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Part 7

Luke McCord had lived in this area all his life, just getting by.  People had come and gone in his life but Hellsprings remained.  He wasn’t sure why.  He’d been an only child, his father had disappeared before he was born and he wasn’t a mixer.  Most of the people who had come into his life were transitory.   Girlfriends had come and gone, usually migrant workers from outside who had come to work in the local tourist spots.  That was just the way Luke liked it.  He wasn’t one for getting into commitment.  He stayed well clear of that.

Not that any woman would give him a second glance now.  The years had not been kind to Luke McCord.  He shrugged his well worn shoulders as he reflected on his current, lonely state.  When he’d been a young man and passably  good looking, getting women wasn’t a problem.  It was now, though.  His job didn’t help either, out of the environs of the town, the lone watchman for Hellsprings. Dang it, hardly anyone came here.  Yeah, a trip into town was on the cards.

He was a terrible sleeper so in many ways, the job suited him. Sitting outside his shotgun shack in the early morning, a large cup of coffee in front of him, he blinked his eyes in surprise.  Someone was coming.  Coming to the spring.  No-one usually did that.  Not this early.  Not even in the days when the town had been a somewhat prominent tourist destination in the region.  

Luke observed a tall, dark figure emerging out of  the horizon.  What was more, the figure was hooded.  Good grief!  Some weirdo. Probably up to some kind of mischief, he reckoned.  He decided that he’d better check out what was going on.  That was his job, after all.  

The tall dark hooded man, wearing what seemed like a heck of a long overcoat, paused in front of the spring, his gaze fixed on it directly.  

“Hey, what’s going on?  You got some business here?”

“Yes,” came the reply.  To Luke’s dismay, the voice seemed somewhat other worldly.  Whatever that meant.

“Well, I’m sorry,” replied Luke. “But you don’t need to come back here until……yeah, nine o’clock.  Got that?”

“Please do not worry.  My work will only take a few seconds.  I shall not disturb you.”

“Now, hold on a minute. What exactly do you mean by that?”

“Stand clear.”

“Stand what?  What exactly did you say?”

“I said ‘stand clear’.  That means stand far away from me.  I don’t wish to hurt you or cause you any disturbance.  Now please get back.”  The commanding tone in the voice was unmistakable, but this was Luke McCord’s territory.  An outsider couldn’t just breeze in and take over….

“Wait a minute!  What do you mean by…..”

“Exactly what I said.  I’ve warned you.  The rest is up to you….”

An unexpected blast knocked Luke backwards.   There was a fiery radiation from the stranger’s direction.  Luke was thrown clear of the scene.  He was even unconscious for a couple of minutes.

And when he came around,the ground was scorched where the mysterious stranger had been standing.  The stranger was gone. And Luke had a thundering headache, not to mention an aching back and a pain in the neck.

Just what the heck is going on here?

 

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Part 6

Oriel was back in his room.  He seldom booked into hotels.  He had places he could stay in if he needed.  Sometimes, so set on his mission, he didn’t even bother.  But today was different.  Tomorrow, he was going to enter the inside of the earth.  He was going to go down there and get Rebecca.  To say he wasn’t afraid would have been wrong.  He had no idea how to go about this. How long would this mission take?  Could he do this?  Was he crazy?  Every fibre of his being trembled.  He couldn’t do this. Yet he couldn’t not do this.  

The room was bare.  He had no belongings to leave lying around.  No.  Oriel always travelled light. He absently opened the drawer of the locker beside his bed and there he saw it.  The Gideon Bible.  Here in Hellsprings!  He drew it out.  He loved the Word.  It was food and drink to him.  Yet he never carried it anywhere.  It was written in full on his heart.  Yet he felt the need to feast on the Word right now, like never before.

He opened the well thumbed book and went straight to Psalm 23.

