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Arrows Through Time


    A Time Travel Tale of Adventure, Courage, and Faith
   By Debra & David Lawrence
  Arrows Through Time is an entertaining, enchanting, and enthralling flight of fantasy – an ageless tale for all ages.  An Inca girl spurned by her tribe.  A California boy lost in a storm at sea. An Israelite kingdom in upheaval. These unrelated calamities intersect at the mountain retreat of archeologists Ben and Alison Hunter.  Displaced in time, Kawsay and Nate, their improbable young visitors, materialize out of the night and interrupt a sabbatical with an astonishing series of revelations.  An accidental intruder has disrupted a pivotal event in ancient history, and it must be set right – somehow.  Family members left behind are in mortal danger.  The value of one lost girl is magnified beyond measure by the power of love.  Small events drive great consequences.  The entwined predicaments cannot be remedied without courageous deeds, trust in God, and guidance from a creature as old as time.  Their daunting problems become portals to unexpected blessings.  Or was it really destiny?  Like arrows that fly beyond the fetters of time to unknown targets, they all discover profound purposes beyond the horizons of their imaginations.   

“A must read for anyone fascinated by time travel and its possibilities. An intriguing, insightful, and inspiring tale of faith, fate, and heroism with compelling characters and surprising twists.  What do you do if something in history goes wrong?Are different time periods accessible and perhaps tantalizingly close?  How do you respond when encountering someone from another age? Arrows Through Time weaves a thread through the Inca Empire, ancient Israel, and modern times.  This fun, fast-moving adventure will take you on an unforgettable journey.”
- Professor Channing Robertson, School of Engineering, Stanford University  
“Each chapter had me wondering what could possibly happen next. How enjoyableto read a book with a plot line that is hard to anticipate. Further, the book explores the theological truth that the presence of God reaches even beyond the bounds of time - we can trust His providential hand to guide us through any circumstance.”
- Reverend Peter Loughman, First Presbyterian Church, Anchorage, Alaska  
“An absolutely fascinating read! Surprises abound! I was enthralled by the story!The characters are warm, memorable, and believable, and the settings
thoroughly researched. Have you ever imagined visiting past or future times?
Meet Zevél and other fascinating time travelers. So well-written, with
characters so real, you will wish you could take your own time journey!
With the past, present, and future in disarray, you will find yourself wondering -
How will all this get resolved? Boundlessly creative!”
Betty Skladal, Educator, President, Anchorage Woman’s Club  
“Arrows through Time is the best novel I have ever read.The characters so alive you’ll feel you are sharing in their wondrous adventures.This book has everything - love, suspense, adventure, faith, humor, and hope.  It will inspire you to think and wonder and grow.”
- Maggie Ross, Senior Telecom Project Manager (Retired)  




            Immediately, she felt herself being sucked down deep into the Earth by an irresistible force.  She could not breathe!  She panicked!  This must be the beginning of the severe and painful death she used to overhear her people say she would surely endure.  She was accelerating downward at a speed she thought impossible.  It was too dark to know where she was or what was surrounding her.  The life is being sucked out of me.  I’m dying.  She thought of Yachay.  What would he think when he came looking for her and she was gone?  Would he think she had been killed in the jungle and never made it?  No, he would find her tracks and see that she had made it.  And then, would he step through the elusive wall and die too?  She could feel the blackness.  The air was being sucked out of her body.  She was flying, flying through a tunnel.  She felt herself gasping when...SMASH...she slammed into something hard and lost consciousness.


            Kawsay’s breath had returned to her.  She awoke suddenly with the feeling someone, or something, had nudged her.  It was very dim, but not totally black.  The air was damp and smelled earthy.  Her legs hurt.  I wonder how far I fell.  I must have ended up at a lower level of the cave.  But it felt different somehow.  She must figure out where she is now.
            She slowly stood up and felt stiff, as if her joints had all frozen and refused to bend.  She felt as if someone or something was watching her.  She looked toward the dark recesses of the small chamber and thought she detected movement.  She became fully alert and then became aware of a different smell, an animal smell.  This can't be good.  She slowly turned around and saw what looked like a doorway.  She realized the dim light was coming through the doorway behind a huge animal.  Oh no!  A great jaguar has followed me and trapped me here!  But this monster was bigger than any jaguar she had ever seen.  She could feel the blood slowly drain out of her head and thought she was now experiencing her first real test of courage, her first encounter with true danger.  Would she be a coward and faint?  Against her will, Kawsay felt her body turn to jelly as she slowly slumped into a puddle of human fear on the cold rock floor.  In the safety of unconsciousness she dreamed about hugging the neck of the Chief’s jaguar stool.  She could feel its warmth.
            Slowing awakening and trying to get her bearings, she became aware she was again someplace new.  The air was damp and earthy, though, and she could still smell the beast.  She slowly opened her eyes, squinting to see and wondering if she would be pounced on, torn to shreds, and devoured.  She could see an enormous ceiling sparkling above the huge, dimly lit room.  Kawsay opened her eyes wider and was amazed at the stalactites, stalagmites, and vast arrays of twisting helictite crystals surrounding her.  She was in a giant sparkling jewel box. This must be the jewels of the Earth her grandparents had told her about!  She thought she could stay there forever, lost in its spectacular beauty.  The ceiling was laced with crystalline vines, many of which looked to be as long as she was tall.  She heard a stream.  She lay there listening to it for a moment while taking in the luminous beauty above her.  At least I will be looking into the heavens when I die. 




