Ambushed By Myself

Ambushed by Myself
(aka “I’ve Been Losing You”)
by Miles H. Rost

(Part II of the Warrior Series. For Part I, see Unstoppable God, Invincible)

 

We spent a few days at the rocky confluence of the two river, what we would later call the Ford of Light. We celebrated a major win there, repelling the legions back across the river and far away. Things were going well for all of us, including myself. We had victory, we were moving forward and taking territory that was once not thought possible to be taken.

A courier came to us with news that filled the masses in the camp with joy. Another of our divisions took over a fort, and were cleaning it up for a permanent use for all of our divisions. The fort was one of the Higher Legion’s forts, a difficult faction to drive out. It was done, however, and the fort was going to be rechristened Fort Antioch. An appropriate name, if I ever thought of one.

Eventually, our group had to make our way onward. We had more to do and didn’t want to spend too much time resting around. A small contingent stayed behind to secure the perimeter of the land and sanctify it, to make sure that the land would never fall back into enemy hands. They would later join up with us.

It was during our trek, through the high weeds of the plains that we would encounter, where things started to go a little haywire. At first, it was a mere stumble. One or two of us would walk a little too quickly and catch ourselves on some weeds. We’d stumble, but we’d eventually get back up. For me, I started to lag behind a little bit, as something was bothering me. Something wasn’t right with my body, and I told my fellow compadres that I may have needed to take a quick rest and get some water from the creek nearby. They asked if I needed someone to help. Chelsey even asked if I needed some help.

I told them no, that I would be back with them in a short while and that I wouldn’t be but a few moments.

I walked down to the creek to take in the water. Before I could even kneel down to lift some of the water, I felt the dizziness come. I stumbled to a nearby tree and held on for dear life, the vertigo and stuffiness in my face threatening to tear it apart. The feelings of helplessness and abandonment started to come quickly, and I held onto that tree for dear life. My life depended on that, and I screwed my eyes shut while dealing with all of the things that attacked.

That’s when I felt the pressure on the side of my belly, and the force that plowed me from the tree and onto the sandy ground. The forceful pain caused an ache to spread through my lower belly and down my thighs.

Suddenly, blow after blow rained down upon me. I barely was able to open my eyes, and when I did, I saw a large number of legionnaires ganging up on me and beating me something fierce. I knew each of the type of legionnaires that were hitting me, the color bands that identified their divisions.

A few of them wore red bands, showing they were trained in angry or lustful combat. A couple with yellow bands were trained to use guilt and shame, their blows hitting the soul just as much as the body. The ones that wore green were of the worry and envy wing, not as powerful but near lethal if left on a target for too long.

Each of them took turns beating. They used their feet, their hands, various weapons that they held. The beating was so fierce, I simply awaited my imminent death right there. But, just as it seemed like there was no hope left, I saw something magnificent.

I barely remember seeing it, but I saw fire at the end of a large log. I saw someone waving it around, and the legionnaires screaming in it’s presence. As the flaming club waved around, I saw one or two of the green-banded legionnaires get smacked in the face with a scepter.

The blows that were raining on me stopped, and the sounds of the legionnaires started to move away quickly.

I looked up at the people who had found me. I recognized the face of Chelsey, the scepter wielding woman of authority. The one who I liked to call “little sister”. She looked at me with a concerned and shocked expression, and looked over at someone else. I slowly moved my head, and I saw one of the guys who was in the backline in the last battle. I recognized Ilya, a man who was a soft-spoken man, but one of the firmest guys rooted. He looked down at me, and gave a smile.

“I’ve been where you are, man. We’ll get you taken care of.”

I felt myself get lifted up. I could barely see anything, my vision was so blurry. I could only feel things.

I was in the air, and I didn’t know which direction I was going. For what seemed like an eternity, I was on my back and being carried somewhere that I had no idea I was going to. The sun was beating down on me, and I felt my skin get quite hot as I was carried.

Suddenly, things got darker. I didn’t feel the sun on me anymore. I was able to perceive the sounds of different things around me, and small conversations.

“I need some help here. He’s been badly injured,” I heard Ilya say, “Maria, scrub up. I’m gonna need your help.”

I heard the bright voice of Maria, someone who I knew as a bright presence around the camp, reply in the affirmative as she moved around the area with what I could tell was an air of calm.

“He looks bad, want me to clear the air and make sure he’s surrounded well?”

The voice that I heard was one I recognized. He was my roommate in the tents when we slept within the camp. Nigel was a good man, someone who I knew as a healer of sorts. He was meticulous in his work, and put everything into it. When he told people that he was going to clear the air, he was not joking.

