

 

 Editing by: Dr. Ginger Brent and Rema Smith

Much appreciation goes out to you for your expert corrections and suggestions.

 

 Special thanks to my mom,  J. Carter, for assisting me with research.

 

To my daughter, Camille, thank you for allowing me to use your laptop for the      typing of this book.

 

 To my son, Omari, thank you for all of your patience while I was writing this book.

 

To Dr. Bernitsas:  First of all thank you for inventing the VIVACE!  Your invention will help to bring the world closer to a green reality.

Secondly, thank you for taking the time to answer my entire multitude of questions.

 

Special thanks to:  John Burand and Kim Woojin at The Burand Bee Research

Lab, University of Massachusetts - Amherst for the use of the bee photo on

 the front cover.

 

 

 

This book is dedicated to Mother Earth, all of the species that have gone extinct since the Industrial Revolution and all of the

 endangered species currently facing extinction.

 

 In loving memory of my dad, Waverly Carter


 

 Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. 


Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon. 


Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

 

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console.


To be understood as to understand; 


To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.


It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.


And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


 

 

 

 

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

 

CCD is a phenomenon that is affecting beehives all over the world.  The quote below is the official definition from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s website, FWS.gov

 

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the name given to the current ailment striking honey bee colonies in the United States.  In affected colonies, the worker bees leave the hive and never return, leaving only the egg-laying queen, brood and a few attendants. There are a variety of theories as to what is causing the collapse of honeybee colonies, including: stress leading to a weakened immune system, varroa mites (a parasite known to attack honey bees), a pathogen (such as a virus, bacteria or fungus), stress from the movement of colonies, and/or sublethal effects of pesticides.   Sublethal means it does not cause death.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service is collaborating with several universities to determine the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder as part of the Colony Collapse Disorder Working Group.

                                                   *                                    *                                    *                                                   

In addition to the important role of pollinators in human food production, pollinators are also important to wildlife – an estimated 25% of birds and mammals rely heavily on fruit and seeds as part of their diet.

The Internet is filled with websites that have information and updates on CCD.  Please visit your favorite search engine to find out more about this devastating condition.

An excellent documentary about CCD is Silence of the Bees by PBS.  You can view it on line at the PBS website.  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/silence-of-the-bees/video-full-episode/251/

 

 

 

The cause for CCD in this novel is purely fictional.

 


Chapter 1    

     

Samuel Wiwa* was a doctor from Nigeria.  He earned his medical degree from The University of Chicago and completed his residency at a hospital in California.  He returned to Nigeria to establish his medical practice.  Samuel belonged to a wealthy family of real estate developers who owned office buildings in the downtown areas of all the major cities in Nigeria, and they developed many residential communities throughout the country.  The Wiwas had a good steady cash flow.  They were grateful for the wealth that they had and supported many philanthropic endeavors providing college scholarships, building schools and heading many foundations for worthy causes.

 

Samuel had a heart of gold.  His personal calling was not toward the family business.  He wanted to help cure the epidemic health challenges on the African continent.   It bothered him that throughout Africa, hospitals were substandard or simply did not exist in the poorest of areas.  He was in a position and had the financial means to do something about it.

 

Sam and some of his colleagues scouted areas in Africa where the AIDS epidemic was at its worst.  In those areas, they would build their hospitals.  They coordinated their efforts with a coalition of doctors from around the world and several dozen private and religious organizations.  Their projects were very ambitious.  A core committee was established among the giving groups.  They hammered out the most efficient ways to make the hospitals a reality.  Everyone involved invested their hearts and compassion into planning the projects.

 

 It was opening day, for their first community hospital.  Sam, along with dozens of medical professionals and construction workers, stood at the podium ready to cut the ceremonial ribbon.  He was filled with pride as he made his speech:

 

“Some said it couldn’t be done, but we did it!  Behind me is a beautiful 150-bed hospital with all of the facilities and equipment needed to fight the battles of the diseases that we face.”

