Wednesday, September 07, 2005
the child, ninety-two
'Tell James? How are we going to do that?'
Starr looked up at him. Oh, those wide and innocent eyes! 'Jack and Morgen went after him. Surely they've found him,' said she.
But they hadn't. When the pair of them returned to camp with the water, they found everything packed, and Jack and Morgen with the rest. But no James.
Forest was arguing with the two who had come back without James. Well, Lucy was arguing too.
The whole camp was in turmoil. Unity? Ha!
Starr turned those wide eyes towards Stone. As if he could do anything? he thought in exasperation. He couldn't even keep his own mind in check, much less keep this company in unity. What was he supposed to do?
He closed his eyes. And it flashed into his mind again: Starr dancing with the Master, and then that healing touch over his own heart.
And in the midst of the storm of squabbling voices all about him, he saw. Trust. Trust that follows. Love that heals. Peace that opens wide. His heart he had opened wide to the Master - was he then going to slam it shut and run?
Starr wasn't the only one who had ever run. Nor was James. He himself - he, Stone - had run plenty of times. At least on the inside. But no more.
He looked again. It wasn't as bad as he had first thought. Mac wasn't arguing. Nor was Mal. And Morgen, in the face of Forest yelling at him, stood quietly, making no harsh response. And while Jack was holding his own against Forest's and Lucy's tongue-lashings, Joy and Linda had both stepped back. They were even holding hands together and, if he wasn't mistaken, they were praying.
Good. Touching Starr's hand, he pointed at that quiet pair. She nodded and went to join them.
Now. Clearing his throat loudly, Stone said, 'So! What's going on?'
A moment's silence as they turned to stare at him. And then, instead of arguing at each other, they were suddenly all talking loudly at him.
He stood there, blinking, waiting...
Till embarrassment started to set in. One by one the voices dropped away, until only Forest was left, saying, '...and they came back without him!' His voice rang far too loud in the sudden silence, and abruptly he too stopped talking.
'Um, yeah. I noticed,' said Stone. 'Couldn't find him?'
'He was running from us,' said Morgen. 'The more we followed, the more he ran.'
'So we stopped,' said Jack. 'It seemed like we were only driving him farther from us all. Problem is...' And he swung his arm, stabbing his brother's sword into the ground. 'He's not armed.'
'Then we all need to...' Forest began.
When Joy gasped loudly and blurted, 'Did you hear that?'
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