Enoch and Noah – Part 6

I was frightened by the big cats at first, but they turned out to be pretty friendly as long as I didn’t get too close.

Then I saw another ladder leading even farther down.

Hmm, I’m pretty sure that this is where Papa told me not to go. But, I wonder what it looks like down there”.

Just then I heard some strange rustling around noises and noticed that the lamps that lit up each of the lower levels seemed to be out. I began to get very curious. I looked around to see if anyone was around.

Papa will never know if I look just once.”

So, I began climbing down the ladder and I was turning and twisting around trying to see what was there when suddenly the ark lurched and my foot slipped. I lost my grip on the ladder and began flailing around trying to grab onto something when my left leg got caught in one of the steps of the ladder.

There was excruciating pain, a horrible snapping sound and then I landed hard on my back, flat on the deck. The next thing to hit must have been my head because I blacked out for a while.

When I awoke, I was in more pain than I had ever imagined in my whole life. I realized I had broken my leg badly. I couldn’t keep from yelling and crying it hurt so badly, but no one came. I was down there all alone.

I realized that my father and uncles were cleaning out stalls at least two decks above me and couldn’t hear me.

Where is Grampa’s God when I need Him?

I immediately felt completely alone and in the dark. Then I began to feel afraid. I didn’t know how often they came down to this level to care for the animals.

My eyes began to gradually get used to the dim light.

I began to yell again.

“Help,” I yelled as loud as I could.

“Help!”

“Help!”

After the second or third yell, there was this really weird echo. It sounded a lot like a horn of some sort.

Every time I hollered help, that strange horn echoed back to me.

After about five or six times, I tried to sit up and look around.

Through the tears in my eyes and into the dim light, coming toward me was the biggest animal I had ever seen.

It was sort of a brownish grey with big floppy ears and a long huge nose, an absolutely monstrous, grey, wrinkly body and legs twice as big around as my Uncle Ham. Just as I started to get a good look at it, it rose up its nose and made that horn sound I had been hearing.

It walked slowly over to me with its nose pointed at me sniffing me and then touching me. I was scared at first, but its touch was so gentle I stopped being afraid. It pushed at me a little bit, like it was trying to help me stand up. I reached up to feel it’s long nose and it began to pick me up and cradle me with it. I felt the pressure on my leg get less and the pain got easier to handle.

I wasn’t sure what was going on or why this animal was doing this. I looked up and I could tell the big thing was also looking down at me. I began to feel very relaxed and very tired. My eyes had trouble staying open and I must have fallen asleep for a while.

When I woke up, the animal was still holding me up. I began to call out for my father. “Papa,” I would call out. I was not very loud at first. I did not want to frighten my protector.

“Papa!”

I would repeat a little louder each time.

“Papa!”

“Papa!”

After a while, I stopped because I wasn’t getting any answers. The pain was still pretty strong and I was getting tired again. I was also very thirsty and starting to get more afraid that no one was answering me.

I was getting scared and I didn’t know what to do.

I thought about what Grampa might do and, just as clearly as day, I could hear his voice talking to me. “Enoch” he said “you just tell the Lord what you need when you need His help. He will help you. God is faithful, just you wait and see.”

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Enoch and Noah – Part 5

“Enoch … Enoch … come on son, it’s time to get up.”

“Okay Mom, just five more minutes …”

I had one more stone to roll before I would beat those town boys at their own game. I lined up my shot and just as I was about to make it …

“Enoch, you need to get up and do your chores. Come on, son.”

“Okay, okay …” Realizing the game was just a dream; I stretched my arms and legs, and then opened my eyes and tried to focus.

The room was pretty dark, “Where was my window, my furniture … my stuff?

Then suddenly I felt my bed lift up from behind me and tilt to my left. I quickly looked around, “What is going on? My whole room moved!

“Huh? Wha—where am I?” I said out loud.

“It’s alright, this is your first time waking up on the ark,” my Mom’s voice again filtered through the morning fog in my head.

Then things began to look familiar, “Oh, yeah, that’s right …”

Memories of the last days, weeks and months began to flood back into my mind, the work on the ark, the fire, the townspeople attacking Grampa, the animals arriving, the rains and flooding and finally the door of the ark closing on the outside world the Lord had decided to destroy.

“Ok Mom, I’m going.”

I got up, dressed, washed, grabbed a chunk of bread from the table and headed up toward the large pen with the netting containing all the birds that came with us on the ark. I have to feed them and clean out their pen.

There was singing and wild calls coming from the top of the ladder I had to climb to get to the upper level. I really like all the birds, feeding them isn’t too bad. It’s the cleaning up after them that’s yucky.

I grabbed a couple of buckets and filled them with the different kinds of food the birds liked and went into the pen. When they saw me with the food, the sound of all the birds got so loud I nearly had to cover my ears.

Looking up into the branches of the trees my Pop and uncles had brought in and mounted to the walls of the pen, I saw many of the birds moving to the lower branches. They seemed eager to eat.

It’s a good thing I looked up because one of the birds was dropping something yucky. I just barely got out of the way in time.

After cleaning out the pen and putting out the food, I sat on the bench inside the enclosure and thought for a while. “This is going to get boring real fast if this is all I have to do every day,” I said to myself.

