Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Stars Within the Glass" by Karl Bjorn Erickson, Part Seven

She turned and looked in his direction. Her disheveled blond hair hid her features for only an instant. Then, David saw him again. The mask utterly concealed her features. His leering face of ageless madness and hate stared hauntingly back at him. For a moment, David thought that he, or it, glimpsed him standing there. It glared mockingly at him, displaying only the smallest hint of surprise...and something else. Was it fear?

David began to shake and silently cry, as he watched Laura tilt her head back and choke down the pills. It was not her face that turned to gaze directly at him with a look of triumphant hate. A smell like rotten meat made him turn away. Buzzing flies sounded in his ears. David opened his eyes, and a tear slid down his cheek. Metanoya was there again.

“Purifying fire and the gate to another land is the purpose of this place. Strive to
remember that hope through prayer is justified.” The stranger paused a moment before
continuing. “Now, the time has come. You don’t belong here, and you must return.”
“I want to go back more than anything, but I don’t know how. I’m lost.”
“Yes, you are lost. David, take your finger and place it in the soil. Make a cross there in the earth, and you will find yourself where you need to be. We will talk again someday.”

He was going to ask why Laura had done it, but something told him to do simply do
what he had been told. David knelt down and hesitantly extended a finger into the warm and moist ground. Like a breeze whispering through a stand of poplars, the words “John 14:14” gently filled his mind as the iridescent blue of the soil slowly changed to a milky red. Taking a last glance up at the tall figure above, David obeyed. While making the cross he mouthed the words, although he had never before considered himself religious.

The moment it was finished and the word “Spirit” had escaped his lips, he was instantly gone. He blinked and found himself sitting on a bench along the ship canal—just a block north of the science building. A police boat was just passing, swinging its spotlight lazily back and forth along the shoreline, and the lights of the Freemont Bridge sparkled in the distance. Besides the usual traffic noise in the background, the familiar rumblings of the demolition work from the neighboring shipyards made him sigh in relief; he was indeed back in Seattle. A light mist began to fall as if to confirm this.

The thought that it had just been a dream passed through his mind, but he glanced at
his hand. A glowing bluish green substance was caught under one fingernail—the nail
with which he had drawn the cross. Bringing his hand to his forehead in stunned
disbelief, he caught the feel of something long and hard caught in his hair. He removed it and was only somewhat startled at seeing a red fluorescent feather in his hand. The November mist was turning to rain as David rose from the bench and started to walk back towards the university campus. It was good to be in familiar territory again, and somehow he didn’t feel quite so alone anymore either. He had hope that he would be reunited with Laura some day in a place where every tear will be wiped away and where death itself would finally be destroyed forever.

The End

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