Valiant: Knock Knock…The Sandman…The Gift…Part 15…

A secret moment had arrived, but
So few knew it. There was an
Overwhelming sense of everything
Turning inside out with a convergence
Of reason as if guided by the
Stars. And there above rising
Through the trees to beckon the time
Was a full Spring moon…

Jon’s eyes widened to see the
Silver sphere rising, he squinted straining
To understand what his mind saw in it.
The moon was rising so early. ‘It’s getting
Late. I really should get the goats home
Before my family begins to wonder
Where I am.’

‘No, just stay a while.’ Raya reassured
Him patting his hand. ‘I will have my
Grandsons go and watch your flock
For you.’ Then she waved to the two
Teenage boys to go and do as she asked
So they could keep Jon just a while longer.
‘Jon, I think you need good company for
Just a while longer. Just be calm.’

‘You look like you need a lot of good
Rest.’ Her daughter Mira insisted with
A stern nod. ‘But I believe you are not
Finding much peace in sleep.’

‘No.’ Jon confessed with his head held
Down. ‘When I sleep, I dream…and
See things I don’t want to…or don’t
Understand.’

‘You dream about things before they
Happen.’ Raya said in an eerie tone.

‘Sometimes.’ Jon admitted.

‘You know which ones will.’ Raya added.
She studied Jon’s face carefully as he said
Nothing. ‘And this upsets you.’

‘Lately its been happening more and
More.’ He said.

She grinned. ‘The gift of a seer…. You
Know for ages it has been a highly prized
Gift…coveted. We have discussed this,
Remember?’

‘Yes, I remember.’ He nodded.

‘You know the gift comes with a price…
For those that really have it.’ She said
With her head tiled down with a sad
But kind expression. ‘They see their own
Death.’

He met her eyes slowly and silently.
He just couldn’t find the words to reply.

‘I understand, Jon. I do.’ Raya told
Him as she took his hand in hers. ‘Others
Will never understand this…Most just
Laugh and dismiss it…All they want
Are fortunes and promises of love…They
See a price in coins, that’s all they see,
Nothing more. Not fate…not the toll that
It takes or how it comes…They just want
The shortest and easiest answer.’

‘So why do it then? Why have this way
Of life?’ Jon asked, begged. ‘I still think
It’s a curse.’

‘Its not a choice.’ Mira insisted gently.
‘Its different for everyone. But for us, my
Family…It is something that we wander
And search for. To search for answers as
Well…Why? How? To help someone, a
Few…and find an answer in that someway.
But you can’t do that for everyone. That’s
Impossible. You have to help yourself
First. You have to learn how to stand before
You can walk.’

‘And there are different gifts. With each
One comes a different road.’ Raya said
As she looked about their wagon and her
Family. ‘You learn things over the years.
If a group is too large its chaos…Like a
Herd of beasts, a lot of little things get
Lost…Important things. Smaller groups
Work better, they can work wonders.
But again, that depends on the road you
Travel…We have seen so many things.’

‘And people.’ Mira added with a laugh.
‘And the more we meet, the more the
Stories sound the same…everywhere.
Its funny really.’

‘You learn to be creative when you
Speak.’ Raya said. ‘You have to be…
Its kinder that way, and more valuable.
If, when good fortunes are told…The
Best way is with a story. They are
Priceless this way…Good stories are
Supposed to teach, impart a message
And have very relevant prophetic
Verses…People remember them that
Way…and tell others.’

‘Isn’t everyone ALWAYS trying to
Tell a story?’ Mira asked him. ‘Aren’t
They in some way? Only most say
I…all the time…or me, what about me?’

‘And that’s when I say,’ Raya added
With a raised brow and serious tone,
‘What about you? What…about…you?
Everyone struggles, has pain, loss….
You can’t have all the answers, there
Would be no point in going on…we
Overcome each obstacle and become
Stronger for the long road…beyond
This. Because there must be more,
More than this…there must be.’ Then
She took a deep breath and sighed.
‘You tell them what you can, as best
You can…you give them some hope
And truth…and hopefully that’s a
Little more than they had before.’