I had asked Grampa how long we were going to be on this trip. But, the only answer I could get from him was “The Lord will let us know when He is done out there. Just be patient, Enoch.”

So, I decided to explore the Ark.

The first thing I did was to walk all the way from end to end on the deck my birds were on. I had already done that topside (that’s what we call the top deck of the Ark where you could go outside) but, I didn’t want to stay out there because it was still raining.

But, I wanted to see everything.

So I walked and walked and walked, each day I went to a new and lower level.

I looked and looked and looked. I had never seen so many different kinds of animals in all my life. A lot of the animals were new to all of us and we didn’t know what to call them. Many had come from very far away and many were very strange.

I wanted to see them all, even all the creepy, creeping things, no matter how long it took.

One night at supper, we talked about what I was doing.

“What did you see today, Enoch,” Mama asked.

“I saw the monkeys and the antelope and the . . . um . . .striped horses,” I said.

Papa laughed and said, “Those are called zebras son.”

Then he spoke up in his stern voice, “I don’t want you going down to the lowest levels son. The big cats and other very large, dangerous animals are down there. They may be safe enough but, I don’t want you to take any chances. Do you understand me?”

“Yes Papa,” I said.

There were still lots of other parts to explore that I hadn’t seen yet. And, there were lots of animals yet to see.

Every day for several weeks I went out and looked and explored. I was having a great time until one day when I was going down to one of the lower levels where we kept the larger animals.

Hmm, here’s another ladder going down, I don’t remember seeing this one before.” I thought to myself. Down at this level, the cages were much larger than the ones higher up.

Wow! I bet the really big animals are down here. One more level won’t hurt …

Enoch and Noah – Part 4

I ran to Grampa and asked what was happening. He told me the Lord had told him about the water from the sky. Grampa called it rain. He said it would continue for forty days and forty nights. All the water would destroy the whole world that we had known. He called it a flood.

Then something really weird happened. I looked out the door. I could see that the water was everywhere. It was beginning to cover our farm. People from the city and surrounding farms started arriving, and I could see that they wanted to come with us. Grampa, Pop, and my uncles came to the area near the door, and Grampa began to pray. He said, “Oh Lord of heaven and earth. You have blessed us all beyond measure, but we have rebelled against you. And because of this rebellion, you have chosen to destroy the earth by a flood. But you have also chosen your servant Noah and his family to care for the animals that you have sent to us. You have instructed me to build this ark. My family and I have done so. The animals that you have chosen have arrived. They are safe inside this ark, which we built according to your command. The rains have begun. The flooding has begun and we, your servant Noah and his family, are safe inside. The rest is up to you Lord. We place ourselves in your hands Almighty God. Do with us as you will.”

Just as Grampa finished that prayer, there was a loud creaking sound and movement by the door. It was the DOOR! It was closing all by itself! The people that had gathered on the outside began yelling and rushing toward the door, but…they were too late.

The door closed with a groan, a scraping, and finally a loud thud that echoed throughout the ark.

They were on the outside and we were on the inside and suddenly it got real quiet.

No one spoke.

The animals were silent.

Then the whole ark moved!

We suddenly pitched to the left. Things were sliding across the floor and falling. Then we pitched back the other way. Something hit me and knocked me down. Pop was right there with his strong arm and he picked me up. And then…the ark steadied upright again and we could tell that we were still moving. It was really weird!

After we put a few of the things that had slid around back where they belonged, we raced up the big stairway to the windows on the top deck of the ark. All we could see was water for miles and miles. There were just a few mountaintops off in the distance.

We were alone in the middle of all of this water that wasn’t even there just a few days ago. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream. I didn’t even want to believe it. I thought that I would wake up in just a minute. But…. I didn’t.

The sky was blacker than anything I had ever seen; the wind was blowing so hard it was hard to stand still. It made me feel so cold with the rain coming down harder and harder. I kept thinking about all the people and things that were under that water. I just stood there hanging on the edge of the window looking out.

I couldn’t understand why they all had to…be destroyed. That made me angry, so I went to a small place on the ark that I had discovered to hide when I didn’t want to be found. I wanted to think about things for a while.

I thought about the people and the places that I knew. Grampa was right. There were people that did really mean things. I didn’t understand a lot of what went on, but I thought that those people wanted to live that way. Maybe it was ok if they weren’t hurting anyone but themselves.

But then I got to thinking about something Pop had told me. If I make something and it doesn’t turn out right or work the way I wanted it to, I could tear it apart and start over if I wanted. He told me that was what God was doing. He was going to start over. He was going to keep parts of what He made that He liked and was going to do the rest over again. It was His choice. I repeated that to myself, “It was His choice and He always chooses to do the right thing.”

I didn’t even hear Grampa come up behind me. The first thing I knew was that his hand was on my shoulder. I turned and looked up at him. He told me to follow him. He led me to where the birds were kept. The light was dim and it was pretty warm in there. They seemed to be comfortable with that. They were strangely peaceful and quiet. We found a little bench to sit on, and Grampa and I sat there watching the birds for quite a while. We used to do that sometimes at home on his favorite bench, under his favorite tree, watching the sun go down. It was almost like old times. I began to feel a lot better and was able to relax a little. Then he scooted away from me just a bit, bent down, and looked me in the eyes and said, “Enoch, I am sure that all of this is frightening. It would frighten me too, and it might even make me angry…if I did not know the Lord the way that I do. That helps me to trust Him. Enoch, I want you to know the Lord the same way that I do. I want you to trust Him the same way that I do.”

