Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Two Faces of Easter

Today, since it is Easter, I thought I would share with you two of my most favorite testimonies of Jesus Christ and what he did for all mankind.  

The hymn I Believe in Christ is one of my favorite hymns.  There is no way I can not feel the Holy Ghost when hearing these declarations.

"I believe in Christ; he is my King!
With all my heart to him I'll sing;
I'll raise my voice in praise and joy,
In grand amens my tongue employ.
I believe in Christ he is God's Son.
On earth to dwell his soul did come.
He healed the sick; the dead he raised.
Good works were his; his name be praised.

I believe in Christ; oh, blessed name!
As Mary's Son he came to reign
'Mid mortal men, his earthly kin,
To save them from the woes of sin.
I believe in Christ; who marked the path,
Who did gain all his Father hath,
Who said to men: "Come follow me, 
That ye, my friends, with God may be."

I believe in Christ, my Lord my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod.
I'll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan's grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above.

I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I'll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain."
I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I'll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men.

~Bruce R. McConkie

Next is a video of one of the most influential testimonies of 
Jesus Christ in my life.  It is given by the same man who wrote the song above.  It is worth every minute.
Bruce R. McConkie passed away 13 days after this humble declaration.  It is a testimony I will never forget.


Yaaay for painting eggs!

Waiting patiently while Hoss checks to see if the Easter Bunny has left yet.

This is how Baby K spent most of his Easter.

I caught the girls dressing up Baby K.  He didn't seem to know what was going on.

He seems to realize it now!

Happy Easter Everyone!  Better late than never right?
I tried to upload the video of Elder McConkie's talk, but the video was too long.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

19: Planning a Break Out

King Otto sat in his throne room patiently listening to the complaints and concerns of the villagers.  He had just finished listening to a Kiswan from the neighboring village of Dulder express his concerns about his crops.  The Kiswan's name was Nule.  He farmed tuber roots that the Kiswan called poppers.  The poppers were a staple in the Kiswone Nation.  Most meals that were fixed, were fixed with the poppers in mind.

Nule's dress was simple.  He wore a long pant and no shirt.  His coppery skin was smooth and well muscled from plowing and harvesting over the years.  His only sign of aging was in his face, where wrinkles garnished his face, and his eyes twinkled with years of wisdom.  He was worried about the earth soil, because it was dry and without nutrient.  Nule had tried to call on the earth core to replenish the earth soil, but nothing came.

Otto knew that if the nutrients were not replenished, then the poppers would not be able to grow.  He had promised to go and see for himself after mid day sup.

The problems throughout the kingdom were all the same.  It appeared that the Kiswan were losing their power, and Otto did not know how to fix the problem.


Justin and Sora stepped outside into the warm sun.  It was ten o'clock in the morning, and already, the temperature was nearing seventy degrees.  Sora closed here eyes and pointed her face at the sun.  The raise penetrated her skin, giving her goose bumps all over her arms and legs.  She smiled and headed down to Justin's truck.

Justin hurried ahead and opened the door for her.  She hesitated, but climbed into the truck.  "Thank you.  What do we need to do before we leave?"

Justin shut the truck door and walked around to his side, while getting in, he said, "We have to get gas in the truck... so it can run for a long time, and we have to get some food at the store," he paused, "so we don't have to stop very often."

Sora turned and looked out the back window.  There was a red box in the back right under the window.  Justin had dumped all of the ice from his freezer into it, forming a layer around the six cans of Coca-Cola inside.

"So if we put drinks and food into that little box, they will stay cold?.. even in this sun?"  Sora doubted the theory.  She smirked and sniggered at the thought.  "But the sun gets so hot here!"

"You'll see."  Said Justin.  "We will get even more ice at the store.  It should stay frozen in their for at least the day, and then some."

He put the truck into drive and headed toward the Farmer's Country Market.

Witold sat in the passenger seat of the tiny car while the human, Jess, talked non-stop.  She talked about her 'boyfriend,' and her 'job.'  She had an awful lot to say... about everything.

The one thing that kept Witold in his seat was the stone that he held in the palm of his hand.  Its glow began to brighten with each mile they drove, until finally they drove into a 'city,' and the stone was warm to the touch and growing even more brightly.

There were homes everywhere, with cars and humans walking along the 'road.'  Some huge buildings, nearly the size of the feasting hall were everywhere.  Witold wondered what important humans lived in those buildings.

Witold pointed at a store and asked, "Is that where one of your kings live?"

Jess laughed out loud, "No, that is a store.... where we buy things?"

Witold still looked puzzled.

She sighed, "When we need something, like food, we go into that store with money and exchange for the food."

"Oh!  Can we go in there?"  Witold was excited about going into a store and buying anything you need!

"No."  Jess glanced away, "We are going to go to Sora, remember?  We are almost there, we just have to go to the place she is staying."

Jess' instructions were to take Witold to a warehouse north of Roswell.  She wasn't to stop anywhere.  Cartwright was sure that if Sora knew that another one of her people were captured that she would come looking for him, and they could capture her too.  Jess' heart pounded with excitement as she passed a busy gas station.

Sora had been amazed at how ingenious the humans were with preserving food.  Some food was put in cans and sealed.  It would keep like that for years!  After they paid for the food, they made their way on to the next adventure... the gas station.

Justin wanted to show Sora how to fill his truck with gas.  He put a plastic card into a slot on the machine, and pushed a few buttons.  The machine beeped, and Justin opened the hole on the side of his truck, pulled off the nozzle, and inserted it into the hole.  He pulled the lever back and she could hear the liquid rushing into the gas tank.

"Its like feeding it!"  Sora had exclaimed.

"Kinda!"  Justin laughed.

Sora walked back around to the passenger side of the truck.  She leaned against the truck to watch the cars drive by while she waited.  Looking down the road, she saw a little blue car coming their way.  It had to have been Jess' car.  She watched as the car approached, and was shocked to see a human looking an awfully lot like Witold.  Sora's heart thumped, and her stomach fluttered uncontrollably.

"Justin!" She ran back around the truck to where Justin was putting the nozzle back on the machine.  "I just saw Jess drive by!"

"Okay," She's probably just going to work.

"No!  She had Witold in the passenger seat!"

"Who is Witold?"  Justin asked coolly.

"He is my... err, he is a Kiswan!" She looked down in thought.  "But how did he get here?" she said more to herself than to Justin.

"Someone came with you?"

