|"Epiphanies 2: The Anasazi Road"|
Disclaimer: I would be the happiest woman on Earth if I owned any of these people, but sadly, only Josh, the Holbrooks, and Paul Hernandez are mine.|
Summary: This is the sequel to EPIPHANIES 1: The Ties That Bind. It picks up the evening of the Evans barbeque that ended the first story. Here, Max and Liz must come to terms with a shocking revelation about Liz and her Grandma Claudia. They search the past among Native American ruins and history to find the truth and each other.
Authors Note: I have done extensive research on the Anasazi for this fic. Most of what you will read is either factual or widely accepted speculation. I have, on occasion, filled in a gap or made an assumption that suits my purposes. The alien connection, of course, is my own Roswell-loving imagination.
|Liz blinked, trying to see her grandmother's face. I'm dreaming, Liz thought to herself. |
"No you're not, sweetie. And neither is Max. I'm really here." "Grandma, how did you hear me? I didn't say anything out loud. And why do you keep mentioning Max?"
Liz turned in the direction of the voice, amazed to see Max just behind her.
"Max?" She looked from one to the other. "This is definitely a dream."
"Well, if it is, we're dreaming the same dream," uttered Max, clearly confused and suspicious.
"Children, just be patient. I will explain everything eventually, but I need you to help me. Let's get comfortable, and I'll begin."
Grandma Claudia spread her hands, palms up, and transformed their surroundings to a grassy glen. They seemed to be at the base of a mountain, and the air smelled of pine. They could hear water running in the distance and Liz noticed a deer watching them from the woods. "We might as well enjoy this natural beauty while we talk, don't you think?" She spread a blanket on the ground, and the three settled down.
"Grandma, I don't understand. This dream feels so real. Why have you come?"
"First, little one, while it is true you are sleeping, this is not a dream. But this is the time you will be most receptive to what I have to say. And it's no accident that Max is here. This affects him as much as it does you. In fact, it is your being together tonight and your commitment to each other that has even made this possible."
"Grandma, this doesn't make any sense. What are you talking about?"
Max reached over slowly and took Liz's hand. His eyes had not left Liz's grandmother for an instant, and something about the look in his eye and the deliberate movement of his hand toward hers silenced Liz's questions. "I think we're here for a reason, Liz. Let's just listen."
Grandma Claudia smiled at them. "I would like to say, Liz, that I am very proud of you. Not only did you follow my advice to follow your heart, but you embraced these most unexpected and yes, frightening, events in your life without hesitating. I told you once that I saw myself when I looked at you. That was true in so many ways.
"Well, I should begin. We are about to embark on a journey together, an adventure. I know that it will be difficult at times, but I ask you to trust me, and each other. In the end, you will understand everything, I promise."
"I trust you, Grandma," said Liz, her eyes filling with tears. She bit her lip. "Can I hug you?"
"I'm afraid I'm not in a very huggable form these days, Honeybear. But we will be spending a lot of time together, and I will cherish every minute of it."
Max leaned against a tree, pulling Liz to sit between his legs against his chest. Liz could tell he was completely focused on her grandmother, but he did not seem afraid, and that calmed her. "Mrs. Parker, please tell us why we're here."
"Oh, Max!" laughed Grandma Claudia. "Please call me Grandma, just as Liz does. I consider you family. You have won my granddaughter's heart, and even if there were no other reasons, that would be enough."
Grandma Claudia turned serious. "Liz, Max, you have a great deal to learn about your past and where you came from. Much will surprise and, I dare say, alarm you along the way, but there is nothing to fear. I can't stay to explain everything tonight, but I can promise to guide you. Once again, I will ask you to follow your hearts, and follow the signs I will give you. You must be willing to see this through, though. You must be as committed to this as you are to one another.
"I have watched you. I know what you are to each other, and I couldn't be more pleased. I knew that night in the hospital when Max tried to help us say goodbye, Liz, that you had come to terms with his secret. And I knew you would be strong."
"You knew?" exclaimed Liz. "You knew about Max?"
Max was staring, mouth open, at Claudia Parker, or whatever image it was that claimed to be Claudia Parker.
"Of course, my dear. I knew about Max long before you did. But I had to be sure you were committed to each other, that your love was strong and lasting before I came to you. This journey requires that you combine your strengths and your gifts. There is no time for doubt."
Max's eyes opened wide. He remembered saying those very words to Sheriff Valenti at a point when he had to be believed; he had to trust. Is that what Liz's grandmother was telling them? Was this another crossroads for them?
"Now, whenever you are together like this," Grandma Claudia continued, "I will come to you and guide you in the next step of this journey."
"Together like what?" Liz was puzzled. "If you mean we have to be sleeping together, well, that will hardly every happen, Grandma. We're only 17. Our parents aren't going to let us sleep together. You know that!"
"I realize it's a difficult situation. Your mother would be horrified to know I was advising you this way, but you may just have to get creative. I'm not advocating your hurrying anything. We aren't talking about sex here. But we are talking about the combined force you create when you are together. And although it exists when you are together and awake, there are too many distractions and too little focus.
"Do the best you can. I know it won't be easy. For now, I must go. But before I see you again, I suggest you do a little research on the Anasazi."
"The Anasazi? The Native American tribe?" asked Max.
"They're the ones who disappeared like a thousand years ago and nobody knows why, right?" Liz asked excitedly.
Grandma Claudia chuckled. "Well, it wasn't quite a thousand years, and somebody does know why, but all in good time, my little ones. Meanwhile, do your reading, be aware of your opportunities, and wait for me to come again. I love you-both."
Grandma Claudia's image faded, leaving Liz and Max staring at the base of a mountain. Gradually, that scene faded, too, and they found themselves back in the darkness of their dreamworld.
"Max?" yelled Liz nervously. "Max?"
He was gone and Liz sat bolt upright in their sleeping bag. She scanned her surroundings and realized she was still in the campsite. Turning quickly, she checked on Max. He was staring at her, eyes wide.
"Liz, what just happened?"
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