Even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death/No evil will I fear?For thou art with me

His thoughts wandered back to his last meeting with the Master. He had promised to be with Oriel and although he had not encouraged him to take up his Mission. He had promised to be with me, Oriel mused. I am not alone. The Word of God always comforted him in his dark days and today was one of those days. One of the darkest ever. He didn’t remember feeling this dark since before the Great Sacrifice. Or the time of the Great War of the Heavens, when he and his brother companion Caladrel……Caladrel! What had brought him to mind right now? He hadn’t thought of Caladrel for centuries. Caladrel, his brother and dearest friend. Someone he missed deep in his heart, even today. His beloved brother had been lost in the Great War. Oriel found it hard to believe that his brother had defected to the other side, but apparently, it was true. A moan escaped him. The battle between good and evil was ongoing and casualties were always there. If Caladrel was not alive and on this plane, where was he? Was he a prisoner of Hell, like Rebecca? Perhaps……

“Don’t doubt me, Oriel. I told you I would always be with you. You have a cloak of invisibility you can always use as you visit the pits……”

He looked up and found himself looking into the gentle and fathomless eyes of the Master. “Master…” He fell on his knees before the Lord, totally in awe and reverence. The Master had deep, penetrating eyes that did not blink.

“You know the cloak of which I speak?”

“Yes, Master. It’s the Word. Written on my heart…..”

The Master smiled, satisfied. “Even though you walk in the valley of the shadow of death, no evil will you fear…..remember how my earthly mother hid from the enemy before My Mission began…..she was surrounded by the Word and by Divine Love. That shield is available for you too, Oriel. Use it well…..” Oriel felt heartened by this Visitation….

Later in the night, he prayed for several hours.

“Almighty Father, in the name of Your Divine Son, forgiving all who have injured me……” He paused, recollected and continued.

“Your Holy Word says that whatever we ask for in prayer, believing, we shall receive……” Again he paused….

“I ask that You give me the strength to go down into the depths of the Enemy’s lair and bring back Rebecca….my child. She was taken there illegally.”

Then he let the heavenly language take over, the prayer of the heart, the prayer of the Spirit. He knew not what he said but he knew that his Lord did. Having finished his prayer, he fell into a deep sleep.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Novel

 

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Part 5

Hellsprings.  The very name inspires terror or at the very least, a feeling of foreboding.  A town in the desert.  Known for its sulphuric springs which were unearthed by the first settlers, if nothing else..  Something which gives it a reason to be and helps at the same time has spawned and industry that has helped the inhabitants to survive.  The fact that some scientists had discovered that this was the site of an ancient volcanic added to the tourist value.

But those who know, know that there’s more to Hellsprings than just a diabolical name and a reputation for sulphur laden waters.  They say the town got it’s name from prospectors who had heard a rumour that that there was gold buried in the desert.  They’d dug for what seemed like an age and instead of gold, had found the springs instead, with water containing a higher than usual level of sulphur.  Much higher than usual.  The arid conditions of the place and the deathly heat led to their naming the town in disgust rather than joy.  Hellsprings!  Not exactly a name to inspire confidence was it?  That’s where Oriel was.  He’d reached there by stealth and he’d had to shake off more than a few followers on the way.  Because whether one knows it or not, every corner of this earth is under surveillance.  Hell’s minions abound and their lease on the earth is not yet expired.  Their population has tripled in the last few years alone.  Provided they don’t draw attention to themselves, these agents can live for years at a place. But they watch everything and no miniscule piece of information escapes them.  Oriel had attracted their attention at a number of places.  The man who keeps walking and never stops to eat or sleep.  He hadn’t had too much trouble shaking them off, but the fact that he’d had to was a grief in itself.

So.  Here he was.  And the next step?  Access to the underworld.  Oriel wasn’t looking forward to it.  But it had to be done.  And here he was, sitting alone in a bar in Hellsprings.  It wasn’t the only bar.  The town was quite prosperous, courtesy of the springs.  But he had to keep a low profile.  The last thing he wanted was to be spotted here.  This was the one place where he could walk straight into a trap.  They were everywhere.

“Stopping by or passing through?” came a voice, disturbing Oriel’s reverie as he lingered over his mineral water. An short, shifty looking man with a sibilant voice and rotten teeth had eased himself in beside Oriel. 