"No!  I came alone," Sora said.  "I don't know why he would be here.... but we have to go and get him!  Who knows what Jess and Cartwright are planning to do with him!"

Justin grabbed his receipt and got back in the truck.  "Let's go then!  Let's see if I can catch up to her."

Sora hopped back into the truck, and Justin was pulling away before she even had the door shut!

He pulled onto the street and sped after Jess's car.  "If they have turned off onto another road, then we might not be able to find them."  Justin was leaning forward and weaving in and out of traffic, and after a few minutes said, "Hang on... is that her car?"

Ahead was the little blue car.  "Yeah!  It is!"  Sora sat up as if she could will the truck to catch up faster by leaning forward.

"Wait a second," Justin said.  "I wonder..."

Sora turned suddenly toward Justin, "Wonder what!"

"I have heard rumors, that Cartwright has some property north of town.  He keeps it chained off, with plenty of security.  I bet that is where she is taking him.  He most likely won't get away if they get him in there."

"Well what are we going to do?"  Sora asked.

After a few minute pause, Justin broke the silence.  "I think I have an idea."  He slowed way down, in order to back away from Jess' car.  Once her car went over a small hill, he turned off of the road, onto a road made of dirt.

Justin sped the truck down the road heading east.  A line of trees followed along the road on the left, and a farmer's crop spanned out to the right.  The line of trees began to get thicker the further Justin drove down the road.

"Where are we going?" Sora was anxious, and it was obvious.

Justin slowed down, and pulled into a group of trees on the left hand side of the road.  "Cartwright has a reputation of being somewhat erratic and crazy."

"Yeah, you mentioned that already."

"Well, he owns some property out here in the country.  Some friends of mine and I would sneak out here to spy on him."  Justin pointed through the trees.  "He has a warehouse in there.  He built it to house aliens when he would catch them."

"What?"  Sora jumped out of the truck and peered through the trees.

Sure enough, on the other side of the six foot chain link fence, was a giant building.  It stood about one fifty feet away from the fence, and sure enough, Jess' little blue car was pulling up at that moment.  Sora wanted a closer look, and she began to approach the fence.

"Sora, come back."  He grabbed her arm and pulled her back. "We don't want her to know that we are here, or else we won't be able to rescue him."

"I want to see him!"  Sora tried to pull her arm free, but Justin pulled her closer and wrapped his arms around her in order to contain her.

"Shhh!  Or they will hear you!" He knelt down with her and nodded toward a small opening between the trees.  "You can see through here."  Justin let go of her, and watched as she peered through the trees.

She watched as Witold got out of the car and stretched his long legs.  Justin noticed Sora's reaction as the Kiswan looked around and hesitated to follow Jess into the warehouse.  Sora's full attention was on him.  She seemed to have forgotten that Justin was there.  Her eyes followed him until he had disappeared into the warehouse.

She seemed to snap back to reality, because she stood up and began pacing back and forth.  "What are we going to do?"  She paused to look at Justin who was still kneeling on the ground.  "How are we going to get him out of there?"

Justin stood up and moved to the truck.  Leaning up against it, he said, "Well, my friends and I used to come out here to see if old Cartwright had anyone locked up in there.  Some of the younger kids thought that he performed experiments on regular humans that he accused of being an alien."

At that, Sora stopped pacing, and her cheeks paled.  "Experiments?  What kind of experiments?"

Justin opened the cooler that was full of the fruits and vegetables that they had bought for their trip east and pulled out two cans of coke.  "I don't believe he ever did any experiments.  I think he just tied them up and interrogated them."  He handed a can to Sora who cracked it open and took a long gulp.

Coughing because of the carbonation, Sora said, "So, do you have a plan?"

"Why yes, I do!"  Justin took a sip of his soda.  "We just have to wait for Jess to leave."

"You think she will leave him in there all alone?"

"I most certainly do.  She isn't one for sticking around."  Justin said.  "We just need to be patient."

Time passed slowly as they ate some snacks and waiting quietly in the shade of the trees.  Sora was to pensive to talk much.  She was thinking about all of the questions that she would ask Witold.  She even wondered how their reunion would be.  She felt somewhat guilty for befriending Justin, yet, at the same time, she felt guilty for thinking of Witold.  What a confusing day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Garbage Man Nearly Killed Me

I was sitting here in my home, finishing up some homework from last night (Half of it is late!).  It was Monday, the girls were gone to school, Baby K was asleep in his bed, and Hoss was off to a work meeting.  The morning was crystal clear, and I had high hopes of having a great day....

Then I heard the garbage truck picking up my neighbor's garbage.  We had rotting raw meat scraps in that garbage can, and it reeked (I meticulously trim meat, so there is no skin, bones, and as little fat as possible)!  Not to mention that we missed last Thursday's garbage pick-up, and our can was pretty full.

So, I raced outside, grabbed the can, and flagged him down.  He nearly drove right past but stopped just in time.  I pushed the garbage can up to the curb and stepped back to let the man do his job.

I have always been so fascinated with the garbage truck.  Even as a little girl, I would love to watch the arm extend out, lift up the can, and dump the contents inside the gullet of the compactor.  Well, how often do I get to stand right there and watch!?  Never, right?

So, this morning, after the garbage can was empty, the big arm began to bring the can back to the curb, but it got stuck on something.  The mechanical arm jerked violently, and nearly hit me!  I was startled by the action and had jumped back a bit, but I looked up at the man behind the wheel, and he had a sheepish look about his face.  He let go of the can and drove away, with not so much as an 'are you alright?' or a 'sorry!'  I shut the lid, grabbed my dumpster and wheeled it back to the side of the house trying to calm my pounding heart.

That woke me up, because up until then, I was feeling a bit drowsy!  Next time, I will stand a little further back!  I now feel like an idiot for standing so close!  Ha!

Have you ever done something silly like that?

Update:  Check out Sora's Journey for the latest episode, #19!

Monday, April 4, 2011

18: Interception

This is a story being told in chapters, or episodes.  If you are knew to the blog, then feel free to start at the beginning of the story!  Episode 1, An Introduction.
Feel free to follow this blog, and share it with your friends!

"Jess, I have a job for you."  Whispered Jess' Uncle into the phone.

"What?  I can't hear you,"  Jess felt for the volume button on her phone and clicked it twice, "why are you whispering over the phone?"

"Don't worry about it... just listen Jess!"  Cartwright's tone was urgent and slightly crazed.  "I have a job for you!"

