Children of Fear

A wide vista of huge, snow-capped mountains. It is not without reason that people call the Himalayas the roof of the world. As the sun glints off the icy peaks, it seems desolate, totally devoid of life.

Maybe not quite totally. In the distance, a small black dot in the sky is visible and getting larger. As it approaches, it appears to be a large, black bird — a raven — incongruously carrying a single peach in its talons. Seeing its destination, the raven starts to descend and, still carrying its precious cargo, swoops into a cave.

The walls of the cave are lavishly decorated with all manner of Buddhist-inspired imagery. Two men — one a large 40-ish American with red hair sporting a well-trimmed goatee and the other a small, bent elderly Chinese man, almost twice the age of his companion — stand arguing near a frieze of images, lit solely by the blazing torch held by the American. Suddenly the American spots something over his companion’s shoulder, and his eyes widen in shock.

But our story doesn’t begin there. It starts a few days later in Peking, a city enjoying its status as the capital of a Republic growing in stature and influence after shedding its Imperial heritage. A city where foreign powers are jostling with each other to win favour and influence. A city full of the noises, smells and bustle of rickshaws, market traders, street vendors and crowds of people going about their daily business. A city that is about to change the lives of some of its visitors for ever.

And, in wiki terms, it starts here: Main Page

Children of Fear

Banner vallephonique Tulgan yesbryn