‘But sharing visions isn’t an answer
For everyone. How can it be?’ Jon
Asked. ‘Doesn’t it make you tired,
When they ask so much of you?’

‘I have dreams of meeting people
And talking to people, sharing
Fortunes. So that is what I do.’ Raya
Just smiled.

‘The funny dreams are the romantic
Ones.’ Mira laughed. ‘Or the erotic
Dreams we hear…Those are the ones
To dismiss, so many have those…so
Many.’ She said shaking her head. ‘I
Can’t tell you how many people come
With stories about them…it’s something
Most never stop thinking about.’

‘Mine aren’t like that.’ Jon told them.
‘Something must be wrong with me, I
Don’t dream about romance or anything
Like that…I see things…sometimes broad
And sometimes small…I don’t dream of
Love or of legends…. I see things in
Dreams that scare me. Messages, symbols,
About being swept away into, or onto…
some kind of journey that I did not want…
and can not control. Why?’

‘Jon…I’ve sat here with you, I know
You unlike others…Now I have to say…
There is obviously a bigger plan at
Work for you.’ She said. ‘I know you
Do not want to hear that, but you have to.’

He fought to accept her words and
Bit his lip before admitting it. ‘I’m
Trying to.’

Mira arched her head slightly then at
Him. ‘The stars in the sky at night…
The way they move more and more…
You notice them, don’t you? Everyone
Does, more are noticing them. We
Hear about this.’ Then she looked at
Her mother, ‘What he saw…those lights.
Something is coming soon.’

‘We all sense this.’ Raya agreed. ‘And
More are wondering about it. How can
They not? And the fear and uncertainty
Is bringing out an ugly side in some…
And the best in others. That also says
A lot. Its almost like a judgement
Somehow.’

‘There are so many ideas about these
Things…but most are afraid to discuss
It…out loud at least.’ Mira nodded.

‘And some talk way too much about
It.’ Raya’s husband said seriously as
He could not help but wander over
And join their conversation. ‘Sometimes
Too much talking is just that, too much.
Faith and devotion say much more…
Those that push too much for a fast
Answer find nothing…Some answers
Never come, maybe they’re not meant
For everyone…The wisest wait.’

‘Patience is also a gift.’ Raya smiled
At her husband, proud of his words.
Most of her family gave sound counsel…
Well, most of the time.

Mira turned to Jon curiously. ‘You
Saw these lights up close…The little
Men that you described…and this light
That was put in your head…. What do
You think it means?’ All of them
Then stared intently at Jon eager to
Hear what he had to say.

He held his breath a moment at the
Pressure…But then, as if some
Mysterious insight inside him took
Over…’I never thought of those
Things before. They always scared
Me. But I think, I believe…they are
Here waiting to see which way this
World is going to go. It’s a turning
Point somehow. They know there’s
Something different here now…that
Could bring a shift. I’m not sure if
They are competing for it, or trying
To control it…but I do know they
Are watching and waiting.’

‘But what are they? Who are they?’
Mira asked. ‘You have been so
Close to so many strange things…
Just as we have. What do you see?’

‘Yes.’ Raya added eagerly. ‘What
Do you see?’

‘You won’t like my answer.’ Jon
Told them.

‘No, no.’ Raya replied. ‘Believe me,
I understand…. The hardest things to
Hear…are often what you need to
Listen to the most.’

Jon watched their faces, their eyes…
And saw the respect they were
Giving him. That was so rare for
Him. The only one who had ever
Admired his views was Heinz…he
Missed that. And in that respect, they
Gave him, he found his way to speak.
‘Some are not from here…And some
I believe are from another time and
Place somehow…And they are trying
To influence things…to shape this
World. One is trying to move it in
A dark way….and another is trying
To prevent that…It feels, territorial.’

Raya’s eyes opened wide. ‘That
Feels precisely true. I can not
Understand why…But when you
Say that, I can feel it now.’

‘The real question then becomes…
Who will win?’ Baja asked them.

