Friday Fictioneers – Glad It Was You

(Author’s note: So, if you’re on Facebook, you probably found out this past week. But for those who are not, I’ve made the decision (with some help from the Lord, and a bunch of preschool children) to go back home to the USA for a time. I am not sure how long it’ll be, but it should be enough. And I’m in a good place to go and do things. I’ll keep everyone abreast, but it is likely I will be landing on American soil around March 1st.

Time for some fictioneers!)

tree-sandra-crook

© Sandra Crook

Glad It Was You

by Miles H. Rost

The tree bled from the hole the fireworks made.

That’s what Marty remembered, as it happened 5 years past. And here he was, again, looking up. He turned as he heard footsteps.

“So after all this time, you’re back here again,” Katrina said. A redhead, she didn’t look any older than before.

“Not much further from where I began, eh?”

She looked up at the tree.

“Remember?”

“We set off fireworks. One of them landed there, on that hole.”

“That hole hadn’t closed up until last week, when you arrived.”

“Guess it needed both of us.”

“I’m glad,” she said, warmly.

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Emerald Grace

Emerald Grace
(aka The Ice Maid’s Change)
by Miles Rost

As night fell, Amy looked into the small bonfire that her friends had set up for the night. She was alone, sitting by herself in awe of the fire. Sayaka and Chieri were off gathering up wood, while Yumi and Michiko were off getting marshmallows and chocolate from a nearby roadside shop.

I don’t understand. Everything I know about life and existence is in my head, but why is my heart feeling empty? She asked herself.

Second by second passed, and as Amy’s clothes absorbed the smoke of the bonfire, Amy pulled out speakers and her iPod from her backpack. After setting her speakers up, she moved her iPod to a song…a medium-paced celtic song that Michiko gave to her called “Emerald Grace.”

She sat for a few seconds, as the first vocal strains of the song started to play, and a thought immediately came to her mind.

Dance.

She looked around for a few seconds more, and the thought came back to her.

Dance.

Only 20 seconds passed before Amy stood up. She looked at the circle around the fire, a ring that was able to hold two people side by side, and looked upward. As the second refrain started, the accompanying sound of cymbals and triangles joined in, and Amy started to sway. She closed her eyes and just let herself go in thought as she swayed to the music.

What good is knowledge without a root to be grounded in? She asked herself, calling up her memories, I used to be grounded in family, and in life. She looked at herself in her memory, and remembered a time a few years ago when she used to dance.

Amy, make sure to let yourself move with the music, her dance instructor told her You have God’s grace, just let the music be your worship.

Amy looked on this memory and smiled.

She was right. I had been fighting against God for so long, I didn’t understand what He was giving me, she thought.

After a few seconds, a flute joined in, and Amy started to move around the fire in a counter-clockwise circle. She moved her hands upward, her arms following, in a smooth motion. Her hands, upon reaching the apex, moved downwards toward her chest, and outward in a T. She twirled and smiled as she danced to the flute and the triangle, getting into the movement and remembering the fun she used to have dancing.

The vocal strains came back for a third time, and as the voices sang, Amy lifted her hands up and continued dancing. As the voices died out, and the drums introduced what Amy called the “Base Plain” of the song, Amy started her prayer in dance.

Father, I understand now what you have been telling me, she thought, The knowledge that I have is a gift, and it needs to be used for you. You have given me a view of my life that I never would have seen with my own devices.

Amy knew that she had a choice to make. To continue the dance of life that she was dancing, or to walk from it. This would be the point of no return for her, and as the drumbeat descended, Amy made her choice.

Iesu, our Father sent you to give me life, a free gift. I have fought you before, but I will no longer fight against you. I love you, Lord, and I ask of you to enter my heart and enter my life. My life is yours, so I ask for you guidance.

The drums ended, and the haunting vocals came back for a fourth and final time. Amy moved her arms to the voices, while her legs stood still. As soon as the drums started, she went back to movement, praying along with.

I am The Ice Maid. I am Amy Kuruyama. And I am your child, Father. Lay your hands on me now as I pray this in Christ’s holy name.

As the final notes of the song played, she went down to her knees and the finals word of her prayer escaped her lips.

“Amen”.

At that moment, the bonfire roared and Amy jumped backwards, falling backwards over a log. She fell with a thud, but as she sat up, she felt alright. And she was laughing.

“I bet you anything, Amy,” a voice cried out from the other side of the fire, “that you would not noticed me while you were dancing.”

Amy quickly stood up, nervous and embarrased and looked across the fire. She eased as she saw that it was Sayaka.

“You dance well. Very well. Apparently, there are still some things that we do not know about you…”

Amy just blushed as she quickly sat down, turning off her iPod.

