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The Wisdom of the Oracles

The Wisdom of the Oracles

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The Wisdom of the Oracles

Longueur:
162 pages
2 heures
Sortie:
Jan 31, 2021
ISBN:
9781922389572
Format:
Livre

Description

>A world’s wisdom is being corrupted. How can Adam and Evelyn fight back?



12 year old Adam Bracks’ life in Year 6 takes an unexpected turn when he collapses in class and has a dream of an evil, murderous wild man… a dream he is fascinated by. When he and classmate Evelyn Caldwell go on a bush walk they are stunned to find themselves stumbling into the medieval kingdom of Lau, a kingdom which is falling under the spell of the murderous wild man of Adam’s dream.



As the dreams continue, Adam must come to terms with the reality that he has come to this mysterious kingdom in their hour of greatest need. The people’s guiding light, since the beginning of time, has been the insight of their “chosen one” their wise-man, called the Oracle. We meet Erebus, the Kingdom’s Oracle at this time. Over centuries the teachings of the Oracles have been recorded in the kingdom’s greatest possession, the book called “The Wisdom of the Oracles”... but The Book itself is leading the people astray. 



Will Adam and Evelyn’s own sense of wisdom be enough to save the kingdom from a bloody civil war?
Sortie:
Jan 31, 2021
ISBN:
9781922389572
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur


Aperçu du livre

The Wisdom of the Oracles - Michael McCaskie

About The Wisdom of the Oracle

A world’s wisdom is being corrupted. How can Adam and Evelyn fight back?

12 year old Adam Bracks’ life in Year 6 takes an unexpected turn when he collapses in class and has a dream of an evil, murderous wild man… a dream he is fascinated by. When he and classmate Evelyn Caldwell go on a bush walk they are stunned to find themselves stumbling into the medieval kingdom of Lau, a kingdom which is falling under the spell of the murderous wild man of Adam’s dream.

As the dreams continue, Adam must come to terms with the reality that he has come to this mysterious kingdom in their hour of greatest need. The people’s guiding light, since the beginning of time, has been the insight of their chosen one their wise-man, called the Oracle. We meet Erebus, the Kingdom’s Oracle at this time. Over centuries the teachings of the Oracles have been recorded in the kingdom’s greatest possession, the book called The Wisdom of the Oracles... but The Book itself is leading the people astray. 

Will Adam and Evelyn’s own sense of wisdom be enough to save the kingdom from a bloody civil war?

CONTENTS

ABOUT THE WISDOM OF THE ORACLE

DEDICATION

PROLOGUE

MAP

1. DAMAGED GOODS

2. THE EVELYN THING

3. EREBUS

4. ORACLE

5. EXILE

6. ALABASTER

7. TO KNOW WHAT THE RIVER KNOWS

8. …WITHIN A DREAM

9. MOTHER

10. IF YOU WANT PEACE, PREPARE FOR WAR

11. THE EARTH IN HIS HAND

12. THE FOOL RETURNS

13. EAST

EPILOGUE

VOCABULARY LIST

ABOUT MICHAEL McCASKIE

COPYRIGHT

For Margaret

IMPORTANT NOTE

You will soon meet the character Evelyn Caldwell. She wants me to tell you that, when she shortens her name to Evvy, it rhymes with heavy. She hates it pronounced any other way… and, I’m sure you’ll understand, we need to keep the characters happy.

PROLOGUE

The Declaration of Lore of the Kingdom of Lau

He holds the future in his hands

And the past in his mind.

His power is expressed in his words.

He is our way.

One is chosen by the king,

Chosen for his honesty, his wisdom, his far sight,

Chosen… not won in battle.

He is our way.

In his writings he exposes the evil abroad in the world

And the good in men’s hearts.

We trust the words of the Oracle.

He is our way.

Everyone who lives in the Kingdom of Lau learns this Declaration of Lore from birth.

But you can’t believe everything you’re taught, can you?

1

DAMAGED GOODS

Value your dreams.³

They are windows to the truth.⁴

The Book of Gifts by Salvatore

Chapter 3 verses 3 and 4

The Wisdom of the Oracles

Tragically, the ten hunters could not smell the stench of murder lying foul on the moist morning air.

They moved in silence in the predawn light, stepping carefully around the muddy shores of the wetland. The shallow lake was dark in the gloom but soon enough it would reveal its silver-blue brilliance. Ropes connected to each side of a large net were expertly thrown over high branches of the trees on the shore. One of the men moved to the far side of the lake, spear in hand, and began to line up his target. The hunters felt a sense of pride in their actions. Their ancestors had been catching birds this way for thousands of years. When they were finished, they would thank the earth for offering up the birds and then pray for their spirits to be freed. These spirits would enter the hatchlings born this spring so that no bird came to an end… their life simply cycled back into the next generation.

The sky lightened, the birds and the hunters waited. A lone liquid amber, heavy with autumn-red leaves, stood on higher ground, away from the salt water tides. In silence one leaf dropped, floating and flitting on the cool breeze, landing gently on the forest floor where it would rot into the earth and be gone.

Finally, a white gold sun crested the horizon, the wetland shimmered and the birds sprang to life, some wading, some flying, many calling in full voice across the water. Two men wrapped the ropes around their hands and drew them taut, their eyes focussed on the distant spear thrower who carefully tied a white cloth to his weapon. When a large number of birds had gathered in front of the hunters, the spear thrower launched his weapon high into the air. It arced through space, the cloth flapping wildly, appearing to the wading birds to be an eagle flying towards them. As one, they took to flight, away from the oncoming ‘eagle’.