I looked into Grampa’s eyes. They were deep and soft and loving. I knew I could believe him and trust him. Trusting God was a little bit harder for me. Then I remembered what Pop had said. He told me to trust Grampa and to trust in the Lord.

“God is faithful,” he always said, “you just obey and wait and see.”

Grampa had said the same thing many times. Suddenly, I felt like I wanted to trust him, God I mean.

“Grampa,” I said.

“Don’t say anything now,” Grampa said. “Would you pray with me?”

I looked down for a moment, and then back into his big eyes.

“Yes”, I said, “I would like that.”

“Hold my hands,” he said. I put my hands into his. My hands were so small compared to his. They were big and worn from many years of hard work, but at the same time, they were soft and tender.

He began to speak quietly, with confidence and familiarity.

“Lord God, God of the heavens and the earth, God of our fathers Adam and Enoch, Lord God, hear us now as we speak. I am here with my grandson Enoch. He is having a hard time trusting you; he might even be a little bit angry with you. He doesn’t know it is ok to be honest about all of our feelings. Mostly because he does not know you as I do. I know you are faithful and true. I also know that you love us each more than we could ever realize. Please help my grandson Enoch to know you as I do. Help him seek you and to know you as his great, great, great….great grandfather Enoch knew you. Help him to trust you and to know you are faithful. Thank you Lord, for I know you will hear and answer this prayer.”

With that, he squeezed my hands, and I knew it was my turn to talk to the Lord.

I was scared.

It’s not every day you talk to the God that created the universe, but Grampa knew Him so well and trusted Him so much I wanted to try.

I started the same way Grampa did.

“Lord God, God of the heavens and the earth, this is Enoch, and I’ve never spoken to you before because I…I…well, I just didn’t know I could. Now I know I can. I have learned that from my Grampa and I just want you to know I want to trust you in the same way my Grampa does. Please help me because I’m pretty young…and, well, I’m really new at this. Please help me to trust that you’ll take care of all of us in this ark and one day soon we can live on land again.”

Grampa laughed a little, but I kept going.

“Thank you, Lord, for loving us. Thank you for loving me and my family. Help us to take good care of all the animals. Especially help me to take care of all of the birds. There are more birds here than I’ve ever seen in my whole life.”

“Anyway, thank you Lord. Please forgive me for being angry with you. Please help me to do my part of trusting you to take care of everything else on the outside of the ark. I know it’s my job to just trust and obey you.”

Then Grampa put his big arms around me and gave me a real good hug. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “God is faithful, just you wait and see.”

I gave him a big smile and said, “Ok, Grampa, I’ll do my best. The Lord has to help me, but I will try very hard and trust Him.”

“God is faithful,” he said, “just you wait and see.”

Then he walked away. I sat there with the birds for a long time thinking about all that had happened. I felt more peaceful than before. I, somehow, just knew that things would be all right. But, our voyage had just begun.

The Day Great Grampa Disappeared – Conclusion

By the time old man Kenan’s story was over, I was finished fixing his cart, he thanked me and was on his way. I started off for Grampa’s friends house again. But, by the time I got there, Grampa had already gone.”

“Not again! Where did he go this time?” asked his son.

“We’ll get to that in just a minute. You see, Ezra’s wife had just died a few days before and he was very sad and lonely. So Grampa Enoch had spent several hours visiting with Ezra, just talking and laughing and praying. Ezra said the visit with Grampa was just what he needed and just when he needed it. He said my Grampa Enoch was the best friend any man could ever have. He also said Grampa kept telling him to put his trust in the Lord. Then he told me that Grampa said something strange about going away on a trip and that he wasn’t sure when he might be coming back.”

“Then what?” asked Lamech’s son.

“That’s all he said. I asked him where Grampa Enoch had gone. Ezra said that after a long day, Grampa liked to walk in his fields among the trees and talk with the Lord, that I should try looking for him there.

So, off I went, back to where the day started at your Grampa’s farm to the fields that were next to his home…you know, where the creek runs toward the valley where all the trees grow.

By the time I got there it was dusk, the sun was just hitting the tops of the western hills and I could see Grampa Enoch walking among the trees. I started running toward him. I had learned so much about him that day that I wanted to talk to him more than ever. Then it happened.”

“Then what happened?” asked his son.

“There was a strange cloud that formed in the open field near the grove of trees. Your great Grampa Enoch was walking toward it. It looked like he was walking with someone I hadn’t been able to see before. I called out to my Grampa. He turned, smiled and waved and then the two of them walked right into that cloud. I started to run faster to try and catch up but the cloud began to disappear. By the time I got there, the cloud was gone and so were they. I couldn’t see them anywhere. Your great Grampa Enoch and his friend were just gone!”

“Then what?” asked Lamech’s son.

