World of Darkness, World of Hope, a Rocketman Story, by John Pirillo. Stranded on new timeline Harry faces worse than darkness: Loneliness!
World of Darkness, World of Hope
A Rocketman Story
By John Pirillo
What had gone wrong?
Time and space were no longer just concepts to be studied in a school or class room. No longer idle ideas of a thirsty mind. No longer theories to be argued and defended vigorously. They weren't a friend long gone in the memories who would remain there forever because he was dead. To himself and the world now.
No time and space were a harsh and hard reality to him. They meant that nothing was solid and certain in his life. They meant...
"Harry!" A voice assaulted his ears even louder this time.
Harry snapped out of his thoughts and became aware once more he was flying through the stratosphere at...he eyed his tach. Almost twice the speed of sound.
"Yeah. Here" He finally managed, sounding like a weak imitation of himself.
"Harry, what's wrong? We've been out of contact for hours!"
"Small problem is all. Everything's..." He had to force himself to say the next words. "...Is alright now."
Harry toggled the communications off, killing the connection to his...friend?
Harry's stomach was turning flip flops in his body, assuming full attention now. It had started soon after he had patched up the cannibalistic American and left him to his own resources to survive or not. He had a feeling he would, and then he had dashed back to his suit, and launched as quickly as he could.
He was still stunned from his experience.
His forehead felt like a meat factory with dozens of meat cleavers slashing into it, splitting it into tiny pieces. He wanted to wipe his forehead. It was sweating. And hot.
What had gone wrong? He asked himself for the thousandth time since he had launched. The real reason he had been out of communications had not been the fight. That had been relatively short. No, it was the soul searching he was doing now.
Red back home. Home? He snorted to himself. What's home?
He had to snap out of it, he couldn't keep circling the globe forever. He had to go somewhere. But where? America had become a cesspool of cannibalism. London was run by the Chinese and an alliance of peoples who had starved a once proud nation into what they had hoped would be a nuclear surrender, but instead had turned them into monsters like themselves.
This world had no happy alternative. It was just plain farked up!
He wanted to puke. His stomach agreed. He tried to restrain it. He couldn't afford to puke inside his rocketsuit. So he did the only sane and reasonable thing. He landed in what had once been named Greenland on his time line. Near the coast, where he could see icebergs floating lazily on the waves not so far away.
The beach he had landed on was very rocky and lightly covered with snow. He had marched along the beach in his rocketsuit, not sure if he could manage it without mechanical help at the time. He had found a small cave that overlooked the beach and gone inside. He had ditched the suit, leaning it against a back wall that was littered with driftwood. Probably from a past thaw that had raised the waters temporarily here.
He managed to shift most of the wood forward and get it burning with the help of an old boy scout technique he had learned what seemed centuries ago in time and space. He tugged out an emergency rations pack from inside the suit, broke out a folding plate and cup and made himself a jerky and spam sandwich.
Even this other world relied on Spam. Then he looked t it and the slimy Spam hanging out over the edges of the dry cracker ration he had, then slowly put it down. How did he know if even this wasn't...something else?
That put the nail in the coffin of his stomach's resistance. He immediately threw up, spewing into the fire, almost putting it out. He flung himself away from it, not wanting to do that and continued to gag for what seemed like forever. Finally, weak and exhausted he managed to crawl against the cave wall and fall asleep.
"Harry, you goof."
Harry smiled. Jet was dangling a paper doll in front of him where he lay upon his bunk, arms beneath his head. "Get it outta my face, or I'll rip you apart."
"Yeah. You and what Rocketman?"
Harry laughed. He was so untypical of the Brits who surrounded him and Jet in this war. He had blonde hair and lustrously warm brown eyes, witty and spunky, able to shoot the wings off a fly at a hundred years. Big ears, but they were offset by his long face, which was handsome and rugged with a two day old beard he never seemed to shave, sparkling brown eyes, and a frame that was six and a half feet tall.
Jet, tall as he was, was still a half foot shorter, but was muscled and slim like a well oiled wrestler, with luminous brown eyes, tight hair that looked like bands of curls, and flawless black skin that all the ladies loved. Harry grinned. His friend was the proverbial lady killer, though he was as gentle as a lamb with the women he dated, and never broke a single heart. Some kind of record for any warrior in this day and time, considering the circumstances.
