Thursday, March 2, 2017

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learning to burn, part 25

Please begin at the beginning!  And remember... first drafty-ness and all.  heeheehee

As he wonders to himself what she is doing to him, he realizes that the heaviness in his eyelids of a moment before is completely gone and he is sitting straight and feeling very strong. 'What's going on, Eminghare? I feel like I could run all night!'
Eminghare immediately moves her hands, 'Oh, good! I'm glad you mentioned it. I wasn't sure when to stop. I've just processed extra and pushed some energy into you.'
'Whaa? What does that mean?'
'You don't feel tired because I've fed you, in a manner of speaking. Imagine one of the times you were hungrier than any other time in your life. And then someone gives you an energy-snack. Like a dense protein shake or bar. Well, I did that for your spiritual body. I was hoping that's where your fire begins and I think my guess was right. You don't feel like you'll fall asleep now, right?'
'No! Like I said, I feel like I could run all night.'
'Good. Well, I don't think you'll have to keep this up that long. I have a feeling Ofonode is going to wake up before the sun goes down.' Eminghare returns to sit near Ofonode thinking that his movement from the menspar into consciousness might be physically difficult.
'I hope you're right. I don't know what we'll do if she's not bluffing!'
The two settle into an uncomfortable silence, both checking the movement of the sun far more often than necessary or helpful.
Red lights up the horizon and the sun is half hidden in it when Ofonode starts to shudder. Eminghare quickly moves his head in her lap, hoping it's more comfortable that the pebbly ground. The light shaking becomes gran mal seizing and Eminghare looks up at Ofonode with concern and even a little fear in her eyes.
Ofonode begins to argue with himself about whether to release the invader and decides to hold on because if he lets her go, they must deal with whatever her free presence would mean.
The seizures seem to calm and very quickly. Through all of it the female has been absolutely still. Ofonode feels her slump in his lap and looks over to Eminghare. He can't quite figure out what the expression on her face means.
'Can you lay her down without letting go?' she asks him in his mind.
'I'll try.' He succeeds and the two watch Os carefully. After long enough for the sun to almost completely settle under the horizon, Os opens his eyes and sits up straight.
“I am well pleased and mightily impressed that the liar was not able to fool you two. I thought for sure you'd let her go. It is good you did not. Good indeed!”
Eminghare and Ofonode release their breath gustily, neither realizing they'd been holding it!
“I'm so glad,” Eminghare looks over at Ofonode who nods, “we're so glad you're okay! I figured you would be. I mean, I was confident until the very end just a few minutes ago when you were seizing so wildly. Are you okay?”
Oseratin looks himself over briefly, then sits a moment as if trying to figure out the answer to her question, “Yes. Yes, my dear. I do believe I'm as well if not better than when I began. How long has it been, afterall?”
“You mean,” Ofonode asks with alarm, “You don't know how long you've been in menspar with her?”
“No idea. It could be the same day or a few for all I know. I'm hoping for only a day to have passed. But if longer than that, I have some congratulations to give you, Ofonode!”
“Why me? And no, it's the same day.”
“Well, well! I've done better than I could have expected! I guess living along has been a strengthening rather than a weakening experience for me. I wouldn't have guessed it could be so. Though I certainly am please to realize it!
“As for congratulations… I still think you deserve some! I'm certain you never would have agreed to your task if you knew it would take so long. And you've come through it marvelously.” Os looks at Ofonode carefully. “You don't look at all tired, my boy! You have done better than I ever would have expected!”
“I couldn't do it alone.” Ofonode looks at Eminghare who is shaking her head slightly. Oseratin catches the exchange.
“It's okay, my dear. I already know your people. Your mother will perhaps be shocked to see Binia and me again, but she will recognize me for sure. We helped your tribe, as they called themselves then, to stay their enemies before the surface changed.”
“Oh!” Eminghare wonders what other secrets this strange alien has that he is holding back from them.
If they'd been paying attention, Ofonode and Eminghare would have laughed to realize they were having the exact same thoughts separately.
“What will we do with her?” Ofonode asks, still holding tight to her upper arms.
“Yes. Well, you can release her now. She is not dead, but she will not wake again until I wake her.”
Ofonode finds it difficult to move his hands. Os moves, jerkily at first, to help Ofonode, “We're both a bit stiff in different ways, eh there, boy?”
Ofonode snuffles a laugh, “Yeah. My hands. Your body. Will we walk tonight? I know I can, but you and Eminghare might not be so full of energy.”
“We will wait the night. If we can rest, we should. I fully believe and feel confident that Binia will meet us here before the sun rises. You see, these others have become weak in their ease. They have been united, for the most part, while we of the Holy Order have been isolated from others of our Order. If my experience is the rule, which I think likely, isolation makes all us invisians strong. I believe those of the Holy Order are more likely to grow strong more quickly because of our Christ-centered worship. Light always trumps darkness. It's only a matter of time.”
Ofonode goes to a pack and fills his arms with some food. “Let's eat before we rest.”
“Sounds good to me.” Os says. Eminghare smiles and slightly nods her head.
The three eat quietly together. As Eminghare gathers the food packs together and begins to dig a hold for the trash, she asks, “Will we be safe through the night? Or should we take watches?”
“I'll sit up and watch. I couldn't sleep anyway.” Ofonode responds.
“Okay. But you must wake me the moment you begin to feel tired. The energy you have received will fade more quickly than you can imagine. I do think having a watch is a very good idea, Eminghare.”
“So, it's okay for me to go to sleep, right? I feel more tired than I should and I'd like to get as much sleep as possible before my turn to watch.”
“Yes, please, my dear. Do. Rest deeply and well.”
“Thank you. Thank you for taking the first watch, Ofonode.”
He smiles and nods, feeling more pleased at her thanks than he thinks is reasonable.