“Then nothing, I never saw him again. Like I said before, it was one of the worst days of my life and one of the best.

It was one of the worst because of all the things that kept happening to me that kept me from getting to see your great Grampa. I only got a glimpse of him at the end.

It was one of the best because of all the things that I learned about the kind of man your great Grampa Enoch was. I have spent a lot of time in my life thinking about him and I have tried to be the same sort of man.

Let me tell you what I learned about him.

He was gracious, compassionate, fed those in need, gave freely, did not fear evil, was steadfast, and always, always trusted in the Lord.

Son, I want you to learn to be the same sort of man,” said Lamech.

“I will, papa,” replied his son.

“I know you will, Noah,” Lamech said. “God is faithful, just you wait and see.”

Night Lights in the Forest – 11

Eryndir raised his hand and the group halted, lined up flush against the barn, weapons at the ready with eyes focused on him. Emmy, outfitted in the same green camo outfit as the rest, was nervous and holding her breath waiting for Eryndir’s next command.
Eryndir peeked around the edge of the barn and then looked back at the team and made a circular motion with his hand. Most of the team took off, crouching low, weapons at the ready. Eryndir leaned over to her and whispered, “we’re going to establish a perimeter around the house.”
Straightening up and touching his earpiece, Eryndir said quietly, “Roger that, advance to the exterior of the objective and stand by.” He then leaned back toward Emmy and put his hand on her shoulder. “Alright, lets move in toward the house. Please be very alert. We don’t know if the Fae have attacked here or not. We don’t yet know all that they are capable of during a lunar cycle.”
Emmy gulped and nodded. The whole idea of sneaking up on her own home seemed surreal to her. This was her home, her safe place. It was where she had grown up. Her world had changed completely since last night. It was now much more frightening. Looking into Eryndir’s eyes she said, “Ok, I’m ready.”
Together they ran in short bursts toward the house, stopping to hide behind the power pole, a wagon and then the car. Eryndir turned back to look at her, “Ready for the door?” Emmy nodded. They stepped out and began running for the back door when the screen opened. They froze, Eryndir quickly moved Emmy behind him with his left arm while raising his weapon with his right.
Regan stepped out onto the stoop, looked directly at Eryndir and Emmy and said loudly enough for the whole team to hear, “Ok everyone, olly olly oxen free. There’s no one here but us chickens. Come on in the house for some sweet tea and biscuits!”
Emmy broke from behind Eryndir and ran into her father’s waiting arms. “Oh Daddy, I’m so sorry!”
Regan just held her and said, “That’s ok baby girl. This, or something like this, was bound to happen sometime.” Then he released her and stepped back from her slightly and cupped her face in his big hands. “We’ll deal with it. We’ll get your sister back. I see you’ve already found our Elven family, and they’ve taken you in. Let’s go inside, your mother’s gonna want to know you’re all right.”
Eryndir spoke to the rest of the team and, one by one, they carefully approached the back door and entered the house.
Pat had most of the contents of the refrigerator laid out on the table plus the warmed up pancakes and biscuits from earlier that morning and several pitchers of sweet tea ready for them as they entered.
“Daddy and Momma, I want you to meet Eryndir. He kept me from being captured by the Fae and told me a lot about how we came to be here.”
Regan reached out and shook the boy’s hand, “I believe I know your mother, Galalithe. Is that right? I am Aranhil, and this is my wife Aegliriell. I can see you have already met my daughter Miluiel.”
Emmy’s mouth hung open at the sound of her own and her parents Elven names.
Eryndir winked at Emmy and smiled at Aranhil and said, “Yes sir. She is our Chief Commander now and authorized this mission.”
“Good, we’ll be anxious to have a mutual briefing session.”
Eryndir then introduced the other members of his team, and once everyone had eaten, everyone pitched in to help clean up the kitchen.
Aranhil announced, “It would be good it everyone went outside now so we can finish closing up the house. Miluiel . . . Emmy is there anything you want to take with you or that your sister might want? We won’t be coming back here.”
Miluiel thought for a second, ran up the stairs to her room and came back with her journal and Gigi’s teddy bear.
“Aegliriell? Anything?”
She smiled and said, “No, all I need are the two of you and for Gigi to be rescued!”
Miluiel smiled and said, “And we can’t do that standing here. Ok, we’re ready, let’s move!”
Once out in the yard in front of the barn. Aranhil stood in a circle with Aegliriell and Miluiel, closed his eyes and un-cast the magic that had made them appear human. Their bodies tingled, but changed only slightly. Their features became more angular like the other elves and their ears took on the slightly pointy shape that distinguished them from other humans and other elves. Miluiel’s awareness and perception of her surroundings changed too. She could now hear and smell things well that were only faint for her before. The camo suit she wore, which fit oddly before, now fit her comfortably.
Once this change was complete, Aranhil made sure the animals were released from the barn and asked everyone to stand together while he pulled an object from his pocket and used it to cast a spell that caused the house and all the buildings and equipment to fade from view.
Miluiel spoke, “What was that? What just happened?”
Aranhil put his arm around her shoulder, “It’s a safekeeping spell. Everything is still here. But it’s like it’s all asleep. No one can see it or touch it, and it won’t change for as long as we leave it this way. It was all here from a long time ago, and we woke it for our use when we had to flee from the Fae.”
Miluiel looked up and said, “So you’ve just put it back like you found it?”
“More or less. Let’s get going now, we have far more pressing matters to deal with. Eryndir, you and your team, please split into two squads, one ahead and one behind our column. Aegliriell, Miluiel and I will take our place in the center of the column.”
Eryndir ordered his team to assemble as Aranhil requested and they moved out quickly.
Within twenty minutes they were in the underground command center. They proceeded immediately to a conference room where Galalithe stood to greet them. “Ladies and gentle elves, may I present our Lost Elders!” Then Galalithe and everyone around (including Eryndir) bowed deeply at the waist. Emmy blushed at the sight but felt a new pride in her parents.
For the next two hours, Galalithe briefed Aranhil and Aegliriell with Aranhil asking questions or making comments occasionally. Miluiel sat next to Eryndir enthralled and somewhat bewildered by what was going on.
“So to conclude,” Galalithe said, “we have about three weeks time to plan, outfit and train a rescue expedition. We can only pray and hope that Gigi will be safe until we can execute the plan. Gwyn’s threat must be taken seriously. We have seen what he is capable of. Anyone else?”
Aranhil stood and looked over those in the meeting room, “It has been a long time since I have addressed a group of my fellow elves, but this needs to be said. We must remain extremely vigilant in our monitoring of the barrier between the exile dimension and our own. Gwyn has demonstrated that they can bridge the barrier to break through and capture one of our own during the peak of the lunar cycle. He was also able to send a holographic transmission directly to that location when he knew I was there. We do not know what else they are capable of. Monitoring the barrier for intrusions will be our only defense until the team is ready to travel through a reverse bridge vortex and mount a rescue of Gigi or Gianna which is her Elven name. Will you allow me to pray to the Father-Creator for his grace and blessings on our efforts?”
Murmuring and shuffling filled the room. Some, folk looked confused, others shrugged their shoulders.
“Ah, I can see that such things have fallen into disuse. Please allow me the privilege of re-establishing the practice as is my right and responsibility as Elder of this clan. Please bow your heads—Father-Creator we, your children, plead with you for your mercy in an hour of need. At your behest, we fought with and cast out the Fae from this land. My family, in order to prevent further attacks on the others, went into hiding and have now returned during a time of crisis. Please bless us as we prepare to do battle once again with the enemies of your people. Make us strong and remind us daily of our reliance on you for our lives and abilities. Thank you for the provisions you make for us each day. As you have spoken, so shall it be.”
The group responded haltingly with “As you have spoken, so shall it be.”