Jet took the paper doll and as Harry watched hung it on a make shift Christmas tree, slung together from a beat-up coat rack, hangers for branches and shoelaces for strings of bulbs with tiny rocks hanging from them. Up and down the fake tree were cut outs of paper dolls. All women.
Jet had several fish that some sailors had brought into the camp by the truckload for the camp personnel. Their Christmas gift from Ike and the Brits who appreciated their efforts to save them and their fair land. The smell of the sizzling fish was driving Harry nuts. His stomach growled so loudly he was certain everyone a mile away had heard it.
"Jet, you've got too much doll on your mind, buddy!"
"Yeah. And you don't?" Jet snapped back. "And I heard that buddy! You like to me and Santa will take away the goodies I'm making for you."
"You're not Santa!"
"That's right and don't you ever forget it, pal!"
Harry laughed. Jet was always good for lifting his spirits up. He didn't like all the violence that went with war. He was sure Jet didn't either, but Jet appeared to burn it off with is rowdy sense of humor. But yes, he did have dolls on his mind. One in particular. A petite sassy nurse with the heart of an angel.
Nurse Sally, everyone called her. Flaming red hair and startling bright green eyes that cold poke holes in any lie with a look. His first and probably only ever love in his life.
His girlfriend had gone on a way mission to the outskirts of London to help with the wounded there, and even though close enough it seemed like a million miles away at that moment.
"Think you two'll get hitched up after the war?" Jet asked out of the blue.
Harry snapped awake, conking his forehead into the cave wall. The pain caused him to see stars a moment and it was then he noticed a familiar smell in the air. The same as that in his dream. Fried fish.
A hand put a wet cloth in front of his face. "Take it. It'll help reduce the pain."
Harry took it, rolled over and put the wet cloth on his forehead he had struck against the stone. Seated across from him at the fire he had made before was a slender man, with shock white hair and kind blue eyes. He wore a thick white jacket, white pants and boots. He had the posture of a warrior, but his aspect was kind in all ways. Harry could almost smell it from him, and that reminded him.
Growl! His stomach churned angrily, demanding to be fed.
The man laughed lightly and took a fish from the fire. It had been poked through by a piece of branch, which the man released into an eager Harry's hands. Harry took the catch and began gnawing on it right away, his hunger so intense he was almost blind.
"You have a good appetite."
Harry swiped the fish grease from his lips, and then sat up straight. Too fast. Everything began to swirl about him. The man leaped so quickly Harry wouldn't have had a chance to avoid him had he been an enemy, and caught Harry before he could collapse into the fire. He gently tucked Harry back against the wall.
"Will you be all right?"
The man went to the other side of the fire again and took off a second fish on another branch. He said no more, but ate, methodically and slowly. Harry watched for a time, and then when his stomach growled again, he remembered the fish in his own hands and started eating again. They both ate in a peaceful, camaraderie of silence until they were done.
The man leaned back against the other cave wall and belched.
The man smiled. "Good to see some Americans have a sense of humor."
Then Harry realized where he had seen that kind of clothing before.
He jumped to his feet. "You're the enemy!"
The man remained seated. "Do I look like the enemy?"
Harry stiffened a moment apprehensively, and then shook his head. "Only physically."
Harry sat back down.
"Well then." The man said kindly. "Why not tell me why I look like your...enemy?"
The man listened as Harry told him about the American he had encountered, and the Brits he had abandoned. Then he told him what he never thought he would tell anyone. He told him about his childhood.
"When I was ten I used to lay on a rock outside my parent's home and gaze at the stars. Someday I'm going to fly there, I promised myself."
"And did you? Did you fly there?"
The man gestured briefly at the Rocketman suit at the back of the cave.
Harry snapped to attention.
The man laughed. "Harry, you are so different from the other Americans. Why is that?"
"Because I am not from this world."
The man gave him a stern look.
Harry blushed, though he didn't know why. "I mean not from this world and its timeline."
The man nodded as if he understood everything Harry had told him.
"Now my friend, I think we both need to rest. It's been a hard day for both of us I think."
For some reason Harry could never explain until much later on, he trusted this man. Even if he did look like a Nazi storm trooper. He lay down and went to sleep immediately.
The man, however did not. He took out a small tablet and began to write in it. Finished, he ripped out a piece of paper, and then slipped it near Harry. He smiled at Harry, took another look at the Rocketsuit, and then exited the cave.