"But I'm already watching Sora.  If I go anywhere, I'll most likely lose her."  Jess hated to take orders from her uncle, because he always made her do the work. 

"Listen Jess, it's important."  He paused.  "Every time there have been alien sightings, they have been seen in multiples."

"Uh huh?"  Jess knew where this was headed.  She began pacing back and forth in front of her living room window.

"I really doubt that Sora came here all by her lonesome."  Cartwright cleared his throat and dropped his voice.  "If we are going to prove that we have made contact with extraterrestrial beings, then we need more than one of them for proof."

"You want me to go and see if there are any others lingering in Carlsbad, right?"

"Yes!  I love how you seem to be able to read my mind!  Good girl!  Now, where did you say that you found Sora?"  Cartwright asked in his southern drawl. 

Jess slumped down on the couch by the front window.  She sighed and said, "I found her at the Carlsbad Caverns.  She seemed to be on a tour there.... but to tell you the truth, she seemed like she had been sleeping in the caverns.  She had a bed roll and a backpack....."

"Good!"  Cartwright seemed to forget that he was trying to speak quietly.  "Now get down to Carlsbad and look for someone that looks like Sora.  I don't care if it takes you weeks, or even months!  There has to be another one!"

"Fine!"  Jess said, "but I'm sending you all of my receipts so you can reimburse me...gas included!"  And she hung up the phone.

Jess looked across the common area of her apartment complex one more time toward Justin's front door.  She sighed, then pulled herself off of the couch to get ready to head south to Carlsbad.

Witold walked along a black path wondering where he was, and how he was going to find Sora.  So far, his experience had not been very positive.  The humans were an odd sort of species.  He shook his head as he remembered what had happened in the cave.

Witold came out of the black tunnel and found himself in a large cave.  There was a walkway with railings going around the big room of the cave.  He was leaning next to one of the stalagmites when a human came rushing toward him looking extremely upset.

The human started yelling at Witold about how he would stunt the growth of the stalagmite by touching it with his bare skin.  Witold was so fascinated with the appearance of the human that he tuned the lecture out.  

This human had on a pair of tan colored pants... only the pants were short, leaving the bottom half of his legs bare.  He had a matching shirt, and a hat made of the same material.  On the bottom half of the human's legs was so much hair!  Witold nearly laughed at how odd it looked.  The human's skin was dull in comparison to what he was used to with the Kiswan, and as other humans gathered to watch the show, Witold noticed how many different colors of skin there was... and how short most of the humans were!  

Witold must have had a smirk on his face, because the (apparently male) human said, "You think this is funny do you?  Do you realize, that particular stalagmite will not get any bigger because you touched it?"

Witold brought his attention back to the situation.  He stood up, and looked at the stalagmite with a slight frown.  "Oh, no.  I'm sorry, I didn't realize..."

"Oh, you didn't realize eh?  Every tour group is instructed not to touch any of the formations!"  The human was beginning to gain confidence in himself.  "Do you think you are above the rules?  You can do whatever it is you want?"

Witold clambered over the railing.  "I'm sorry.  I didn't know... no one told me not to touch anything.  I just came through that opening."  Witold pointed to a smaller cave behind him.

"What?"  The human looked behind Witold.  "There isn't an opening back there.  Let me see your receipt."

"Receipt?"  Witold must have seemed crazy to the humans.  "What is a receipt?"

The human grabbed Witold by the arm and said, "Come with me.  We'll get this sorted out!" and he escorted Witold up the path and into a tiny room that moved upward, toward the top of the cave.  It was almost like that little room was flying.

The black path that Witold continued to follow wound down and around a mountain.  The land was an odd beauty.  It was dry, with interesting plants... some with poky spines on them (he found that out the hard way).

He pulled out his stone and noticed that it had a somewhat brighter glow!  His heart thumped in excitement!  That meant he was headed in the right direction!

As he was nearing the bottom of the mountain, a small blue contraption, that Witold had learned was called a 'car,' zoomed past him, heading up the mountain.  It skidded to a halt and whipped around, stopping next to him.

A tiny human got out of the 'car' and studied him for a few minutes.  She had white hair, and was very pale.  She was about the size of a very young Kiswan, maybe comparable to an eight year old.

The obvious female human approached and asked, "Are you Sora's friend?"

Witold couldn't believe it!  How easy!  "Yes!  Sora is to be my partner when we return to the Kiswone Nation!  You know her?"

"Your partner eh?"  The human seemed to be enjoying some private amusement.  "Well, she doesn't seem to know that.. especially how she has buddied up to Justin."

"Justin?"  Witold scrunched his eyebrows, "who is...?"

The human interrupted, "Oh, I'm sorry," she said, "I'm Jess.  I'm Sora's friend.  She has been staying at my place.  She wanted me to come and get you.  She is busy meeting with.... the... uh...leader of our nation.  What's your name?"

"I am Witold."  Something didn't completely seem right with this human, Jess, but he was not in a position to be picky about his help.  "But how did Sora know that I was coming?  She should not even know that I know where she is."

Jess seemed uncomfortable, like a baby Kiswan being handed to someone it doesn't know.  "Oh, she knows..."

Jess motioned toward the car.  "Well, shall we?  We have an hour and a half drive ahead of us, I'd really like to get back to Roswell."

Roswell? Witold had no idea where or what this Roswell was.  He hesitated momentarily as he eyed the car, then Jess, then the road.  "You will take me to Sora?"

"Yes, yes!  Get in."  Jess opened her door and got in.  She waved for him to go around, looking slightly annoyed.

Witold walked around the car, opened the door, and got in.  He had to cram his long legs in to shut the door, and off they sped.

Curtis Family Theme

Some years ago (I say that like I am old-ha!), we were able to get to know a family that we learned so much from.  When I say we, I mean myself, Hoss, and the girls.  This family had a family theme, or motto.  When they shared it with me, I just remember feeling so inspired.  It was such a good idea, and a great way to instill good behavior and morals in children at a young age.

After that, I spent a day or two coming up with our own family theme.  I came up with so many thoughts and principles that I wanted to put in it.  However, it would be a few pages long if I had.  So, I went through and picked seven of the ideas that I felt were most important for our family.

Like our good friends, we began saying the theme together every morning after our family prayer and scripture study.  It didn't take long for a 4 year old Big T, and a 2(ish) year old Little H to begin memorizing it.  We have been saying it together as a family ever since.  And now we are excited to begin teaching it to Baby K.

