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DanLindaKing

MONTANA AUTHOR DAn KING

Dan lives in Bigfork, Montana, with his wife Linda and two dogs, Sophie and Tucker. Born in West Virginia, he spent his first eleven years wandering those hills before moving to the middle of the Mojave Desert and the banks of the Colorado River in Needles, California. There, he lived and played through his high school years. When he moved again, it was to be a student.

Dan earned his Bachelor's Degree and Master's in history at the University of Redlands in southern California. He journeyed to the mountains again for his doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado. Professionally, Dan was a teacher, a vice-principal, a curriculum specialist, a high school principal, an Assistant Superintendent, and a Superintendent during his 40 year career.

His wife Linda was an elementary school principal for many of her thirty-eight year career in education. Together, the two have seventy-eight years experience of working with young people.

His two children, Lisa and Steve, are married with families. Lisa and her husband Scott, a Commander in the US Navy, have two sons: Wyatt and Nick. Steve and his wife Tonia, have three children: Alexandra, Chloe, and Roan.

Dan has always loved literature; novels that have a historical basis are his favorites. The stories he writes reflect this strong attraction.

COMING SOON...

 

THE GOLDEN BEAR

 

PROLOGUE JERUSALEM 73 c.e

 

....(continued from home page)

 

The one called Gabriel stood regally still, his eyes passing over each man in a slow, almost mournful way. Those eyes flashed as he spoke. "Tonight, we are finished. Tomorrow, the Romans will end this eight year battle and destroy our beloved temple. The core of our Jewish life will be no more."

He paused, allowing the words of reality to seep into each one of the men sitting around the table. He reflected on how very important this group had been for the last fifteen hundred years of guiding and directing the Jewish people in their service to God.

"But," he rifled out to them, his voice seemingly causing the flames to jump. "We cannot allow our purpose and collective memories to die. Our forefathers, others known as we are known, faced like tragedies as that before us. When they were taken to Babylon, we were kept alive. When the temple was destroyed before, we were kept alive. This is just another punishment by God; but perhaps his worst. Tomorrow, everything we know and love will be destroyed." His last words were but a whisper.

Gabriel began again, at the same tearful level. "You know it was all foretold for us, 'First Gog, and then Magog'. This son of Vaspasian and those he commands are at least one of these. Right now they await the morning light to perform their last sacrilege and destroy the temple." He paused, wiping away a tear.

"Forgive my tears. This is not a time for tears, but a time for bravery and stealth. Now is the time for us to part. We must separate and go different ways; if not individually, then in groups of no more than three. To do otherwise would be to attract attention and destruction. Our way of life here is over."

Gabriel took a sip of cool palm wine to dampen his parched throat for the next thing he was to say.

"We will never see one another again, and may not in a thousand lifetimes, or even ten thousand lifetimes. Others who bore the names each of us are known by made sure that we knew their stories, the secrets and knowledge that had been passed down through the centuries. We must remain faithful to those memories and to those who walked in our sandals before us."
He shuffled anxiously on his feet, wanting to get on with the inevitable and sensitive to the draining of the sand.

"In front of each of you is a bundle. In it you will find traveling clothes, some gold coins of the realm, and a sword. Put them on now and remove your priestly garments. I suggest that you leave those fineries here, but if you must, secret them away. You must not be detected."

As the room bustled about in the changing, the man next to Gabriel motioned for him to make haste, the darkest hour of night was nearing. They all needed the coverage of absolute darkness to have even a chance of escape.

"I know Michael," the leader spoke. "But this is important. It is forever. A few extra minutes are worth it."

Gabriel appraised his new audience. "Good! On the finger of your left hand you each wear a ring. This ring marks you as God's chosen; the best among all men, for every reason. It will be the responsibility of each of us to train and educate another to replace us, in name, in the mysteries, and in the wisdom of our faith. You all know who we are and who we have been. Our sacred relics and documents have been hidden and a record made of those caches secreted away. We are through here," he sighed.

Gabriel looked out lovingly at those few who had been so special to him and to history. He did not fully understand what was transpiring, only knowing full well that life as he had known it was changing at that moment in time. It would never again be the same. His temple faith would transform into something totally different he knew. The faith in the one God would undergo tremendous challenges; this he also knew. He raised his hands, spreading his arms wide and gave his parting prayer.

"Most holy and merciful Father, watch over this small select band of Your followers, Your chosen, as they go off into the unknown, hostile world You created for us. Guide us to Your intended destinations to do Your will. Give us courage in the times of adversity ahead and keep us knowledgeable of our way. We give our thanks for the faith and trust You have in us to meet this challenge." He lowered his arms and picked up his cup. "Beware the Romans and all things Roman. Shalom." With the final word, he drained the cup and turned to his companion.

"Let's go Michael." The two nodded and slipped out through the shadowed doorway.

The remaining members left quickly. Two of them went to secretly board a merchant ship bound for southern Gaul, west of Rome. Two more sought another ship headed for Espana and beyond, and one went alone. Two others headed south and into Egypt. Another lone individual planned to stay closer to home and live among the Ishmaelites. Gabriel and Michael planned to head north, skirting the reaches of the empire and go into the northern world of non-Roman peoples.

The next day, the Romans, under the command of Titus, the son of Vaspasian, entered Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. One million, three hundred thousand Jewish men, women, and children were slaughtered by the Romans that day. In 135 of the Common Era, Hadrian rebuilt the city, but banned all Jews from its limits.

In 1071, the Turks came and destroyed the city once again. This was followed in 1099 when Christian Crusaders massacred every man, woman and child, Muslim, Jew, or Christian in the city.
In 600 c.e., Mohammed was born to the Ishmaelites. In 691 c.e., the Dome of the Rock was built on the site of the Old Temple.

But to tell all of this, I would get far away from the story at hand.