Harry woke up the next morning feeling better than he had in a long time, though he couldn't say why. He rolled over and then realized he wasn't alone. Or rather he was alone again. He jerked upright. The stranger was gone. He had never learned his name, where he was from. Not a thing. Harry cursed himself for being such an idiot. He turned. His Rocketman suit remained in place.
He frowned. Then he saw the piece of paper near him. He picked it up and read it.
"Harry, I can't promise you a peaceful life, but I know there's a greater purpose to our lives than what both of us have seen. If you believe as I do that man must aim for the stars in every way possible, and then I have drawn a small map for you to follow. Meet me there in one day and I will show you a world unlike what you have seen.
"Signed. Nicolas Tesla."
Harry got to his feet, kicked out the rest of the fire, scattering the embers, then crushing them beneath his boots. He went to the back of the cave and looked at his Rocketman suit.
"I don't know where this is all going, but there has to be a reason. A purpose to it all." His eyes wet for a moment.
Rocketman shot into the skies, an arrow of glistening metal and bright forces congealed in a mixture of hope and trust as man and machine went forth to discover the meaning of this new world and their place there. For now!
"The Face of Me," A Cartoon Story By John Pirillo. Just how big an ego can you get when you have super powers?
The Face of Me
"A Cartoon Story"
By John Pirillo
"It's really quite simple." Einstein told him as he sat comfortably in Johnnie's chair at the table. He had his pipe in one hand, which he used to punctuate points he was making and Danish in the other, which he ate between words, rolling his eyes with pleasure.
"I must take some of these back with me." Einstein said, nodding at the stack of Danish.
Johnnie looked at the back of the kitchen where Cartoon stood, glowing softly, her eyes lit up with amusement at Johnnie's discomfort. "Uh, Al, I don't think that is going to work."
"Why not?" Al protested.
"Because..." Johnnie took a comic book he had his hand on and flipped it onto the kitchen counter.
"...You're a comic book character and not real." Johnnie finished.
He got up, eyed the missing Danish. "Cartoon, how come he was able to eat these?"
"You made him real. He lives by the standards of your world's physics."
"But he didn't even realize he was a comic book character."
"That's because to people like him, everything's a comic book creation. They can't tell the difference. If you were to go to my world, Johnnie, it'd seem real to you while you were there. You'd also be subject to all the rules of that universe."
"I have and I was." Johnnie agreed. He sat back down and played with a Danish for a moment. He took one, bit a chunk out, and then set the rest back on a small plate in front of him. He grabbed his glass of milk and washed down the chunk. He dabbed his mouth with a paper napkin, then eyed Cartoon again.
She had been waiting for this moment. He could see it in her eyes.
"I want to go to your world again."
"To test a theory I have."
She smiled. "You might be disappointed. Theories have a way of fizzling where I live."
"You live here."
She came over and sat next to him and put her head on his shoulder. "I don't want to go back."
"But you do. All the time."
She sat straight in her chair and then sighed. "I'm a Princess. I can't just abandon my people."
"Gotcha!" He said rising from his chair. "So let's go."
"You need me to help you transition..." She never got to finish her sentence. Johnnie was there one moment and the next...Gone!
Johnnie stood on top a steep hill with flourishes of cartoon flowers of radiant blue, red and yellow dotting its sides. A small pavilion of marshmallows stood behind him. He gazed at the incredible Wizard of Oz type palace that hovered several yards above the plain some miles in the distance. The morning suns cast huge shadows from it, which criss crossed the hill he stood on, casting it in colors of the rainbow.
"Shadows are so neat here." Johnnie said as Cartoon stepped from his world into hers and stopped beside him. He didn't even watch as the opening between worlds closed without a sound.
"How did you do that?" She asked.
He shrugged. "Just sprouted one day."
He turned to smile into her face. It was solemn. Her face.
"I don't know what's going on, that's why I called old Al up. I've been talking to him for about a month now."
She gave him a shocked look. "I thought..."
"I know." He said gently. "But I can't wait for you to wake up, or come back for me to get on with my life."
He waved at the distant city and the hill and the skies, which were like turbulent fields of clouds shifting colors constantly. "I need to understand all of this. Why it exists. Why our world exists. Why..." Here he paused a long moment, searching for the word, then said. "...Why I exist?"
Cartoon took his right hand in hers. "You exist because you do. Why do you need to know more than that?"
"That used to satisfy me. I exist, therefore I am. Therefore nothing more need be said. To paraphrase an old philosopher I read in my Philosophy class, but it doesn't change my innate curiosity about all of this.
