Excerpt from Chapter -11 - Picnic with Panic

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   "...A picnic by a creek is just what it takes to finish five years of college work. Birds competing, amongst Nature's perfectly arranged tree branches; a symphonic background of sweet sounds and gently rushing water makes everything about this place a wonderful plein-air déjeuner (lit. trans. Fr.; an outdoor dinner or, a picnic).  But as nature does not like or consent to being perfect forever, as Marceline closed her eyes under her sunglasses, a strange and hazy vision started to form in her vivid imagination. She realistically decided a while back that her visions were not a bunch of hallucinatory litter caused by too much coffee. Resolving to abstain during a college exam, after having super dosed on several lattes, sometimes she would see floating white shapes, which resembled grotesquely shaped refrigerators or stoves. 
   At that point, she knew to back off on caffeine loading for a while. That routine worked great for a comfortable slide through an extremely difficult and long exam, but Marceline certainly did not overdo the habit. 
   But this time was different, Marceline was having a vision from the past; a warning of danger. Suddenly, in the quiet of that summer afternoon, Marceline's vision from her ancestral past, was a warning of approaching danger. The vision was there again; this time it was in the form of knights in full armor except they had no helmets and their grimaced faces bore painful expressions of battle. They rushed into her field of vision in a full gallop, stopped, reared up their horses and made menacing gestures toward her with their swords.  After looking left and right, they spurned their horses and galloped ahead at full speed, right over Marceline and up the hill, that the two girls came down earlier.
   Then her vision was gone, and all was quiet again. At this point Marceline took off her sunglasses sat up and looked around; she thought to herself, that must be a hallucination, but what does it mean?  Then she mumbled to herself, "The best course of action at this point is to just forget that illusion."
   "Did you say something Marceline?"
   "No, I was just reflecting on how lovely and beautiful it is around here."
  "Well, keep it down to a dull roar; I know this research and Uncle Phillípe's requests have put you under some stress lately, but there is no need to get rattled. Besides, face it Marceline we're done; we've finished our classes, and tests are gone forever. Think of an expression that a liberated person might say like, 'free at last.'"
   "You ponder that expression Sarah; I have a few of my own demons and ghosts to sort out."
   "Well, do it quietly; I'm enjoying this little repast far too much."
   Then, as Marceline put her sunglasses back on and settled back down on her pillow she let sounds and sights of summer, like that burbling of Putah Creek surround her. After few minutes of quiet babbling creek sounds and chirping birds, Nature reigned supreme but only for a moment. Suddenly everything went dead silent. It was as if the world of sound just abandoned them in an instant.
   Even the babbling brook stopped flowing and took on a different look. Instead of flowing, its water was dancing in place, like a night clubbers scene, with the creek's water bobbing like heads going up and down in a zombie dance.  It seemed like the world started to come apart, the earth was trying to turn upside down. Marceline removed her sunglasses again and said, "Sarah did you hear that?"
   "Hear what; I don't hear anything."
   "That's it Sarah; silence! I don't hear a dam thing; not a bird, breeze or creek ripple; not even the quiet rustling of tree leaves; nothing."
   Sarah sat up with a start; removed her sunglasses and said, "You're right I don't hear a thing; something's wrong Marceline. Then panic started to settle across the girl's faces...”

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