“You don’t have to hide it, Amy. We are friends, and fighters.”

Amy looked up with a smile, when she opened her mouth.

“And now, we’re sisters.”

Sayaka immediately shot her head up from the ground and looked straight into Amy’s eyes.

“You mean…that…”

“Was a dance of prayer. He found me, and I said yes.”

Sayaka squealed in happiness, and gave Amy a big hug.

“This is so unbelievable. It’s like God is putting everything into place.”

 

You Can’t Run From Love

by Miles Rost

15 years ago, Charles Martin stood on top of an outcropping over Lake Superior and yelled out to anyone who could hear him on the lake.

“I WILL NEVER, EVER, GET MARRIED!”

Charles was a frustrated man. From the time he was young, everything he wanted to do was thwarted in some way. He had a dream of becoming a congressman, and the corruption of those who he looked up to left him in disgust. He had a dream of going into the NFL and becoming a great running back, and a torn ACL in high school killed his career before it could even start. Before that day, 15 years ago, he was engaged twice. Both times, the women left him.

“You’re boring.”

“You are just not right for me after all.”

Charles was so frustrated by these dumpings, and his incredible bad luck during his teen years, that at the age of 24, he made his proclamation to God, the world, the water, and anything that could hear him.

Those 15 years gave Charles a chance to get himself on a better track. He graduated from college, toured the United States, and later left for China to teach Mathematics to university students.

He and his fellow teacher, Shen-Wei, sat in a bar and joked over a couple of Qingdao beers.

“Man, I could never live in the US again. They’re just falling over flat. Being here…it’s close to heaven,” Charles said, his speech slurring slightly from the amount of beers that he has.

“China can be good place for people. Not exactly heaven, but it has great beer.”

As they laughed at the botched reference to an old Wisconsin tavern tune, a young lady walked up behind Shen-Wei and tapped his shoulder. She asked a few things in Chinese to him, and he replied brusquely. She nodded, and walked over to Charles.

“I told your friend, you are very handsome,” she said, in broken English.

Charles eyed her up and down, to get an idea of who she was. As he finished giving her the scanning eye, he noticed a small tattoo on her shoulder. The tattoo was of a celtic cross. He started to feel a bit fuzzy, as he looked down at his own shoulder. He remembered getting a similar tattoo years ago, without even thinking about things.

“Where did you get the tattoo?” he asked her, skipping all pleasantries.

“Korea. I got idea in vision.”

“Interesting.”

By this time, the fascination had gone by. However, his heart wouldn’t let him leave it behind just yet.

“What is your name?”

“Shen-Zhen. In English, I am Cindy.”

After that first meeting, Charles went home and sat. The image of that celtic cross on her shoulder, in the same exact place as his, made him wonder.

He tried to forget her, but everywhere he went in the city of Qingdao, somehow she was there. Even if she didn’t talk to him, he still saw her dead in his sights. Slowly, but surely, he noticed that he liked going places and seeing her there. He didn’t know what he could do. He made his vow. Did this mean that he was falling for someone again?

The answer to his question happened about 2 weeks after the last encounter, 6 months after their first meeting.

He sat in a park in Qingdao, looking around and just resting. He had seen Cindy earlier in the month, but started to avoid the bars. He just wasn’t interested in drinking cheap beer anymore.

“Charles?”

He looked up from his bench and straight into the deep dark brown eyes of Cindy.

“Cindy…what are you doing here?”

“I came to find you. You haven’t been around.”

“I decided to give up drinking and bars.”

Cindy smiled, and sat down.

“I think of you. You make me happy.”

Charles’s head swung her way quickly.

“What do you mean?”

“There is famous poet here, many years ago, said something important. “A man who says he never marries, will find love when he doesn’t want it.””

Charles groaned.

“Not another Confucius says…”

She looked at him and turned a small bit of fire on him.

“Not Confucius.”

Charles continued to groan. This made Cindy man.

It don’t matter where you go. It’s going to find you anyways. You can’t run from love.”

Now that didn’t sound like Confucius, Charles thought.

“Who said that?”

Cindy smiled.

“Eddie the Rabbitt.”

Charles looked at her, his eyes staring at her in disbelief.

“Tell me, Cindy. Are you trying to say you love me?”

“Yes. I want you forever.”

Charles was floored. He didn’t know what to reply.

“I said once that I would never marry. What would make you different from the others who left me?”

Cindy looked at him square in the eye and pulled her shirt over her head. Next to her tank top, on the shoulder, she showed him the celtic cross. She grabbed his sweater, and pulled it to show his.

“We are linked.”

He suddenly realized that it wasn’t going to be the same as the others. If he didn’t take his chance now with this woman, he was lost forever.

“Challenge accepted.”