"Cartoon, I'm human. You're not."
She gave him a sad look.
"I don't mean in that way. I mean physically. No matter how many times you visit my world, you will always be a cartoon. No matter how many times I visit your world or transform into comic book characters, I will always be...human."
"But the glow you've started to emit." She pointed out.
He held his hands out. "Not glowing now."
She frowned. "They don't glow here."
"Another weird thing to consider." He admitted.
He hugged her briefly, and then turned his attention on the distant city. "It's so beautiful."
"I know. Johnnie, you're avoiding my questions!"
"Actually." He smiled. "I'm avoiding mine."
Before she could respond to that a huge shadow crossed over them. They spun around. Without thinking Cartoon pulled her glowing sword from its scabbard, which had appeared when she crossed into her own world and prepared for battle. Johnnie just stood there looking at the huge face examining them. It looked somehow familiar, though he couldn't place it yet.
"Different." The face said to them.
"Nah. We're like two peas in a pod." Johnnie retorted, grinning devilishly.
Cartoon wanted to give him a hug and kiss at that moment. It was what turned her on so much about him. He could joke in the face of danger. He wasn't being stupid, or silly. Just being himself. Amused at the life strokes he was dealt.
The Face frowned. "What are peas in a pod?"
Johnnie shrugged. "No big thing really. So what's up, Dude?"
The Face frowned even more deeply. "I am not...a Dude!"
Johnnie shrugged again. "No offense meant, just a turn of the tongue."
The Face's eyebrows knotted together angrily. "You play with me, mortal?"
Johnnie's eyes narrowed. "Then I have to assume you're some kind of god."
The Face lost its anger. "I am that which I am, even as you are what you are."
Cartoon suddenly brightened. "Johnnie, it's..."
"I know. Me!"
The Face smiled, revealing spiked teeth. It eyes were not human at all. "I am not...you!"
"True enough." Johnnie said, eyeing the face uncertainly. "But you sure got the curiosity of me."
"What is a me?"
The Face recoiled as if struck. "I am not me!"
Johnnie broke into laughter. "I'm sorry, but this is just getting more and more ridiculous by the moment. Please excuse me, Cartoon; I've got to return home. Got a job at the diner to do."
He winked out of existence.
Cartoon stood there looking at the Face. "Why have you come here?"
"I am always here." It paused, its eyes rolling in thought. "I am always there."
Cartoon frowned deeply. "I think you should leave now."
"How can I leave when I was never here to begin with?" The Face asked and vanished.
Cartoon stood there uncertain and fearful a moment, and then she stepped between the worlds.
Johnnie was gone. She went to the front door to look out. The Landlord stood there, his eyes wide as saucers."You won't believe what I just saw leave your apartment!"
Cartoon smiled kindly at the lecherous old man. "He was kinda in a hurry."
"A giant face?" The Landlord blurted out, then shaking his head, he headed for the stairway. "What are these kids on these days?" He froze for a moment, halfway down. "Hell, what am I on?"
Cartoon blocked the laughter from issuing forth and shut the front door.
Johnnie stood framed in the bedroom. She gave him a startled look. "But I thought..."
"Oh that!" He smiled.
"I figured it out."
"Figured what out?"
"Who the giant face was." He held out a comic book. "The Super Ego Monster Strikes!"
She took it. This gigantic face floated above a helpless city while it hurled thunderbolts against it.
"Found this at an antique store. It never made it past this issue. I guess people get enough big egos in their lives. Don't want to read more about them on top of that."
Cartoon shoved him back towards the bedroom. "We've got to do something about that ego of yours. It's getting too big to handle." She quipped.
He gave her a hug. "How about we take a rain check on that ego buster fix you got in store, gotta rush or I'll be late for Al's Diner."
She crossed her arms, angry at him as he rushed to the door, but when he looked back, all the love she saw in his eyes and the warmth of the smile on his lips blew all her anger away. He blew a kiss at her. "Keep the motor running. I'm ready for a wild ride!"
He shut the door.
"The Unsolvable Equation" A Lovelight Story By John Pirillo. Death is the unsolvable equation, or is it?
The Comic Book Commando jumps into the life of a teenager who is granted super comic book powers and must learn how to use them to survive.
"Don't love me just because I'm beautiful. Love me because your heart tells you it is the truth of your own soul." Cartoon
A young girl screams for help!
