Valiant: Knock Knock…The Sandman…The Gift…Part 24…

Jon thought quietly and carefully to himself
As he watched the faces around the table
Studying him, waiting to hear what he
Would say. The discomfort of this was so
Sudden and unbearable. And all at once
Something surged from deep within him…
A broken stream of memories converged
Against a sound that filled his ears. A
Strange anchoring sound that repeated
Over and over…A sound most today would
Recognize as the ringing of a bell.

‘I want to explain,’ Jon said weakly, ‘But
It’s hard to find the right words to begin.’

‘Can you at least tell me,’ Sara asked
Humbly, ‘Has anything like this ever
Happened to you, the man or the
Bracelet?’

‘Yes.’ Jon answered.

Everyone watched eagerly now waiting
As if every moment lasted ages. And
Jon sensed quickly somehow, his senses
Sharpening, that few had stories like
This. ‘I have met,’ Jon went on, ‘And
Seen a man like that…And a woman.’

‘Did they tell you anything?’ Sara asked.

Jon’s expression became suddenly
More serious, focused and controlled.
‘They said…I had to be careful what to
Say.’

‘You see,’ Josef nodded to his friends
Around the table. ‘I told you another
Would come one day.’

‘Like that dream you told me about?’
Matthias asked. ‘That place?’

‘What place?’ Sara asked.

‘They took me to a place…’ Jon said
Carefully, almost sternly. ‘It was like
Paradise.’ Then he looked down reluctant
To say more, then said it anyway. ‘Actually…
I have been there a few times.’

‘This man, these people, showed you this?’
Josef asked carefully, squinting at him,
Studying his posture and words. ‘Why?’

‘I don’t know.’ Jon answered. ‘How should
I know? Its like I want to remember, sometimes
I do…but then I forget, or can’t.’

Then Sara paused as she studied him now…
She could tell her companions were
Unhappy with his answer. They always
Wanted so much so fast, easy answers for
Nothing…Yet she understood the confusion
Jon had. ‘Until you are supposed to
Remember.’

‘Yes.’ Jon answered. ‘Yes, I think so.’

‘You’re saying this some sort of
Purpose with timing?’ Hath nearly
Snapped. ‘What rubbish. What has
The power to do that…control a
Memory over time?’

‘If it’s a complicated ordeal,’ Josef
Snapped back at Hath, ‘I would think
It would involve a precision unlike
Anything we know….so nothing could
Ruin it, or interfere with it. Especially
An opinion…and anything trying to
Tear it apart.’

‘My life has been hard enough,’ Hath
Insisted. ‘I want answers. I didn’t deserve
These things.’

‘Who does?’ Julianna interjected. ‘Who
Asks to be here? Who asks for any of this?
He is sharing his story…HIS. If he shares
It then maybe something he says helps, or
One of us…Its not all about you, Hath.’

‘I’m looking too.’ Matthias added.

‘As am I.’ Another gentlemen added.

‘Can we listen WITHOUT interrupted
Opinions?’ Sara asked, of not demanded.
She brought a fast silence with her words,
Jon really was impressed with that.

‘It was going on New Year’s Eve…’ Jon
Said slowly. ‘I…I…’ The words kept
Freezing from out of his mouth before
Coming out. And it happened to someone
Else too…someone like me. This man took
Me to meet him, he wanted him to write
About his experiences and dreams…He asked
Me to ask him to do it for some reason…’ Jon’s
Words grew stronger now with each breath. ‘He
Didn’t want to do it, because he knew what
The reaction would be like from people…All
These things happened to him no one knew about,
Supernatural things. He hated it because it kept
Attracting the wrong things, the wrong people
Into his life. He was trying to make peace with
It, control it somehow. But it kept getting
Wore…. So, on New Year’s Eve he decided
If he could not fix it…he was going to cut
It out…with a knife. But then, an angel
Stopped him…It reached out and put its
Hand in his head and drew things, pictures,
Hundreds if them, lots and lots. For 33 minutes.
Then it pulled its hand out of his head and
Nodded at him as if to say…now you know.
But his Angel was different than mine, his
Came at 3 in the afternoon, 1999. And his
Angel…wore a crown.’

