“contd from The Journey Begins*
Daniel’s stooped figure cast a long shadow on the wind swept beach. That incident in the mountain cabin, was it a nightmare? But I was there, surely.
A shot of sharp pain spiked up his shin and brought him barrelling back to the present.
A child? Where did he come from?
Sitting on his haunches, a boy was scooping water into a pail, yet moments ago, except for a few sea birds, the place was deserted.
Daniel approached the small angelic person. Odd, is that smoke? The brisk wind carried away his muse but not the smell. Drawing close, he cast his evening shadow on the child.
The boy looked up, his creamy face scrunched with annoyance. The sun caught his clear ocean blue eyes.
The old priest winced, a sharp premonition pricked without planting. Those eyes…No, it can’t be. They’re blue.
The boy crooked his head sideways and returned the old man’s rheumy gaze.
“What’re you doing, son?”
“Why silly, can’t you see?” Moments passed. “I’m emptying the ocean.” The child turned away and busied with water and pail.
“Why would you want to take the ocean?” The old man pressed. Strange. Why this feeling of foreboding?
“Because, it’s mine.” The imp waved an arm and said, “All of this…Mine.” He returned to his task.
Those eyes look familiar but…yes, probably mistaken.
The priest gave himself to loud convulsive coughs. He wiped his lips with a white handkerchief, sullied now by thick phlegm streaked with bright blood. Seeing the boy’s attention fell on the blood stained cloth, the priest thrust it into his pocket.
“You’re dying, old man.” The child’s voice acquired an edge and his smile lifted a corner of his lips. His eyes had turned deep brown.
“You!” Goose bumps blistered. The old priest’s hand shook and his voice quavered. “I know you.” He staggered back, his jowls wobbled and colour ran off his face. “Be gone, Satan.” His entire frame trembled and tears filled and blurred his vision.
The boy stood up, slow and deliberate, and grew tall and broad. The huge figure bent, bringing his face close to the shaking old man. “You know me, Daniel.” The voice was low, guttural. “The harvest is ripe.”
Daniel smelled dry burnt breath. He blinked away tears and stared into deep red unmoving eyes.
The spectre grinned, bared its teeth and slowly faded.
The old priest shuddered. A stirring at his tailbone spread up to the base of his cranium. He had visions of a serpent uncoiling from its slumber, waving about and seeking. As he gaped, it struck with blinding fury and lightning speed.
A sharp pain seared his mind. Mental flashes of his life…lives…zoomed past. He choked and his head distended. His terror gave way to puzzlement, and features softened as he fell in slow motion.
People ran up with shouts for help. Faces in shadows crowded over him, blocking out the sun.
That’s so strange…Only moments ago the beach was deserted except for…
His eyes flickered as the crowd gawked.
A handsome and ageless face, shining with tranquillity, appeared in the old man’s greying vision. A beautiful fragrance filled the air.
I know you…from that day…the mountain cabin –.
Their eyes locked. The dying man proffered a weak smile. His eyelids fluttered in death as raw darkness clouded out his senses.
“I bid you welcome home Daniel, my Son.”
To be continued…
(For earlier episodes, please look under Categories – Fallen Grace – left hand column)
************ Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2013 ************