A young teen named Johnnie hears her cry of terror and fear.
He's no hero, but he can't just let her die.
He rushes into blazing hot high rise fire to rescue the young girl who is trapped between broken floors.
In a daring attempt to save not only her life, but his own as well, Johnnie risks a leap that no normal human could possibly do.
When he reaches the outside of the building, with the young girl in his hands, he discovers she has mysteriously vanished.
This is the beginning of a number of strange events that leads to him discover he has been tested by the Princess of another world. Another universe. A place where all living creatures, human, plants, animals and monsters are comic book characters drawn by someone at some time either in our world or another.
Her name is Cartoon.
She tells him he has been granted the ability to draw on the powers of all cartoons!
Thus begins a series of fantastic adventures that expose Johnnie to danger and evil of a kind he never thought could exist in the real world.
Nothing will ever be the same for him.
He's no longer just a teenage kid going to college and holding down a part time job.
He has become...THE COMIC BOOK COMMANDO!
Don't miss out on this epic new adventure that goes places no one has ever gone before. Purchase it now at Amazon, Smashwords or here in my bookstore for only $2.99.
Enjoy hours of reading pleasure.
Become a comic book hero.
Rescue a Princess.
Bound over buildings.
Pass your exams!
Be a Comic Book Commando!
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Dance of the Falls "Journey to the Center of the Earth Story" By John Pirillo. Hardship and loss. Heartbreak. Death. Can it go on forever?
Dance of the Falls
A Journey to the Center of the Earth Story
By John Pirillo
The trek, walk, whatever anyone wanted to call it had been hard on everyone. They were running low on food and morale. Even Jaisu, who was usually a fountain of bubbly energies, seemed a bit on the downside this day as Shantel watched him move from pilgrim to pilgrim, urging them to keep going, not give up and then holding their baby, or playing with their child, or even carrying a complaining child for the parent who was just too exhausted.
She knew he was special, but even special people need rest. No one was inexcusable from the laws of matter she reminded herself, and then immediately flashed on the journeys of Jesus and the miracles he did on a daily basis and his stamina. Maybe it was possible to go on and on. He had. Even to the point of extinction on the cross. She smiled, but then he had arisen the next day in a body of light that all could see.
She never believed that he was just a physical being anymore. He had transitioned to a higher state. She knew enough about physics to understand such a thing was possible.
"Penny for your thoughts." Chesterton croaked from his dry mouth.
She laughed, her own voice cracking from lack of enough water. Everyone was suffering dehydration and that would kill them long before the loss of food to eat. It was the hardest on the children and the adults had mutually agreed to give them the majority of the food and water. But even that wasn't enough. She could see their tiny, angelic faces becoming hollowed out, dark and empty like her own must appear by now.
"How about an ounce of water instead?" She quipped.
He smiled, and then grimaced. His lips and corners of his mouth were cracking from severe dehydration.
The joviality continued among certain members, but it was also being emphasized more and more by pain and discomfort created by water loss.
Chesterton put a reassuring hand on her shoulder, almost touching Melody, who slept against her mom's shoulder, oblivious to the world about her. "We're going to make it. I can't believe we've even come this far. Hell, I can't even believe this tunnel actually exists. Can you imagine how much work must have gone into making it so it would last this long?"
"I can." She answered truthfully. "And I know one thing for certain."
"They're probably all dead now."
He burst into laughter again, stuck a hand over the corner of his mouth and grinned awkwardly at her. "Stickler for truth in lending."
"Never could stand bankers." She replied with a grin, causing her own mouth to tighten and hurt at the edges. She ignored the pain. It just kept her alert and able to focus.
He saw the look on her face, and read her thoughts. "I really do believe we're going to make it."
"Soon." Jaisu said, joining them. "Water is ahead."
"How do you know that?"
Jaisu pointed to small growths that were beginning to show in tiny sprouts from the floor they walked.
Shantel almost screamed with delight, but she was too late. People were dropping to their hands and knees and plucking the growth. Sucking on it, and then eating it. Then when done, the group as a whole would move further along and repeat the process.
This went on for what seemed like forever, when a soft sound echoed towards them from the distance. It was faint at first, like a very soft whisper, and then it grew into a thunderous roar...of WATER!
Even though there was a constant glow coming from the overhead moss, it was not enough to interrupt sleep. Everyone lay where they had stopped last, folded into themselves, wrapped around a partner, or curled against each other for mutual support. The children all clung to each other in tiny spreads of small bodies, clenching each other's hands for support, even in their sleep.