 

To the right of the stage stood the hospital’s staff, outfitted in gleaming white uniforms and lab coats.  Sam turned to them and continued his speech.  “We have a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, technicians, janitors, cooks and administrative staff to offer their healing hands to care for the sick and the dying.” 

 

The crowd applauded, at least those who could.  On the opposite side of the stage, were dozens of AIDS sufferers who were waiting for the doors of the hospital to open.  Some were too weak to clap or cheer, but in their hearts they were glad.

 

A red ribbon was strung in front of a dozen committee members who had facilitated the hospital’s building.  Each had a pair of scissors ready to cut the dedication ribbon.

 

“OK, on the count of three we will cut the ribbon, and the hospital will be opened.  Ready?  One, two, three!”  Sam said.

 

The ribbon was cut, and a collective cheer filled the air.  The doors to the hospital were opened, and people began to enter.

 

Standing on the stage with a pair of scissors in hand was Lily King, who specialized in renewable energy sources.  She owned a solar panel and wind turbine distribution company called Sol Power.  She had personally overseen the installation of the solar panels and wind turbines that would supply the electrical needs for the hospital.  Lily was an African American in Africa.  She was of medium height and build, and was graced with beautiful brown skin that was very smooth.  She was pretty, with wide expressive eyes.  Her style was a bit retro as she wore her hair in a short neatly cropped Afro.  Lily was thirty-five.  Since graduating from college, she had been traveling all around the world to struggling countries to help them establish renewable-energy sources.  She loved her job.  It was from her heart and very fulfilling.  She knew that she was helping to make a positive difference in the world.  Her travels often took a toll on her physically, however, since sometimes she would spend months at project sites without any breaks.

 

Lily walked over to Sam to catch him before the crowd overwhelmed him.  They had worked very closely together over the previous six weeks during the hospitals last building stages.  She would be leaving that afternoon to catch a plane to Mexico, for her next solar panel installation project.

 

“Sam!”  She called, holding her arms out to hug him, and he did the same.  They gave each other a warm congratulatory hug. 

 

“Sam, I’ll be leaving in a couple of hours.” 

 

“Yes, I know,” he said with regret.  Sam looked soulfully into her eyes and continued.  “You have been a wonderful friend, Lily.  Your contribution with the solar panels and wind turbines is truly priceless.  I’m going to miss you.”  He then said light heartedly, “But I know you have other lands to conquer.”

 

With their arms still wrapped around one another, there was a silent pause, and they stared deeply into each other’s eyes.  There was always an underlying, unspoken attraction between them, but neither pursued it, and both repressed it.   Lily was taken by Sam’s big heart, intelligence and resourcefulness.  Even though he came from a wealthy family, he was unpretentious, lived a no frills lifestyle and was very humble.  No job towards the building of the hospital was beneath him.  He chipped in to do all sorts of tasks.  He helped to stack bricks, paint, make beds anything needed to get the hospital ready for opening day.  In addition to having a dynamic character, he was also very easy on the eyes.  He was six feet tall and big boned, in shape, but not overly bulked.  He had deep chocolate brown skin and luscious bountiful full lips that smiled beautifully to reveal his straight white teeth.

 

Sam had never married.  His lifestyle up to that time was too busy with medical school, establishing his private practice and his latest endeavors to build hospitals in needy lands. 

 

Sam thought very highly of Lily, too.  In his mind, she didn’t have to leave all of the creature comforts that she probably enjoyed in the States to spend weeks on end in the most impoverished communities on the planet.  He was proud of her for having the courage to come out of her comfort zone to do that.  He admired her giving spirit and how personable she was with all of whom she met.  She was very down to Earth and genuine.

