Chains to the Past (the spirit of morning)
(The Angel)The angel was a brilliant beacon of love and light shining down on the man and woman from above, ethereal and beautiful before god and heaven. The veil had become a gauzy rent in a place near the couple and so abbadon had taken advantage. He had put on an ostentatious show, barraging them with terror after terror. Finally it had become too much for them and the angel interceded. He grasped the demon and chained him to the darkest depth of hell, leaving the other demons in hell to wonder and quake with fear, supplicating as the angel passed near.
(Changes)The bird swooped down at him suddenly, the shadow of it feathered flight against his face. He had been sitting quietly on his front porch for hours, waiting. The bird served as a sign that his waiting was over. He wouldn’t find himself slipping into unconsciousness, disappearing from the planet; his path was clear now. The portent was revealed. He mouthed the lord’s prayer in thanks.
The bird reminded him of the Bee and the Bee reminded him of the Palm Meadow and the Palm Meadow the Locust and the Locust the Wolf. The visions became dimmer and the veil became almost all occlusive; the voices from the depths of sanguine darkness became muted, subdued by the advent of an unknown angel.
Standing, he turned to the front of the house. Once again he prayed, touching the door gently, in singsong rhythms of contrition he asked for protection from above, for his house, his wife and the sanctity of their existence. Sighing he opened the door and went inside.
The next day came much as the previous one had with exception, the sun rose filling the landscape with light as it always had, forever in candent glow, an eternity of light, glowing, warm, guiding and another sign that life would continue to improve for him and the love of his life. The startling fact was that he sensed the difference in atmosphere, the voices were gone and the day seemed brighter. Once gain he prayed.
He had been having nightmares late in the morning hours, silent, flashes of another planet, another life. Sometimes they made sense, at others they were just disjointed images. “ Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to take.” he whispered to himself just before drifting off.
There were occasional dreams instead of nightmares, portents of a better life. Love, laughter and happiness filling the spaces where the monsters lay. He wished for those moments, those dreams every time his eyes closed and sleep rushed in. Perhaps the nightmares would end, he crossed himself he looked heavenward with the expectation of rebirth, perhaps and just maybe the nightmares were in the past.
He thought about the bird and the other signs again , it had to be over he thought. The demons were powerless now, defeated and bidden toward other moments in time, left to their own and subject to their own. He found himself imbued with the strength to continue on, toward a greater promise and a dawning hope.
The wind blew gently across the yard, branches clicking and clacking in the tall pine bough, the smell of lilac permeated the air and the suns rays warmed his face, and he breathed, breathed for the first time in a long while. He was free and his life would continue on revolutions constant arc. In times of pause he thought with a bit of the old wariness.
****************He would need to go to the store sometime later in the day, thankfully his car hadn’t given up the ghost yet. His wife was cleaning, washing dishes and busy with the frills of housework; mother in want he thought. Their communication was good and they loved each other above all else. He smiled and called out, “Finished yet hon?” She wouldn’t leave the house to go shopping until everything was in order.
*************He found himself sitting on the front porch again, shadows filling the yard in slow creeping acquiescence. The sundial in the front garden read Seven P.M., looking into the sky , squinting at what remained of the dying sunlight he listened. The crickets were singing and a gentle breeze ruffled his hair, blowing it in front of his eyes, momentarily blocking the sky and the sun and the pale glow of an early moon.
Inside the house he heard a muffled stream of yelling and laughter. Arailia was engrossed with “ Platoon “. The air was warm and pleasant, he smiled and moved the hair away from his eyes.
Rex loved sitting outside as everything became a gently hushed dream for him. An easy silence except for the birds and the wind. The branches in the tall palms stirred and the calming whoosh was in contrast to the visions he had been having. For shivered for an instant, hoping they were truly gone. The morphic visions were on vacation, and for now the veil was heavy, and the portent declared his freedom. He prayed silently thankful for the reprieve.
The demons had nearly become a reality, an incarnate consistency and that’s what frightened Rex. What if they returned to claim their souls. What if they came for his sweet Arailia, his love and the very breath of his being. His wife was his sanity and the transcendent nature of their relationship was in direct proportion to what they had been through with the visions, the screams of hallucinatory haunt and the dire substance of a demon in bloom.
The sky continued to darken, the sun low on the horizon glowed like a bright orange flame; he could hear someone playing music in the distance, a guitar flowing in gentle waves of caressing soliloquy to an unknown god. The tune was smooth and it reminded him of honey, the taste of honey, the Bee small buzzing and curious. The Bee had been another sign, flittering near his stomach and the seat of his soul, indeed the Bee had been a portent of good things to come.
He stood, gazing into the sky again, just the faintest twinkling of stars in the distant twilight sky. He closed his eyes and the tiny after burn of a hundred points in star shine lit the inside of his eyelids with a blossoming image. Once again he prayed and when he opened his eyes again the sun had set. Turning away from the trees and the yard and the night sky he grabbed the doorknob and smiled, near the center of the door resting his wings was a dragonfly. It whispered silent vibrations as its promised flight rested near the touch of Rex’s hand . Reaching to the side of the porch, to the Alameda vine growing up the side of the house he found a flower and grabbed it, gently pulling it away from the vine. He held the blossom close to his nose and inhaled, the sweet scent filled his head for a moment, a momentary delirium of opium delights clouded his mind for just the briefest of seconds. He opened the door and dropped the flower to the porch, moving inside he was careful not to disturb the dragonfly on his perch.