Shantel woke up first and noticed the children, checking on Melody first. Her adopted child, a victim of the Big One, like so many others of the children traveling with them, was a bright soul. The children had all been the sons and daughters of highly educated or very spiritual persons or both. Not a person in the pilgrimage had an ounce of darkness marring their soul. It was as if they had been chosen, like that one man in Close Encounters of the Third Kid. All those souls who had been prepared to go and only one was chosen.
And here, after billions had perished, a handful remained alive. Barely, but alive. Waiting to reach some kind of underground Shangri-La, an oasis of purity where they could be safe and secure. Warm and loved.
She smiled. Shangri-La. Was it really possible?
"It is." Jaisu told her from her left. She sat up and he was watching her face for reaction to his words.
"You read my mind again."
"Is it so hard? You want what all want. A place of sanctuary. Safety and...Love."
She nodded. Sat up and leaned back against the wall. Her back began to dampen. The moisture from the Grand Falls they had discovered spread for hundreds of feet down the tunnel, dampening the walls with its wonderful essence. In the reflected light of the glow moss it gave the whole area a kind of fairy tale like look. Any moment you might expect some kind of magical creature to appear and wave a wand or do a dance of magic with showers of pixie dust.
"It is magical." Jaisu commented with a smile edging his lips. He wiped his brow. "I'm sorry this has been so hard for all of you."
She eyed him warmly. "You've saved our lives. How can we complain?"
"It seems to be human nature." He said with the hint of a grin.
"But you know it isn't. It's our mastery to face, isn't it?"
He smiled at her words and was about to say more when the cry of a baby burst into the tunnel, echoing towards them. He rose and looked back at her. "Duty calls. Soon. One day. This will all seem like a dream."
"It already does." She responded with a laugh.
Chesterton work up on her left and sat up, rubbing his eyes. Krishna and Melody were huddled to his left, arms wrapped about each other. So cute! Her heart wanted to burst as she looked on the two little angels. So much loss. So much pain and here they were. They'd found comfort somehow. And friendship. Like herself.
She tapped his knee. "Sleepy head."
He yawned, and then stretched. "Did I hear a baby, or Jaisu?"
He yawned again. "Must be close to time to get back on our tractor wheels."
"That what you're calling feet these days?"
"Yeah. Because they keep on digging and digging into the road, and we don't seem to get any closer to where we're going."
She nodded, giving him a sympathetic look.
Then he smiled at her, got up and headed for the falls. "Maybe I'll get lucky and find a flying fish. Want some?"
She laughed. "Only if you promise not to hurt it."
His stomach growled so loud that several people behind him were startled from their sleep. He laughed. "I'm not promising anything, Shantel."
He stomped off towards the falls, his laughter echoing behind and ahead of him. As he walked people began stirring from their sleep, checking their loved ones, stretching, yawning, coughing, and looking for a place to relieve them without getting too far away from the rest. Everything was returning to normal. Or at least as close as it could for such a ragged batch of pilgrims.
Shantel scooted over to Krishna and Melody. She didn't disrupt their sleep. Not one person would move forward until all resting were through. It was an unspoken law between them. Everyone got the rest they needed. No one interfered.
Melody began to mumble in her sleep. "No. No. No."
Shantel put her head against Melody's shoulder and the child fell back into a deep slumber again, the hint of a smile on her angelic face. Krishna stretched a bit and put his arm around Shantel as well.
Chesterton came back and found them all three huddled together in sleep. He smiled.
Jaisu came to his side. "Angels come in all sizes, do they not?"
"Indeed they do."
Then a very unusual thing began to happen. The end of the tunnel near the falls grew brighter, as if a dimmer switch was being turned the opposite direction and the lights were coming up. As the light came up, it began to fill with twists and turns, swirls and tumbles of a light mist of rainbow colors. Oranges. Reds. Yellows. Blues and Greens.
Chesterton and everyone awake stood, sat, or leaned against the walls watching the display, their eye wide with awe and surprise.
"It is God speaking through the water." Jaisu said.
"I'd feel a lot better if it was food speaking through the water." Chesterton answered sarcastically.
No sooner had he said that then a huge swarm of fish flew from the falls and into the tunnel, more and more of them, until the people nearest the falls were tumbling back to keep from being buried.