“Both,” he replied laconically, with a nod of his head in acknowledgment of the fact that he’d been addressed.  He didn’t want to meet eyes or get involved in a conversation.  He had a mission to fulfil.  And he would fulfill it.

“What’s yer name?”  The local was a pushy type and didn’t give up easily.

“Eastman.  Andrew Eastman,” he replied quietly, not wishing to be perceived as unsociable.

“So what brings you here, Andrew?” Some people never give up, do they?

“I was in the area.  Thought I’d stop by and check the place out…”  As non committal an answer as one could possibly give.

The local stared at him keenly.  “You wanna meet some…..” He dropped his voice conspiratorially.  “Ladies?  For company?”

“Nope.”  The finality of the reply was unmistakable.  Oriel wished with all his might that he could grab the local by the collar and tell him to get the hell away.  But that would be playing into their hands and Oriel would never do that.

“You staying here?”  Oriel nodded in the affirmative, without meeting the local’s eyes.  Was this local in fact one of them?

“See you around, then,” the local said, moving away.  Oriel breathed a sigh of relief.  Thank God.  It wouldn’t be long now.  He finished up his mineral water and left it down on the bar.  He should be in his room.  Praying.  Getting ready for the morning.  For the moment when he’d leave the relative neutrality of the earth’s crust and go straight into enemy territory.  He needed to put on the whole armor of the Lord.  What had possessed him to come into a bar and put himself in the way of detection?  Was it a last minute need to linger among humankind?  The Master also loved human company.  Oriel, his servant, was no way different.  He too loved the human race and dedicated his whole existence to them, as his Master did.  And it was dedication to one human being that motivated him now.  Rebecca……..there was no way he was abandoning her to her fate.  No matter what.

He stood up and went to his room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in Novel

 

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Part 4

Rebecca was out there somewhere. She didn’t know where. Nobody did.

“What’s happening? How did I get here?” was all she could think to herself. The words stuck in throat. She was racked with thirst. Surprisingly, not hunger. Only thirst. She was unable to enunciate a word and she was squashed up as if in a cupboard. She must have been there forever. She had no consciousness of time and there seemed to be no relief for her thirst, her loneliness, her sense of disorientation. She had been here forever. She sincerely hoped she would not be there forever.

She had memories of another life, but they were dim, faint memories. The last thing she remembered happening to her before she’d wound up here was dicing with death on the railway tracks. That was a little game she and Sy loved to play when they were drunk, really out of it. They would go and sit on the railway tracks and jump out of the way of the train just before it arrived. It was a great buzz. Sometimes, they even parked the car on the tracks and indulged their darker side. She always knew when Sy was getting in the mood for this. After copious amounts of cider he’d say something particularly dark.

“Let’s tempt the Grim Reaper,” he’d say, grinning. Yes, she remembered. But now, it was all over. The Grim Reaper had been tempted too many times. Now there were no more chances.

She had come to grief in that car on the railway tracks. She’d seen from afar the car in a mangled heap. Sy had escaped but she had gone under the train. Mercifully, after a brief moment of agony, it was all over. She’d roamed weightless for a while. Then a few really dark looking characters had arrived and bore her off to some kind of courtroom.

The characters who had borne her off were dark looking creatures indeed. They looked overly familiar. Just as she had roamed with a crowd who dressed in dark colours and favoured the deathly pale look, these creatures looked as if they moved with the same crowd.

When Rebecca had been a child, she had often astounded her mother by discussing her imaginary friend, a tall beautiful creature who came to play with her every day. Oriel. A golden creature of light who had told her many good things. As she’d grown older, Oriel seemed to disappear from her life. But that day, the day her existence had changed forever, she had seen Oriel again.

There seemed to be some kind of court in session. The main item on the agenda was she, Rebecca. A tall, decaying looking character (for that was the only way to describe him), he too deathly pale and giving off an aura of corruption and menace, seemed to be arguing that she belonged to the dark world. She was in love with death, he argued. She had courted it. She had no place in the Kingdom of Life and her own life was the witness to that. They even had video recorded scenes from her life to prove this. Oriel, on the other hand, argued passionately that something was badly wrong. She had gone way before her time. Had she another chance, she would prove herself. He had been over-ruled.