            The girls looked closely at Yachay and giggled louder.  “It’s not Halloween yet!  Halloween!  Halloween!” 
            Yachay had no idea what they were saying, but it was not threatening.  In the moonlight Yachay could see that one of the girls looked about six years old and the other maybe eight.  They had yellow hair and pale skin.  Yachay had heard of yellow hair and just yesterday he had seen pale skin.  He wondered why the girls seemed to think he was so funny.  They were now jumping around saying, “Ug, ug, ug.”  Yachay looked back up the side of the boat at the luminous sky.  His arm was crusted with dried blood and was still oozing.  The girls were jumping on stools that were against the low fence that protected them from falling into the water.  They climbed from the stools up to the top of the fence, looked down at the water, then jumped back onto the deck giggling.  Yachay did not think it was safe for the young yellow-haired girls to jump around on the edge of a huge boat.  They looked at Yachay, giggled, and then climbed back up to the fence whispering.  Yachay was keeping an eye on the girls.  He decided to take off his sling and tuck his spear as far into it as possible.  He realized he was dressed very differently from anyone he had seen and decided the spear would not help.  He secured the pointed end of his spear into his sling along with the pouches that were tied around his waist.  He wanted to keep all his possessions and weapons together and safely in his sling.  There was not much he could do about his tunic and bare legs. 
            As he was about to strap the sling across his back, a loud booming horn pierced through the rumble.  His eyes darted over to the girls, and he saw the younger one fly off the fence and down toward the dark water.  In a single motion, Yachay dropped his sling, grabbed the older girl, whose scream joined the horn, and pointed her toward the front of the boat where the people were.  He shouted “Yanapay!” as his momentum joined with a push-off from his feet and carried him off the stern of the boat right behind the small yellow-haired girl.  Yachay had anticipated this type of accident so he was braced for it.  The girl glided on the wind and splashed into frigid water, which silenced her scream.  Yachay’s arms were outstretched – he could almost touch her.  Just as the force of her body hitting the water halted her flight, Yachay’s hands reached her and his arms engulfed her small body.  He did not want her to get away from him in the moonlit darkness.  He clutched her to his chest as they both plunged beneath the frigid surface.  He held his breath and hoped he had not knocked the air out of her small lungs as he landed on top of her. 
            He could not believe how cold the water was!  It felt like icy daggers slicing his body.  He needed to get her out.  But first he needed to get her up to the surface.  Yachay held her with one arm and fought to get to the surface with the other.  He looked around under the dark, frigid water.  There was enough moonlight to illuminate the bubbles on the water’s surface, and he could feel the roughed-up turbulence from the boat’s wake.  He swam toward the faintly lit bubbles.  His head broke the surface, and he took a breath.  While kicking hard with his legs, he held the girl’s head out of the frigid water.  He could not tell if she was breathing.  Yachay shook her shoulders.  He did not know what to do.  She coughed.  Yachay could see her face in the moonlight.  He could also see the huge boat moving away.  The girl was sobbing.  A good sign, Yachay thought.  Yachay knew he needed to get the child out of the frigid water.  He wanted her up on his shoulders.  But how could he communicate that to her when he could not speak her language?


