Clash of the Worlds—Chapter One
Except for the names of God, all other names of persons and places in this story are fiction; any resemblance to any person or place is purely coincidental and not intended.
Flight to "Easy Street"
At last, I'm outa here, thought young Alex Grater, settling himself in the aisle seat of that wide body’s center section, buckling his seat belt per the lighted instructions overhead. Mid-central, here I come, his thoughts of his dream life continually rambling through his mind. Dismayed at his decision to leave, however, his parents, watching in prayer from their vantage point inside the terminal, nevertheless said goodbye to their only son.
Flight attendants, attending to their usual pre-flight routine, one attractive attendant stopped by the row where Alex has claimed his seat. “Sir,” she said, waking the man seated next to Alex. The man stirring from his sleep, she then repeats, “Sir, bring your seat to an upright position, please. We're about to depart.” Moaning a bit, yet he complies with the attendant’s wishes.
Alex turned toward the man, then back to the attendant with a flirtatious wink; an attractive woman never seems to catch Alex off-guard. He in tune with the familiar expression “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” never had a problem, as it seems, of getting a date. His only problem: keeping the girls away – something he rather enjoys. The attendant, acknowledging Alex’s appreciation with a smile, continued her pre-flight duties.
“Uh,” the man seated next to Alex began, with a yawn and a sigh, “the worse thing about flying is the landing,” he paused. “Ah, no,” he continued. “I take that back. The worse thing about flying is sitting at the airport a while waiting for the flight to continue on.”
“Where has this plane come from?” Alex asked.
“From across the ocean,” the man replied, nodding. “I left Far East this morning. Ah, that is this morning in Far East. This morning here is now tomorrow morning in Far East. Ah, that makes this morning yesterday in Far East. Ah, it was eleven hours ago anyway, I think,” he said, shaking his head and rubbing his brow. Alex, too, shook off the man's attempt at explaining his circumstance, chalking it up as a suffering from jet lag.
“I’m hoping to make it back to East Coast sometime before year’s end,” he continued, somewhat sarcastically. Pausing a bit, he then asked Alex, “How far are you going?”
“To Mid-central,” Alex answered. “To make my fortune, and my fame, too, and live on ‘easy street’ the rest of my life,” Alex continued, boasting of his plans. “And that’ll be home for me – my new home. I got a job waiting for me there.” (That evil one aspiring a hateful glare applauded Alex’s boastful mindset.)
The man, observing Alex more thoroughly, commented, “ Why, you're just a kid. Your parents know where you are?”
“Hey,” Alex interrupted, “I finished high school a year ago. My parents are in there,” he said, his head motioning toward the terminal. “Now I'm on my own. Voted the 'most likely to succeed,' I'll prove it, too! Born here, I’ve been around this place far too long. I just gotta get outa here. Need to see some other part of this planet.
“Uh, well, good luck then,” the man said, as the jet was now taxiing down the airstrip.
Soon that big jet was in the air, flying out over the ocean. Looping about, climbing to its cruising altitude, then headed toward East Coast, yet with a moment layover at Mid-central, for Alex and others going that far to get off. The man seated next to Alex had already returned to his sleep. Alex, too, now relaxed, a headset over his ears, while browsing an issue of Sports Magazine he requested from that pretty flight attendant he met earlier.
“You’re a sports enthusiast I presume?” a man seated across the aisle asked Alex, at noticing the headset removed.
“Yes I am,” Alex responded boldly, turning toward the man. Noticing a Bible in his lap, Alex then had a question of his own, “And you’re a preacher I presume?”
“Well, not professionally,” the man answered, a smile brightening his face. “That is, I don’t preach a sermon once or twice a week from a pulpit if that’s what you may be thinking. But I do share about the real-life according to this Book as often as I can, usually person to person.”
“Hmm,” Alex pondered, recalling similar statements to his hearing: get real. Get a life. He smiled. Then, clinching the magazine before the man, he responded, “This is the real life for me right here, Mister. It’s my pleasure. There’s nothing more pleasurable than screaming your favorite football team on to victory,” he pauses momentarily than continues, “Or basketball team, or baseball team, or whatever is in season, or your pleasure. Sports is the name of my game, Mister; you name it. I’ve seen it all.”
