Thursday, September 8, 2011

NEWLY PENNED**********MISSING**********






September 8, 2011



My mother’s voice bounced off all the walls along with the panic in her tone.

I’m a baby, little more than newborn actually. Surprised I understand the drama about to play out around me?

Me too! Are babies supposed to have such a great understanding of the words spoken within their hearing?

Somehow I doubt it, or adults would not speak some of the ridiculous words they burble around us.

I’m a total of seven and a half months old…almost eight…which means its July. The sun outside is breathtakingly bright, the thermometer’s red line is way up near numbers I think I don’t want to contemplate, and now the word “MISSING” is being screeched with such nerve scraping intensity, who among us, even a little thing like me, can sleep?

Stretching my ears, I catch words here and there. “Missing” “Checked” “Looked” “Everywhere” “Hiding” “Police” “Hurry”

Loud wailing…my mother’s? A litany of cursing…my father’s? What’s he doing home? Mom won’t like that. Dad’s I have learned are not to be around during the work day and on non-work days they are to be outside raking leaves, or trimming the lawn, painstakingly, with something called tweezers.

I am the third child in our household, although I doubt my eldest brother Rob at the ripe age of nine considers himself a child, but Mom and Dad do, so Rob’s a child, like it or not.

Missing…it’s my only a tad bit older than me brother, Dan, four going on forty miles an hour, who’s missing.

Mom yelled for Rob, fully expecting Dan’s adventure to be something he instigated…and with justification. How long ago was it Dan had trudged after Rob up the water tower ladder just beyond the edge of the property, for an unscheduled swim? Lordy my ears are still burning from the dressing down Rob got over that…and not just from Dad. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Mom’s voice sound so enraged and I sure hope she never uses that voice on me. Mother’s are supposed to sound all coo-ey and nice, not like they want to kill you while you sleep.

Okay, that probably is a little unfair. I’m sure Mom didn’t really want to kill Rob, but did sound awfully mad at him for letting Dan follow him up the tower to take a dunk inside. I can understand Mom’s temper. It’s humiliating when the police see your offspring committing what they call vandalism. The poor cop had to dunk into the tower to drag them out kicking and screaming about the unfairness of it all. My brothers can be drama queens.

Looking like drowned puppies being collar-tugged from the squad car, the police officer arrived on our front porch, eager to hand them over for their dressing down, and let me tell you, it was quite a dressing down! Leaping up and down here in my contained pen of play I saw the hang dogged expression on my brothers’ faces and the grim set of our mother’s mouth. But, compared to the yelling unleashed when Dad got home, Mom’s chastisement sounded calm, cool, and rational.

Did I mention my Dad really knows how to yell?

The last thing my parents would want after the water tower adventure, short of death on the spot, is calling the cops in, but Dan despite turning the house inside out, and every one of the out buildings every which way, remained terrifyingly missing.

Once again I am observing the unfolding drama from my pen of play. I would have loved joining the action, but bars of wood prevented me from sliding my butt to freedom. Still I pulled myself up on my chubby legs, propped my chin on the pen’s rim and watched the entertainment around me unfold.

Mr. Policeman, not the same one from only a few weeks before, stood like a blue sentinel taking copious notes in his leather bound pad.

Had they checked the attic and the basement? Kids, the very young officer explained like sneaking around those dark, forbidden areas.

From my vantage point I could see the cop’s tell-tale ring finger…NAKED ring finger. To my mature eye, he didn’t look much older than Rob, so how many kids did he have?

I pondered this for a minute and decided his parental-type observations probably came from listening to the older cops pontificating wisely in the station house’s locker room between shifts.

The bowl cut beneath his cop-hat made me think his mother still cut his hair. How young can you be and become a cop? Probably older than Rob, who played cop quite convincingly at times, but judging by this guy, whose voice still cracks, not terribly.

Mom screeched yes over and over again, so loudly, my poor little ears were starting to throb. It’s really not fair to make your kids ears bleed, but I suppose if I were the one missing, I’d want Mom’s voice to vibrate out to the rest of the state too.