The Curtis Family Theme States:
We treat each other how Jesus Christ would treat us.
We teach each other.
We know that we are children of God.
We pray together.
We follow the prophet.
We study the scriptures together.
We will leave no one behind.

I made a scrapbooked plaque to hang on the wall of our theme
Along with other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our family watched General Conference over the weekend.  As we were listening to the many inspirational talks, I began thinking about our family theme.  I felt like we needed to apply, and enforce those principles in our home a bit more.

To do this, I had the idea that we need to focus on each one of these principles, one at a time, for an extended period of time.  Starting today, we are focusing on the very first principle to "...treat each other how Jesus Christ would treat us."  We will focus on this one principle of our family theme for one week.  Then for Family Home Evening, we will discuss our experience and talk about how we can do better.  

Now, this exercise is not just with each other, but with every person we come in contact with.  I personally have issues with road rage.  So, I can work on not calling people names as I am driving, and probably speeding at the same time!

Next week we will focus on the second principle, and so on and so forth.  Our little program will last nearly 2 months.  Join us if you would like!  I would also love to learn about your own experiences with this plan, or with other similar plans!

I will touch base with yall at the beginning of next week!

Lastly, do you have a family theme or motto?  How has it helped you?

Update!  I finally published a new episode to Sora's Journey!  Come on over to the NEW URL for the blog, and read it!

Feel free to follow this blog, and Sora's Journey, and pass them along to your friends!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Arizona or Bust!

A week and a half ago, I took a little trip to Arizona to visit my sister and grandparents.  I took the kids (yes, all three) and drove all by myself (Hoss had to work).  I felt it was an impressive feat with a near newborn.  Baby K is now just over 7 weeks old.  The typical 8 hour trip took me 13 in one day.  It was a stressful trip, since I just wanted to get there.

We spent the week staying at my sister's house with her family.  We went to Ikea, the zoo, and we just spent a lot of time together.

I was hoping to visit my mother's parents, but was unable to do so, since they cannot have little children and possibly sick people in their home.  Here's to after my grandmother's chemo treatments!  **Sure love you grandma!**

I did get to visit my dad's mother.  We had pizza and visited for the afternoon.  The girls got to play with her dog Tike, and Baby K was caught smiling generously.

The weather was in the mid to high 70's, which I was slightly disappointed about.  I was hoping to take the girls swimming.  Oh well.  Soon enough!

On the way home, I decided to stop half way.  I chose a tiny town called Lordsburg, NM.  I do not recommend staying here, as it is so small that the grocery store closes at 7:30 pm every day!  There were two main restaurants to choose from.  One was McDonalds (which was a NO), and the other was a sit down family restaurant called Kranberries.  I tell you, this place is sooo over priced!  I payed $10 for practically a microwave dinner that was supposed to be grilled chicken and freshly steamed veggies.  I was highly disappointed!  The only thing that was well worth the money was their ginormous cinnamon rolls... yum!

I was glad to get home, as one usually is after being away from his or her own home and bed.

Us with Grandma M.
All in all, my little trip was just what I needed.  I felt like getting away really boosted my desire to get my house in order, and to keep a more structured day.  My sister is amazing at timing her daily schedule.  She has a very busy schedule, so she has to be super structured, and believe me, she has it timed to practically the minute.  I am on the lax end of the same habit.  I tend to go with it, which leads to me not getting much done.  However, I have taken up a new resolve to become more structured.  After all, I start a new class tomorrow, so I have to be organized in order to get my homework, housework, and church work done!  Whew!  Here we go!
Big T and Little H with Tyke.
I was lucky.  Immediately after I took this picture, my camera died.  It is one of my favorites.

I love elephants.
My sister took this one.  beautiful!

Koala Bear!  So cute!
My Niece, Little H, and Big T.

Rhinos look so nice and docile.

Good 'artistic' shots from me are rare, so I have to showcase them when they happen. :)
I love these mountains in Phoenix.  As a kid, they reminded me of potatoes.

My sister, Kendra, offered to take some pictures of Baby K.  She is so much better at photography than I am, so I was all for it... here are a few!

To visit my sister's blog.

UPDATE!  I finally published a new episode to Sora's Journey!  Click on over there and read it on its NEW URL!

Friday, April 1, 2011

17: Disturbance in the Force

Witold had never been this deep into the jungle before a few days ago.  It was semi-dark due to all of the trees towering up over his head.  The jungle was the one place where he truly felt small.  The green trees were covered in orange and green mosses, and the floor was littered with moist undergrowth.  The jungle sounds were both soothing and alarming.  He loved the sound of nature and the birds, but it startled him when he was so alone.

He was making his way toward the swimming hole, that Sora had used to learn to swim, for the last time before his escape into the human realm.  Agatha had been teaching Witold how to swim.  The water was so refreshing, and after he realized that he could float, Witold began to enjoy and embrace the water.  He now understood the mechanics of swimming, but his knowledge would have to due, since he was set to leave that very night.  He would have to swim up under the heavy waterfall and take the same path that Sora took through the cave.

It was midday.  Witold pulled the stone out of his pocket to look at it once more.  It did not have a hint of a glow.  Who knows how far away Sora is by now.  She has been gone for nearly three weeks.  She could be anywhere at this point.  He placed the stone back in his pocket as he arrived at the swimming hole.  He slipped off his shirt and shoes, and waded out into the cool clear water.  Little fish darted around Witold's legs as he eased himself into the water.  The swimming hole was not large, so the bottom of the body of water began to slope down quickly.  Today's swimming practice would consist of holding his breath.  Witold had swam out close to the waterfall, and he could feel the current push down around him.  He knew that it would not be easy to swim under that without being in the water for an extended period of time.

Looking across the water to the waterfall, Witold set his determination, took in an enormous breath, and dove under.


Sora awoke with a start.  She had trouble sleeping that night.  She sat up and listened into the darkness of Justin's bedroom.  His soft snores could be heard from the living room couch down the hall.  Sora got up and walked into the little bathroom to relieve herself.  She felt wide awake.  It couldn't have been much past midnight.  But the stirring she felt was part internal.  It almost felt like someone was watching her, which seemed silly.  It had to be the feeling of waking for no reason in the middle of the night.  Unsettling.

She walked back across the soft creme colored carpet and peered out the window.  The window looked out the front of the apartment.  Sora jumped.  She could see the blinds from Jess's apartment wide open.  She could have been mistaken, but Sora was sure that she saw Jess duck away from the window as soon as Sora looked out.