 

Throughout their six weeks of working together, their eyes would often engage in stares that lasted a little longer than was comfortable.  Each wanted to get to know the other on a more personal basis.  Sam didn’t pursue this desire because he was in a leadership role for the project, and he did not want Lily to think that he was overstepping his bounds.  He also knew that she had many other projects to attend to that would take her around the world.  It would be very difficult to work on a relationship under those circumstances.

 

Lily was just too shy when it came to romantic issues.  She didn’t want him to think that she was chasing him.  There was an undeniable chemistry, though.  They clicked on all levels: spiritual, mental and cultural.  Each had great restraint and integrity even at the expense of a potentially powerful romance. 

 

The crowd on the stage became more active around the pair as people headed toward the hospital’s entrance.  Lily and Sam, still locked in their embrace, simultaneously gave a smile of personal regret.  They pulled closer for a more solid “it-will-be-a-long-time-before-I-see-you-again,” hug.  Sam kissed her sweetly on her forehead.  “May God keep you safe and strong, my dear sister.” 

 

Lily looked up at him, trying to fight tears for having to leave. “It’s been an incredibly enriching experience working here with you.” 

 

She turned and looked out into the crowd of AIDS sufferers who would be served by the hospital.  “Many great things will happen here. We’ve brought a glimpse of hope to the people.”  She looked back into his eyes.  “I’ll miss you.”

 

 “I’ll miss you too, Lily.”  Both had heaviness in their parting hearts.  They would see each other again in a couple of years when they would work together on the next hospital.  They slowly let go of one another.

 

 “Take care, Lily.” 

 

Lily mustered a smile to him as she watched him walk away.  Other committee members soon came up to Lily to thank her and to tell her goodbye. 

 

It was a bittersweet moment etched in Lily’s being.  Humanity had come together to unselfishly offer an edifice of hope and healing to a population in dire need.  In that moment, not even a billion dollars could make her feel as good as she did.

 

 

 

 ____________

*Sam Wiwa is named in honor of Ken Saro-Wiwa.  Ken led the Ogoni people of Africa in protest against Shell Oil Company.  Ken along with eight other protesters were hung to death by the Nigerian government to silence their protests.  To learn more, please visit Wiwavshell.org


 


 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

Lily left Africa and made several connecting flights before arriving in Mexico.  She was very tired and wanted to go home and recoup before embarking so soon on the next project.  But this installation would only take a week; then she could return home for a couple of weeks and relax with her family and friends.

 

Lily arrived at the airport in Cancun.  She would be heading to a remote village in the Yucatan jungle to oversee the set up of solar panels for a generator house.  The panels would help provide supplemental energy for the village.

 

When she deplaned, all Lily had was one backpack.   She knew how to choose items for travel using minimal packing space.  This allowed her to carry-on her pack and avoid worrying about checked luggage.  As she passed through customs, she saw a young, short Hispanic man with an excited smile and expectant eyes holding a sign with her name on it.  She walked over to him.

 

“Lily King?”  He asked. 

 

Lily reached out to shake her greeter’s hand.

 

“I’m Alexandro Rodriguez.”  

 

 “Nice to meet you, Mr. Rodriguez.  I’m Lily King.”

 

“Please call me Alex.”

 

“OK, Alex.” 

 

In gentlemanly fashion, he took her backpack to carry it for her.  “Follow me to the car, and we will go to the village.” 

 

In the car’s front seat sat an elderly man with white, wiry Einstein-like hair.  His brown skin was speckled with deep wrinkles.  He looked at Lily and gave her a big spacey-toothed smile.

 

“Hello!  Buenos Dias, senior,” Lily said in her limited Spanish.

 

Alex introduced the two.  “This is Sr. Rios, Sr. Rios, Lily,” 

 

Lily was glad that Alex spoke and understood English.  She would need his translation help for the duration of her stay.  They got into the car and began driving through the touristy streets of Cancun.