I tried to think if I wanted Dan to be found. As brothers go, he seemed to be okay most of the time. When my parents had visitors with children, I got to talk to other babies. Some of them ducked whenever their siblings got close. At least Dan didn’t purposely pinch me the way Bonnie Mae’s brother did.

The Fire Company, all volunteers, arrived, and the house’s seams began stretching and groaning. Had the garage attic been searched?

“YES!” Mom roared.

Hanging onto the rim of my pen of play, my ears winced. I wished I had a wad of cotton to stuff in them, or ear plugs. My Mom wears ear plugs at night. I’m not sure whether she’s trying to keep out Dad’s loud snores or mute her own.

When they get to snoring in tandem the chimney begins belching harmony and the water heater thumps out a peculiar bit of percussion. That’s also when the mice living in the walls run. I’ve decided it is our family’s bizarre aria.

I can’t imagine anyone brave enough to turn it into a Broadway play, although sound waves can be used as weapons. Maybe the government should record our aria and ship it over to Korea and put an end to that war.

Along with the fire company the poor cop from the water tower debacle arrived. The first question out of his mouth made Mom lose it completely. Had the tower been checked?

Naturally it had, but poor cop’s superior commanded him to check it out just in case.

A look of such misery spread like a wild fire over the poor cop’s face, I felt sorry for him. He’d never volunteer suggestions again.

The volunteer fire people spread out along with the cops going door-to-door. The neighbors had not seen Dan, but being the responsible adults and dear neighbors they all are, joined the hunt. Soon you could not find an inch of ground not covered by someone searching for the missing child.

Little legs like mine grow weary very quickly, no matter how exciting the world around us might be. Staying awake took all my little-girl energy.

Aunt Betty arrived, a woman almost as a big as our house. She grabbed my Mom, led her to the sofa, forced her down, got out a wee dram of whiskey and forced it down my mother’s throat.

With Aunt Betty now in charge, I knew everything was going to focus on her and Mom wee-dramming it on the sofa.

Plunking down on my well padded bottom, I looked across the room to the couch. As big as Aunt Betty’s legs were, I still had a clear view. Eyes wide, my ears hopping, I began yelling.

No body understands baby-speak. All I could do was continue screaming like I’m sitting in a diaper filled with tacks until anyone came to check out my load.

Adults can be dense, or else they think sitting in a load is not much of an emergency when another child is missing.

I got yelled out. Ordered to shush, but no way was I shushing.

After much pitching at the top of my baby’s howl, Mom finally inched her way over towards me. When she reached in, I scooted back and pointed.

“Stay still,” mom commanded, trying once more to grab me.

I pointed wildly and let my screech level increase.

Mom ignored me once more and reached, lifting me from my pen of play. Realizing Mom meant to cart me upstairs and change my non-poopey pants, I began squirming and yelping one of the few words I knew she would understand. “Down.”

Of course with so many people about the last thing Mom wanted to do involved letting me crawl amongst them…but I had a mission and one I meant to keep.

Normally I am not a tornado on knees, but I poured on the baby-steam flitted across the room caterwauling for all I was worth under the coffee table, where it had been pressed tight against the overstuffed chair.

One swift poke to his nose was all it took.

Dan’s indignant howl made all other sounds stop.

Mom bent down, her face filled with fear one moment changed to relief, and then red-faced embarrassment.

Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Dan crawled from his secluded haven, looked around at all the people hovering around, smiled toothily and said…


Tuesday, September 6, 2011


From My Archives:
1,179 WORDS

      Love comes in many ways and from many directions. It came to me as a child from a grandmother who accepted this awkward child who seemed not to fit in, a child born out of time...not really a changeling, although that was the explanation she would often hear...more a throwback to a time when the lines betwixt love and disregard were not so hard to distinguish.