Something was very off about that human.  Sora didn't need Justin telling her that now.  No matter where she and Justin went, one of them caught a glimpse of Jess.  Unsure of how the humans do things, Sora gave Jess the benefit of the doubt, but when Justin went out without Sora, he instructed her to stay in the apartment and not to let anyone in.  She didn't have any issues following those directions.  She realized that humans could be very bazaar.

Sora left the window, walked to the bedroom door and quietly opened it.  Walking down the hall, she tip-toed past Justin and entered the kitchen.  She got herself a glass of water and sat down at the kitchen table.

There was something else that woke her, and now she was wide awake anticipating what it was... almost like it would knock on the door at any second.  Jess may be watching her and Justin, but that was not what woke her.  After all, little Jess was harmless really.

Justin must have heard Sora getting a drink in the kitchen because he came shuffling in looking bleary eyed.  The dim light above the stove was on, and it was casting its glow across the kitchen.  Justin sat down shirtless across from Sora.  She hadn't decided how she felt about Justin yet.  He was definitely easy to get along with.  He was obviously attractive.  She tried to keep her mind solely on the quest, but on occasions her mind would wander to Justin.  It was moments like these that she would freely take in his appearance.  She would think about how kind he had been to her.

"What are you doing up?" Justin interrupted her thoughts.

Sora's face grew hot with embarrassment over her lingering thoughts.  "I don't know.  I just woke up, and well, I don't feel like I can go back to sleep."

Justin locked eyes on Sora.  Her embarrassment not gone; her heart fluttered.  "Huh.  I woke up a while ago, and have only been able to doze off."

"I looked out the blinds of your bedroom, and I am positive that I saw Jess watching the apartment."

"Yeah, I saw her too."  Justin began rubbing his eyes.  "I don't have a good feeling about it.  She is getting weird.  It is almost like she has become obsessed with watching us."

"It must be why I can't go back to sleep."  Sora stood to refill her glass of water.  "I can't think of any other reason.  My senses must be on alert."

Justin stood as well and walked to where Sora stood peering out the back kitchen window.  "Hey."  He grabbed Sora's shoulders, making Sora look in his eyes.  "We'll get out of here tomorrow.  I've taken care of everything that I need to.  Soon, Jess will be just a funny story to tell."

In that moment, Sora realized her vulnerability.  She stood there looking at Justin and how willing he was to take care of her.  A small smile spread across her face.  She was grateful for his help.  She'd be lost or who knows what else without his help.

Sora looked at the clock.  "Well, it is only two in the morning.  I'm going to try and sleep."

Justin, broke his contact with Sora, hesitated, and said, "Yeah, me too.  See you in the am."

"G'nite."  Sora called down the hall as she entered the bedroom and closed the door.

16: A Side Story

I have been better now for nearly a week.  I have a lingering cough, but for the most part, I am doing great.  All of my sickness issues wound me up lagging behind in my class, so I have been spending extra time catching up.  I still have plenty to do, but I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Witold was hardly sleeping at night.  All he could think of was Sora.  Was she safe?  Where was she?  How long was she going to be gone?  He wondered the village wishing he could help her.  He performed his duties... or at least he thought he did.  Many of his tasks went by in a blur.

Agatha had been watching Witold.  She knew that he was fretting about Sora.  After planning with Leo, Agatha decided to bring Witold in to inform him on Sora's quest.  After all, in the end, he would be the only one able to help her.  After searching the entire village, Agatha finally found Witold sitting in the most obvious place.... right in front of his home.  She approached him quickly as to speak with him while he was alone.

"Witold."  Agatha whispered forcefully.  "Come with me, quickly."

Witold looked up at Agatha puzzled.  "What?  Why?"

Agatha sighed loudly.  "Just come with me, it's about Sora."

At the name, Witold perked up.  "Where are we going?"

"To the archives."  Agatha stepped back as Witold stood.  She then turned around and walked down the most deserted paths back to the royal home.  Witold followed close behind and wondered why Agatha was being so secretive and why she was in such a hurry.

As they entered the royal home, Agatha turned toward Witold and held her finger to her mouth prompting him to be quiet.  She scurried along the corridors, with Witold close behind.  Things were starting to get interesting.

As they entered the archives, Agatha slowed down.  For an old Kiswan, she could move pretty fast.  She walked straight to the back where the old man sat.

"Leo, we're here."  Agatha sat down in a soft chair and ushered Witold to sit next to her, while Leo slowly emerged from his private quarters.

"Excellent!  Witold, it is good to see you.  Thank you for coming."  He sat looking at Witold, which made Witold shift uncomfortably.

"We need your help Witold," said Leo.  "Sora needs your help."

"How can I help?  I have no idea where she is!"

"She is in the human realm."  Leo stopped to let Witold take in this information.

Witold was looking down at the floor.  He stood up from the chair next to Agatha's walked, around the back of it, and leaned on the high back.  He looked from Agatha to Leo, then back to Agatha.

"You are serious!  How did she get there?"  Witold's eyes were wide and filled with worry.  "Does her father know that she is there?"

"No.  No one knows where she is, except for Agatha and myself," stated Leo.  "Have a seat please, Witold, this might take a few minutes to explain."

Witold walked back around and sat next to Agatha in the soft chair.  Leo explained every little detail of the last few months to Witold.  How Sora's quest came to be, and how it was being prepared for.  Leo explained about the cave with the secret entrance.  The whole while, Witold just silently listened.

Leo ended his account.  "Sora needs your help to bring down the barrier.  She is not going to be able to get back through on her own.  You must go to her, and when the time is right, you will join the power that the two of you have together and bring down the barrier, thus restoring that energy to the earth's core."

"When do I need to leave?"  Witold asked.

"In two days time.  You will leave in the night, when the clouds are covering the sky from all heavenly light."  Leo paused..... "You are going to have to swim to get to the cave."

"Swim!?"  Witold's courage began to wain.  "I have never been in water higher than my knees!"

Agatha exchanged a glance with Leo then said, "Not to worry Witold, I can help you learn enough to get you into the cave.... but it has to be you Witold.  No one else will be able to get out of this realm and into the humans' world."

"How will I find her?  She could be anywhere!"  Witold was beginning to realize how difficult this task would be.