Sara’s eyes widened at his words. Then
She looked at Josef, then back to Jon.
‘An angel? Drew pictures in your head,
And his?’

‘Drew pictures?’ Josef asked.

‘Yes.’ Jon answered. ‘And it was like…
Suddenly I was a different person. And
These stories filled my head, and pictures…
They’re so vivid, beyond any detail that
I have known. And with them come these
Intense feelings being pulled out…its so
Strong, its like they are from other lifetimes
Or something like that. And they converge
In someway as they come out. But I can’t
Control it, it just happens. And I don’t know
Why.’

‘They knew.’ Sara mumbled aloud. ‘Someone…
THEY…’ Then she looked up through the tent
At the sky. ‘They know these things before
They happen.’

‘3 in the afternoon? Josef said to Jon fast.
‘Did you know…that was the hour of the
Crucifixion?’
‘WHAT?!’ Jon nearly shouted. ‘No,
I didn’t know that…What, what does
That mean.’

Sara’s eyes remained wide open. Her
Mind seemed to race, as Jon’s did. ‘I
Don’t know…but this is VERY interesting,’

‘Interesting?’ Jon laughed. ‘Not to me its
Not. Maybe for YOU, you look for those
Things…All I ever wanted was to be normal.
Just quiet boring me, that’s all.’

‘The boy has a miracle,’ Hath laughed,
And runs from it.’

‘Runs from it?’ Jon laughed hard at
The words. ‘Is that a joke? There is NO
RUNNING. It just comes out. It’s not
A question of fear, or want. IT just HAPPENS.
And it happens when it wants.

‘You fight it.’ Sara said kindly, seeing
The distress in his eyes. It’s overwhelming.
It must be hard to talk to anyone. I can
Understand that. And I think this mystery
Man, these people that you’ve seen, they
Know it too.’

Jon swallowed fast, so many mixed
Emotions filled his head…frustration,
Speculation…yes somehow he was so
Grateful that Sara did offer comforting
Words…much like Raya and her family
Had. ‘I had thought that too.’ Jon said
First to her, then to everyone listening
At the table. ‘I have thought of this a lot,
That someone must have known…. But
How could they…unless…’

‘Unless they were from another time,’
Josef said for them. ‘Or another place.’

Sara nodded at this, her own experiences
Filling her head just then. ‘OR perhaps
Both. There could be a lot of forces at
Work here.’

‘But why?’ Matthias asked then. ‘Does
This have something to do with the lights?
With all the strange things going on?’

‘It sounds like it.’ One gentleman with
A tannish skin dressed very neatly in a
Dark suit said. ‘It is an overwhelming
Scheme to think…The more stories you
Hear, the more possibilities fill the air.’

‘I’ve tried everything I could to slow it
Down.’ Jon told them honestly. ‘Do you
You know what it feels like…. when all
Of these things happen…and you have NO
SAY. And the only thing that fills your
Head constantly is this intense feeling
Of something HUGE?’

‘Why would you want to slow it down?’
Hath asked.

‘Are you listening at all?’ Sara said
Crossly to him.

“I just want my part in it is all….’
Hath grumbled. ‘I want better than this!
All anyone ever sees in me is a BIG stupid
Ox that complains and farts a lot.’

‘But you are built like an ox,’ Josef
Replied plainly. ‘And you do fart a lot.’

‘Oh, shut up old man!’ Hath growled at him.

‘Don’t shout at me you loud mouth!’ Josef
Growled back at him biting his teeth.

‘Enough!’ Sara shouted rolling her eyes.
Then she touched her forehead shaking her
Head. ‘The noise of discussion sometimes loses
All the meaning. Honestly to have a decent
Conversation requires fewer individuals!’

‘An angel?’ Hath questioned. ‘Come now,
You heard what he said. Drew pictures in
His head? How ridiculous! With everything
Going on? And of all places…with some
Small village farm boy? The way the world is,
The way peoples’ minds work. Why would
An angel do that? No angel would do that.’