My eyes were barely open again, as I saw Ilya say a prayer of thanksgiving.

“Lord, we thank you for finding our brother here. We ask you for guidance, and declare that your hands will be on him as we work to help him heal. You are the great physician, and we ask you to guide us as we tend to our brother’s wounds. In your son’s name, Amen.”

I barely moved my head, and I saw Nigel close his eyes. He slowly waved his arms around, his hands like cups that moved the air around. A very soft green “mist” fell from the air around the surgical table, and a feeling of peace overflowed through the area.

Maria, the scrub nurse and the bright presence that helped to boost morale around, followed Ilya’s instructions, giving him the swabs with medicine and antiseptic on them. When he needed the healing balm, she was there to help him hand it.

I felt Nigel’s hand on my arm, firm and very warm. Ilya’s hand was on my other arm, hotter than Nigel’s and gripping very hard. Maria’s hand was gripping around my ankle, what I believe felt to be grounding me from all the other attacks that could have come.

A fourth hand came along to help grip my other ankle. I recognized the energy and scent immediately as that of my leader, Brian. I am not sure when he came along, but I just knew that he was praying and keeping me grounded.

I felt warmth, love, and understanding flow through me. I could feel understanding from Ilya, a combination of that and sympathy from Brian. I felt love and compassion flow from Maria’s hands into my system, and the friendship of Nigel mixing into the whole mess.

That was when I felt the intense heat that poured through my being, through my veins. The heat, and the peace that only came from the one I served.

I felt the muscles that were in knots and swollen from the beatings return back to normal. The puffiness of my face was reduced considerably. The internal pain I had felt slowly died down to a nothingness. My belly felt the rearrangement, the normalizing of my internal organs from where they were forced to where they needed to be.

Shortly thereafter, the heat stopped and the peace overcame the entire tent. I slowly sat up, my mind clear and eyes able to focus again. I felt forgiven, healed and nearly ready for battle again. Everyone smiled, as I swiveled myself off the medical table.

“Ilya, Brian, I need you two to do a favor for me,” I said, looking at both of them, “I need you to assist me if something like this happens again. I need you guys to make sure my accounting is correct and that if I don’t need something, I don’t get that something.”

Both men looked at each other, then looked back at me and nodded.

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Unstoppable God, Invincible

Unstoppable God, Invincible
by Miles H. Rost

Legion upon legion, they stood. Oily, evil, sick looking and mean.

We stood upon a small ridge of crushed rock, jagged spears of basalt and hard stones. The place was the confluence of two rivers, and this area was relatively flat. The sky was a burning red, a late-afternoon sun that cast a red glow across this battlefield. The beauty of the trees and the rolling hills stood stark in the background behind the legion.

We faced these before. Each of us individually. We were caught off guard by them through the week, and we were in need of some real help. That’s when we took to the knees. As we knelt, focused, and raised up all of this to the Lord we serve, we landed at this battlefield. I saw many of my friends, fellow believers, and we were defiant. The legion below wanted to push us back again, and the captain of our army got us ready.

I saw some of my friends, the ones who have helped shepherd me along in my quick journey to this point in time. Many of the folks that I would call ‘compadres’, they stood with their eyes focused, they jaws squared, and their eyes burning with a passion and fight that one could never have seen before.

We heard a short squeal as the legion came towards us, taking the initiative to attack. As they got to the bottom of the rock pile on which we stood, we heard the words we were waiting for.

“Take it back!”

Our ragtag group of nearly 100 clashed with a legion. I waited just a moment before charging down the pile, hoping to help get in and take care of cleaning up the legionnaires that were inevitably going to fall.

Leaping from my right, graceful yet strong, was Chelsey. A short, but firy young lady, she became one of my closest friends in this congregation. I saw her leap from behind me, her normally dark hair looking a bit lighter, shouting a war cry as she lept into the foree. She had a braid down one side, which made her look very warrior-like. She wielded in her hand a mace, a heavy club with what looked like a crown at the top of it. Something in my soul told me that she was speaking with authority and with conviction. She was going to do some damage, believe me.

I looked to my left and I saw Tia. She stood with her left foot in front of her right, her face looking farther back than up in the front. Her neck-length blonde hair slightly moved in the light breeze, her face full of focus and intent. In her hands was a bow and arrow, stretched back and ready to let go. She was aiming for the reinforcements, the ones in back that would cause more damage as our forces started to wear down. Her arrows were prayerful, full of truth, and highly damaging to the legionnaires who liked to use trickery and lies. I was in awe, to say the least.