Night Lights in the Forest – 10

Galalithe stepped forward, took Emmy by the arm with one hand and Eryndir with the other. “Both of you, my office, now! The rest of you, back to work. We have an important mission to mount. I want status in fifteen.”
The three of them walked quickly. Galalithe, still gripping their arms, walked them into an office with what looked like glass walls. There were small torch like lights mounted around the room, just below the ceiling creating a diffused lighting effect. The desk was the same grainy wood as those in the larger room, with the same leafy wires leading to monitors on the windows. She released their arms. “Sit. Please.”
Eryndir spoke, “Commander Galalithe, Mom please, I…” Galalithe held up a hand like a stop sign and looked at Emmy. “Young lady, do you know who you are? Better yet, have you even a clue as to what you are?”
Emmy looked back and forth between Galalithe and Eryndir sputtering, “I am . . . who? What?”
“It took me a few minutes to figure it out, but your face is so much like hers.”
Emmy scooted forward on her chair, “My face?”
Eryndir sucked in a big gulp of air, “Oh my!” He looked at Emmy and then Galalithe and then back at Emmy. “I thought you looked familiar! They were all supposed to have died! They were lost!”
Galalithe leaned on the edge of her desk between Eryndir and Emmy. “Right, we thought that Gwyn had captured and destroyed them. We had given up hope.”
Emmy stood up, “Hold on, stop the train, and back up the bus. Who, or what are you talking about. I am completely lost and confused, but all I care about is getting my sister back from those faeries who kidnapped her! So, can we concentrate here on what really matters and not whoever or whatever you think I look like that’s long gone and dead?”
Galalithe smiled and looked at Emmy, “We will, trust me, people out there are working on a plan as we speak. But you also need to understand why your sister was kidnapped. They almost got you as well. May I ask you some questions?”
Emmy shrugged, “As long as we get to the important stuff soon, ok.”
Galalithe leaned forward, “Do the names Aranhil or Aegliriell mean anything to you?”
A tiny chill caused Emmy’s neck hairs to flutter, “Uh, no. Should they?”
“How about Eruraina or Miluiel?”
Emmy got that chill again, a bit stronger this time. “No…”.
Galalithe stood up and walked over to one of the glass walls, touched it and spoke. “Show me the Lost Elders.”
A rectangular portion of the wall darkened, and a set of pictures displayed showing a group of twelve Elven men and women.
“These are our ‘Lost Elders.’ We had a terrible war with the Fae and had to hide some or our Elders in order to keep from losing them to the Fae.”
Galalithe, using her fingers moved and enlarged a portion the picture so that two of the group were visible.
Emmy gasped. “That’s . . . they . . . they are my parents! They look different and are dressed differently. But, oh no! That’s ridiculous. They’re just normal people, like me.”
Emmy fell back into her chair.
Galalithe squatted next to Emmy’s chair. “That would have been the whole point. To escape detection, murder, or capture by the Fae. The last two remaining Elders would have to appear as normally human as possible. They would need to take deep cover, to blend in completely. Their two daughters would have to never know their true heritage.”
Galalithe stood and returned to the screen. “Show the ending of ‘The Final Battle’ and mute sound and other sensory experience features.”
“What are the sensory experience features?” Emmy whispered to Eryndir.
He leaned over and whispered into her ear, “We call it smell-o-vision. It’s a nice feature, but trust me, you don’t want it for these scenes.”
“Oh, okay.” Emmy said as she focused her attention on the screen again.
The picture on the wall showed a panoramic view of a completely devastated landscape, bodies scattered everywhere.
“We lost nearly everything, but the Fae were banished from the earth to another reality to keep them from conquering the earth. That was a thousand human years ago. We have spent that time rebuilding our society, strengthening our defenses, preparing for the day when they might try to strike back.”
She touched the screen again and swiped those pictures away.
“Show incursions of the Fae on earth over the last hundred years.”
The screen lit up with a rotating darkened globe showing specks of light at various locations.
“Notice the significant concentration of incursions in the area around this location. We believe that they have discovered our underground headquarters. We now also believe they suspected that the ‘Lost Elders’ were located somewhere close by. Those lights you saw near your home were faery manifestations designed to attract attention.”