      When a child is conceived and nurtured within the womb of mother, it is assumed that mother has this predisposition to love the life swelling within her belly. All the tales of old tell of this love, a maternal love that is the strongest and most elemental love known to the human experience...but somewhere between the dawn of motherhood, and the age of computers and cyberspace, someone forgot to tell the mothers of today that this love is supposed to be inbred within them.

      A child born into a family where love is in short supply does not understand why the love that should be there is absent, and being a child with limited understanding of the dynamics of human emotions, blames herself for the way her family cringes whenever she enters their space.

      What happens to said child, starving as she is for the warmth that should biologically be hers? Had not her grandmother picked up where her parents failed, one can only speculate what would have become of her. Social Scientists have shown that baby monkeys deprived of mother's love, soon wither and die...perhaps that would be kinder than to give this child the teasing emotions of a love that will soon be stripped from her world when her grandmother's form passes on to its earthly resting place.

      What becomes of such a child, as this child moves from the curiously vacuous emotions of her paternal life onward into the cold and stark world we all must somehow function in? Does she close in upon herself, seal her heart and soul from further pains? No. Just as the baby monkeys in the laboratory sought the substitute mothers of fur covered wire, the child grows into a woman still seeking the acceptance and love that she hungers for with all that she is...But where to find it?

      Not in the marriage that pitted her against yet another stark reality of human-kind...a man who must obsess and defile that which is softer and weaker than he. As the union erodes her spirit, she sinks deeper and deeper into the despair that robs her soul of joy and beauty...Is there hope for her?

      Somehow she reaches deeply into her soul, where her grandmother's spark still glows and pulls herself from the horror of slavery in a modern age. What now, she wonders, is there for her? Should she close ranks and wade through the endless years yawning wide and barren before her? Does she dare step onto that treadmill of life that could destroy her just as easily as it could save her?

      The risks are many, and her heart so tender. Does she dare spread her wings and try to fly into the dangerous winds of love? Once more one wonders if it would not have been better to have allowed the vagaries of life to pull the breath from within and let the spirit wither and die...but with her eyes widened with hope and child-like anticipation, she chooses to try her wings.

      Hawks and vultures and other birds of prey swarm in those skies, waiting for a morsel that is sweet to consume. With no experience to guide her, she soon finds herself floating beneath the well-flexed wing of a vulture disguised as a dove so she will not know that her choice will bring her anguish and a lesson she would feel long after the tips of her wings had been bitten and devoured by the marauding bird.

      Spiraling back to the ground, her wing tips gnashed and bloody, she limps along the supporting ground looking for a hole to bolt to while her wounds mend. But alas, she has not learned her lesson well.

      Scars quickly mask the obvious and time diffuses the sharpness of memory and once more the diminutive bird spreads her wings and soars again, a little wiser, perhaps, but still looking at those skies with the hopes and dreams of that long ago child looking for love.

      Many a carrion soars in those skies, looking with their well-trained eyes, for the innocent young tidbit that will fall prey to their time slickened wickedness. This time the big bird bites off her wings to the very joint, and once more the little bird careens, broken and battered, to the land below to lie there in an agony too stark to even crawl away from.

      But the sun takes pity upon the fallen bird and warms the wound allowing life to pour back in...but perhaps the sun would have been kinder to have remained hidden behind the clouds of darkness and allowed the bird to finally release itself from its earthbound shell.

      Warily, with her wings mere nubs of their former self, she begins to trek. Without the span of feathery plumage, she cannot soar into the skies, but that is OK. She has decided that it is better for her to stay down here and just stumble through whatever of life is left for her.

      But when one is not looking, that is when life is its most treacherous. A hawk has eyes that see all there is to see, and as he soars so far above the stumbling bird, he knows he has found just the morsel to sate his desires.

      He lands before her and speaks the words that reach past all her wariness and he offers to be her wings..."Come ride my back" he offers gently. "I will take you places you have never been...Show you wondrous things you have never seen."