*****************He Slept peacefully for the first time in months. It had been dark quiet and without interruption. Later he awoke to the sound of Araila’s breathing and the scent of her hair. Again he thought of something sweet like honey as he kissed her gently on the lips.
Rex eased the covers back careful not to wake her; he saw something flitter in the corner of his eye. At the bedroom window and reflected in Arailia’s vanity. It was a bumble bee. He sighed, the clock ticked and the bee tapped against the window pane. Rex looked at arailia and smiled, she had slept through this one, this tiny portent called the bumble bee. He looked out the window again and saw the sun, reflected against the trees filtering through the lace curtains and glowing against the mirror, and still, just for a moment he had seen something else. The yard had been strewn with thousand of flower petals multicolored and fluttering in small tempest whirls. He blinked a few times and the image vanished leaving only green grass and sunshine behind.
Dressing himself, Rex went outside to the front porch swing. The air was fresh and invigorating as he inhaled deeply in the morning sunshine. He was prepared for what the day might bring.
**************He was drinking a coffee, black and steaming, it burned his tongue a little but he liked it that way. He set the cup down, sloshing some over the brim so it puddled on the wooden porch. He picked the lit cigarette up from the porch step where it lay and took a puff. Smoke filled his lungs and as he exhaled he watched a thousand tiny images evaporate in the air, drifting spirals of mist mixing with the currents of fresh air, finally he spotted the image of an angel, in Smokey disarray, fluttering and waving against the haze. Seconds later a chameleon ran across the bottom step, hurrying needing to remain hidden it ran beneath the boards.
A bird screeched breaking his reverie. Arailia motioned him from the kitchen window. Rex waved back, “I’ll be there in a minute honey.” She realized they had overcome the worst of it, the visions the night terrors and the prospect of an endless series of attacks from some unknown quantity, a demon in vaunt, in vestured arrays of hate and diversion. They had prevailed she thought as she watched Rex move through the front door, and they were happy now, for time first time in years. She had had a moment of trepidation, she had seen things for just a moment as they had been and when she saw Rex sitting there on the porch in quiet prayer she had thought the worst, an instant of doubt. What was wrong she thought for a fraction of an instant. The last few days had been a blessing and she believed, she had to believe the worst of it was over. It had been a struggle filling the closeness between them and the space nearby. Rex had seen the sign and now she was sure that it had ended. Araila was overwhelmed with a new hope for their future, and just before calling Rex into the house she had cried a little bit, salty tears of hope and the love of a wife in commune with her husband. Really, all she wanted was Rex to be near her, for him to extinguish the moment of doubt with his presence.
Rex read the worried expression on Arailias face and went to her embracing her; her arms encircled his neck ruffling his hair. He returned her embrace with kisses ,lightly on the lips. They stood there intertwined, sunlight streaming in from the kitchen window, illuminating them in the midst of shadows and silence. They had become sane again, moreover they had overcome. The prevailing sense of dread that had dictated their every waking moment had vanished.
Toenails clicked across the tile floor, Rex looked down into the expectant panting of a fluffy white and absolutely famished poodle. Rex reached down to scratch the little dogs head. She pushed her head into his hand and wagged her tail madly. Leaning upward, Rex let his eyes trace the outline of Arailia silhouetted in the sunlight. She looked ethereal to him for a moment and a poem filled his head.
“Transcendental passing as the
Tides, their love and warmth
The love of an aching abide,
In the afterglow of commingled essence
And in the shape of spirit
Never ending, as they embrace
Never to cease the adornment
Of love, unbridled in perfect passions,
In harmonies face and the whisper of
Love, the sweet whisper of love,
The eternal bond of passion and love.”Rex touched Arailias cheek and kissed her again, she closed her eyes and smiled in response. They exchanged a soulful look for a moment, the image removed all the barriers that might restrict the feeling of oneness that he had and shared with his wife.
*******************Later, much later toward the edge of twilight and the advent of an evening moonrise, Rex once again sat on the front porch steps. Lazy tendrils of smoke drifting up from his cigarette. Whippoorwills called out in the evening breeze and the cool airs of a night-tide essence whipped perfumed essences of lilac and fresh cut grass. Rex looked to the East, down the tiny dirt road that fronted the house and as he looked he saw the faintest of shapes approaching growing larger until it stood near the edge of the driveway. A wolf, all scraggly and tall in it’s demeanor. The wolf looked toward the front of the house and Rex then padded it’s way to the front porch. Rex’s heart raced and the prospect of dying flashed across his consciousness. The wolf paused in front of him and rex stood. It licked it’s lips and stood upright planting its paws firmly on either side of Rex’s shoulders. Rex looked into the amber eyed glow of the wolf’s eyes as he held his breath wondering if he would be devoured. The wolfs muzzle was coated in blood and it’s teeth were sharp two inch razors against it’s curled lips. Rex strained under the weight of the wolf. Just as it seemed to be preparing for a fresh meal it’s tongue reached out and licked Rex across the face. Whining the wolf returned to all fours and let out a howl. In that moment Rex saw the freedom that the wolf had and where the dreams of demons and delirium had gone. He prayed again as the wolf Padded away, finally disappearing into the dusky twilight.
The evening wore on that night and Rex realized that the wolf had been sent, by who or whom he wasn’t sure he just knew that he had a guardian angel looking out for him.