Galalithe stood silent for a moment and then turned to face Emmy.
“I now believe that they were designed to attract human attention. The Fae may believe that capturing human children, draining their life force, may give them the power they need to overcome the magic that had kept them banished.”
Emmy spoke, “So that’s why they tried to capture me but got my sister instead?”
Galalithe nodded, “There may be more to it than that. They may have actually suspected who and what you were and targeted you specifically. There is no way to know that yet.”
She moved back to the screen, “Re-display photo of Lost Elders.”
The picture re-appeared and Galalithe cropped it to show her parents again.
“We believe that these two, the last of the elders are your parents.”
“But, if those two are elves . . . ”
Galalithe moved to Emmy’s chair, squatted down and touched Emmy’s shoulder, “That is right. You, my dear, are also an elf. You are one of us and a descendant of the royal family. That is why the workstation out in the command center responded to your presence even though your appearance has been magically altered to appear human.”
Eryndir added, “Then that would also explain why the command center door unlocked and opened when you touched the entry panel!”
Galalithe stood, “Where are your parents? Are they nearby?”
“Yes, they were still sleeping when I left home.”
“How close is your home? If the fae kidnapped your sister, they must know who and what she is by now. They will also know that your family is near. We need to get to them and bring them safely down here as quickly as possible! They could be in mortal danger. Can you show us where the house is?”
Emmy gulped, “Yes, of course.”
“Excellent! Wait here.”
Galalithe quickly moved out of the office, called out some names and huddled briefly with a group in uniforms.
Returning she addressed Eryndir, “Take Emmy and get her suited up for an op. Take her and your strike team, get her parents and bring them here.”
Eryndir stood, snapped to attention and saluted, “Yes, ma’am. Right away. Come on, Emmy. Let’s go get your parents and bring them to safety.”

Night Lights in the Forest – 8

Regan flew out of the house with Pat right behind him.
“Where are you going?” She asked nearly shouting.
Regan stopped and turned back to face his wife, “I’m going to try to track them. What else?”
Pat approached him, took his hands in hers and looked deeply into his eyes. “Um, I know we shouldn’t, but wouldn’t it be easier if…”
Regan shook his head, “No, I’m not ready to do that yet. Maybe soon, but not yet.”
She smiled, “This is where I trust your sensitivity and wisdom, Aranhil.”
Smiling, Regan said, “Are we reverting to our Elven names so quickly my lovely Aegliriell?”
Blushing, she said, “Not just yet. I just think that sometimes we need to remember who we really are.”
Taking Pat’s hands in his own, “I have never forgotten. Each day when I see you and our beautiful daughters, I am reminded of who we are and why we have spent these many years in hiding from the Fae.”
“You may need magic to find them.”
“True, but using magic will also reveal our existence and location to them. I am not yet ready to do that. Let me look as a man would first. If that does not work—”
Pat moved in, grasped him firmly with her arms, pressed her face between his neck and shoulder and whispered, “I know.” She then released him, “Well, off with you then Regan MacDonald and bring the bairn home with you.”
Regan took Pat’s head between his hands, bent down and kissed her. “I will do everything in my power to do exactly that. But first, I need to find out where they went and what happened to them. I’ll be back.”
He turned and strode across the yard and headed toward the forest. Once into the grass, he could see where the girls had walked the night before. Following their path into the forest, Regan came up the edge of a clearing. He could see clear signs of a struggle and many foot prints.
He turned back toward the clearing and stepped into it. His skin began tingling instantly and a sense of what occurred the night before played through his mind’s eye.
Regan sat down at the base of a tree facing into the clearing. He knew that for him to see that scene clearly, to get the full effect, he’d have to use magic. He needed to ponder the ramifications of that decision.
A creaky, creepy tenor voice broke the silence. “Greetings, Aranhil. It has been a long time.”
Regan stiffened.