      And he does. Off they soar, and the little bird is awed by what the hawk shows her. Happiness etches its way into her being, and trust. Such trust she bestows upon this bird of prey. Just when she believes she has found her place in the sky, he begins listing this way and that, a daredevil in the sky, and then he rolls over in midair.

      Now she lies on the ground, shattered and broken in so many pieces that there is doubt she can ever be put back together again. Her heart still beats, her eyes still see, but the little bird inside is gone, and no one knows how to bring her back.

She wishes the heart would cease, and the eyes would roll back into her small head and grow dim, for as long as they continue the pain never ceases...Poor little bird...Poor little bird does not know she’s stepped into the flames of hell and there’s no way out...there’s nothing left within her to try: Nothing but this gaping emptiness where once there’d been a soul.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Newly Penned


September 5, 2011

“Mom, please, talk to me?”
Deep within her coma, the mother ached for the pain she heard in her daughter’s voice. Trying with all her might, she urged her drifting mind to slow, turn and head back to where she could lasso it and use it.
No one told her, all those many years ago, aging would be like this. What child believes one day they will become little more than a feeble shell of the person they used to be? What student, garnering “A’s” with such ease, all around her secretly hating her, could imagine a day when something as unexpected as a stroke would reach into her intelligence and leave her gaping for words, drooling like a baby, and doing other things, she’d never want to imagine, and still doesn’t?
As a child, she suffered the “loving” teasing of her parents, regaling one and all about how bad a baby she’d been. Through no fault of her own, she’d been born with blood tumors between each of her fingers and toes. Back then the doctors, having little understanding what a blood tumor is, snatched the new born away, carted her into the barbaric tombs within the hospital’s bowels, and burned each of those tumors with the application of dry ice upon her baby’s skin.
One tumor, stretched like some proud testament to perhaps a warrior’s wound from an ancient life, across the right cheeks of her tiny bottom…the same bottom that would be enshrouded in diapers containing the urine ammonia against that oozing wound. How could she have been anything but a cranky baby?
“Mom, can you hear me? Open your eyes Mom. I’m not letting you leave me. Mom, I can’t.”
In her wandering mind’s eye, she formed the perfect image of her daughter. From the moment her child took her first breath, the bond between mother and child melded so strongly neither could imagine life without the other. Is that a good thing? Lately, as her body became more and more her enemy, she wondered. Her biggest fears seemed to be coming to a head; her death and her precious child’s need to live on without her.
Did she think she played so vital a role in her child’s adult life, she would be unable to pull the shards of her heart’s pain back in, stitch them together, and function around the scabs? What arrogance she would have to engage in to believe that, and yet, she knew from her own loss of the one person that kept her from feeling alone in a world of disenchantment with the who she’d been born to be, how agonizing it could be.
Had she ever really recovered from losing her Grandmother? No, and who had her soul screamed out to when she learned the truth about why her parents, both, hated her? Her eyes turned skyward, and her anguish screamed out for the Grandmother who’d loved her, this changeling without condition.

