As I’ve explained before, this series of chapters will most likely become the prequel to my first novel, The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today. It is about the central character in the 12/59, Sheila, as a child, and the events that led up to the action in the 12/59.
Yes it is a fantasy and yes it is a metaphor.
I’m writing this in third person, my first attempt to write a full-length novel in third person. All of my other novels were written in first person, so be patient with me as I stumble along using a new style. I may or may not do this again (third person); the jury is still out on that style question.
So, when we last visited Sheila, she was five years old and had just helped Mrs. Kramer to return from the dead. Now, one might expect Sheila’s parents to be a bit shocked by their daughter’s powers but, as is their nature, they are more inquisitive than shocked.
Let’s listen in as they toss around possible reasons for Sheila’s incredible abilities.
There was silence in the old Chevy as Sam, Heather and Sheila made their way back home. Sheila, of course, was sleeping in the back seat, for raising someone from the dead is, after all, a bit tiring. Sam and Heather, however, were not tired but rather deep in thought.
They knew, of course, that their daughter had gifts. The nuns at the orphanage had told them as much, and they had certainly seen signs of those gifts as Sheila grew older, her vocabulary was so advanced, and her breathing life back into dead creatures insects and animals, so seeing Mrs. Kramer bouncing back from a heart attack was really the next step in the evolution of Sheila….but….how was it possible? That question weighed on their minds as they drove the back roads of Olympia. How, in a world of finite beginnings and endings, had Sheila managed to toss aside all scientific laws?
What, then, was death? What was life? Were they connected and if so, how? Where did a human go after breathing the last breath, and how could they return from that place so easily? Somehow Sheila was able to tap into those hidden answers and unlock all manner of mysteries.
At Day’s End
Even after they put Sheila to bed they were obsessed with these questions.
“Come, husband,” Heather said to Sam. “Let’s go sit by the stream and talk more about it.”
They went to their favorite spot on the property, a lovely grove underneath elms and maples, with a small stream gurgling and bubbling nearby. They sat, and Heather kissed Sam a hungry kiss, a kiss filled with promise of so much more, a kiss worthy of curled toes and breathless anticipation. Her eyes sparkled as their lips parted.
“There will be so much more for you, Sam, when we finally have some answers to these questions, so put that brilliant mind to work and help us to see the light regarding Sheila.”
It was true, Sam was brilliant, brilliant in a way that left others wondering if they all belonged in the same species. He collected Phds like others collected baseball cards, and his wonderful mind saw connections rarely glimpsed by mortal man. Truly if anyone could unravel the mystery of Sheila, it was her adopted father Sam.
He began to postulate out loud.
“Perhaps death does not exist. Perhaps, what we see as death, the crumpled bodies in car wrecks, the gaping gunshot wounds of domestic violence, the aftermath of battles, perhaps those are just the physical remainder, but the essence of who we are moves on to another realm…another dimension….wait….another parallel universe. And perhaps that parallel universe is separated from this universe by the slimmest of slims, and Sheila has found a way to reach into that other universe, snatch the dead, and return them to this present day and time.”
Heather kissed her husband again because, well, she was a tease of mythical proportions and also because she knew, as all women seem to instinctively know, that the most certain way to get results from a man is to promise him, as Heather’s parents loved to say, nookie. Besides, she found Sam to be sexier than hell.
“But Sam,” she said upon releasing his lips. “If that is so and believe me, I do not doubt your theory for a moment, then why does Sheila only save certain creatures and not all creatures? If it is so easy to do so, as you state, then it would be simple for her to save every single road kill, all the possums, all the raccoons, all the dead dogs and flattened cats. Why does she pick and choose, my sexy partner?”
And the Answer Is Delivered By a Five Year Old
“Because they don’t all believe, Mother,” the child said as she approached her parents.
Sheila was like that, light of foot, ethereal in so many ways, seemingly drifting through life without actually being tethered to the ground. Her parents were accustomed to her suddenly appearing without making a sound, so her sudden appearance by the grove under the elms by the stream did not surprise them.
“What do you mean, Sheila?” her father asked.
Sheila smiled and, to her parents, it was as though the sun increased in candlepower.
“They don’t all believe, Father,” the child repeated. “They must believe in the healing powers of love in order for me to reach them.”
“Love,” sighed both Heather and Sam at once.
“Yes, Mother! Yes, Father! Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It can bring light to the darkest of darknesses. Love is not a word. Love is not a concept. Love is a reality, a living, breathing crucial part of all universes and the key which can unlock all mysteries. Yes, Mother, Father, love! Mrs. Kramer was a loving human being. I heard her cry for help as her heart failed her and, because I believe in love, I was able to reach out, grab hold of her spirit, and bring her back. It really is quite simple, my loving parents.
“Father, you are correct, there are other universes, and I can tell you now, one day, in the near future, you will become famous for your teachings of alternate universes, rich and famous with a church of your own and bestselling books and oh, my, won’t that be exciting?”
“Love,” sighed both Heather and Sam at once.
“Yes Mother, yes, Father, love!”
“But Sheila,” her mother asked. “How can you see into the future and know what will happen to us?”
“Alternate universes, Mother! There is a future universe, a past universe and a present universe. I see all three. I do not know how this is possible. All I know is when I was very young, at the orphanage, something happened to make me this way. It happened during a storm but I do not know what caused it all and oh, what a future we have in store for us. Now really, Mother, Father, I’m very, very hungry. Could we go home so I can eat some Cheerios?”
“Love,” sighed both Heather and Sam.
More to Come
We should probably leave our characters for now. I can tell you that Heather delivered on her promise to Sam. Later that evening she rocked his world with some world-class sex while their daughter bounced between universes, studying the future and learning from the past. It was, to say the least, a very busy, exhausting and enjoyable evening for all three.
Join me next week for more in the life of Sheila.
2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)