A moment’s pause, the man across the aisle sighing deeply, he then responded, “Son, that’s a pleasure that will surely pass, with the passing of time.”
“Yeah,” Alex said, who seemed to have an answer for just about everything. “Well, it never passes with me, Mister. When one game ‘passes,’ I simply ‘pass’ to another channel. Thus, my pleasure continues,” he concluded, gloating over his answer as if accepting applause for his comment. Pleased, he then returned to his magazine. His headset placed over his ears again signaled the end of the conversation.
Shortly, the magazine, too, put in the seat pocket in front of him, Alex reclined his seat to catch a few winks himself – his “new life” of his dream was set to commence just a few hours away.
Wonderfully in Caring Hands
That autumn night was dark and cold. The overcast sky brought darkness to Mid-central, earlier than usual. The downpour that evening through the city made visibility nearly impossible. Heavy raindrops pounded upon the SUV cautiously yet hurriedly winding through the city streets, on its way to Mercy General Hospital. T.J. O'Brien appreciated an occasional lightning flash, as it brightened the route, making it easier to see the way. But there routinely followed a crash of thunder, which seemed only to intensify his wife's pain.
"Hurry, T.J.,” the pregnant woman cries, the time nearing the birth of their first child.
"We're almost there, Dear,” T.J. said. He then prayed to his God, the Almighty Three-in-One Creator – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, "We’re in Your hands. Please get us there, and please, let nothing happen to our baby.”
All of a sudden he cried, a sizeable frozen raindrop shattering on the windshield, and then another and another, "Oh, no, Father, please not this." His hand pressed against the door windowpane, “It’s getting colder out there,” he observed.
A flash of lightning revealed the hospital up ahead. A comforting sight, T.J. pressed on. There followed another loud thunder crash, and then the woman's scream. Brakes squealed on the fast becoming slippery pavement as T.J. tried to avoid a skid. Then, the crash of metal; all was still.
(A streetlight silhouetted a dark figure materializing nearby the scene, drenched by the freezing rain pelting upon it. A pleasing sneer spread over its face at the apparent death of another human yet to be born.)
Sirens blared through the dark of night and the chilling rain, now turning to snow. Blue, amber and red lights flash about at the scene of the accident, within sight of the hospital’s emergency entrance.
"This one is dead,” yelled a paramedic to another. "How is she you’re attending to?"
"She's barely alive,” came the response. "And she’s pregnant. We need to get her to the hospital quickly.”
Through the dark of the night, similar scenes ravage the entire city – sirens blaring, lights flashing, ambulances race, rushing accident victims to the nearest hospital. At Mercy General, too, there is no quiet storm.
The pregnant woman lies in the maternity ward, sedated, as physicians intensively yet gently care for her, struggling to bring into the world the new life that is within her. Then, at the vanishing of hope, and sweat blotted from a doctor’s brow, a baby boy is gently removed from the womb, crying. Alive, he is given over to the care of the nurses, pleased at this new life, fearfully and wonderfully made from times immortal, will have an opportunity to fulfill the unique purpose his Creator has ordained for him.
(That Evil One, however, aspiring a hateful glare, looked on with displeasure at the birth of this little one.)
The doctors then turn to the care of the baby’s mother; their hope nearly was gone. The beeping monitor, however, encourages them to press on in their attempt to save her. But then comes that unwelcome stilled tone from the monitor. The lines scrolling through straightening out so did the woman’s body; she breathed her last.
An elderly woman, in her early 50's, seated in the ER waiting area, open Bible on her lap, waited for word on the condition of her daughter-in-law and grandchild. Already saddened by the tragic death of her only son, T.J., to hear other expectant sad news could only worsen the tragedies she had experienced the past several months. (Her husband passed into eternity just two years earlier.) She could smile through her tears, however, no matter what the news the doctor would bring her, because of her eternal hope she possessed and assured that of her children as well; her faith instilled in her son since childhood.