Shantel woke up suddenly and gasped when she saw the lights and the fish.
Jaisu said nothing. His eyes glowed with a certainty.
That day they walked no further, but instead made small fires from dry moss and burned fish that had dropped in to their midst. It tasted like the food of t he gods, and it was. Literally. As far as Shantel and the others were concerned.
Even the vegetarians had some fish. No hunger went unanswered that day or night.
They all ate until they felt like they were going to explode.
And the whole time they ate the bursts and swirls of light continued to exude from the falls, lighting up the tunnel like Christmas lights.
"I wonder what time of year it is outside." Shantel asked Chesterton.
He looked at the broken wrist watch on his right hand. "I'd say about half past anytime you'd like."
They both laughed.
Perhaps they would survive to make it to the Promised Land. Whatever that was. Wherever that was.
Time would tell.
Meanwhile she felt content, Chesterton at her right shoulder and Krishna and Melody at her left side leaning against her, singing softly to each other in tiny voices. Maybe it wasn't Christmas. Maybe it was. She was content to just enjoy it. Miracles don't need names to be miracles.
The Second Life
"A Lovelight Story"
By John Pirillo
Her first glimmer of the Other Side happened at the most peculiar of times. It was a bit before noon and she was at the local Wal-Mart, shopping for a birthday card with her mother. Her mom had drifted off into the sympathy cards, for a friend who just lost their father, and she was intent on finding a card, the right card, for her best friend, Andy, whose birthday was three days from then. He was a very peculiar person himself. Always quiet, never outspoken. Polite and kind. But never one to venture out into anything on his own.
She had forged a friendship with him, much like what one does with a pet sometimes, which was not to say he was seen that way, he was just comfortable. Nonthreatening. Most of the boys seemed to be preoccupied with either games or things about the opposite sex...which meant she had to always be looking over her shoulder, because she always got a lot of attention, and unfortunately not always the best.
Some of the boys were from a different country and evidently girls were second class citizens there, because that was how they viewed and acted towards her. Her teacher had caught a couple of them writing on her desk some bad words. Very bad words. It had sent her into tears. She wasn't like that. Why couldn't they see that?
Andy, though, he had seen through the stupidity of it right away. It was the one time in her early life that he had stood up for her. He had waited until after school and confronted the two boys. They laughed in his face. Not a good idea when the other guy is about a foot taller, and fifty pounds heavier. He stomped them into the ground, making them eat soap to wash out their mouths and dirty minds.
When she heard about it, at first she thought he was kidding, but when the Principal called him in and he was suspended, she didn't think it was funny or a joke.
She had caught up with him just as he was boarding the bus they rode together. She hopped on, and they sat down in the back as they usually did and chatted and chatted. But today, he seemed to be chatting about stuff that didn't really matter. As if his mind was not really there with her. He suddenly stopped and gave her a forlorn look.
"Lovelight. Do you believe in life after death?"
She had laughed.
"I'm sorry, Andy. I wasn't laughing at you, just how serious you are. You're too young to be thinking about things like that."
"Yeah." He said, then slumped back in the chair, folded his arms and proceed to ignore me for the next ten minutes of the ride.
Finally, he let go. He turned to her. "I'm going to miss you the most."
She gave him a startled look. He laughed. "Just kidding."
But he wasn't. She could see it in his eyes. But he wouldn't say anything more and she didn't want to pressure him. He'd talk when he felt like it.
That was the day before; today she had gotten up and felt this really strange feeling, as if she was going to fall out of her body. It wouldn't be the first time she'd felt that way. She had fallen out of her body once at a friend's house. An overnight and floated up to the ceiling. She had screamed a long time, but no one heard her. She kept on screaming until she saw her body laying there between Jennifer and Dawn, her eyes closed.
That had shut her up. Then she rotated. She didn't remember how, but she turned and as she did she saw this very bright point of light that expanded into a very beautiful man, standing in the air. He had smiled at her. "We'll meet again." He had promised, and then vanished.
She had then jerked away, feeling as if she had fallen a thousand miles an hour into her body. She sat up, rubbing her face. She was sweating. Maybe she was coming down with something. But she wasn't. And she didn't.
This day was like that. She felt sweaty and light-headed, like she was going to float away into the sky. She hurriedly sat down in the middle of the aisle.
"Lovelight!" Her mother had immediately called to her. She came over and stooped over her. "You all right?"
