Even an endless journey begins with a single step. I took the first step on this adventure a few years ago. I remember sitting down for the first time with the intention of writing a book. I had no idea what I was doing or where to start. I still have all the notes, outlines and even diagrams I was drawing as I mapped out the story. When I compare them to the finished product I am struck by how far the story has come and I begin to recall some of the highlights of this wandering journey. I remember the countless intense and enlightening conversations with Sharon. I remember the book designer nailing the cover design after only one conversation and I remember learning a lot from an editor who understood intuitively the story I was trying to tell.
Today marks another noteworthy step on this happy road I continue to travel. As I logged on to one of the many Interweb dashboards I use to update one thing or another in the world of on line self-publishing I noticed that I had sold the very first copy of my book.
Yee-ha!! What a great feeling indeed!
To mark this joyous occasion I am posting below an excerpt from Courage Passion Wisdom and Grace. I hope you find this small piece of a much bigger story entertaining and evocative. I am certainly enjoying bringing it to you and I would love to hear your thoughts.
Questions, comments and conversations are always welcome.
An Angels Sword of Light
It had been over a week since Sharon and Brett had separated. Half her heart was hoping this time apart would wake him up. Maybe he would realize her gift was real and she had a task to accomplish. Maybe he would see how important it was, not only to her, but to their future. The other half knew the truth. He has never shown any sign that he was willing. He wasn’t going to try to understand her gift or her struggles. He didn’t think she should get involved in anyone else’s life even if they did ask for help. He wanted things to go back to the way they were. Back to what he considered normal. Normal to him was living in a bubble. Screw everyone else as long as they were all right. He didn’t realize that his idea of normal was anything but and Sharon could never go back to the way it was.
Sharon had not crossed over since the night of their argument over the door repair. This was a little unusual, but she was grateful and she welcomed the rest. Tonight they called her and it was time to get to work.
As she slipped away from this world and crossed to the other side, she noticed it looked different. The night sky was black. Where were all the millions of stars that were normally shining brilliantly, lighting her path? Where were all the Angels? It was an inky, dark night. She had no sense of direction. She felt the back of her neck tingling and she knew something was about to happen.
Far away figures started fading in and out all around her. They appeared to be flying along at the same pace. They also appeared to be getting closer. As they did she caught a better glimpse. She saw hideous, disfigured faces. Their snarling mouths were missing teeth. Their eye sockets were empty black holes. Sharon felt the tension of a battle coming. But this was unlike any of the previous fights. Her crew was nowhere to be found. She was alone and she couldn’t help but wonder why. Where was her back up?
Then right in front of her the most horrific demon appeared and disappeared in a flash. But before it did its claw left a gash on Sharon’s arm. It tore the sleeve of her cloak. A red spot grew on the white fabric. Soon there were more Ghoulish and ghostly creatures swarming in every direction. She was outnumbered. She was scared but she knew there was no choice. She had to fight. She unsheathed her sword.
No ordinary sword, it was an Angel’s sword of light. It is not meant to kill or maim even though it is wielded in the same way as a conventional weapon. When it penetrates the skin it removes the darkness from the being. If darkness is all that exists then they will indeed die. But if there is any light left to survive they will be given a choice. Turn to the light and embrace it or perish.
As Sharon stood her ground most of the demons that felt the blade of her sword that night were dying. Not a good sign. More were on the way. She felt another claw scrape her lower back and she buckled over from the pain. She fell from her flight and landed hard on solid ground somewhere in a strange world. She thought it was all over. The demons that were chasing her were not far behind. She could hear their high-pitched curdling screams calling out from the blackness above.
She pulled herself off the surface of whatever she had just landed on. All at once the screams were interrupted by a thunderous crash. It echoed all around her. She looked up at the figure now standing next to her and, even in the midst of all this chaos, couldn’t help but smile. There, standing right next to her was Toumakin. He was as tall as a high rise building. He held a tomahawk in each hand and he was ready to use them.
She yelled to him, “What happened? Where is everyone?”
The ear piercing screams were coming closer.
Toumakin yelled back, “There is no time!”
He grabbed her by the cloak to emphasize, “You have to fight! FIGHT!!”
She felt invigorated now that her partner was there with her. Her sword felt light. As the demons came at her she dispatched them with ease and divine grace.
Toumakin was unstoppable. His hatchets flew with deadly accuracy and met every mark dead on. The enemy was no match for his spirit. Soon they were on the retreat. And then again it was just Sharon and Toumakin standing.
The darkness slowly lifted and the stars began to twinkle and shine again. The Milky Way lit up like a celestial super highway.
Two bright stars appeared high above the two warrior’s heads. Sharon and Toumakin stood staring up at them. It was hard to tell if they were getting brighter or getting closer. They lit up all that was around them in a soothing golden light. Where before there had been nothing but darkness, they could now see the forest clearing they were standing in. It was surrounded by pristine wilderness. Rich full foliage, emerald green in color, clung to majestic trees on the outskirts of the meadow. Tall grass swayed slowly in a gentle breeze. They could see all this like it was mid-afternoon but the sky was still filled with stars. The colors of the landscape were vibrant. Everything around them was alive.
A male voice started speaking to them. It was coming from one of the two bright stars that were bathing the whole scene in light.
With a booming confidence it said, “You have been trusted with a gift and given a mission to lead souls away from fear and towards love. To teach them to love themselves.”
With every word, the star expanded slightly and sparks of energy flew off in every direction to the rhythm of the syllables. They hung in the air for a brief moment before fading.
Then an equally confident sounding female voice took over, “You had to be tested to be sure you had the courage. It will not be an easy path. The farther you get, the steeper the climb will be.”
When the female voice spoke, the other star pulsated and sparkled.
“You are a good teacher. One of the greatest ever. But you have been faltering. You must lead by example. It is time for you to live your truth. It is time for everyone to do the same.”
The male voice returned, “Waste no more time trying to teach those who do not wish to learn.”
Toumakin stood silently next to her. Now they turned their attention toward him.
The male voice spoke, “She is a handful. You must make a choice. Do you still want to be attached to her?”
There was a slight pause as the gravity of the decision settled in, not only on Toumakin, but on Sharon as well. She got the feeling that Toumakin was already acquainted with the booming voice. It made her feel a little like an outsider.
An unearthly silence enveloped them. Sharon looked at Toumakin. Her eyes were moist. She had the look of a child that was about to cry. For a split second she thought she might lose her best friend. No one could ever replace him.
Toumakin looked overhead at the beams of light shining down on them. With an entire mountain of belief in his heart he said, “Yes. I will be attached to her forever.”
Sharon smiled and cried tears of joy. She turned to Toumakin and hugged him. She knew right then they would always be a team.
Paradise slowly faded away and Sharon woke up in her bedroom. It was late morning on a Saturday. She attempted to get herself out of bed. She could barely move. With a lot of effort she first sat up and then stood and walked slowly to the bathroom. She looked in the mirror and noticed the scratch on her arm. It was a little sore, slightly raised and reddish. She turned, lifted her shirt up and looked at her back. Three more scratches all parallel to each other.
It’s not like this never happened before but this was the worst she had ever felt after crossing over. She deduced from this that the message they gave her last night was very important. But she still wasn’t sure who they were.