Its hard being a sixteen year old under the best of circumstances, but learning you do not really exist! Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. You do exist, just not the you everyone raised you to be.
Bending over backwards to try to win even a glimmer of love from the man I called Dad took me out into the yard day after day, offering my hand in ways my brothers could not be bothered with. Dad cut down the huge walnut tree; I helped carry the scrabbling branches to the burn bins. I just wanted Dad to love me, to like me, to not always scowl at me. But how could he when I reminded him of my status?
My status! Mom felt honor bound to let me know exactly what my status in the family was. Could I honestly call myself a bastard? No! Mom and Dad were eleven years into their marriage when my tainted self popped from her womb. Illegitimate? Not by the strictest adherence to the definition. A constant reminder my Dad had been cuckolded? Absolutely!
I began during the Korean War. My parents owned a three story stone mansion within close traveling distance of the Johnsville Navy Base near Hatboro, PA. My Dad was not the most courageous of warriors during the Second World War, so I think opening the top floor of their home to Navy boys far from home, made him feel a bit better about his behavior previously.
Three sailors…that’s how many took up free residence in the third story. Three very young, sailors, away from home for the very first time, alone, and partying with someone generous enough to open her home to them. Mom became an alcoholic after her father died when she was nineteen. Fifteen years later, she had three young boys, unlimited access to the booze they brought into the house and no one to stop her from taking full advantage of three nubile young men.
I will never know who actually sired me, but the man who raised me, is most definitely not the donor of my rare AB+ blood, and me? I became the unwitting recipient of the enmity both my parents felt; mom for getting caught, and Dad…well for not being my real Dad. The blood tumors, they decided, proved I am the spawn of the devil, and the devil made my mother do what she did.
Imagine being seven, eight and having to pull down your panties, turn and bend so the visitors can see the proof of your true parentage, Lucifer, stretching across your right cheek.
“Mom, wake up, please.” My daughter’s voice cut through the pain of such memories.
Focusing on her precious voice, I tried to swim up through the mire. I almost made it, but I’m tired.
This has been a long, long life. I know the peace and joy that awaits me Beyond The Veil, and I so want to go there, lay down my weary head on the lap of the only Father I’ve ever known who loved me despite my demonic mark.
“Mom I can feel your desire to leave. If you go I’m going to kill you!”
A trickle of laughter filled my spirit. As absurd threats went, that one made me chuckle. She could always make me laugh, no matter how bad life became, and it went as it started.
My body, a road map of scars from sources I’d rather not think about, grew more and more cumbersome as the years passed. Multiple trips beneath the surgeon’s knives patched me back together time and time again, but the root of the scars, and the damage from the wounds stayed with me, temporarily stapled into place once more.
My internal organs gave out in my thirties, the same general age my mother was when she conceived me. My punishment for being a changeling, I often wondered. No doubt my entire life, except for the time with my grandmother and my daughter, a punishment for my being Satan’s changeling.
What did I do in my last life to deserve this one? Had I murdered, raped, pillaged? Naturally I was too late to consult the likes of Edgar Cayce, the Sleeping Prophet, even though I so longed to. Surely he could have found the answers to why I am the devil’s spawn, and why that rationale never felt right. If my mother received Satan’s seed, could I be like Rosemary’s Baby?
I went to see that movie because I liked Mia Farrow. What happened to her in that film appalled me. If I bore the same heritage as the child born to her in Rosemary’s Baby, wouldn’t I have powers to undo the harsh treatment I received at the hands of my parents, and my ex-husband?  As a true Satan’s spawn, wouldn’t my evilness make me dangerous to any that defied my whims?
I tried to think back to those whom I have hurt in my long life. My brothers hated me because, one I was a girl, never a good thing to be in a family raised to be misogynistic, and two I got good grades without studying while they struggled. Had I done anything, though, to covertly, or overtly hurt them?
I adored the eldest…nine years my senior. I thought he was handsome, funny, and brave in his quiet, unassuming way. The youngest, three years my junior, was the burr in my saddle. He earned me the one beating from my Dad I will never forget. So bad did Dad come down on me over my brother’s acts, I was black and blue from my butt and thighs to the middle of my spine, I hid for two weeks whenever Dad was home behind the couch…I couldn’t sit down and had to sleep on the floor on my belly. (My Grandmother, visiting her sister in Michigan, never knew. Had she been there, it would not have happened. The only woman my Dad ever respected was my Grandmother, and she adored me.)
My middle brother, I stood staunchly in his corner when he got his one year older girlfriend pregnant the first time they did the deed. The daughter of our local millionaire gentleman…if you can call a tobacco chewing, brown drooling pig of a man a gentleman…got his shotgun out and a wedding took place. My brother was not yet twenty-one; only seventeen actually, requiring the signature of my parents.