‘In stories Good always wins….
In the end.’ Mira speculated.

‘Those are stories, fairy tales.’ Baja
Scowled. ‘That is what we are led
To believe…But in truth, if Good
Always wins…then why is the world
This way? No, it seems more that
The Dark has won more in the past.’

‘She said Good wins in the end.’
Raya responded. ‘This is not the end.
This isn’t even the beginning, maybe
Just somewhere in between.’

‘So, when is the end then?’ Mira
Wondered. ‘Is that what we have
To wait for…to see if Good will
Win? What time would that be?’

Raya thought carefully…remembering
A night years ago when a strange
Visitor appeared with a message
Before she gave a young girl a fortune.
It was as if lighting struck her…A
Special baby…Then she stared at
Jon…but was too terrified to say
What thoughts struck her mind…
She could only mumble the words,
‘Every 4-500 years it happens.’

‘What happens?’ Baja asked.

‘Some celestial…message or gift.’
Raya answered, her eyes seeming
To stare far away.

Jon squinted at her words. How could
She have said that? Then he felt a
Shiver up his spine. ‘But a lot have
Gifts though.’

‘Puzzle pieces.’ Raya wondered aloud.
‘Some do have gifts, yes. But different
Purposes…’

‘So, are you saying,’ Mira said turning
To her mother,’ ‘That we are on this
World…just like some players on
A game board? On some one or
Some things territory?’

‘It appears that way.’ Raya could only
Say.

‘Still,’ Baja added, ‘If this is not
The end…then that can only mean…
The Dark road is not over. That
Should tell us who wins now.’

‘Have hope, Father.’ Mira pleaded.

‘Everything just seems to be
Getting so big so fast.’ Jon said.

‘The world is large, my friend.’ Baja
Told him. ‘To have hope in such a
Large world…its better to know fewer
People then.’ He laughed.

A tense moment of silence. Then
Raya took a deep breath. ‘There
Are those that believe in one
Absolute creation…In God, one God,
And that this world is all there is…
Yet to look up at the stars at night…
How can this be all there is? No,
There has to be more…it makes
Sense. Someday there will be
Answers on this. What those answers
Are…’ She looked at them with a
Heavy brow, certain about what
She was saying, ‘It would be best
To be open to any answer…no
Matter how it sounds.’

‘A man once told me…’ Jon said
Very carefully. ‘That…we…are
Not from here…. And that we have
Family,’ he looked up and pointed
With his eyes to the sky and the
Stars beyond, ‘Out there.’

They all stared at Jon with keen
Expressions…a little shocked,
A little scared…but absolutely
Believing him. Somehow his
Words did not seem so far-fetched
At all. ‘I really should go now,’
He said standing fast, ‘My family
Will really wonder where I am.
They will be angry.’ He started
To walk off when…

‘Jon…Who is he?’ Raya dared
To ask.

‘Who?’ Jon answered.

‘The man, the tall man that comes
Sometimes…then vanishes.’ Raya
Said boldly, desperately trying
To read more from him…. but she
Couldn’t.

‘I don’t know what you mean.’
He responded avoiding her eyes.

‘Yes, you do.’ Mira said.

‘I can’t give you that answer.’
Jon only said. ‘I really should go
Now…I hope…I will try to
Visit you once again before you
Leave.’

‘Be well my friend.’ They each said
To him kindly. ‘Please stay well…
And Safe. Take care of yourself.’

Jon left quietly, their eyes following
His every step until he was out of
Sight through the trees. Then he
Went to the meadow and met Raya’s
Grandsons as they watched his goats.
He thanked them, then ushered the
Flock away back home. When he
Arrived back at his house, his family
Was already sitting down to dinner.
They were upset waiting for him as
He expected…His father was the
First to speak as Jon entered through
The front door. ‘Where have you
Been?’ He asked angrily.

Jon had already planned his
Explanation, he dare not tell them
About the gypsies…that would
Make things so much worse. ‘I
Fell asleep in the meadow. I passed
Out…I was so tired…I’m sorry.’