Os lies down next to where Ofonode sits and seems to immediately fall asleep. Ofonode jumps a little off the ground when Os says, “I'm glad to see your connection to the girl. Make sure to be wary of your thoughts, my boy. It is still open and unless you ask her to close it, I think she will keep it open.”
“Oh? I did forget. Did she hear my thought after she thanked me?”
“Probably and that is not nor should it be a big deal. I just don't want you to feel embarrassed for something more if you forget again as I supposed you had just now. Of course, it could serve you well to forget… should you want more than friendship at some point in the future and don't know how to pursue it. Just remember for now.”
Ofonode blushes, embarrassed that his thoughts are so very apparent to his friend, “Thank you, Os. I will.”
Many hours later, Ofonode begins to feel as though he will need to fall asleep soon. He moves to wake Os and sees, out of the corner of his eye, movement near the road. How in the world can I see anything at all in the dark, he wonders to himself. He strains his eyes in the direction in which he thought he saw movement and sees nothing at all.
“I will appear in a moment, Ofonode.” Binia's voice comes out of nowhere and Ofonode shivers with fright just as she releases her invisibility, revealing that she is kneeling near him. “I'm sorry to startle you. I didn't expect anyone to be awake. Surely you must need to sleep?”
“Yes. I was just about to wake Os.”
“That is a good idea. Wake him and we will speak together before you go to sleep.”
Ofonode does so.
Oseratin rushes to Binia and embraces her. Ofonode thinks he hears him whisper to her before letting her go. Her smile is easy to see in the dark because her whole face is actually lit up and a faint glow surrounds her. Ofonode wonders if this is another manifestation of one of her skills.
“We were worried about you Binia,” Os says quietly.
“Very! We would have come back for you if Os thought we should after menspar with the other female who pretended to be you. He thought you would get free, though. How did you, anyway?”
“That is a story for when we are all awake together. Perhaps on the road after you have slept. You will not have long to sleep, so please take this time now.”
Ofonode lies down right where he is and almost immediately falls asleep.
Os and Binia sit quietly and watch him until they are certain he is sleeping. “They knew you would get free, but did they let you?”
“They knew I would be stronger than them, but they held out as long as they could. They will follow us, Oseratin. But they will gather more before they do so. Even as few as we are, we are much stronger together than they. I hope we will make it to the mountain before they are able to round up others of their Order. I need to rest or the confrontation will be much closer than if we are rested.”
“I am so sorry we lost you.”
“You are not to blame. I should have communicated my needs more completely. I thought taking a moment to relieve myself alone would come to no harm. My desire for privacy has caused difficulty again. It is I who must apologize. And give thanks. You broke your promise to never menspar for me. Thank you, my love. Please forgive me my desire to be alone at times. I will not do the same again.”
“I forgive you. I have come to realize that I would break every promise if I felt like doing so would enable me to keep you safe or bring you to safety!”
“Let us hope and plan that you will not need to so do.” Os nods and the two rest against each other, Os placing his arm tentatively around Binia's shoulders and hugging her closer.
“It is my turn to watch. Please sleep, my sweet Binia.”
She snuggles into him and closes her eyes. As she falls asleep she feels herself fall into herself more fully than she has felt since before they became separated and she sighs.
Ofonode wakes with a start, feeling completely disoriented, and looks around trying to remember where he is.
“Are we safe, Ofonode?” Os asks from his place by the fire where he is softening some of the hard biscuits for breakfast.
“I… I think so. I just couldn't remember where I was for a minute. Where are Binia and Eminghare?”
“Just behind the outcropping. They wanted to relieve themselves and wash a little before you woke. They have only been gone only a few minutes and should come back around momentarily. You did not dream any warnings, then?”
“No. I mean, yes. I did dream a warning. But it isn't about here and now and, honestly, it didn't make any sense at all.”
“Everything was different. And there was a crystal mountain somehow… I don't know how to describe it. It's like we were inside a crystal mountain and… well, I guess we were under attack. And we had to speed up. Something. We have to finishing something more quickly than we planned because if we didn't the mountain would crash down on us. I saw it happen… both ways this time. It was really upsetting, Os. I mean, I saw us all die. But somehow, even though I was in the mass of death, I also observed it. How can that be?”
“Perhaps it can be because you were not actually in it, but seeing a possible future. Let us remember and make it happen in the way that resulted in life after the mountain crashed.”
“You mean, you think there is such a mountain? I thought people just called it that… I mean… how could there be a crystal mountain?”
“Oh… says a boy who comes from a plateau held up by the will of one man! Limited thoughts limit. You must open your mind wider, Ofonode.”
“I guess so. Well, I look forward to seeing it for real. It was glorious in my dream!”
“We should get there within the month, I should think.”
“Why do you think it will take so long?”
“We must stop for a week or more in the next town so that we will have enough supplies to actually make it to the crystal mountain.”
“You're right. I just… I guess since I've seen it now, I want to just be there.”
“Let us accept the road as it is. There is rarely any good that comes from rushing our present in favor of the future. What may come is only potential, not promise.”
“Then why set goals and make plans?”
Eminghare and Binia come back to the fire and look between Os and Ofonode.

“Because of the potential therein. If we make no plans, it is highly likely that no good will be accomplished. Or, far less than we could have done with a little planning. Plans must often be changed because of that which comes to pass that we never planned, so it is important to remain mentally and emotionally flexible even when we make what seems to us the perfect plan or goal because we do not control all factors that create the future. Also, we must seek God's confirmation that our goals and plans are good or we will find that our plans and goals must change far more often than if we make sure what we think should happen is in line with His greater and more perfect plan.”
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