An elaborate wedding with all the trimmings took place. Six months later, her family blamed us when people started putting two and two together and declaring it a shot-gun wedding.
I stood in my brother’s corner when five years later the marriage ended in a bitter enmity towards him, surprisingly not us too, divorce. (I would learn later why we, the rest of the family, were not included in Farmer Art’s vitriol…I can still taste the sourness of his oozing kiss on my fifteen year old lips, and his prophesy about me being pregnant by the time I turned sixteen. Farmer Art showed up all over the county trying to corner me into making it truth, but I could run like the damned back then.)
If I am Satan’s spawn, how could my ex-husband risk what he put me through? My father, legal father that is, sold me into my marriage before I turned twenty-one and could reach my autonomy. Didn’t Dad tell my ex of my horrible parentage? Why would my ex risk the wrath of my “real” Dad?
Eleven years. That’s how long it took me to escape the talons of my marriage, and years of reconstructive surgery followed. (No, my ex did not carve new scars over the brand from Satan across my butt. That’s about the only part of me he did not etch his mark into.)
That many years of mind altering abuse leaves you hankering for family. My eldest brother, divorced himself by this point is who I sought. He’d been my favorite, my funny, handsome, kindhearted brother.
I found him busy converting the house he’d won in his divorce into apartments, and packed with strangers. With nowhere but his bedroom to talk in private, I blindly followed. The room held nothing but his Queen sized bed and a dresser. Temporary.
Lying down with a distance worthy of who I’d become…a woman who could not stand the touch of any man, not even in comfort, I slipped into telling him the horrible truth of my marriage. Lost in the muck of those years, I nearly jumped out of my skin the minute my brother’s cupped hand molded around my clothed breast.
I could not get out of there fast enough. My brother? How could my brother do this? Did the horrid details of the sexual depravity of my marriage turn him on? Could I have so misjudged the core of the brother I’d idolized growing up?
I never told. How could I? I desperately wanted to believe I’d misunderstood, or the Cognac my brother now devoured as liberally as our mother had devoured Four Roses Whiskey bore the blame…but the next time I saw my brother, hatred burned in his eyes. Like my father, I now had an enemy bent on destroying me and any connection I might still wish to have with the family of my birth. My offspring accepts, whether she wants to or not, the same taint as me. Birds of a Feather, I guess.
“Mom, you cannot die before me,” my daughter raved at me.
Ah Sweet Angel, I thought from my place of unrest, I am tired. So tired.
Being a single parent, without any support systems and a body broken in more places than not, made my thirties little more than excursions in and out of the hospital, and because my ex never paid child support or alimony, a trail into the debasement of seeking Public Assistance. How else could I pay for the damage the whip, and other devices of torture my ex had so liberally wielded left upon me? How else could I pay for the therapy we, as a family, needed to move forward after the debasement my ex inflicted with such heart felt glee?
Me, the daughter of Satan reliant on others? If I truly am Lucifer’s child, where did Daddy disappear to? Why was he allowing the child born of his seed to suffer this way?
Tired, so bone deep tired. My forties, and fifties improved a bit, but we never pulled ourselves from the mire of poverty, despair and feeling like we were little more than useless creatures breathing air we hadn’t paid enough to consume.
A mini-stroke, cancer…one malady after another, claimed my focus. I am sooo ready to slip from this shell and move on into the Hands of God.
Oh, didn’t I explain that? I died on the operating table a time or two, and visited that one true Father I spoke of earlier. He showed me what I’d suspected. My Grandmother had it right when this changeling came into the world. I am precious, and worthy of love. He showed me my daughter knew the truth too. Wrapped within the strong arms of His unconditional love, I learned the only truth I ever needed. I am loved for who I really am. Not reviled for who they all projected me to be.
Swirling in the soup of this latest stroke, I remembered the months it took me to function after the mini-stroke. Could this one be worse? No doubt, since unconsciousness had not been a part of that one. I shuddered. So much would fall on my daughter’s shoulders if I returned. How unfair that would be?
“Mom, please come back to me,” my daughter’s voice cut through the foggy layers. “I love you!”
Light exploded, the fog parted and I saw her clearly. Without thinking or plotting what we’d do now, my eyes opened.
“Oh My God!” my daughter cried. “You’re awake.” Turning her head enough to yell over her shoulder she screamed. “I need a doctor. Mom’s awake!”
From my chair, I sit at my desktop computer, wishing I still had my laptop, but grateful my body functions well enough most of the time the author in me continues.
It is as that author, I offer this story of the life that brought me to this point, and the love of a daughter God gave me all those years ago, so I’d never forget I am precious, precious enough to warrant such a gift.