Sara turned sharply with anger to Hath, then
Scowled at everyone. ‘How do you know?
How do you know WHAT an angel would
Do or would be like? That it would have no
Personality or passion of its own? That it
Would not be moved to understand as much
As possible in as many ways that it could
Without end? And by some command no
Doubt…Higher Powers have their own
Insight from a position beyond what we know.’
Sara lingered on the words racing through
Her mind. ‘As would these mysterious watchers
And visitors.’’

‘The reasons could go on,’ Josef said slowly,
Then kindly looked at Jon. ‘The gratitude and
Best thing offered…is inspiration. I could
Never satisfy all of my customers in all of
My years. They always wanted more. It
Was such a hard thing going, exhausting…
More, more. More…They wanted so much
All the time. Day after day…it was
Overwhelming. Until one day, I could
Not do it anymore.’

‘Everyone always acted like they were
The first person that I ever talked to.’
Jon said. ‘Coming at me with lectures
About things…. things I already knew.’

‘Me too.’ Sara nodded at him.

‘So, give us the miracle answer then.’
Hath grumbled. ‘You said this angel
Drew pictures…Then tell us what it means.’

‘Are you listening at all?’ Julianna laughed
At Hath.

‘What?’ Hath groaned.

‘To what end?’ Julianna asked ‘Miracle
Answer?’ She laughed fast. ‘You make it
Sound like a final answer, a quick fix.’

‘So?’ Hath asked.

Sara rolled her eyes again. ‘I swear some
Minds are deformed by what they want…
Halted from moving forward because they
Seek a fast solution, a fast answer. How long
Have you been looking? There is no fast
Answer! Things take time.’

‘I don’t understand.’ Hath said.

‘Maybe you should drink some more
Wine.’ Julianna scowled at him.

‘Don’t talk to me like that girl.’ Hath
Defended.

‘PLEASE STOP.’ Jon said to them all
As he put his hands on the table flat
And his eyes spun staring in it at it yet
At nothing. ‘This is what I was talking
About…The questions, the debate. It
Happened, it happens. That’s all I can
Say…Its hard enough trying to find my
Own understanding with it. That’s why
I put it in the paper and keep it there.’

‘Have you done a lot of work on paper?’
One man asked.

‘Yes, a lot.’ Jon answered.

‘I saw some of his work.’ Matthias told them.
‘You should see it.’

‘I would imagine many would want
To take it.’ Sara replied.

‘They have.’ Jon said. ‘And even
Destroyed it.’

‘Why?’ Hath asked.

‘Why do you think?’ Julianna asked
Rolling her eyes. ‘Did your wisdom
Suddenly slip away? Because they see
Something there…They don’t know what
It is, but they feel it. That’s why.’

‘That’s part of me.’ Jon told them. ‘Part
Of what comes out…But I’m just me.
Maybe inside I am just a boring village
Farm boy like Matthias said to me, and
I’m fine with that. I don’t know what
They see in me or why…maybe its
Complicated, or not. But since you’re
Asking…for some miracle story…
Here’s one for you…We’re sitting
Here talking about all these strange
Things and all that I am thinking about
As we sit here is my goose.’

‘Your goose?’ Hath asked.

‘Last year,’ Jon went on,’ ‘Was a hard
Year for us, my family. And while I think
About my dreams, or whatever strange
Things happen…I focus on my chores, on work.
Our geese lay in the spring. And how well they
Produce determines how well we fare over
The winter…meat, feathers. My pet goose sat
On her nest to hatch her goslings. But something
Must have gone wrong. I am not sure. But…
They didn’t hatch. A month went by, and
Nothing happened. And after that…each day
Would pass and her face, her head would drop
Just a little more. She wouldn’t move. The
Gander sat beside her so sweetly, he tried
To get her to move and she wouldn’t. She sat
On that nest for 3 months. The look on her
Face when she finally gave up and stood
And turned and looked at her nest, and
Those eggs that didn’t hatch…I felt it.
And people say its just a dumb bird…All my
Grandfather did was get angry about not
Having goose for the fall and winter…not
Have her babies to eat…People talk about
Purpose, about suffering and faith…about
Governments…and criticizing and wisdom.
And all that I could do was think about the
Devotion that goose had…against what
People call a dumb bird. I don’t know if
There are any miracle answers…But that’s
What speaks to me.’