A little farther down the line to the left,  I saw Brian and Kristi, my close friends and leaders. They were on the charge, looking to get in and do some beating down. Brian’s dark hair was blowing behind him, and behind his trimmed beard lay a mouth that was gritting teeth. Kristi, his wife and a veteran of many harsh battles, ran right next to him. The scars up and down her arms indicative of the previous battles with entities very much like the ones we were battling. Both of them were bearing down upon the legionnaires with gauntlets on her hand and forearms. They are our protectors, getting into the melee and taking the fight to the enemy rather than just sitting back and waiting.

On the other side, the right side and a little farther down, I saw Siobhan. A great lady of the Lord with a voice of passion, she looked intense as she ran right into the throng of legionnaires. She was swinging only what I could have thought was a two-handed axe. She was someone who wasn’t afraid to get into the thick of the battle, and I was quite proud that she was on that side.

Our commanding officer, Morgan, was standing up top. He was giving out the orders. A strong man of faith, a big man of action, he was someone who you definitely wanted to have in your corner. His words were coming out strong, and as they came out, there was strengthening of resolve among the ranks.

In my hands, I saw a short sword. It was sharp, made for cutting through and crying out for justice. This was the first major battle that I was getting into and actually remembering. I rushed past Tia and right straight towards one of the ugliest legionnaires I could have faced. It was quite a fearful one, and very much one that I knew could have hurt me had there not been protection. As I brought the sword down across the legionnaire, crying out the Lord’s name, I knew that it was from the tribe of Fear. It’s only words as it was being cut in half were, “You can’t be a leader”.

The battle raged on for a good long while, and many of our ranks were wearing down and getting worn. Some of my friends stayed back up on the rock pile, spreading their hands and with the Lord’s grace, healing those on the frontlines. Refreshment and restocking came throughout the long battle. Legionnaire after legionnaire fell to the various weapons that we all held, given to us by our Lord and general.

The great legion that had been provoking and attacking throughout the week, who were trying to do a full onslaught this time, were losing their numbers quickly. The ground became black as the legion lost their ranks. But as quickly as it became black, the blackness was washed away. While the rocky bar we fought on was wet, none of us seemed to slip. We stood firm, and we were fighting very very hard.

The battle raged on for what seemed like hours. By the time it finally was done, the leftover legionnaires ran for the hills. Their numbers were decimated. We walked back up to the rock pile, victory in our hands and fire in our veins. We looked into the sun, which had cleared the side of the mountain and shone upon us. The aftermath of the raging battle was quite different.

Chelsey’s hair was slightly messed up, but her expression was one of satisfaction in the job that the Lord had given her.

Tia stood strong and with fortitude. The string of her bow was a slight bit frayed from the vast number of arrows fired, but she exuded a strong calm that only the Lord could give her.

Brian and Kristi reached the top of the rock pile, arm in arm, smiling broadly as they lifted their steel gloved fists in victory

Morgan, our chief, looked solemn but pleased. He knew this battle needed to be fought, even if his plans had said otherwise. But as he looked at all of us, he made certain to drop a word of prayer to each one who returned to the top in victory.

Siobhan’s hand was wrapped in a brace, but as she held her axe up, she smiled. The blackness on the axe gave way to the shiny steely sheen of her weapon. She leaned over, and rested her arm on her knee, as she looked into the evening sun.

I slowly reached the top of the ridged rock pile, putting my right foot on a rock, bending it and resting my sword on the knee.

—–

As we stood, looking at the territory that we had reclaimed, we heard one of the other soldier start singing. It was soft, but as time went along, the song gained more people’s voices. Like a wave, the song rang through and soon everyone was singing:

Unstoppable God, let your glory go on and on
Impossible things, in your name they shall be done

Nothing shall be impossible
Your kingdom reigns unstoppable
We’ll shout your grace forevermore
Jesus our God unstoppable

A few moments after we were done singing, we started walking down the hill again. All close to 100 of us, walking together in victory, walked to the edge of one of the rivers. We stood on the shoreline of the river, in a line. The legion were not going to be getting this piece of earth back anytime soon.

This was Christ’s land. His blood won it, and his grace allowed us to defend it. That is something we are proud of.

 

Changing Tides

Changing Tides
(aka Mayumi’s Story, Part II)
by Miles Rost

The old pangs were just like torture.

The old desires, the old needs, all of them were trying to drop Mayumi in her tracks. And damn if she was going to let it.

It had been nearly three weeks since her ex-boyfriend was sent packing across the Outback on his motorcycle, with her hoping he’d never return. She examined herself fully to see how she was, and for the first couple of weeks, it seemed to be alright. She was getting by on her work at the radio station, spending lots of time working radio traffic during the week and hitting up the 7-10 shift at Shine FM on the weekends. With one day off on Mondays, it was a nice job to have, especially dealing with all the stuff she had to deal with.