Two Shepherds

As it is Christmas eve, I would like to share an original Christmas story of mine. With this story, it is my fervent wish and hope that each and every one of you (my readers) will come to know the Saviour that we celebrate on this Christmas Eve.

* * *

Two Shepherds  

Original story told by: God

Adapted by: S.C. Mathisen

“Jacob, how long are you going to lie there and stare at the night sky?”

“As long as I need to Zebedee, I’ve been watching this star every night for the last several months, and it seems to be getting closer and closer every night. I can’t figure it out.”

“We need to get back to the flock; I’m worried that those Roman soldiers will decide to help themselves to a couple of our sheep while we are away from them.”

“All right, all right, I’m ready to go back now. I made a few notes on the position tonight. It looks like it is straight above that little village of Bethlehem. Maybe we’ll go in there in the morning and look around.”

“Help me gather up our things here, Jacob. You know, after this season is over, I’m going to head back up to Galilee and take my uncle up on his offer to teach me fishing and to set me up with a fishing boat. I am getting really tired of sleeping outside on the hard ground every night, watching a bunch of smelly sheep.”

“That sounds pretty good, Zebedee, but I like being out here. I especially like it at night when I can watch the stars. Ok, I’ve got the food; let’s get back to the sheep.”

The two shepherds head back over several small hills to the small field where they had left their herd. Jacob looks back over his shoulder at the star that has captured his imagination, and Zebedee scans the horizon for any signs of Roman patrols.

“Jacob, why does that star fascinate you so much? After all, the night sky is full of stars. What is so special about that one?”

“I don’t really know Zebedee, for some reason it reminds me of the Lord’s promise to send the Messiah. You know, I heard from a passing caravan yesterday that there was a strange caravan of royal astrologers in the area from some country far away to the east. I heard they were here because they had been following a star all the way from their country. I wonder if it’s the same star. I’d like to run into them and ask them a few questions.”

“Sounds kind of crazy to me. No one believes any of that Messiah stuff anymore.”

“But don’t you remember all the prophecies from synagogue school? One of them talked about a star!”

“Jacob, come on! All of that stuff is just old, tired stories to tell the kiddies at bedtime. If God was going to send a messiah, he wouldn’t have let us get conquered by the Romans. If He exists, He’s off doing other things and has cut us loose to take care of ourselves. Come on, we need to get back to the sheep.”

“I don’t care what most people think, Zebedee. I believe the stories, and I think that star has something to do with them. I just have a feeling about it.”

“Great! Wonderful for you. Me, I just want to get back to the sheep and get some sleep. All this stargazing is depriving me of some well-deserved sleep.”

The two shepherds arrived back where they had left the sheep and begin laying out their sleeping gear and soon settle down for some sleep.

“Here we are, Zebedee. The sheep are right down there in that field all nestled in for the night, and we are here with them. Let’s call it a night. I sure wish that caravan from the east would come by here. I’d like to talk to those men.”

A couple of hours later:

Zebedee awakes. He hears something that sounds like singing. Then, his eyes are almost blinded by a bright light.

angel-shepherds

“Jacob, what’s that in the sky? It can’t be morning already.”

“What? What do you want?” He cups his hand over his eyes. “Wow! That is really bright!”

“I’m scared,” said Zebedee.

“ I am too,” replied Jacob.

A third voice speaks. The voice seems to come from everywhere.

“Don’t be afraid!”

“Who said that?” asked Zebedee.

“Is that you, Simon?” asked Jacob, in a shaky voice.

“Don’t be afraid!” the voice repeated. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds just looked at each other.

“Jacob,” said Zebedee, “remember all that stuff about not believing all those old stories?”

Jacob looked at his friend, smiled, and said, “Yes?”

“I’ve changed my mind. I do believe them now. ALL of them. Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

They hurried to the village and arrived just as the sun was coming up. After asking all around, they found Mary and Joseph in a stable with their baby boy, lying in the manger.

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When they saw Him, they both went weak in the knees, knelt, and worshiped Him. They told Mary and Joseph what had happened to them, and they both were amazed.  

Afterwards, they told everyone they met what had happened and what the angel had said about this child and where to find Him.

All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished. Many came to worship Him as well.

 

Night Lights in the Forest – 4

Emmy struggled to try to get out of the rope binding her but, it would not budge. Booger looked up at her, cocked his head to one side, whined weakly and lay it down on the floor again. He was also still under the enchantment that kept him from moving around.

Emmy leaned her head back against the wall.

Mom and dad are going to positively freak out when they get up in the morning, and I’m not there.

She pulled her feet underneath her and, with her back against the wall,  pushed herself into a standing position.

Excited voices and the sound of running feet once again filled the hallway, Eryndir burst into the room almost out of breath. Their eyes met.

“You’re as tall as I am,” he said.

“Yeah, I noticed that too,” she said.

“Look, the faeries caught another little girl. Younger than you. I think she knew you.”