I love you, My Daughter. Thank you for loving me back.




L.J. Holmes
December 10, 2000
Word Count: 1, 528

Long ago, before the birth of time, a Book appeared in the vast Nowhereness; a Book of incredible knowledge, wisdom, and inner depth, but man nor beast had yet to rise, from the primordial granules of cosmic dust.

Without a being to open the Book, what good does its existence serve? Within the fastened covers of the enduring treatise, were the answers to all the issues that would ever be confronted by beasts of all descriptions.

Drifting along on the aloneness of Nowhereness, the Book remained untouched, untarnished, unconnected, its purpose undiscovered, waiting for the dawn of the Book's beginning. For the Book will only come into its own when it is finally opened.

A Bang of monumental proportions sent thundering ripples deep into the vast Nowhereness, catching the Book in the cataclysmic aftershocks, casting it light years into the future, far from the Nowhereness it had known.
It came to rest in an open meadow. The gurgling sound of water tripping over stones, blended with the lusty speaks of many a bird, and scuttling creature; all busily peering at the Book. All sound stopped, silence echoed, for a moment or two.

Creatures big and small gazed at the alien "Whatsit", each separate creature having much to say,certain that only it knew what the thing was. Few neared, it, not at all certain what it might do, until one little bunny-babe, scampered from the family warren. With a twitching nose, a slight wink of bravery,that he really didn't feel: Who would know?: hopped ever closer, stopping after each hop, one never knew what a "Whatsit" might do, until he was close enough to really see.

Being a bunny, schooled in advanced carrotology, he quickly ascertained the "Whatsit" was most definitely NOT a carrot...nor even orange; his favorite color. He wrinkled his bewhiskered pink nose, but no scent rewarded his efforts. Sitting back on all fours, he pondered the thing. There had to be a way of finding out what it was, and why it had landed here, in his playground. Lifting one fluffy paw, he apprehensively reached out, and then snapped it right back when the "Whatsit" giggled.

Turning, he communicated his discoveries to one and all, and asked them what he should do next? A fox barked that maybe he should check it out. Foxes always thought they were the smartest creatures, in all the land.

With switching tail, snout almost to the ground, the fox slithered and stalked his way over. Like the bunny, who'd scampered away; bunnies and foxes do not go together very well; the fox slid his snout over the "Whatsit".

If the bunny had been confused by the "Whatsit", the fox was even moreso. Not only could he not catch any scent, his keen ears picked no sounds of breathing, no beat of heart, but once more, it giggled.

Glaring rather derisively at the "Whatsit"; foxes don't like being played for a fool; he gave it one mighty swat. In clearly audible foxese, the "Whatsit", whispered back, "Don't do that!"

Leaping like a scared jackrabbit, or terrorized fox of the Hunt, he yelped his report to the meadow life, when a crow cawed, "Man is coming!" The meadow emptied of all signs of life. The "Whatsit" forgotten in the mad dash, for there were some things more important than "Whatsits".

The long gait of the towering man-beast brought him quickly to the very spot, where the Book waited. His eyes widened on the well crafted Book, with its glittering gold print announcing it as "The Book".

He bent to it. His breath caught as a gasp escaped his throat. Before his eyes the Book began to expand and contract, almost as if it were breathing. Reaching out, he reverently touched the Book, and felt a spark of racing joy coursing up his arm. Retreating back for just a moment, his eyes swept the land around him, searching, scanning, peering, he figured for an answer to the pulsating rhythm, of the living Book before him.