‘Asleep?’ His father snapped. ‘Too
Much work watching the goats graze?
That is too hard for you?’

‘Please Helmut.’ His mother begged.
‘The boy is not well, he has been ill.’

His father held his tongue for now,
But fought giving his son a good slap.
‘Next time pay more attention to
The time.’

‘You would be much better off
Getting married.’ His grandmother
Had to say. ‘Someone to care for you…
Children to help around the farm…
Don’t you want to be a good son,
Make your grandmother happy, and
Give me grandchildren? What
Is a family without sweet babies
Running around?’

Jon froze…stood there watching
Them eat. Years of memories
Flashed through his eyes. What was
There to remember? Nothing sweet.
Then something rose within him
And the words just came out. ‘I
Am NOT getting married and having
Children just to make you happy…
What, for more children to slap around?’

Everyone froze in shock and looked
At him. Even his father was
Stunned. ‘Jon…what you said
To your grandmother! What a
Worthless brat you are!’ His
Grandfather growled. ‘You apologize
Now.’

‘I’m not sorry I said it.’ Jon
Said strongly, even coldly.

‘That attitude of yours,’ his father
Responded hard, ‘needs to be
Broken. I didn’t raise you that
Way…You don’t need to eat tonight.
You go to your room and get to
Bed…You need to think more about
Obedience.’

Jon said nothing, he simply turned
And went to his room as requested
And shut the door, shutting
Everything out. But inside he felt
A quiet victory…and felt a
Little stronger than before. Then
Suddenly he didn’t feel as sick
Either…as if something rising
Within fought it off.

Hours passed until darkness came.
He lay in his bed quietly, not a
Thought in his head…he simply
Stared at the ceiling…waiting.
Once he felt the house was
Absolutely quiet with everyone
Asleep…there was a slight shuffling
Sound, a soft footstep. Then the
Stranger emerged from the shadowy
Corner of his room…out of
Nowhere.

‘I knew you would be there again.’
Jon said.

‘I know.’ He replied.

‘Why are you doing this to me?’ Jon
Asked.

‘Jon, I’m not doing it.’ The tall
Stranger answered. His face had
The kindest expression…wise,
Patient and knowing, even though
He said so little. ‘I am here
To help you, that’s all.’

‘Why?’

‘Because no one else can.’ The
Stranger said watching him. ‘They
Don’t know how…that’s why I
Am asking you to listen to me.’

‘I keep thinking about Jeff. Why?’ Jon
Asked.

‘There is a connection there. That’s
Why.’ The stranger said.

‘He’s like me?’ Jon asked.

‘Similar, yes.’ The stranger said. ‘But
He went through something much
Worse. You can never talk about
That, not ever…An Angel gave
Him a gift too…only his came
At 3 in the afternoon.’

‘I told him what you said.’ Jon
Went on. ‘He has other gifts,
That’s why.’

The stranger nodded. ‘We need
Him for something. Many were
Selected with tests…only a few
Passed them.’

‘Is this about me or him?’ Jon
Asked.

‘Both.’ The stranger said, then
Looked around Jon’s room as he
Walked around his bed…and slowly
Stopped to meet his eyes. ‘They
Were warned once about particle
Accelerators…about the universe
And life elsewhere…to respect their
Neighbors…or there would be
Consequences. A certain amount
Of time was allotted for this.’

‘What is a particle accelerator?’
Jon asked.

‘Well…it is basically about power,’
The stranger said, ‘But it affects
All natures of things…properly
Managed it is a wonderful
Energy…poorly managed…it can
Tear a universe apart…even
Dimensions…Even a small accident
Creates ripples…and can be felt
In worlds and universes far far
Away…One bad ripple can really
Anger some things.’

‘I don’t understand.’ Jon could only say.

‘What it means, Jon, is…’ The stranger
Said mysteriously. ‘The universe, or
Rather higher aspects of it…responds
To such things to correct it…
And if it can not correct it,
Or is not allowed to…then
One day all hell is going to
Break loose.’

Valiant.