The Second Sign
Grandfather awoke at the entrance of the cave once again, the memory of the warrior spirit still vivid in his mind, the spirit's words becoming part of his soul.
When Grandfather looked out across the landscape, all had changed. The landscape appeared drier; there was no vegetation to be seen, and animals lay dying. A great stench of death arose from the land, and the dust was thick and choking, the intense heat oppressive. Looking skyward, the Sun seemed to be larger and more intense; no birds or clouds could be seen, and the air seemed thicker still. It was then that the sky seemed to surge and huge holes began to appear. The holes tore with a resounding, thunderous sound, and the very Earth, rocks and soil shook.
The skin of the sky seemed to be torn open like a series of gaping wounds, and through these wounds seeped a liquid that seemed like the oozing of an infection, a great sea of floating garbage, oil and dead fish. It was through one of these wounds that Grandfather saw the floating bodies of dolphins, accompanied by tremendous upheavals of the Earth and violent storms. As he held fast to the trembling Earth, his eyes fell from the sky, and all about him, all at once, was disaster. Piles of garbage reached to the skies, forests lay cut and dying, coastlines were flooded and storms grew more violent and thunderous. With each passing moment, the Earth shook with greater intensity, threatening to tear apart and swallow Grandfather.
Suddenly the Earth stopped shaking and the sky cleared. Out of the dusty air walked the warrior spirit, who stopped a short distance from Grandfather. As Grandfather looked into the face of the spirit, he could see that there were great tears flowing from his eyes, and each tear fell to the Earth with a searing sound.
The spirit looked at Grandfather for a long moment, then finally spoke. "Holes in the sky."
Grandfather thought for a moment, then, in a questioning, disbelieving manner, said, "Holes in the sky?"
And the spirit answered. "They will become the second sign of the destruction of man. The holes in the sky and all that you have seen could become man's reality. It is here, at the beginning of this second sign, that man can no longer heal the Earth with physical action. It is here that man must heed the warning and work harder to change the future at hand. But man must not only work physically, he must also work spiritually, through prayer, for only through prayer can man now hope to heal the Earth and himself."
There was a long pause as Grandfather thought about the impossibility of holes in the sky. Surely Grandfather knew that there could be a spiritual hole, but a hole that the societies of the Earth could notice would hardly seem likely.
The spirit drew closer and spoke again, almost in a whisper. "These holes are a direct result of man's life, his travel, and of the sins of his grandfathers and grandmothers. These holes, the second sign, will mark the killing of his grandchildren and will become a legacy to man's life away from Nature. It is the time of these holes that will mark a great transition in mankind's thinking. They will then be faced with a choice-a choice to continue following the path of destruction, or a choice to move back to the philosophy of the Earth and a simpler existence. It is here that the decision must be made, or all will be lost."
Without another word, the spirit turned and walked back into the dust.