Chapter 1. 
Year 1596
Small Village Near Vilcabamba, Peru 
No place and no time
Is too small or too remote
To rescue one life.  
Please let my baby live!” she pleaded as tears began welling up in her eyes.  Sumaq was sitting on the straw floor of the Chief’s hut clutching her newborn.  As she nervously adjusted her baby’s brightly colored woven blanket, her eyes rested on the Chief’s jaguar-shaped carved stool.  She envisioned it coming to life and biting him if he denied her honorable request.  Sumaq had always loved and respected the Chief, but this was about life and death – the life and death of her second child and first daughter.  She was the last child Sumaq would ever have with her now forever-gone husband.
“Please permit me to nurture and train this child until her thirteenth birthday so she can learn about the jungle,” Sumaq pressed her case.  “Then she can be sent off to live there on her own, banished from our village forever.  If the gods help her and she survives, she can dwell in the jungle for the rest of her days, but if she dies, it will be the judgment of the gods.”  Sumaq anxiously looked from face to face at the private late-night gathering of the most senior elders of her small tribe.  With her long dark hair and light brown eyes, Sumaq, just twenty-two herself, looked like a wounded child.  She had recently suffered the loss of her beloved husband and now, just two months later, faced the required sacrificial death of her newborn daughter, Kawsay.
“We have discussed this matter at great length,” the Chief said, moving his hands in a broad arc toward the somber elders.  “Because a short time ago you suffered the death of your husband, we have decided to grant your unusual request to let your daughter remain with the tribe until her thirteenth birthday.  But there are conditions.  She will not be permitted to participate in tribal activities or interact with the other children.  You must also understand that after she leaves, she will never be permitted to return.  If your daughter is to learn the ways of the jungle, it will be from you and your family,” the Chief concluded.
The Chief knew that allowing this baby to live would engender great resentment among other families who had been required to sacrifice their own deformed newborns.  Kawsay had been born with a cleft lip.  By the tradition of her small tribe, all deformed babies were to be sacrificed on the first full moon following their birth.  The Chief understood the expediency of this custom.  Since the Invaders destroyed the Inca Empire, this small group of survivors was ill equipped to care for anyone born with great needs.  Yet, the Chief had never had peace about a practice he considered child sacrifice.
The next afternoon the Chief prepared for the tribal meeting.  Walking among the excavated terraces of corn, potatoes, beans, and peppers, he struggled for the words to convince his people that the right and just decision had been made in sparing little Kawsay’s life.  As he watched the orange Sun slide toward the mountaintops, he hoped the great sun god, Inti, would give his words power and authority.  The Chief looked down at his llama hide sandals and realized he had dressed in his finest knee-length tunic and brightly colored vicuña wool cloak, accented with ruby red parrot feathers.  He had been so preoccupied by that little innocent Kawsay, it was difficult to concentrate on anything else.
When the Chief arrived at the tribal meeting he noticed everyone was present except, as he had instructed, Kawsay’s mother, brother, and grandmother, who were noticeably absent.  Scanning the faces of his people in the dusky firelight, some curious and some livid, he began speaking.  “As you all know, our dear young friend, Sumaq’s beloved husband, was taken from us only two months ago.”  The Chief motioned toward the broad, intricately cut stairs leading down to where they were all seated.
The Chief continued, “Already a great stonecutter, our dear friend did not even get the chance to meet his precious little baby daughter, Kawsay.  As you also know, our dear little Kawsay has a miniscule dimple in her upper lip.  If it were not for the tragic loss of our dear brother, the child’s father, we would be announcing the decision of the elders whether this particular abnormality, this tiny dot on the child’s lip, requires a sacrifice.  However, in light of the family’s situation, we, the elders and I, fear the great Inti will punish all of us if we take little Kawsay from her grieving mother and now fatherless brother, Yachay.  Their beloved father is in the afterlife undoubtedly making beautiful stone works for our great and just Inti.”
The Chief looked around to see if his people were buying his downplay of Kawsay’s lip and diversion to her deceased father.  He noticed a half-smile on Kawsay’s grandfather’s face, and that the curious faces looked more placid and the formerly livid faces were merely shades of pink rather than the crimson color of the sunset sky.  Rumors had already passed through the tribe that Sumaq had given birth to a deformed baby, and its life would be spared.
The Chief continued, “In order to be just to both Sumaq’s family as well as those who have sacrificed their own babies for similar, albeit more severe, abnormalities, we have decided that the child will be raised and trained to survive in the jungle by her family until her thirteenth birthday, at which time she will be sent there permanently where her survival will be determined by the gods.  For those of you who believe this child should be sacrificed, in spite of the insignificance of her abnormality, you will be comforted by the likelihood that her death will simply be postponed and undoubtedly will be a severe and painful death alone in the jungle by starvation, by fever, or in the jaws of the great jaguar.  It will very likely be much worse than a painless and merciful sacrifice as an unaware infant.”  As the harshness of this prediction impacted his listeners, the Chief, looking beyond them toward the cloud-draped darkening peaks of the surrounding Andes Mountains, abruptly asked, “Now, is there any other business to attend to before we are finished here?”
Kawsay was to spend the next thirteen years with her small tribe hidden high in the Andes in an area that is now modern day Peru.  Her tribe had been formed by a group of survivors who escaped from domination after the Inca Empire was dismantled in 1532 at the hands of Spanish conquerors led by Francisco Pizarro.  The members of the tribe had cloistered themselves just trying to survive, believing the outside world was hostile.