She longed to go to her old childhood friend, to feel close to him and safe again. She was not allowed to do so. Unseen hands had borne her away to this place.

Strange, but deep down in her spirit, she felt Oriel speak to her. Sometimes so clearly. What was he saying?

“Rebecca, I’m coming…….”

“Oriel, I’m waiting……come soon!” she tried to reply. But she dared not enunciate the words. Although she was packed in what seemed like a suitcase, she knew she was being watched. Observed. Commented on. So she clung to her hope that Oriel would come. Meanwhile, she suffered on. Waiting, just waiting.

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2011 in Novel

 

Part 3

Spirits are as real to each other as creatures of the flesh are in their own dimension. It is when the creatures of one dimension meet those of another that the trouble begins. Sometimes, creatures of another dimension can seem as real to us as if they are creatures of flesh and blood just like us. As long as we are unaware of the difference, we may be fooled completely. However, once we realize that the creature with whom we are interacting is in fact someone from another plane, they immediately appear colourless, transparent and even unreal. In order for Oriel to blend in on planet Earth, it was necessary for him to remain far away and distant and not to get too close to anyone. He would retain his spiritual powers but would be inconspicuous as long as he could melt into the crowd.

The anonymous man was just a face in the crowd. No one knew or recognized him. He never got tired. He had food to eat that nobody knew about. It was the word of God written on his heart and in his mind. He needed no place to stay, he could walk day and night. His shoes never wore out. Sometimes though, he needed time to stop and reflect and even rest awhile.

As long as the Enemy never detected his presence in the world of men, his plan could go on. If, however, the Enemy’s forces got an inkling of his presence, his cause was as good as finished.

His spiritual vision was excellent. He could see far more than mortal men could. He could see the spirit activity all around. The lost despairing souls, the ones stuck in the world of men because of misplaced attachment yet not belonging there. It was enough to break the hardest heart.

“One day the Master will come back and sort it all out,” he reassured himself, when caught by the spectacle of lost souls, some of them sad little children who had lost their way. “At least they can’t come to any more harm now. Lord, keep them safe until you come back!” Then the memory of one particular child would come flooding back with all it’s poignancy.

‘Rebecca, I’m coming!’ he inwardly told her. ‘I’ll find you and bring you back. You’ll get your chance again. For I believe you were taken illegally from the world of men. At the very worst, you should have been allowed to remain here as a spirit until Judgment Day. You should not be in Hell…..”

“Need a place to stay for he night?” hissed a voice in his ear.

“No,” he replied.

“Then where are you going?”

“West,” he replied.

“Need a lift?”

“I’ll get there without one.”

“How?”

He ignored the speaker and strode on. He had no interest in getting into conversation with anyone, he aim was so completely on his goal.

He was indeed going west. Towards Hellsprings. Then he would go about his task. All that was needed was a little more time. Not to mention avoiding being detected.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2011 in Novel

 

Part 2

Since the dawn of time he had enjoyed touring through space. The Creator’s universe was rapidly expanding day by day. Even at it’s very dawn it had been so vast and so huge. It was bigger than ever and would continue to be so – indefinitely and unto eternity. It was so difficult to believe. If a person searched for years together, centuries even, he would never, ever come to the end of it. There were worlds within worlds.

“Infinite unto eternity,” muttered Oriel, with something like awe. The depths, mysteries and wonders of the universe never ceased to amaze and astound him. Mankind argued that no matter how big the universe was, it no man could travel there without a heap of sophisticated spacecraft.

“Man is a creature of the flesh, now more than ever since he became a mere mortal.” But for a spiritual being, a supernatural being, the universe was a wonderful, vibrant mystery just waiting to be explored.
“How she would have loved to see all of this. Now she never will,” pondered Oriel, his heart heavy within him. Then he started for a moment and smiled to himself.

No less a One than the Master himself had given Oriel a second chance. He was going to go down, into the very pits of Hell if necessary and bring his charge out of there. Oriel was simply spending some time by himself, thinking and of course planning. Not to mention the most important preparation of all. Yes. Praying.