"I put a stone in Sora's pack.  It contains earth power in it.  Here is its sister."  Agatha pulled out from a pocket in her dress, a stone that fits perfectly in the palm of Witold's hand.  "This stone has the self same power as Sora's.  It will glow as you draw nearer the other stone."

Witold took the stone and examined it closely.  It looked like a regular bit of rock.  Leo interrupted his thoughts.  "We will get everything ready for your trip.  In the meantime, Agatha will take you to the small water hole and teach you how to swim.  You need to put a lot of effort into learning.  This will be your secret quest.  Tell no one where you are really going.  You may tell them that you are heading for a neighboring village, but do not be specific."

After receiving more instructions, Witold left the royal home for his own.  He had to get some supplies together in order to learn to swim.  If there was one thing that Witold enjoyed out of all of this was the fact that he got to find and be with Sora.  It took his mind off of the worry for the time being, and he set his mind to succeeding with his personal quest.

14: A New Plan

Sora was not quite sure how the subject switched so quickly.  Neither of them seemed inclined to let this one major commonality pass by.  Sora began asking questions about Justin's family history.  The stories, according to Justin have become somewhat legends passed down from one generation to another.  After so many centuries without receiving any kind of contact from the Kiswone Nation, Justin's ancestor's began to believe the stories were just that.  Stories.

During the first years of the human race, many Kiswan scouted the earth for new and interesting things.  The kings wanted to bring to their land the most diverse plants and animals possible.  While none of the Kiswan left to colonize other parts of the world, many would be gone for years at a time.  When the first sinful act of murder was committed by the humans, the King of the Kiswone Nation made the most difficult decision ever faced by any of the race.  To put up a barrier, hiding the Kiswone Nation from the human race.  This decision was taken to the counsel of elders.  Each of these wise-tellers had a son out of the nation on a quest.  Even the King's eldest son, and heir to the throne was too far to be reached in time.  These men of twelve made the decision to put up the barrier, barring these noble questkiswan from ever returning.

After hearing this account of Justin's legends, Sora was awe-struck.  This is the same story told by the elders of the Kiswan, only from a different perspective.  Sora was sure that Justin was the ancestor of one of these noble Kiswan.  His ancient ancestor must survived by adopting himself into the human race.  What was amazing to Sora was the fact that Justin's Kiswan genetics still seemed quite dominant.

By the time Justin finished his story, Sora was grinning from ear to ear.  She was elated!  "Do you know what this means?"

Justin looked utterly perplexed.  "What do you mean?  I have no idea what this means."

Sora continued.  "You are either son of a noblekiswan, or son of the ancient king of the Kiswone Nation!"  Justin still seemed slightly puzzled.  "This could mean that you are the rightful heir to the throne this very day!"

"Whoa whoa whoa!"  Justin stood up from his side of the fluffy couch.  "I am NOT a king!"  His face was glowing red.

"You might be."  Sora's tone had hushed.  There was no way she could trace the kingship line in her mind.  She would have to look at the charts back in the Kiswone Nation.

She continued pensively, "Back when the barrier was established, the king was very distraught at the loss of his son, and heir."  She looked Justin in the eyes.  "The heir to the thrown is not just by being the eldest son.  The heir is chosen by the fates.  A king and a queen will have Kiswan after Kiswan until that heir is born...... I am the current heir....."

Justin had been pacing back and forth across the living room, but at this last comment, he stopped abruptly.  "You are the heir?"

"Well, I was, until I met you."  Sora picked up her glass and walked back into Justin's kitchen to fill it with more ice and water from the fridge dispenser, followed by Justin.

"You have got to be kidding me!"  Justin exclaimed!

"No, if we trace your lineage back to this founding king of the Kiswone Nation, then you could possibly have right to the throne."  Sora paused.  "When the barriers were put in place, the king was forced to choose a new heir.  Many of his offspring petitioned to be it.  He finally chose a daughter that had shown promise, but was not a genuine match for the position.  She is in my family line."

"So since the heir to the throne had to be altered, you are still the current heir."  Justin said quietly.

"It is not that simple, Justin."  Sora took a sip of her water.  "Maybe the cause of the weakness in the barrier is due to the fact that the Kiswone Nation has not been lead by the one hundred percent correct heir to the throne!"

It was Sora's turn to pace back and forth.  "I have got to find a way to contact my father!  He'll know what to do!  If you are the heir, then you will be able to help me bring down the barrier before the earth loses its power to reproduce the vegetation and provide for the life currently living here."

"You are serious?"  Justin was sitting at the table in the kitchen cradling his forehead in his hands with his elbows resting on his knees.  "I have no power to help you."

"We'll get there.  I just need to find a pigeon so I can send my father a message."

Justin laughed.  "Well, there are pigeons all over town!  Good luck catching one!"

Sora approached Justin and knelt down in front of him.  She pulled his hands away from his face and looked him in the eyes.  "I won't force you to do anything that you don't want to do, Justin.  But I need some help.  I can't do this alone."

Justin began to get his calm composer back as Sora continued.  "I still have to alert the world that there are other races among them.  If I just bring down the barrier before they know about us, then there will be a major war, and that is what the Kiswone Nation was avoiding when the barrier was put in place."

Justin stood up and walked to the living room.  He peered out the window and pulled the blinds down so that no one could see in.  "Jess is back," he said.  "I have to talk to you about her and her family."

"She has probably been looking for me.  I should go let her know I am here."  Sora moved toward the door. 

Justin darted in front of her and blocked her path.  "Sit down, I have to tell you about Jess."

"Jess comes from a long line of believers in aliens.   Her great-grandfather was one of the first to talk about being abducted when the 1947 spaceship supposedly crashed here.  The whole family, ever since, has been on the hunt for aliens."

Sora scrunched her eyebrows.  "So?  Her and her aunt and uncle seem a little odd, but they want to help me get the word out."

"That's just the thing," Justin said.  "I don't think they are at all interested in your story as being from this planet.  If you knew them like the majority of Roswell does, you would know what I am implying.  They want to get you put into some kind of weird hospital that they run, so they can perform tests on you.  They have never been able to gain concrete proof of the abductions, and they will do whatever they have to do gain such proof....even if it is a lie."

Sora was speechless.  She was still trying to process this information when a knock sounded on the door.  Justin got up from his couch and looked out a little hole in the door.  He had explained earlier that it was a peek hole.  He turned to Sora and whispered, "Its Jess.  You should hide.  I'll tell her I haven't seen you."