Chapter 2. 
June – Three Years in the Future
Menlo Park, California 
Our small family
Will there be a second chance
To be together?  
Nathaniel topped the dune and scrambled down to a deserted campsite.  The tent door flapped in the gathering wind.  “Dad! Where are you?”  The howling wind answered, stinging his eyes with sand.  “Dad!  I’m here.  Please be OK!”  Looking around in desperation, he saw a figure receding into the dusty air across the valley.  Sprinting in pursuit, he began to discern the awful form of a Philistine giant – the largest he had seen – carrying his manacled father over a hulking shoulder.  No! he screamed to himself.  We’ve already lost Mom.  I need to rescue Dad!  Nathaniel caught up with the giant and began pelting his back with rocks.  The giant turned and sneered.  He reached down flung Nathaniel through the air.  Nathaniel braced for a hard impact, but instead splashed into a cold, swift stream.  Struggling to swim, he was rapidly carried away by the current.  He heard the roar of a waterfall and in an instant was again airborne.  He looked down between flailing legs to sharp rocks far below.  “Dad!  Help!”  His thoughts raced.  Who will take care of Dad?  Mom is gone.  He needs me and I need him.  Dad!  Dad!!!  Nate accelerated toward impact.  Thud!
The front door closed loudly, jolting Nate awake.  His eyes tried to focus.  Dad!  Thank God he’s home.  I must have dozed off.  What a dream!  Nate was comforted by the familiar sound of his father dropping a heavy briefcase and humming as he checked the mail.  “Hi Dad,” Nate called out, still shaken by his dream.  He reached up and felt the imprint of his laptop keyboard on his cheek.  Nate recalled he had finished his regular homework and had been searching the Internet, trying to wring additional meaning from the Hebrew word usually translated as “deliverer”.  He had gathered that a deliverer rescues, provides a way of escape, or brings someone to a place of safety.
After warming a plate of weekend leftovers, John Diamond hurried upstairs to see what his son was up to.  His tie was loose, his light brown hair was a little mussed, and he was dark around his light blue eyes, but his hawk-like gaze missed nothing.  He was not surprised to see Nate immersed in one of his special projects.  “How are you, Son?  Sorry I’m late again.  Tomorrow we hope to close the genetics company deal I’ve been telling you about.”
“I’m great, Dad.  Glad things are working out.  I had a great day!  Found out that I aced the Calc AP exam.  I think I’m the only sophomore who took the test.”  Nate stretched and ran his fingers through his slightly shaggy blonde hair.  “Guess that means I can pick up the martial arts training again, right?”
“Great!  Sure.  A deal’s a deal.  I still wonder what to do with you after the next school year.  Hard to select the right college when we’re not sure what you really want to study.”  John sat down on the edge of the bed and continued shoveling in the late dinner.  He put his iced tea on the night stand.
“Well, Dad, I’m already studying what I care about.  I don’t know how to take it to the bank, but languages, Biblical history, archeology – that’s what grabs me.  My friends can’t imagine why I find all that interesting.”
John was happy his son was unique in so many positive ways, but was not sure exactly where he would find his niche.  “Nate, you know how I feel about all that.  There’s a great difference between hobbies and vocations,” John said between bites.  “Just like I love golf and sailing, but it’s my venture capital business that keeps us afloat.”
“I know, Dad, but can you really see me working in an office like yours?”  Nate associated offices with prisons.
“You’d be fantastic at anything you put your mind to.  I’m just waiting to see where your compass points once you finish growing up.”
Nate had been feeling more grown up these days.  With his father absorbed in his demanding investment business, Nate had learned to take care of all his domestic chores, set his daily schedule, and even find answers online to a young man’s almost endless questions.  Yet he knew he was still a work in progress and often looked in the mirror and wondered who was gazing back.  He also knew he must really love his dad because he missed him when he was cloistered at the office in Palo Alto with his business partners as they tried to find the next big hit.  “Yeah, I wonder about that too,” Nate mused.  “It’s funny how much alike we are in some ways and how different in others.”
“You know, Nate, it’s the differences that I value in you the most.  No really!” John continued holding up his hand.  “So many of your special traits remind me of your mother.”  He paused and fought back his emotions.  “It’s been twelve years now.  Even though you were only four, I’m grateful you remember so much.  There’s not a day I don’t think about her, about our loss.  God I hate cancer!  Why can’t one of these darn start-up companies find a cure?”