 

Lily and her family visited Cancun back in the late 1980s for a family getaway.  ‘My, how the place has changed,’ she thought.  It had gone from being, 50% indigenous to nearly 100% Americanized.  She hated when that happened.  She shouted in her head, ‘you go to foreign countries to experience their culture.  You don’t bring your culture to foreign lands and call that vacationing!’  She was amusingly irritated and just shook her head at it.

 

They soon left the tourist areas and began to see the real pulse of the town: colorful open air markets full of fresh fruits and vegetables, children playing soccer in the front yards of their homes, ladies draped in colorful gauze dresses with intricate embroidery at the yokes, and food carts selling Mexican handy to eat snacks.  That’s what Lily enjoyed seeing.

 

They started heading for the Yucatan jungle.  The foliage was so dense that the trees blocked out much of the sunlight, turning the road as dark as night in some spots.  After an hour on the jungle road, Lily could see in the distance the tops of the Chichen Itza Mayan Pyramids.  She expressed excitement to Alex.  “Boy, I’d love to see those before I leave.  Last time I was here, the weather turned bad, and I could not come see the pyramids.”

 

“We can go now to see them,” Alex offered.

 

 “Really!”  Lily exclaimed with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old. 

 

 “Yes, Sr. Rios is the chief elder of our village.  It will be his honor to show you this sacred place,” Alex gleefully stated.

 

Alex pulled off on a narrow road that lead to the Mayan ruins.  Lily was in awe of the structures.  They came to a gate that collected money from tourist cars and the tour buses.  They were waved past the booth; locals did not have to pay.

 

There was an assortment of tourists milling their way all over the site.  Alex parked off to the side of the road away from the main parking area.  He went to give assistance to Sr. Rios to exit the car.

 

“Gracias, gracias,” Rios said smiling.  He was happy to be at the pyramids even though he had been there hundreds of times.  The grandeur and wonderment never dulled his excitement. 

 

They walked over to the 2000-year-old ruins.  The elder’s steps were slow and as sure-footed as they could be on the stony pathways.  Lily and Alex slowed their pace to match his.  Rios walked over to the base of the pyramid and sat down on the steps.  He signaled with his hand for Lily and Alex to look around.

 

Alex wanted to give some background information to Lily about the ruins.  “We are the closest village to the pyramids, and we consider ourselves honorary caretakers of them. With all of the hundreds of tourists coming here every week, these grounds need us to look out for them to preserve the site for generations to come.”

 

 “Yes, I agree.  You don’t want them building a fast food joint next to the ruins and selling Yucatan burgers,” Lily joked.

 

Alex moved to a site on the temple showing her an ancient carving of what appeared to be an astronaut in flight. 

 

“Wow!  That’s interesting.  You know, people think you’re crazy if you say you believe in UFOs, but I’m sure there is more life out there in the Universe.  Just because we humans don’t see it, doesn’t mean that life and space travel by others doesn't exist,” Lily said.

 

“Oh, I could tell you stories about UFOs.  We have seen many unexplained lights and activity in the sky in this area,” Alex offered.

 

Lily’s eyes lit up in amazement.  “You know, Alex, I personally have seen many objects in the sky throughout my life and travels, so I know UFOs exist even if the government tries not to admit it.” 

 

Alex got very serious.  “I believe one day they will come back to this site, and their existence will be known and undeniable for the whole world to see.” 

 

Lily took a deep methodical sigh.  “Yeah, that would be something, wouldn’t it?” 

 

“We need to go to the village now.  They will wonder what happened to us.  We can always come back anytime you please.  At night when all of the tourists have gone, it’s especially surreal and mystical here.”

 

“Well, Alex, I’d certainly like to experience that.”

 

The two made their way to where Rios was sitting.  They gathered the elder, got into the car and drove a short distance to the village. 

 

As their car entered the village, children who came up on both sides of the car to peek in to see who was coming greeted them.  Alex stopped the car and let Lily out.  He grabbed her backpack.  The children came up to Lily and began to clamor around her.  She did not know what they were saying, but the language of their actions conveyed welcome.

