One of the passions of my heart is to produce life-changing content through stories. That’s fiction, folks. So the following is a short story I submitted for a competition. It hasn’t been judged yet but we’ll see what happens.
I expect to be mixing these in from time to time from now on. If you don’t like fiction, I hope I can turn you on to it hehe. Anyway, enough pre amble. I hope this grips your heart.
I want a world without tears. One day it’s going to happen. I often gaze into that future and feel myself falling forward as if I can pass through the veil separating then from now. But then I’ll rub my eyes and wait for the present to come back into focus. I can’t go there yet. There are too many still trapped. I won’t leave them behind – I won’t leave her behind.
“Plea…help…e.” Her voice was strained and broken like waves in a storm. Black tears spilled down her cheeks and splashed on knees torn by the ragged ground she’d collapsed on.
The terrible picture was almost too much for me. I blinked away a tear and eased down in front of her. “I’m here. It’s gonna be okay.”
She sucked in a breath and fell backwards. “Wh, who are you?” Her gray eyes darted around the darkness trying to smother us. “What do you want? How did you get here?”
I opened my hand and reached to her. “I’m here to help you.”
“You can’t,” she cried out and then sighed as if the few words had taken all of her energy. “No one can.”
I fixed my eyes on hers and watched despair taunt me like a child who won’t go to bed. Hope was a mystery to her and I couldn’t find any trace of trust. “It’s gonna be okay,” I told her again. “I promise. You don’t have to stay here.”
“What do you know?” she spat. “You don’t know me; the things I’ve been through and the things I’ve done. She twitched as if she might say something else but then bit her lip instead.
I inched closer and she covered her face with her hands. “Don’t look at me.”
“Hey,” I whispered.
She strained against her own torment. “I’m sorry.”
“What are you sorry for?”
The girl raised a shaky finger and pointed at the charcoal streaks the tears left on her face. “Oh,” I replied. “You think the darkness is all anyone can see.” I tenderly wiped a thick tear from her cheek. “Stained tears from a stained heart. You’ve done too much. No hope? No more chances at life? Is that it?”
A fresh sob was her response but I caught her face in my hands. “Listen, you think the stains are permanent but you’re wrong.” I motioned to the dreary space we were huddled in. “You think this is all that’s left for you but you’ve been blinded. There is so much beauty in you. You can’t see it but I can. I see everything you truly are buried underneath what life has done its best to make you.” She tried to turn her head but I held it in place. “No, I want you to look into my eyes and tell me what you see.”
She hesitated but dragged her eyes to mine. It was only a moment before her eyes widened. “What’s going on?”
“What do you see?”
“I, uh, see a little girl. How is this possible?”
“What’s the girl doing?” I pushed.
She was silent as the scene played through my eyes. “She’s dancing,” she finally answered. “There’s a field full of flowers and she’s running and spinning. I, I hear laughter. Is she laughing?”
“Yes, she is.”
She reached out her hand as if to take the little girls hand. “Who is she.”
The woman flinched. “What are you talking about? She’s so sweet and free and–”
“She’s everything you were created to be – everything you already are.” I gave that a moment to sink in and studied the way hope and desire seemed to be forcing their way into her features. “Would you like to be that little girl once again?”
She was nodding before she could process what I’d just said. But then her brain caught up. “Wait, I can’t.” She sniffed. “I mean; I want to but how am I supposed to…be like that?”
I stood and gently pulled her to her feet. “You just need to let me breathe on you.” I inhaled and sent a warm breath that fell over her and washed every speck of dirt and grime from her face. She straightened as her eyes transformed from gray to the kind of blue the ocean holds in its depths. A smile tugged at her lips and the audible sigh was her heart learning how to beat again.
“This is incredible,” she stammered. “I feel…alive!”
“This is life,” I told her. “It’s in me.” I brushed back a strand of hair that had fallen over her softening features. “The love you’ve always hoped for is in my arms. Your heart is mine and my heart is yours. You were lost but now you’re found.”
Fresh tears trickled down her cheeks. I caught one on my thumb and held it for her to see. “Notice anything different?
“They’re clear,” she gushed and clung to me as every single stain melted away. Her laughter rang like church tower bells. Freedom took the place of hopelessness and despair.
“Who are you?” she wanted to know.
I smiled. “I’m a man who’s come to rescue his bride.”
Jesse and Kara Birkey
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