The men hauled on the ropes, lifting the net high into the air straight into the path of the escaping birds. The moment they hit, the ropes were released so that the net fell to the ground, trapping the birds inside. It was a good catch. It was still early and the day held the possibility of further catches. But suddenly the men froze.

There, on horseback some distance away, sat a solitary figure whose hair and beard were long and wild, but it was the narrow, piercing eyes and hard mouth that gave a hint of his deadly intent. The hunters were terrified… an air of immense power flowed from him. Calmly he raised his bow, aimed and shot an arrow straight through one hunter’s heart. And then another. In a moment, nine hunters were dead. Seven shot in the back running for their lives. This left the spear thrower.

It took several minutes to chase him down, but shortly the wild man was riding home, satisfied with his morning’s work.

Adam Bracks’ life changed in an instant after he collapsed on the classroom floor and began convulsing. When his eyes finally flickered open, he immediately wanted to go back to the dream of the wild man. It had been terrifyingly real and he needed to know why he had killed the hunters.

Twenty minutes later a class-full of blank faces stared into the ambulance, parked in the playground, as Adam lay helpless on the stretcher. Now, he had always wanted to ride in an ambulance, especially if its siren was blaring. He’d often imagined himself at the wheel, accelerator to the floor, allowed to drive on the wrong side of the road, weaving through traffic at breakneck speed. But this was all wrong: he wasn’t supposed to be the patient! Tiredness was overwhelming him, but surely he was fine and that this whole thing was an over-reaction by his teacher, Mr Hanna, who now sat beside him in the ambulance.

Okay, so he’d passed out in class. Was that so weird? Sophia Jackson had fainted last summer during a school assembly in the playground. Right in front of the Prime Minister. Yes, South Niessa Public School had played host to the Prime Minister! Right in the middle of the National Anthem, while everyone was singing in full voice, Sophia splattered herself right across the playground. And the blood! Head wounds can be spectacular. They took her to sick bay and gave her water (the class thermometer that day peaked at 42°C). But did Sophia Jackson get an ambulance? No! It was all handled quietly and respectfully.

He was swaying from side to side as they manoeuvred along the winding road leading to Niessa District Hospital…and his mind began to wander. It was only an hour ago that the drama teacher had sent him to the office for disrupting the class… and while he sat silent in the time-out room he’d listened to Mr Hanna in the principal’s office next door. Clearly neither of them considered the possibility that they might be overheard.

Oh, Adam’s distracted a fair bit of the time. He’ll wander around, talk while I’m teaching. But the other kids love him. They’re very loyal. Paul Hanna had made a coffee 10 minutes earlier but hadn’t managed to drink any of it as the principal plied him with questions about how Year 6 was going. Mr Hanna was feeling very happy with the class, but four weeks into the school year, the principal was checking on one of the school’s long term ‘problem’ children.

Mr Hanna wanted it known that Adam was not causing the difficulties that other teachers had described. His reputation in the school had been damaged over the years by fights and running out of classrooms and hiding. But not so far this year. If he starts to wander around by himself at recess or lunchtime, Mr Hanna continued, the other kids come and get him and bring him into their games. In group work in class, there’s always someone who wants to work with him… his biggest strength is that he’s kind. He’s vague but he treats the other kids very respectfully. He’s basically a very likeable kid.

Mmmmm. He seems to be more settled this year, the principal agreed cautiously. No running and hiding… so far. Have you met his mother yet?

No. Tomorrow night’s interview’ll be the first time.

The Principal grunted. Never met his dad… doesn’t come to school functions. Mum’s supportive though.

Adam’s eyes stung. Tomorrow night there would be no mum at the interview. For two long weeks now he’d been without her. He sank to the floor and put his thumb into his mouth and started sucking… it made the weight that was always in his stomach a little less heavy.

I’d better go. They’re due back from drama any moment. On his way, Mr Hanna regretfully poured the coffee down the sink.

Adam decided that he might just as well head back to the classroom too and hope the drama teacher would forget to check with the principal as to whether he had turned up. He was one of the first to walk back into the classroom but he couldn’t help himself. Sometimes he just wanted to be a small child again, to go back to a time when things were happier. He dropped to the floor and began crawling on the carpet like a baby. He remembered being yelled at by Mrs Maher in Year 4 for doing just that but it hadn’t stopped him. The other students began to straggle in through the door, but when Mr Hanna entered he stopped, watching Adam on the floor. He turned to the class and said, ‘What do you do when someone comes into the room crawling?"

The students simply stared at him.

He yelled, You chase him, of course! Mr Hanna dropped to the floor and took off at the fastest crawl he could manage. The class responded as Mr Hanna hoped. Twenty-four voices all began to chant, Adam, Adam!, Don’t let him catch you! and Go Adam, go. Adam began crawling under chairs and desks where Mr Hanna’s larger frame didn’t really fit. He began to giggle and then laugh aloud until his chest was heaving, and still he crawled on, always out of reach of his larger ‘hunter’. But finally, there came a moment when he could crawl no further, he was laughing so much. He rolled onto his back, flopping his arms above his head. Mr Hanna gave up the chase and sat puffing.

The class cheered.

Okay everybody, Mr Hanna called. Adam Bracks is officially the class champion crawler. Everyone laughed and cheered. Adam, lying on his back, fist-pumped the air. Mr Hanna stood and reached out to him. Need a hand up, mate? They grabbed each other’s wrists and and Adam was heaved upwards. Their eyes met, and in that moment, something passed between them. Whatever might happen this year, they knew they were on the same side.

Could I have everyone’s attention, Mr Hanna spoke with authority. We have a new rule: No crawling on the floor. I’m disgusted at such behaviour, especially from myself! A quiet class chuckle rustled

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