“I don’t want to eat your goose.’ Hath said.

‘You are an idiot!” Julianna turned to
Yell at Hath.

The quieter man seated opposite Jon
Thought carefully before speaking. ‘Son,
Don’t listen to anyone for advice.’

Sara thought to herself quietly about
What Jon said. And despite all that
Was going on and being said she
Recognized the simplicity in it…She
Looked among her people, at their
Faces as they lingered in their thoughts.
What did they expect to hear? And for
All that had struggled with over the
Years…. Such a simple story. ‘All
The searches seem to come to simple
Answers.’

‘What simple answer?’ Hath groaned.
‘I came searching for a reason in these
Lights and mysteries that I’ve had
My entire life…And the boy gives us
Some story about his goose?’

‘Its not always about people.’ Josef
Said to everyone. ‘If you think about
It, in terms of natures…The plants
And animals came first.’

‘Its about some bird then?’ Hath asked.

‘Where is your head?’ Julianna
Said really irritated now. ‘Are you
Listening? What did you want, some
Old statement…some scandal to hear?
To give each their own an answer
They want to hear?’

‘A versatile response from a higher
Power.’ Josef laughed to himself, then
Paused.

Sara rolled her eyes again,
Her thoughts disturbed by the
Ensemble. Then she tilted her head
And looked at Jon. ‘Can I speak
With you alone, privately, outside?’

‘Alright.’ Jon agreed. Then he rose
From the table and they quietly
Walked just outside the tent to
Speak alone. He stood silently
Strong then, curious to hear what
She would say.

Sara held herself taller then, in a
Way that was different than others
Knew as they stood alone; as though
She could only be herself privately.
Then she looked at him strongly but
Kind and said. ‘It’s hard to speak
In company…what they see isn’t what
Is always there. Over the years, I
Have learned communication can be very
Difficult…and easily misunderstood.’

‘I know the feeling.’ Jon simply said.

She eyed him confidently now,
Her mind working fast. ‘It is
Hard to read you…but I think
I understand why now.’

‘Why?’ Jon asked.

‘Because it has to be that way,
Jon.’ She said.

He studied her carefully but sensed
A clear sincerity. ’It does?’

‘Jon, listen to me.’ Sara said
Carefully. ‘There is more than I
Could ever say to them…more than
You could ever say. Do you know
What I mean?’

‘Yes, I think so.’ He nodded.

‘I’m not as curious as they are.
I’m just here with them.’ Sara
Explained. ‘I have more than I
Want to know. I understand what
That’s like to live with…as do you!’

He nodded silently.

‘In meeting you, it has given me
More answers.’ Sara went on. ‘Do
You know how the world works?
There is understanding…and a lot
Of assumptions and guesses. In all
That confusion it takes a lot of time
To expand that understanding and
Eliminate that guessing and those
Assumptions. Rulers know this…Time.’

Jon thought fast and looked back at
The tent thinking of everyone inside.
‘There are so many people searching…
Waiting…hoping.’ then he paused and
Looked at her. ‘Your bracelet…Your
Birthday…Do you know what it means?’

‘No.; Sara said with a little laugh.
‘And…I’m not sure I want to.’
Then she hesitated, her eyes
Wide as she looked at him. ‘Why,
Do you?’

He somewhat paused, as if another
Mysterious part inside him reacted.
‘I think there will be a time of
Great change ne day. And that’s
All in how one sees it…either bad
Or good. I have hoe. But the only
Words that I seem to be able to
Say is…that nature has a voice too,
A balance. Yet, no matter what I
See…I still hope something beautiful
Comes out of it. That’s what I always
Wanted…was to make the world
Beautiful.’ I wanted that for everyone.’

‘You realize you can’t share everything.’
Sara told him.

‘I know.’ He said, looking down. ‘I really
Should be going now.’

Valiant.

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