He would not return and take his place in the Heavens nor would he be assigned a new charge. He would stay on this case – vanish into the world of humanity and from there find his way to that dreadful place. He trembled at the thoughts of what he would have to go through in the underworld. But Rebecca was there. He would have to physically go in there and rescue her. He prayed earnestly that the Master would be with him at least spiritually. He too had gone down there and taken many away from there.

“It will all be worth it. I cannot fail her. I will be successful and bring her back from there,” he declared. He prayed to the Father, the Creator, in the name of His beloved Son. That was the sure-fire way to have the Father answer his prayers. Always.

Why was he making this arduous and dangerous journey?

“For Rebecca,” he told himself and he knew it was true. There was one more reason, however. A reason as old as time.

“Why was the underworld so very keen to obtain Rebecca within its grasp and so early?” He was unable to figure it out. His protection had always been enough for his previous charges unless they literally had a deathwish. Oriel had never slumbered. He had watched Rebecca day and night. The one moment when his attention had been diverted for a second, she had been wrenched irrevocably from his grasp. There had to be a sound reason.

Rebecca was a young woman born in unfortunate circumstances, but he had never seen the Enemy so keen to snatch a soul. Oriel felt that the reason for this was something that went back far further than anyone could have dreamed.

“The Enemy has her soul illegally, I’m convinced. I’m not sure of the reason but I feel that this mystery goes back a lot further than anyone could imagine.”

Oriel flew towards the earth to accomplish his mission.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2011 in Novel

 

Part 1

“Where will I get peace? I’ve so totally failed. I can’t believe it. She’s gone forever….” Oriel couldn’t begin to describe the feelings that were going around in his head.

Everyone assumes angels have it made when it comes to spirituality. They are supposed to have this peaceful, serene existence. But take one look at Oriel. See the dilemma. The situation. Sleep refused to come. Being awake was torture. He decided to talk it over with the Master. He understood everything.

The Master was full of kindness and compassion. He was totally supportive.

“It wasn’t in your control. She was following the ways of the world. It was her own choice. God gave mankind free will…”

“But Master! She was going through a bad phase. She would have come back eventually. I was waiting and watching for that. If she could have remained alive for just a few more years. That accident should never have happened.” The Master’s eyes were serious, but full of compassion. He looked tenderly at the angel.

“She had her chance to hear the message. She chose to ignore it, Oriel. Why do you needlessly blame yourself?”

“Master, I know You speak the truth. But look how she heard the message! And look who gave her the message. Those priests and teachers had no enthusiasm for the Word at all, they were simply following the prescribed pattern. With guides like that, I’m hardly surprised that she didn’t give the Good News her serious consideration.” Oriel could never have believed that he would speak to his Master in this way. Yet it was all right. He never became offended. Suddenly, a glimmer of hope seemed to appear in his mind.

“Master?”

“Yes, Oriel? How can I help?”

“I can’t go back to the Heavens, I’m not at peace. I can’t think of staying here and taking on another case. I’m not ready. I have a request….”

“Go ahead.”

“Master, may I go down there and look for her? If she’s ready to come back, now she knows what she’s got herself into, I’m ready to take her back no matter what it takes.”

The Master frowned.

“Do you know what you’re asking?”

“Yes.”

“You understand the dangers?”

“Oh, yes.”

“Do you realize how difficult it is to resist the blandishments of that community?”

“I will never give in. But my child – my child is there among them. I will never rest if I don’t try at least one last time….”

“I know that,” replied the Master. “I understand your feelings perfectly. That’s why I’m agreeing to your request.”

“You are? I don’t have to seek permission from the Father?”

“The Father and I are One,” came the reply. “All power in Heaven and Earth is given to Me.” Oriel fell at his Master’s feet. The Master blessed him.

“Above all, keep your faith at all times. Pray constantly to strengthen yourself against temptation. One more thing you must remember…”

“Yes Master?”

“Don’t be afraid. I am with you.”

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Novel