This didn't sit well with Sora.  Jess had been very kind to her, and maybe these stories were true, but she could not just disappear without explanation.  "No, its okay.  I want to speak with her about my changed plans."

"Changed plans?"  Justin looked confused.

"You are going to help me then right?  Because at this point, I have no one else to turn to, and you do have Kiswan blood in you!"

Justin sighed.  "Alright."

The knock sounded even louder the second time.  Justin unbolted the door and opened it.  There was Jess, standing at the door looking extremely upset.  "Have you seen my friend I was with this morn......"  Jess had just looked in Sora's direction.

"What are you doing here?" Jess accused.

"Well, you didn't expect me to hang out at that court house all day did you?"  Sora stood.  This made Jess calm down.  Sora was very tall, and could be extremely intimidating.  "I took a walk, and ate my lunch in a corn field.  Justin happened to see me, and he offered me a ride home.  You weren't there, so he invited me in."

Jess glared in Justin's direction as if to read on his face if this was true.  Logically, how would it not be true.  Jess's history of paranoia was beginning to ebb its way out into plain sight.

"Oh, well you could have called me," she shot back.

"Jess, I just learned what a phone was today...."  Sora was amused.  "Anyway, Justin and I have been talking, and he has been planning a trip to the east coast.  He said he would give me a lift in the direct of your president."

Jess's glare returned as she pierced daggers through Justin with her eyes.  "Oh, I see, well I was planning on taking you."

"You were?  I didn't even have a plan this morning."

Jess was not pleased with the way things were going.  "Well, if you change your mind, I'll be across the lot.  Some people just cannot be trusted."  She whisked around and stormed back toward her apartment. 

"I don't like the way that ended," said Justin.  "We haven't heard the last of this.  I'm sure she is on the phone with her uncle at this very moment."

"Well, what can they do?"  Sora brushed Justin's worry from her mind.  "So are you really up for taking me to the president?"

Justin sighed.  "Yes, I will.  But it will take a few days.  I have to get the last of my pay from the farmer, he is kind of slow at paying me.

Until next time!

15: Just When You Think You Know Someone

Justin had just re-bolted his door, just in case Jess decided to try and storm in.  He did not like the way she left without a further argument or threat.  When he was dating her roommate, she was always lurking around and trying to squeeze her way in.  Her roommate ended up moving out because Jess claimed that Justin was really interested in her.  Justin was never really sure what kind of threat Jess gave her roommate, but Justin was sure that is what broke them up.  Ever since then, he had tried to steer clear of Jess Cartwright.

"Justin," Sora interrupted his thoughts.  "I didn't leave my nation without any kind of financial support.  It might not be the same as your currency, but it should help."

Justin took a seat next to her on the black leather couch.  Sora was pulling a little pouch out of her pack.  She pulled open the leather draw string and dumped out thick hunks of gold that were molded into uneven disks.

"Where did you get all of this!?"  Justin was running his thumb over the heavy coin.  "This has got to be worth a small fortune!"

"We mine them in one of the mountains in the Kiswone Nation," Sora waved her hand nonchallantly.  "We use them as currency to sell our goods to one another."

"There is one mountain that all of this comes from?"

"Yes, we have not even needed to start looking into other mountains," Sora picked up one of the soft coins to run her own thumb over the top.  "We recycle the same gold most of the time.  There is a large store of it in one of the chambers of the castle.  Some of it hasn't even left that room for centuries."

Justin was in awe.  "This could be a very large case in getting the President of the United States to listen to you.  My country is in so much debt that his ears will perk up at the sound of large nuggets of gold just sitting around in another nation."

Sora began to fill her pouch back up.  "Will someone one buy these do you think?"

"There are a lot of people who would buy these up in a heart beat."  Justin put the few coins that he was holding into the pouch.  "But you don't want to sell these.  We'll need these later on, as they are."

"Listen, you should stay here tonight.  You can sleep in my bed.  I'll sleep on the couch...." Justin hesitated.  "I don't think it would be wise to stay with Jess."  Justin got up quickly and walked down a hallway.  Sora thought she saw his cheeks go red.  Once she realized why he had blushed, she blushed herself.  Truth be told, Sora did feel a bit uncomfortable going back to Jess's apartment.  She just couldn't get over the sickening feeling that something was not right.
Justin had changed the sheets on his bed, and put some on the couch to finalize the arrangements.  Their plan was simple.  Justin would talk to his boss the next day telling him that he needed some time off, and his last few weeks of pay.  The old man would see reason, after Justin smoothed over how long he would be gone.  Luck was on Justin's side, since there was not much to be done until it was time to harvest the corn.

The old farmer should be able to get Justin his money by the next day.  They planned on leaving that night.  In the meantime, Justin and Sora would make preparations with food, and a route to get to Washington D.C.

With their plans finalized, Sora gave Justin a hug, thanking him for his help, and bidding him a good night.  She entered his room to retire for the night.  She was very grateful for his generous heart in helping her.  She would be stranded without his help.  As a female Kiswan, he could not help appreciating such a good human, or was it Kiswan... or both?  As she laid in his bed waiting for sleep to wash over her consciousness, Sora thought of how Justin's short hair reflected the sunlight through his highlights.  His dark eyes had the same flecks of sunlight in them as well.  He was clearly a handsome Kiswan.  Sleep enveloped Sora, and she dreamed of Witold, trying to get to her to help her.

The sun had just risen, and Sora heard a distant, yet urgent knock on a door.  Sora sat up in the bed.  She heard a few thumps which may have indicated that Justin had fallen off of the couch when the knock sounded.  She smiled at the image, but remained where she was.  Something told her that it was not a good idea to go out into the living room.

Sora heard muffled talking for a few minutes, and finally silence.

A few minutes after the muffled conversation ended, Justin walked down to his bedroom, where Sora was staying.  He knocked quietly, and when Sora invited him in, he entered looking extremely worried.

"That was the sheriff."  Justin sat down at the end of the enormous bed.

"The sheriff?" Sora had not heard of a sheriff before.

Justin gazed up at her.  "Oh right.  A sheriff is a chief enforcer of the laws of the town.  He basically answers to the higher government officials like the mayor."

"Oh, what did he want?"

"The sheriff was looking for you.  He says that you are wanted for robbery... He claims that you stole a map of the mayor's when you were with him yesterday.  The whole police force has been instructed to watch out for you."

"What?" Sora was shocked.  "I didn't steal anything!  I looked at his map, while he was comparing mine with his."