 

Lily saw about twenty small houses that appeared to be made from natural materials from the surrounding area.  There were chickens and a few goats walking about freely.  Some of the adult villagers began to head Lily’s way.  They were all smiling.  Some had bowls of fruit and nuts.  One lady had a serape and a hammock.  There was also a man coming toward Lily with a dead chicken with its poor neck broken and still bleeding.  ‘That’s why I’m a vegetarian,’ she thought.  Lily didn’t want to see him or have him get too close to her with the lifeless animal.  But she understood the gestures of the welcoming committee.  She had experienced it many times over in villages around the world.  Their hearts were always universally the same.  The villagers wanted to express their gratitude for the help being given to their community.

 

Soon, Lily was overwhelmed by twenty people pushing their gifts at her.  All she could do was smile and say “gracias, gracias” for a good five minutes.

 

Alex stepped in and explained to the crowd in Spanish that Senorita King needed to rest from her traveling.  A couple of the ladies came with them to assist with Lily’s settling in.  There was a small two-room hut prepared for her stay.  One of the ladies took a newly made hammock and strung it in the corner.  They put a colorful blanket on top because sometimes it got chilly in the jungle at night.  Lily again expressed her thanks.  In the room was a small-carved table and chair set with a fruit bowl on top.  Lily saw that the man with the chicken was in the doorway.  She whispered to Alex, “I’m a vegetarian.  Can you please tell that to the gentleman and thank him for the gesture?” 

 

Alex walked over to the man to express her sentiments.  The chicken-toting man nodded his head to Lily in understanding and walked away.  Alex came back.  “He understands.  It’s OK.”

 

There was a small shelving unit built into the corner of the room where Lily could unpack and place her clothing.  The second room of the hut had a stand with a washbasin and toilet.  The accommodations were meager, something that Lily was used to.  It was the spirit of the community’s sharing that gave the place a five star status.

 

It was about 6:00 p.m. when Alex left to allow Lily to relax and unwind.  He requested her presence at the community dinner in her honor that would take place an hour later.  Lily expressed her appreciation.

 

Lily stayed in her hut only long enough to unpack and freshen up.  Twenty minutes later, she was out mingling with all of her hosts and hostesses.  Many of the ladies were preparing the evening’s meal in open wood-burning pits in the center of the village.  The men were stringing party lights over the rows of tables and chairs.  The kids once again gathered around Lily, showing her their toys and what tricks they could do with their bodies.

 

When all of the preparation for the meal was complete, the whole village gathered together to sit and eat.  Lily chose rice, beans, avocado slices, a banana and a guava for her dinner.  The others also had chicken stewed in a red mole sauce and tortillas to round out their dinner plates.  It was a merry atmosphere.  There was a trio of guitar players who strummed and sang songs.  Storytellers wove apparently hilarious tales as the majority of the feasters who understood the language broke out in fits of uniform laughter.  Lily could only chuckle at how winded and out of hand with laughter some of the people got.  The laughter was contagious, and Lily started laughing even though she did not understand the language well enough to know the punch lines.  The atmosphere was wholesome, unpretentious and free from stress. There were no sound systems, no TVs, no video games: none of the pacifying electronic devices that most westerners feel that they need to amuse themselves.  Good company and good food provided the entertainment.

 

As the evening progressed, the adults began cleaning up and kids were shuffled off to their homes to go to bed.  Alex approached Lily and told her, “I have a special treat for you.”  He went to turn off the party lights and asked her to look up.  As she did, the sky was black velvet and speckled with millions of bright stars.  There was no pollution to dull their radiance.  It was beautiful.   “You know Lily, there are as many stars in the sky as there are grains of sand on the Earth.”

 

“Wow!  That boggles the mind doesn’t it?  Such a vast Universe that we live in, and we don’t know what’s all out there either.”