What she didn’t expect was those old pangs coming back. The feelings that she had still stuck around, the residual mess that was left to be cleaned up.

The pangs were slow to creep up on her. Just a little reminder of the way her boyfriend used to hold her, at a time when she was vulnerable; or a little reminder of the gentle kiss that he’d give her while they watched wrestling on TV. Small things like these kept popping into her mind as the days progressed.

It was a Friday afternoon, and as she got home, that she felt the old feeling of loneliness and desire pop back into her life. The indicators were there before, however.

——

12:45PM, Friday

The papers were all stacked up on her desk. Inputs for commercials and liners were ready to be processed. She picked up one of the requests and started to write on the page. As the pen ran across the sheet of wood pulp, her knuckle started to ache. It was a small ache at first. As she processed each request, the ache got worse and her emotions started to run a bit higher. After a half an hour, she sat back and rubbed her hands across her face, ending with one going through her sandy-gray hair.

“Hey, Mayumi. You okay?”

Mayumi looked at her deskmate, Kelsey. A fresh-faced Sydney graduate, buxom and smart, Kelsey seemed to have a second sense to when problems were about to start.

“Yeah, Kel. Ah just have a lot on m’plate. That’s all.”

Kelsey looked at her through strands of her dark chocolate brown hair, and squinted.

“I don’t believe that for a second. In a half an hour, you can get through a stack like that on your desk. You’ve only gotten through half. What’s going on?”

Mayumi sighed, as she continued to process the paperwork.

“Ah’m just still dealing with my ex.”

“I see. Still haven’t been able to let him go, have ya?”

“Ah let him go. It’s just hard to let the memories fade, y’know.”

Kelsey pursed her lips, as she thought carefully. The brunette scratched her hair with a pencil, while she thought.

“It was two weeks ago, right? And how long were you together.”

“Yeah. And we were “together” for over 8 years. High school sweethearts and all that junk.”

“Ow,” Kelsey grimaced, a slight twinge of pain going through her face.

Mayumi sighed and looked at her friend.

“What’s bad is that ah know when my emotions are overwhelming me. The aching in my knuckle tells me.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, ever since ah had this depressive episode back in ’06. Whenever ah have too much emotion, and ah’m about ready to cry or needing to release, it screams at me.”

“Maybe you should take the rest of the day off. I mean, you haven’t taken a day in the year I’ve been here, and you are probably going through some major league withdrawal if it was that bad.”

Mayumi thought about it for a few moments, and looked at her paperwork. She did get part of it done already, but she didn’t want to leave until she finished her work.

Kelsey looked at her again, and sighing audibly, she put her hands out. She told her, without words, ‘Give them to me. You need rest’.

After a few moments of writing the last page on her desk, she gave the stack of papers to her sympathetic comrade and registered her sick leave request with the manager. Getting it approved. she popped into her vehicle and raced home.

—-

She was already into the apartment when she dropped her keys on the floor. She didn’t even notice them, as she stumbled into her ornately decorated bedroom. Falling upon the bed, she grabbed a full length pillow and hugged it tightly. Tears started to flow down her face, dropping it’s salty emotion onto the sleeve of her light silk blouse. She held onto the pillow for dear life, as her mind raced through the emotions that were bombarding her from all direction.

She cried as she recounted the feeling of his touch on her skin, the longing of wanting that touch on her body. The warmth of his hands on each of her shoulders was still firm in her mind.

Mayumi’s mind was in agony as she went through all sorts of memories. She didn’t know what to do with all of them, with all the extra energy that she had without directing so much of it toward her idiot ex. The “good memories” were the ones that caused her the grief she was experiencing, though at times the bad memories came surging upward, forcing a scream into her pillow as she recounted the numerous numbers of abusive barbs.

You’re not worth the time, Yumi.

That was the one that hurt the most for her. It was one of the last things that the idiot said to her the night before he left for parts unknown. 8 long years, and she had her time wasted.

She screamed out curses at his name, at the memories as the tears poured down her face like a mini-waterfall. Her blouse was becoming soaked with her tears, just like the pillow she held onto.

All of the desire that she had, the lust of her heart, the pain and memories, flowed out of her. The pain in her finger throbbed at all the emotion coming from her.

The culmination of the three weeks of stress and all the old feelings had burst forth from it’s prison. As she sank into what would be called a deep sleep, in the last vestige of her consciousness, she saw a vision of an old tree chopped into firewood, and a hole filled with dirt.

Finally, she was facing all those emotions head on. And the healing would begin in earnest.