Scene 28 – TOD
John sees the flash of light again. A flash of light, like the headlights on a vehicle coming at him. The light quickly hits him square in the eyes, stretches outward in a straight line until his whole vision is filled with light.
A semi-tractor trailer blows a tire beside them while they are driving, causing them to swerve off the road, then back across the road where another tractor trailer going in the other direction slams into them head on.
John and Su both see a bright flash of light and jerk their heads back. Lucky yelps and is momentarily frightened, running over to Su sitting next to her and leaning into her. ” Oh! … Oh puppies, it’s ok, all done.” Lucky licks Su’s face.
” I was wondering what that was, didn’t see the whole thing last time. Was it an accident?” John asks.
Miriam nods, ” Yes, time was up. No one was at fault, the truck that blew a tire had a large screw in one of the tires and the driver didn’t know. When it reached a certain speed, the screw caused a tear in the tire and caused it to blow out. The truck that hit you had no chance of getting out of the way. In fact that driver died also.”
” What was that shell those blobs left behind?” John asks.
” The “blobs” as you call them that awakened you to this new life, they knew you, that’s why they left that shell for you.”
” Shell? What shell?” Su asks.
John pulls the Lace Murex out of his pocket and tries to hand it to Su but it disappears from her hand and ends up back in his hand.
” When I had my awakening I was fishin’, sort of and these techno jelly starfish blob like creatures surrounded me and one laid this shell before they left.”
They both look to Miriam.
” That is your shell and your shell alone, only you may use it. And they didn’t lay it like a platinum egg, they merely showed you where it was. You weren’t supposed to find it so soon. “
“ Why not?” John asks.
” You weren’t supposed to pass away so soon. The book you were writing? It was to carry a message of hope to people who didn’t believe in the afterlife. Needless to say it has been delayed.”
” Really? That crappy story?” John asks.
” Your pen need not always be elegant to carry a monumental message of hope and faith, which your story does. Someone who needs it will find it and it will speak to their heart in a language they can understand and have an impact on them that will make them fear not death as a void , a strict set of rules, nor a horror. It will enlighten them as no one else could and it will inspire them to do grand and good deeds in the future, which will make the world they live in a better place.”
” Wow … wish I could’ve found that publisher when I was alive, heh.”
Su jabs John in the arm playfully.
” What does this shell do?” John asks.
” Everything. You’ve already used it and you don’t even know it,” Miriam tells him.
” How? When?” John asks.
” How is up to you so long as you do no harm. When? You used it when you ran to the point the other night and back. You used it when you stepped into the gateway and when you swam under water and didn’t have to hold your breath” Miriam says.
” You went swimming?” Su asks looking at him in disbelief.
” Yeah …What if I lose it?”
” You cannot lose it. It is bound to you and you alone. That is how you control your heaven,” Miriam says.
“ With a shell?” John asks.
Su stares down and begins to cry
” What’s the matter honey? Suzie?” Miriam asks.
Su draws in the sand with one hand and pets Lucky with the other. ” I didn’t get one.”
” I haven’t given it to you yet,” Miriam tells her.
Su’s eyes light up like a child’s on Christmas day when they see many presents under the tree for them. ” Really, can I have it?”
” Yes but you don’t need it,” Miriam says.
” Why does he need it and I don’t?”
” You didn’t need it to fly across the water or to do a loop da loops in midair and go swimming with the dolphins, or to find Bosco or even me, did you?”
” No, why not?”
” Because you have something special about you too honey,” Miriam says.
” What?” Su asks.
” Your soul is strong! You do not need a vehicle or muse for you to control your heaven. All you have to do is feel it … and you can make whatever it is you want to happen, happen. Under two conditions,” Miriam pauses.
” What?” Su asks.
” When you are ready and so long as you do no harm. Same goes for you too John, except your soul is not as strong as Su’s, you feel that you need something, so therefore you do.”
John looks at his shell.
” When I’m ready and so long as I do no harm. Easy enough, I guess. When do I get my shell?” Su asks.
” When you are ready,” Miriam says.
” I’m ready.”
” You are not ready,” Miriam tells her.
Su looks at her mother with a confused look
” I have more to teach you before I go,” Miriam says.
” Go, go where? You are part of my heaven. I want you here,” Su asks.
” This is a wonderful heaven honey. Beautiful, serene … But this is not my heaven and my heaven is not your heaven.”
” I don’t want you to go,” Su says pouting.
” When it’s time you will understand. I will always be here for you. But for now I must teach you certain things so you don’t live out here like beach bums and scare off the tourists and how to contact the living or how not to contact them. The dead have much responsibility when they want to communicate with the living. “
” What about my shell?” Su asks.
” The shell I have for you is a very special one, it must be given like John received his, at a special place and a special time.”
” Soon?” Su asks.
” Yes, soon my dear. Excuse me,” Miriam says, as she steps away briefly, crying with her back to them. ” Sooner than I wish.”
Miriam returns to Su and John, “ Follow me I’ll explain along the way.”
John stands up, extending his hand out to Su and Su politely accepts easily moving to her feet.
They walk along side of Miriam up the beach with Lucky and Bosco, listening to her as she explains things to them. They slowly fade into the sandy beach landscape as the wind carries the ocean spray behind them.
Copyright © 2013 by John Edward Petersen