 

Alex smiled.  “We have a very busy day tomorrow.  The construction workers from Merida will be here at 9:00 a.m. to start digging for the generator house.”

 

“Yes, we have to get started on the project.  I’ve really enjoyed the evening.” 

 

Alex escorted Lily to her home away form home, and they said their goodnights. She went into her hut and changed into a tank top and loose fitting shorts to sleep in.  She had the challenge of getting into the hammock without tipping out on the other side.  She thought it was funny and laughed at herself.

 

When Lily got into a comfortable position, she began to relax her bones and muscles into the contours of her woven bed.  She relished the thought that just down the road stood an ancient wonder of the world, silent in the night.  As she lay there thinking, little did she know that the next day’s events would change her life forever.


 

 

Chapter 3

 

Lily woke up with a crick in her neck.  The hammock had rounded her spine to its shapeless form.  She could hear the crowing of roosters outside.  The cries were louder than she thought a little chicken head could scream.  ‘Man, if those little buggers don’t get you up, nothing else will,’ she thought.

 

She tried to steady herself to get out of the hammock, when she managed to do so, she went into the bathroom to wash up and get dressed for the day.  She sat at the table and grabbed a mango to eat.  A knock on the door revealed one of the senoras with a tray of breakfast.  Lily let her in, and the lady placed the tray on the table, and the two exchanged “Buenos Dias.”  Lily added a “gracias” for the food.  The tray had a plate of scrambled eggs with a red sauce on the side, three rolled tortillas and some berries.  A cup of rich, dark coffee accompanied the meal.  A beautiful pink tropical flower garnished the tray.  Lily was pleased and began to eat.  The eggs were the freshest she had ever tasted.  She figured that they probably were laid just before they were prepared.  She enjoyed the meal.

 

Lily wanted to feel special, so she wedged the flower in her thick hair to the side of her head.  It was a badge of honor for her, and to wear it would show her appreciation to the community.

 

Alex knocked on the door.  As Lily opened it, he gave a jovial, “Buenos Dias! And how did you sleep last night?”

 

“Well, good morning to you, too.  I slept OK.  I’m a little stiff, but I’m sure the kinks will work out as I move around today.”

 

“Sorry about that.  We can go into town and get a mattress for you, if you’d like.”

 

Lily held her hands up in a ‘stop’ position and said, “Oh no, no.  I’ll get used to it.  I’ll only be here for a week.  You guys save your money for the solar panels.”

 

The two left to go to the site for the new generator house.  Surveyors had marked off the dimensions for the solar panel’s footings.  A clearing of trees allowed instillation space for a few rows of moving solar panels.  The digging crew from Merida was onsite and ready to get started.  They began moving the dirt.

 

At high noon, the operators of the heavy digging equipment took a lunch break.  The villagers had prepared enchiladas, a tropical fruit salad, rice and beans for the hungry workers.

 

Lily sat with Alex, and she began to pick the chicken out of her enchiladas.

 

 “What made you become a vegetarian, Lily?” he asked.

 

“Well, I was raised on meat, of course.  You eat what your parents put in front of you.  But when I became an adult, I learned how horribly the animals are treated.   I did not want to be part of the cruelty, so I stopped eating meat.  The other thing is that livestock create a lot of methane.  It’s a greenhouse gas that adds to global warming.”

 

  “We take good care of our animals here.  You can eat this meat.”

 

“It’s good that you treat your animals fairly, but I will pass on the meat for now.”

 

Sr. Rios came over to the table.

 

“Buenos Tardes, Lily,” he said with a big smile.

 

“Como estas, Sr. Rios?” Lily responded.

 

Rios and Alex began to talk in their native tongue.  Every now and then, Lily saw Alex peek up at her with a held stare.  It made her feel uncomfortable because she did not know what they were saying.  She heard “noches” and “pyramid” over and over.

 

Eventually, Alex began to tell Lily what Sr. Rios was talking to him about.