Emmy flashed back to the memory of the screen door slamming and gasped, “Gigi!”

She strode quickly toward Eryndir and stopped with her face just inches from his.

“What did she look like?”

Eryndir tried to back away “S-s-s-sort of like you, only younger.”

Emmy closed the gap again, “What? Did she say anything?”

He backed away another step, “Yeah, she kept calling your name as she disappeared into the faerie vortex.”

“No! No! Not Gigi!” She turned and clenched her fists, “Frosted gollywinkles! She’s always following me, trying to do everything I do. This is all my fault.”

Eryndir reached out toward her, but Emmy staggered back to the wall, leaned her shoulder against it and began to cry.

Eryndir stood and stared at her looking lost and helpless.

After a moment, there was a tinkling sound, the rope around her began to sparkle slightly and tingle. Then it just dropped to the floor around her feet.

“Wow! That was weird,” she said through a sniffle.

“Uh, yeah it is. It freaks me out sometimes too. This time, I’m just glad. Are, uh, you all right?” He said smiling weakly.

Booger yawned, stood up and began nudging Emmy’s leg.

“Looks like Booger is ready to go somewhere, too.”

Emmy took out a tissue out of her pocket, blew her nose and then looked Eryndir straight in the eyes. “OK, now what do we need to do to get my sister back?”

Night Lights in the Forest – 3

Emmy awoke to the smell of dirt. Not regular dirt, but the sweet smell of freshly turned earth that she always associated with her mother’s garden in the spring.
Still tied up with her hands bound tightly to her sides but, otherwise unharmed, she looked around the room. It looked like a cave with wooden crates scattered around the dirt floor. The was also a door ajar with light streaming in around it from what might be a passageway, of sorts.
Struggling, she managed to sit up and lean against the dirt wall. She looked around and saw Booger near her, but sleeping.
“Booger,” Emmy whispered.
She nudged him with her foot.
“Booger!” she said, a little louder.
Booger looked up, whimpered and smiled weakly.
“Hey, boy! How are you feeling?”
Booger whimpered again and laid his head back down on his paws.
The door swung open, “So, you’re awake now are you?”, a male voice queried.
Startled, Emmy looked up and saw the outline of a figure standing in the doorway.
“Who are you and why was I kidnapped?”, she snapped.
“Kidnapped? We rescued you. Those faeries enchant people and make slaves out of them. The only way we could get you away from them was to enchant you in a different way and carry you safely to our underground stronghold.”
“But you, knocked me out, tied me up and hid me in this, this—dungeon!”
The voice chuckled, “Oh, yeah, sorry about that. Sometimes humans struggle a lot under that enchantment. We didn’t want to get anyone hurt while we were trying to save you and your dog.”
“Humans? What the heck are you? Aliens?”
“Ha ha, no way. We are an ancient race of elves.”
“You’re a what?” Emmy interrupted.
“We are elves, wood elves to be precise.”
“There are no such things as elfs or elves or whatever,” Emmy sputtered.
“And you are an expert on that how?” Eryndir countered.
“Elves only exist in children’s fairy tales.” Emmy responded with a laugh.
Eryndir crossed his arms and cocked his hips, “Those are literary elves. We are wood elves. Same race, different species. We don’t really claim them.”
Emmy rolled her eyes, “Yeah, right. So, you can please untie me now, Mister Elf — sir!”
“Look, I’m sorry, but no. Not for another half hour. That’s enchanted cord. It ties itself and stays tied for two hours. Sorry, you’ll just have to wait.”
“Ok, can you, at least, step into the light so I can see you?”
Stepping into the light was a boy that looked not much older than Emmy. He wore loose green pants, a dark brown shirt tied around his waist with a cord and what looked like knit stocking cap pulled down over his head so that it half-covered his ears.
“You know, I think we got off on the wrong foot. My name is Eryndir. What’s yours?”
“Emmy.” She stared for just a bit and asked, “How old are you?”
He smiled, looked down and shuffled his feet just a bit, “Well, that sort of depends on how you count.”
“What? How can you count differently than 1, 2, 3…”
“No, I mean what type of years you count.”
“Oh, well, that clears it up.”
“Ok, let me try it this way. How old is your dog?”
“We got him when I was a baby so, I would say 10 or 11.”
“Do you count dog years the same as human years?”
Emmy thought for a moment, “No, each one of ours is . . . umm, 7 of his.”
Eryndir smiled, “OK, I am an elf—”
“That has yet to be established,” Emmy interrupted.
Eryndir sighed and then continued, “and our years are like that only backwards. For every ten of your years, I age one elf year. I just celebrated my 14th elf birthday, so I am one-hundred and forty of your years.”
“But, you look the same age as me. How can you be a hundred forty? That’s crazy.”
“It’s not crazy, it’s just . . . ” Eryndir paused to look at his feet, “different.”
He took a step back, focused his eyes on Emmy again and crossed his arms, “You look familiar for some reason.”
“Yeah, you were spying on me before you kidna—rescued me?”
Eryinder shook his head, “No—look, are you hungry?”
Just then, the sound of many voices accompanied by the thud of running feet echoed down the hallway.
Eryndir turned and ran out of the room. The excited voices and thudding feet grew faint as they moved away.