Nate wanted to comfort his father.  “Dad, you’ve been great.  Sure, I wish she was here too, but you’ve been like two parents to me.  You know that whole rebellion thing?  Know why I’ve not given you a hard time like most teens?”  This new thought had just occurred to Nate.  “It’s because you have challenged me to be the person I was created to be.  Despite all your advice, and I know you only want the best for me, you have never told me what I ‘should’ do, at least since I was a kid.  You’ve just made sure I thought about all the possible consequences of whatever I was thinking about doing.  There’s nothing to rebel against!  You’re not just ‘Dad’.  You’re the best friend I could ever have.”
After a thoughtful pause, John said, “Nate, I was so worried when you had that car accident a few months ago.  When I first got the call, I had this sudden fear that you had been killed; that I’d lost you.  I don’t think I could take losing your mother then you.  What would I have left to live for?”
“Funny thing, but all the time I was in the car hanging upside down by my seat belt, I just knew it wasn’t my time.  But you’re right that it was a close call.  If that Morrow guy hadn’t been right there to pull me out, I would have been burned to a crisp.”  Nate paused.  “You know what’s even more weird?  When you took me over to thank him, he appreciated it and all that and wondered how I was doing, but he swore we’d met before and that he should be thanking me!  I had no idea what he was talking about.”
“Who knows? The mind can play tricks. You probably reminded him of someone,” John suggested, keeping to himself the fact that Morrow had met his son on another occasion.
“Yeah.  Well, he didn’t remind me of anyone I’ve ever met.  He looked like an angel – and not just because he was helping me.  He had this really light blonde hair, almost white, and really striking light green eyes.  I’ll never forget him,” Nate recalled.  “He also had a funny scar in the middle of his forehead.”
“I’m just so glad you were able to get out of there alive.  It’s great to have you around!” John said, trying to lighten things up.  He was aware that he was giving too little time to Nate, the only person left in the world he really cared about.  His company always seemed to trump his plans for spending time with Nate.  While he knew this had to change, he also realized his day-by-day input into Nate’s life was paying off, and Nate was getting to a level of maturity where he would not need his dad at all.  John finished the last bite and set the plate down.  He looked up at his son.
“Nate, I really regret cancelling last year’s trip.  I know you were excited about it, and I really let you down.  I came across the old brochures last Saturday and made some calls today.  I’ve secured the same boat we were going to rent last year and got us some plane tickets to Nassau.  Can we get ready in 5 days?”
“I know a no-brainer when I hear one, Dad.  I can be ready in five minutes!” he exclaimed, becoming animated.  “I don’t think I ever unpacked that waterproof sea bag you got for me last year.”
“Well, I think we’re both overdue for this.  Are you sure you can tear yourself away from the ancient sands of the Middle East for some sandy beaches in the Caribbean?” John asked with a wink.
“Look, Dad.  I know I’m a little obsessive, and I know King David was no sailor, but remember, I’m your son.  I’m sure we had nautical ancestors.”
“That’s right, mate.  Maybe pirates!  Arrrrgh!” John said, recalling some of the role-play games of Nate’s youth.  “Seriously, Nate, are you sure you want to leave your research projects for three weeks and gunkhole around with me?  I sometimes wonder if you really belong to an ancient civilization because you seem so drawn to them.”
“No, don’t you see?  We’re both obsessive, just in different ways.  I have to admit, though, that I sometimes wish I could live more than one life – one here with you in the modern world and another during some exciting time in history.  It’s frustrating, you know, to try to really capture what life was like for people thousands of years ago.  No matter how much I research, all I hear is an echo.  I can’t picture what it was like.  I can’t really see it, touch it, taste it.  I guess you just had to have been there!”
“Well, Nate, I know that you’ll follow your heart.  Maybe you’re destined to be the greatest archeologist or historian in the world.  You know I’ll always be with you all the way.”  Before his eyes could betray an intense inner sadness and a large dose of fear, John looked away.  “I better resurrect that packing list and get started.”


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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1


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