The dark angel…5


Gillian choked. She’d never told anyone about most of those things. “How do you know all that?”He smiled. He really had an extraordinary smile. “Eh, we see a lot up here.” Then he sobered. “And don’t you want to see more? Of life, I mean. Isn’t there anything left for you to do?”Everything was left for her to do. She’d never accomplished anything worthwhile.But I didn’t have much time, a small wimpy voice inside her protested. To be quashed immediately by a stern, steady voice. You think that’s an excuse? Nobodyknows how much time they’ve got. You had plenty of minutes, and you wasted most of them.”Then don’t you think you’d better go backand try again?” the guy said, hi a gentle, prodding voice. “See if you can do a betterjob?”Yes. All at once, Gillian was filled with the same burning she’d felt when she got out of the creek. a sense of revelation and of purpose. She could do that. She could change completely, turn her life in a wholenew direction.Besides, there were her parents to consider. No matter how bad things were between them now, it could only make it worse if their daughter suddenly died. They’d blame each other. And Amy would get one of her guilt complexes for not waiting to drive Gillian home from school…The thought brought a little grim satisfaction. Gillian tried to quell it. She had the feeling the guy was listening.But she did have a new perspective on life. A sudden feeling that it was terribly precious, and that the worst thing you could do was waste it.She looked at the guy. “I want to go back.”He nodded. Gave the smile again. “I thought maybe you would.” His voice was so warm now. There was a quality in it that was like-what? Pure love? Infinite understanding?A tone that was to sound what perfect light was to vision.He held out a hand. “Time to go, Gillian,” he said gently. His eyes were the deepest violet imaginable.Gillian hesitated just an instant, then reached toward him.She never actually touched his hand, not in a physical way. Just as her fingers seemed about to meet his, she felt a tingling shock and there was a flash. Thenhe was gone and Gillian had several odd impressions all at once.The first was of being… unfixed. Detachedfrom her surroundings. A falling feeling.The second was of something coming at her.It was coming very fast from some direction she couldn’t point to. A place that wasn’t defined by up or down or left or right. And it felt huge and winged, the way a hawk’s shadow must feel to a mouse.Gillian had a wild impulse to duck.But it wasn’t necessary. She was moving herself, falling away. Rushing backward through the tunnel, leaving the meadow-and whatever was coming at her-behind. The huge thing had only registered for an instant on her senses, and now, whizzing back through the darkness, she forgot about it.Later, she would realize what a mistake this had been.For now, time seemed compressed. She was alone in the tunnel, being pulled down like water down a drain. She tried to look between her feet to see where she was going, and saw something like a deepwell beneath her.At the bottom of the well was a circle of light, like the view backwards through a telescope. And in the circle, very tiny, was a girl’s body lying on the snow.My body, Gillian thought-and then, before she had time to feel any emotion, the bottom of the well was rushing up toward her. The tiny body was bigger and bigger. She felt a tugging pressure. She was being sucked into it-too fast.Way too fast. She had no control. She fit perfectly in the body, like a hand slipping into a mitten, but the jolt knocked her out.Oooh… something hurts.Gillian opened her eyes-or tried to. It was as hard as doing a chin-up. On the secondor third attempt she managed to get themopen a crack. Whiteness everywhere. Dazzling. Blinding. Where… ? Is it snow? What am I doing lying down in the snow? Images came to her. The creek. Icy water. Climbing out. Falling. Being so cold…After that… she couldn’t remember. But now she knew what hurt. Everything. I can’t move.Her muscles were clenched tight as steel.But she knew she couldn’t stay here. If she did, she’d…Memory burst through her. I died already.Strangely, the realization gave her strength. She actually managed to sit up. As she did, she heard a cracking sound. Her clothes were glazed with solid ice.Somehow she got to her feet. She shouldn’t have been able to do it. Her body had been cold enough to shut down earlier, and since then she’d been lying in the snow. By all the laws of nature, she should be frozen now.But she was standing. She could even shuffle a step forward.Only to realize she had no idea which way to go.She still didn’t know where the road was.Worse, it would be getting dark soon. When that happened, she wouldn’t even be able to see her own tracks. She could walk in circles in the woods until her bodygave out again.”See that white oak tree? Go around it to the right.”The voice was behind her left ear. Gillian turned that way as sharply as her rigid muscles would allow, even though she knew she wouldn’t see anything.She recognized the voice. But it was so much warmer and gentler now.”You came back with me.””Sure.” Once again the voice was filled with that impossible warmth, that perfect love. “You don’t thinkI’d just leave you to wander around until you froze again, do you? Now head for that tree, kid.”After that came a long time of stumbling and staggering, over branches, around trees, on and on. It seemed to last forever,but always there was the voice in Gillian’s ear, guiding her, encouraging her. It kept her moving when she thought she couldn’t possibly go another step

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About ayanfe

LIVE!!! LOVE!!! LAUGH!!! life is just too short to be sad #wink
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