"No, I feel like I'm going to float away and away and away." She had answered, though she had no recollection of why she had spoken that way at this point in time.
Her mother had reacted quickly, helping her back to her feet and bringing her out quickly to the car. She had driven home quickly, even running a couple stop signs when there was no traffic. She brought Lovelight into the house and upstairs to her bedroom. She helped her get undressed, then into a nightgown. While Lovelight was getting into bed, she hurriedly went downstairs and returned with a steaming bowl of soup and goldfish crackers.
Lovelight had eaten them and felt immediately better. The soup soothed her ravaged nerves. She began to feel less and less giddy.
Her mom kissed her forehead. "Get some rest. I'm come and wake you for dinner, Hun."
Her mom had turned to leave, then turned back again and said. "Whatever happens in life, you know there's always a good reason for it, right?"
"Yes. You've told me about karma a lot."
"Not just karma. But everything. The way the world really is."
"Sometimes things change for the better..."
"Sometimes for the worse." She completed.
Her mother rushed back and hugged her. "You're such a wonderful person, my little soul."
That's when she knew something was going on. Her mother that morning had had a long phone call with someone, and come away from it frowning, her eyes misty. She had looked at Lovelight, but said nothing. Instead she'd gone into the kitchen to prepare breakfast, while Lovelight worked on her math and science homework.
Lovelight gave her mom an extra warm hug. "I love you."
"I love you too, you little rascal." Her mom teased.
She waved back at Lovelight as she left and turned out the light.
Lovelight shut her eyes, but something startled her, causing her to wake up again. Finally, she felt like she might all into sleep when she began hearing this loud buzzing sound in her ears. It grew louder and louder and even through her eyelids it seemed like a light snapped on in the room and became brighter and brighter.
Finally, she couldn't stand it anymore. She sat up. Opened her eyes.
Then wished she hadn't. He was standing there in the light, smiling, and surrounded by a group of his friends. She knew they were friends because they were smiling too, at him and at her. One of them looked familiar, but she couldn't think of who it was at the time.
Andy stood there in a beautiful white garment, kind of like a tux, but with a softer, warmer texture. He waved. "Told you." He said.
She laughed. "Andy, why are you in my bedroom?"
She immediately knew why and it scared the hell out of her. She grabbed the covers and threw them over her head.
"Peek-a-boo." Andy whispered in her ear, and she could see his face peering through the bedclothes.
She threw them off and shrieked.
Andy laughed, but not at her, more like sharing a warm joke with her.
Her friends laid hands on him and he turned away from her to go with them. Into the light that now filled the room.
He stopped and looked back. "It's not so bad. But I'll miss you."
She didn't know why, but suddenly she burst into tears and jumped from bed and ran to try and stop him from leaving. He only smiled and the white light and his body vanished. She slammed into her bedroom closet door and knocked herself onto the floor. She landed hard.
Her mom came running up the stairs and found her weeping into her hands.
"Oh baby." She said, sitting down next to her and cradling her in her arms. "You saw, didn't you?"
"Andy's gone." She managed to finally stutter.
"Yes. He's gone."
She looked into her mother's face. "You knew already."
"But why didn't you tell me?"
"Andy had told her mom not to tell you. That you would find out another way. A better way."
Lovelight threw her arms around her mother and cried more. "I'm going to miss him so much."
"I know. I know. I know."
They stayed like that for a long time.
Finally, her mom helped her to get back onto her feet and into bed. This time she closed her eyes and went to sleep.
As she slept Andy appeared in her dream, wearing the same white outfit. He stood next to a tall man. Finally, Lovelight recognized the man. "You're Andy's grandfather. But you don't look over twenty five."
He just smiled.
Andy came to her and gave her a long, warm hug, then let her go.
"We'll meet again. I promise."
Then she woke up to the smell of fried chicken.
She threw on her robe, ran down the stairs and landed in the kitchen chair by the window she always sat at. Outside the window the sparrow mom who had built a nest in the tree there looked in at her and then began to sing.
Lovelight didn't know why, but she felt like singing too.
That was when she'd realized that life had a deeper meaning. Not one she'd learned from her mom, or from books, but from her own insight and experience. There was no end to life. Only beginnings. She knew that now because she had seen Andy's Second life, and she knew that everyone had at least that much more. So why not an endless number of lives. Why not?
Then she dug into her mashed potatoes and ate a drumstick, and she and her mom had a nice talk about the latest Star Wars movie.
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