 

“Sr. Rios said that the blue one came to him in a dream last night.”

 

Lily looked at Alex perplexed.  The only blue ones that she knew about were Smurfs.

 

“What blue one?”  Lily asked, confused.

 

“Well, let me give you a little background on some Mayan folklore.  Did you know that the pyramid down the road is actually a three-dimensional calendar?” 

 

“No, I didn't.” 

 

“There are ninety one steps on all four sides and the sacrificial altar makes the last step.  It all adds up to 365, the number of days of the year,” Alex explained. 

 

“Really?”  She asked with her head in a curious tilt.

 

“Yeah, the Mayan calendar is actually more accurate than the ones that we have on our walls today.  There is a lot more to the pyramid than what most people know about.  It’s also thought to be a docking station for UFOs.”

 

“OK, how do they figure that?”  Lily quipped.

 

“By some of the carvings on the pyramid.  You saw the carving of the ancient astronaut yesterday.  That indicates space travel.  Then, the accuracy of the Mayan calendar is ultra precise in planetary and galaxy movement patterns.  Eleven thousand years ago, primitive people could not have known about such things without someone helping them.  Have you heard about 2012?”

 

“Yes, I have.  They say that on December 21, 2012 the Mayan calendar will end.  Some think it will be the end of the world.”

 

 “On 12/21/2012 scientists know that our sun will line up with the center of our galaxy.  The gravitational pull could tilt the Earth off of its axis and reverse our electromagnetic poles,” Alex explained.

 

“Yeah, I’ve seen shows about that on the History Channel.  It’s scary because they don’t know what will actually happen.  There could be earthquakes and volcano eruptions, and all of our electronics could lose power.  It’s a crapshoot.” 

 

 “We’ll know real soon.  What’s troublesome is that there is an ancient ball court over there by the pyramid.  The Mayans created a game called ‘pok ta pok,’ which imitates the sun being sucked into the galactic center.  They used a ball that represented the sun.  The ball was passed and kicked around, and the object was to get the ball into the vertical circle fixed on the wall of the ball court.  The circle represented the galactic middle of the Milky Way.  Also on December 21, 2012, a Mayan god is to rise up from underneath that ball court.  What’s unsettling is that we now know that there is a black hole at the center of our galaxy.  Makes you wonder if the Mayans knew back then that the sun would get sucked into a black hole on that date.”

 

Lily stopped eating, feeling nauseous at the thought of such a horrific event.  “If the sun goes, the Earth won’t survive.  There is so much turmoil in the world today.  So much dog-eat-dog and people just thinking about only themselves.  Our environment is totally messed up.  Makes you wonder if that will indeed be Judgment Day.  Man has a lot of sins to pay for, and there seems to be no apology or repentance.”

 

Alex looked at Lily very sternly, which made her feel uncomfortable.  “Sr. Rios says that the blue one wants to see you.”

 

 “What?!  Who is this blue person, and why do they want to see me!?”

 

“Because it’s time,” Alex firmly answered.

 

Lily stood up and shouted.  “Time for what?!”    

 

“If I told you, you might not believe me.”

 

Lily lost her patience.  “Try me!”  

 

“Ahhhhh, a UFO is coming to pick you up tonight,” Alex sheepishly confessed.

 

“What!?”  Lily could not believe what she had heard.

 

“That’s it.  That’s the deal, Lily.  Sr. Rios knows many things.  We listen to him.  Remember I told you yesterday that we have seen a lot of strange lights in the sky?  Well, that is the lore of these and other pyramids.  It is thought that is why the Mayans had such advanced knowledge about the stars and space, because they were visited by space travelers.  We won’t let anything happen to you.”

 

“Alex, what control do you have over my safety if aliens are coming?”

 

“We will wait till tonight after all of the tourists are gone and the lights are out at the pyramid.  We will then see what happens,” Alex replied.