Some inner awareness seemed to just know, the answer was not to be found out there. No, it was here within the Book, and within himself. To learn the answer, he must take the Book, so the pages could bring enlightenment to him. Moving back the minute distance he'd retreated, he bent down and lifted the Book into his hands. Unlike the books lining his shelves at home, this Book was warm to the touch. Real, beyond leather and parchment.

He took the book and withdrew from the meadow, leaving the watching land and air creatures, and their fascinated interest in the "Whatsit, far behind. If he heard a bunny thumping loudly, or a fox snorting derisively, he showed no sign.

As the stars blanketed the night-dark sky, the man settled at his massive oak desk, The Book reposing on his leather-bound blotter before him, and just in case he wanted to make a comment or two, a recorder had been placed to the left of him as well.

The Book quivered with excitement. Finally to be opened, understood, appreciated! It had waited generations for this moment. The Book trembled once more, and wondered, would the man-creature love what the Book had to say?

The man's large hand opened wide, fingers spanned, palms facing downward; he lightly caressed his way across the Book's finely crafted flesh. He felt the Book shudder.

"What!!" he roared confusedly, just what was going on here? Books don't quiver, nor do they feel warm to the touch, but this one was doing all of that and right before his eyes.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, he carefully slipped one rigid finger beneath the lip of the cover, and firmly pushed it all the way into the Book, opening it and exposing the first page to his piercing eyes.

"I am the Book of All Truth. Open my pages and know me, but also learn of you."
The words written before him, seemed to come to life, spoken into the silence surrounding him, from a source he could not yet imagine.

With the patience and reverence of a child facing a full cookie jar, he lifted the book and hurriedly thumbed through it.
A cacophony of garbled words assaulted his ears,
But stopped the moment he ceased thumbing the Book.
"Open my pages one at a time." that voice softly instructed.

Over the days that followed, the man explored the Book. Each page spoke right to the center of who he knew himself to be, and who he wanted, no needed to be. The Book spoke to him of love, not casual emotions, but a love that lives and breathes within and without.

The love the Book painstakingly explained was a special love, borne of the seeds of Forever. Between the two chosen to be two blended into one, at the Beginning Time. All who settle for less are doomed to mediocrity.

By the ending pages of the Book, he knew with certainty, that the voice, the voice of the words of the Book, now imprinted on his soul and imagination, was the voice of his Beginning-Time Mate.

With regret and anticipation, he closed the back cover, the last words echoing in his mind, "You have reached the end. You know all there is to know. All things are illusions, save for the love that is your destiny. Seek it now, with insight, wisdom, and an unconditional heart."

The Book was ready to leave his hands, find the next recipient of its Eternal Message, and so it was, later that night, a wind, a mighty wind of a force of incredible power, swept through his den, lifting the Book and carrying it away.

Several days into weeks, passed. The words stayed with him. Where does one go to find their Beginning Mate? Does one place an ad? Write it in smoke across the sky?

The ringing of the phone invaded his musings,
to his great dismay.

Spreading the hand that had caressed the Book, he lifted the phone to his ear, greeted automatically, and then froze. The voice! That soft, almost sultry summer voice, returned his greeting, her words vibrating through his body, finding a home in his heart.

Years later, lying beside his cherished mate, his eyes lovingly caressed her love-bruised lips as she slept. The Book had not steered him wrong. This woman completed him, as he completed her, in a way that still left him breathless.

He had wondered if the Book found another, to enchant, and teach about the sound of love, when one night, shortly after they'd become one, his Beloved Mate told him a story, a story of Love, about a Book and an audible voice of her true love.

The voice had been his very own.

Reaching across the short space between them, he tucked his woman, his heart, his life, his Lover, into the encircling haven of his arms. Silently he thanked the Fates for sending him the Book, and wished all its future readers their own Truth in Love.