Sora took her map out of her pack and unrolled it.  She had just then realized that Justin was holding a piece of paper in his hands.

"That is the same map in this picture," Justin handed the photo over to Sora to examine.

"How did he get this!  Mayor Cartwright was taking pictures of it on his phone, but how did he get it printed out?"

Justin looked at Sora's map.  "I don't know, but he is claiming that your map is his.  He sent the mayor here, because Jess told him that she had seen you 'nearby.'"

"I think that you should keep that map well hidden.  If Cartwright has the police involved, they will be back later with a warrant to search my apartment..." Justin paused and said, before Sora could ask.  "A warrant is a piece of paper that says the police can search my apartment, no matter what."

Sora was surprised, "I can't believe the treatery that seems to be so common here!"

"Yeah, well that is how it is."  Justin said matter of fact.

"Oh, yeah, they asked if you were here.  I said no.  I told them that my mother was staying for a few days.  I don't know how long that will hold them off, but I suspect someone will be watching me."

Justin made breakfast for Sora, pancakes with syrup, which was utterly delicious.  He then got ready for the day to head over to his boss' house to discuss his pay.  The plan was for Sora to keep a low profile while he was gone.  If anyone came knocking on the door, she was to remain silent until they left.  If the person was starting to break in, she was to head out the back window and hide in the place he described to Sora.  It seemed easy enough.

Nothing happened for many hours.  Sora was just quietly making her way through the house.  She was looking at every picture that Justin had, and every detail of his belongings.  It was very interesting.  He seemed to be such a simple person.

Her musings were interrupted by some rustling around the front door.  Sora tip-toed up to the door to look out the peek-hole.  She could see the top of Jess' head.  The doorknob jiggled, as Jess tried to open the door.  The next thing Sora noticed was a piece of lined paper being slid through the crack in the door.  Sora waited until Jess was gone before removing the paper.  She sat down and read the disturbing note.


You are making a huge mistake!  My uncle is the only one around here that can help you.  He knows the president personally, and he ensures that you will be safe with us.  We are you friends, and want nothing more than to help you succeed!  Please let us help you.  If you don't come to us willingly, then we will have to come and get you.  My uncle can either be your greatest asset, or your worst enemy.  Chose carefully.


Jess xoxo"

The change in tone was enough to give Sora chills.  What were these humans planning to do to her?

13: Finally Learning New Things

When Justin pulled his enormous truck into the parking lot, he and Sora walked toward the apartments.  Sora noticed that Jess's car was not in her parking spot.  She walked up to the door and tried the knob.  Locked.

Justin was watching, and when Sora turned back around, he said, "Well, I'm done with work for the day.  You can come in and wait for Jess to come back."

Sora's heart sped up.  The offer made her nervous, but it was extremely hot outside, and she could use a nice comfortable place to sit down and wait for Jess... and the court house did not qualify for such a comfortable spot.  Not with Mayor Cartwright lingering around, and his wife watching Sora's every move.  (Sora was not unobservant--they both regarded her as what they thought she was, an alien).

"Okay, if it is no trouble."  Sora responded.

Justin lead Sora down the sidewalk to where his apartment door was.  He unlocked it with a key and let Sora pass through first.

She took in the entry room.  It had an enormous over-stuffed black leather couch.   Jess's couch was so much smaller than this one.  Sora had arose that morning with a pain in her neck.  This couch, looked completely welcoming.  The rest of the room was scattered with books, and other things that Sora had never seen before.  Justin had an enormous black device on the wall, just like Jess's.  However, Sora had not been able to find out what it was.

Sora turned around to see Justin watching her as she looked around at everything.  "You really aren't from around here, are you?"

Sora shook her head.  "Everything here is so new, I don't even know what to think."

Justin walked past her.  "Do you want anything to drink?.... um, water or something?"

"Water would be very nice, thank you."  Sora responded.

"Have a seat on the couch, I'll be right out."  Justin then went into the room the humans call the kitchen. 

Sora heard clanking then the rush of water filling a glass.  Justin brought out a glass of water with little cubes floating on the top.  Sora brought the glass up closer to her face in order to see the contents a little bit closer.  She glanced up as Justin drank deeply from his glass.  As he drained the water, the little cubes clanged to the bottom of his glass.  She poked at the little thing floating at the top of the water.  It was cold.  Freezing cold.

Sora asked Justin, "What are these?"

"Ice cubes....... frozen water,"  Justin added since Sora obviously did not catch on.  "Come here, I'll show you.

Justin walked into his kitchen and showed Sora an enormous white box sitting up against a wall.  It had two handles on it that were to open two separate doors.  Sora recognized an identical piece of furniture in Jess' apartment.

"This is a fridge."  Justin opened the bottom door.  "It keeps food cold.  Milk, cheese, eggs..... anything you want to be cold."

"Oh, I wondered about the milk that Jess served me this morning.  It was very cold."  Sora bent down to look inside.  There were apples, grapes, carrots, and many other fruits and vegetables that the Kiswan enjoy.

Justin shut that door and opened the top door.  "This is the freezer."  He was looking very pleased to be giving Sora this tutorial.  "This is where we make ice."  Justin pulled out a little tray with little compartments.

"Look."  Justin said.  "I just filled this tray with water, after a few hours, it will turn solid.  It will be ice, like in your glass."  He pulled out another tray that had ice already in it.  "See?"

Sora touched the ice.  It was very cold.  Sora then turned her attention back to her glass.  She took a sip of the water, and drew a breath.  It was so cold in fact that it gave Sora chills down her arms.

"Wow!  This is so...... refreshing!"  She then began to drink more deeply from her glass.

Justin said, "Look what else we keep in the freezer.  He pulled out various containers of food.  One was ice cream.  "Let me show you a little treat that we have."

After dishing up the bowls of ice cream Justin lead Sora back out to the entry room where he sat down on one end of the couch with one foot tucked underneath him.  Sora sat on the opposite side, looking down at the bowl and spoon in her hands.  The bowl was very cold, it made Sora shiver.  As she took a spoonful and put it in her mouth, nothing surprised her more than the wonderful taste of vanilla ice cream with swirls of fudge running through it.

Justin laughed at Sora's expression, and she found herself falling into a very comfortable conversation with someone she had just met.  Nothing was ever this fun with Jess.  Sora felt like her relationship with Justin was a natural one.  They talked for a few hours about things that are human, before they returned to the Kiswone Nation.