Footsteps echoed down the hallway and stopped in front of the woman. "Mrs. O'Brien," gently spoke the doctor as he sat down next to her.
She looked up. "Doctor," she said. By his sullen expression, she braced herself for the worst, what she didn’t want to hear.
"I'm so sorry I have to come to you with some sad news," he sighed. “I was sure hoping it could be good news.”
"Go ahead, Doctor," Mrs. O'Brien said, comforted by her Heavenly Father, the Almighty Three-in-One – Elohim – the God of all comfort.
"Your daughter-in-law didn't make it," the doctor told her. The woman's head bowed.
Pausing briefly, the doctor then continued, a bit more cheerily, "You do have a healthy new grandson. Now, that’s good news.”
"Grandson?" Mrs. O'Brien looked up. "How?" Then, her head bowing again, whispered, "It's a miracle. Thank you, Father." Sighing deeply, after a moment's pause, she looked up at the doctor and asked, "When can I see him?"
"Right now,” the doctor responded. "Come, I'll take you to him,” he continued, escorting her to that one, as with all, who had been woven together wonderfully in his mother's womb by the hand of God.
"Timothy James,” she remarked, upon viewing her one and only grandson.
"What's that?" asked the doctor, turning toward her.
"O, Doctor,” she said, “He’s a beautiful baby,” tears welled her eyes. “I shall name him Timothy James,” she continued smiling, "After his father and grandfather, neither of whom he has had a chance to meet. But I’ll bring him up in the knowledge of them both and his mother, as well as knowing the LORD."
(That darkened figure, aspiring that hateful glare, grimaced, "Foiled," he hissed. "What's next?" he said, opening up his destruction book for the next phase of his evil scheme.)
A few weeks later Mrs. O'Brien returned to the hospital to greet yet another baby, the first to be born to her dear friends D.L. and Sarah Whitcombe. Her baby grandson, Timothy James, in her arms, she stepped into the up elevator for Sarah Whitcombe’s room.
Upon entering the room, she catches the new mother and proud father’s joy welcoming their new baby girl to the world.
"Maggie,” an excited Sarah Whitcombe observed. "Come in."
Stepping aside, Mr. Whitcombe allowed Maggie to view the baby.
"She's beautiful," smiled Maggie O'Brien at the newborn, noticing her blue eyes and dimples. Timothy James, too, googled at the new baby.
"Just like her mother," Mr. Whitcombe beamed. "And I think she's also going to be a beautiful blue-eyed blonde – just like her mother."
"Well, she does indeed have the blue eyes,” said Maggie. "And marvelous dimples I don't believe I've ever seen such dimples. Have you decided on a name for her?"
“Yes, we have,” answered Mr. Whitcombe, turning to his wife.
"Jessica Lynne," Mrs. Whitcombe responded proudly, the equally proud father nodding in agreement. "She's almost a perfect baby," Sarah Whitcombe continued, her eyes filling up a bit.
"Wh- what do you mean 'almost perfect'?" Maggie asked.
"Well, as the doctor tells us, there‘s a slight, 'unexplainable disorder in one of her kidneys.' It'll have to be watched and examined more closely as she grows," Mrs. Whitcombe responded. “Maybe a transplant will be necessary later on.”
"She certainly is our little bundle of joy." gleamed the proud father. "Sure worth the time in waiting for her arrival. Want to hold her?" he then asked, taking Timothy James from Maggie’s arms.
“Gladly,” Maggie said, picking up baby Jessica. Cuddling her, Timothy James observing it all from D.L.’s arms, Maggie prayed for her. God only knows all that is in store for this little bundle of joy, Maggie realized. He has her life all planned out for her even before conception, and He is ever watchful over the care for His beloved ones.
“How the LORD has blessed us,” D.L. said, as Maggie finished praying, “Sarah and I now with the care of this little one; He is so good.”
("Ah," whispered that evil one aspiring that hateful glare, ever watchful over the affairs of Earth's humans, only to deceive. "There's yet hope for the demise of this little one,” he hissed.)
Go to Chapter Two
© 2017 Charles Newcombe