In A Flash Part Two
I trudged over to the edge of the falls. Even though they were buried beneath three feet of snow I could hear the rush of the water. My husband was taking pictures, oblivious to my absence. I stared up at cobalt sky, the mid-day sun shone brightly. Translucent red spots flared around it.
Heat coursed through me like a fever and my insides burned. I squeezed my eyes closed to shut out the glare of the red spots. Dizziness overwhelmed me. I dropped my trekking poles and fell to my knees. The pain in my left breast inched around my side, and down my back to my kidney. Unable to fight any longer I gave in, blackness swallowed me.
I opened my eyes moments later. The icy green and white landscape had been replaced with gray concrete. It looked like a warehouse, with no windows or doors.
Oh God, where am I? I scrambled to my feet. Where was Stephen?
“It’s not important, but your husband is fine,” a woman’s soothing voice answered.
I wasn’t aware I had said anything out loud. “How did I get here and where are you?” I asked. Now I was terrified. I’d been kidnapped!
“No, you haven’t been kidnapped,” the voice responded, reading my thoughts again.
“No? Well, I don’t remember asking someone to take me to this place, whatever it is. And if I’ve been taken against my will that makes this a kidnapping. Let me out of here!” I raced about the room, pounding the walls looking for hidden control panels or secret doors. She brought me in here, there had to be a way out.
“I’m sorry for the pain and I’m sorry we had to do it this way.”
“Don’t be afraid,” Her tender voice washed over me bathing me in comfort.
“I don’t understand. Where am I and what do you want?” Panic and fear gripped me.
“I want you, beloved. You fought long and hard, but it’s time.”
“For what?” I yelled back at the walls. The coward still wasn’t showing her face.
“To come home.”
Another flash filled my vision, and she appeared, dressed in a long, gossamer, royal blue gown that matched the color of her eyes, her golden, flowing hair cascaded over her alabaster shoulders. Her wings were delicate and opalescent. Awestruck by such beauty I could do nothing but stare in wonderment.
“Darling child, He has asked me to prepare you for your journey home” she answered sweetly.
The enormity of her statement hot me like a ton of bricks. I was being called home. I was dead. “Am I Dead?”
“Technically, this is what we call a warning. And no it’s not a mistake.”
“This can’t be right. I beat cancer! I beat it! I’ve been cancer free for a year,” I argued in disbelief.
“Beloved, the cancer has spread-” she began taking my hand in her own.
“to my kidney and my spine,” I said finishing the sentence. “Do you appear to everyone or am I special?” I fumed. “This is unfair!” I yanked my hand away from her.
“You’ve had more time than many and to answer your question, all are beautiful in His eyes. ”
“No! I won’t believe this! It’s too soon.”
“I don’t choose the time beloved, He does,” she said smiling enigmatically.
“You can knock off the beloved stuff. I don’t know who you are or what you want, but I’m not your beloved and I want out of here,” I demanded.
“A moment ago you believed. What happened for you to doubt me?” She fluttered around me, then landed a few feet away, fixing me with a stern expression. The vision could fly and I didn’t see wires or a green screen. She didn’t seem like a hologram either. It was every Catholic cliche I’d ever heard about in catechism.
”Isn’t this all kind of old school? The costume is ridiculous, predictable even,” I taunted her.
“We try to take a shape the new soul is comfortable with.” Her wings folded in front of her a moment, then disappeared behind her back again. Revealing her dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt. “Is this better?”
I don’t know how she transformed herself in front of me, but she did. She strode toward me with her arms outstretched, a golden light surrounding her. Love and joy emanated from her, but fear held me fast. I longed to feel her embrace, but I was too afraid to move.
“The journey home won’t be an easy one. I’m here if you need me. And all that was lost will be found,” she assured me.
“I’m afraid,” I cried. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know your name.”
“Yes, you do. Prepare, beloved.” She smiled and touched my shoulder. A warmth radiated though her into my own skin.
I awoke to find my husband bent over me, concern etched into his handsome features.
“Honey, are you okay? Did you fall?”
“Um, yeah, I lost my balance when my got boot got stuck,” I mumbled digging my trekking poles into the icy snow and pulling myself up. I removed my gloves and pretended to check my boots and laces.
“I have a present for you.” he said as he reached into his pocket. “I was taking pictures over there,” he pointed to a group of evergreens about fifty yards away, “And I looked down and saw it. Someone must have dropped it. Close your eyes and open your hand.”
I did as I was told. I felt something cold hard placed into the palm of my hand.
“Open your eyes.”
I looked down to find a smooth, round rock. “A rock? Why do I need a rock?”
“Turn it over,” he instructed.
I turned it over and engraved on the other side was the word, love.