Songs from the Dark Side of the Moon
You'd think she'd be furious with him, thought the angel, observing his charge. I suppose she must be, but she loves him
too much. Look at the wonderful dinner she's cooked for him, as she does every night even if he comes home too late or too
drunk to eat. He watched the woman as she carefully arranged the hot food on the table, the meat and potatoes done perfectly,
the salad crisp and colorful, fresh bread, still warm from the oven.
She is so careful, as though it were one
of her paintings, he thought as she surveyed the table, hands on hips, then moved to correct this crooked spoon, that napkin.
His heart filled with tenderness for this women whom he'd guarded since babyhood, and he shook his head sadly. He'll probably
never even notice, thought the angel, and then she'll be hurt again. After last night and the broken promises, the anger
and the violent words, the beating, thought the angel angrily, I can't believe she's still giving herself to him so freely.
She doesn't believe that she really does deserve better. His heart ached for her, his lovely, broken-hearted, soul-scarred
human. He closed his eyes and sent her a surge of warm love.
"Mmm," she said, as she felt it, not
knowing why or even very conscious of the feeling of warmth, but only of a fleeting comfort. Then, he watched the golden
warmth fall away and disappear in wisps around her feet as her thoughts, troubled, turned again to her husband.
again," she murmured, sighing. She walked to the front door and looked out at the empty driveway. "You'd think,
just once, your Daddy would call," she said in annoyance to her five-year old. The boy was not listening, but sat completely
absorbed by a purple television dinosaur.
The angel moved nearer the woman, watching her face, listening to her
heartbeat, the steady rhythm of her lungs. "I love you, dear one," he whispered as he watched her, knowing she
couldn't hear him, and never would, until the day she "died." On that day, he knew, they would be reunited, two
souls eternally interwined in love. If only I could let her know too, perhaps it would comfort her, the angel thought sadly.
He listened to her heart beat faster, her breath quicken, as she heard her husband's truck pull in the driveway.
Let him be in a good mood, she and her angel thought simultaneously. Though he couldn't read her mind, he knew her well,
and the angel understood they'd just shared another moment of synchronicity. He stood behind her protectively as the man
came through the front door.
"I'm starving, babe!" the man exclaimed, and he crushed the woman to him,
kissing her roughly. The angel listened, once again, to her wildly beating heart. She loves him, thought the angel, or as
much as she's able to, trapped in her clay body. It's her body that is responding to him, more than her mind or spirit, he
reflected, trying, as he did so often, to understand this human woman. She's got to see that this man is not very intelligent,
nor even remotely interested in the things that she loves. The angel watched as the woman lovingly helped her husband with
his coat, her face alight as he kissed her roughly and swatted her backside. "Dinner!" he roared, and the woman
laughed, and headed for the kitchen.
They share passion, the angel decided. Still, I hate to see her linked to
one whose soul is so young, so empty. She senses his innocence and, as most older, maternal souls will do, she wants to nurture
and protect him. He watched the woman as she served dinner to her husband and children, listening to them talking animatedly
about their day, asking questions, loving them with all her being. The angel knew that this was the happiest moment of her
day...as long as her husband's mood was pleasant, as it seemed to be on this night.
She doesn't sense, thought
the angel, at least on a conscious level, the danger in him. He studied the man intently, disquiet filling him. He is a soul
eater, one whose soul will never mature or grow wiser because it is lost in it's own hunger. Or, if he can change, thought
the angel, it will take many lifetimes, and her soul will have been ravaged and forgotten. He looked at the woman, sensing
the acute anxiety behind the carefree, cheerful image she projected to her family. He watched the man for signs of anger
or annoyance, ready to try and send her a warning, to protect her if possible, if the man lashed out again as he so often
did, sometimes with shocking suddenness.
I've got to get her away from him, thought the angel in despair, or he
will devour her soul. I cannot allow that to happen. Then, as though listening to an inner voice, he nodded, frowning.
"Yes, I know," he whispered. "I cannot interfere. The veil that divides us might as well be made of steel.
It is impenetrable. There is only prayer."
And as the woman slept that night, feeling satisfied and safe
in her husband's arms, the angel knelt beside her in silent, wrenching prayer. Now and then he looked up and studied her
face, "touched" her cheek gently with his fingertips. She stirred, as if a faint breeze had crossed her face.
"I love you," he whispered again, and then, in a moment's inspiration, the angel smiled, his eyes alight.
I had forgotten, he thought with excitement. I am permitted to send her a dream message, a dream I myself have woven. Concentrating,
he placed two fingers on the woman's forehead. Once again, she stirred, then quieted, sighing softly. He closed his eyes,
his fingers seemed to glow in the darkness of the room. The woman's eyes began to flutter, and her breathing became shallow.
Her heartbeat slowed, her body relaxed completely, and she entered the world of her angel's dream.
She stands alone in a dark forest. It is late afternoon, and the sun slants sideways through the deep foliage. It is dark
here, and a mist rises from the ground and swirls around her, making it even more difficult to see through the gloom of the
trees. She shivers, and the skin on the back of her neck begins to crawl. Suddenly, the woman knows, in some instinctual part
of her brain, that she is being watched...and she is afraid.
She turns in circles, looking for a familiar landmark,
a building, anything to help her get her bearings...but everything looks alien, unfriendly. Her breath comes in shallow gasps
as the fear descends on her. She knows she must flee, now, or it will be too late. In the instant she turns to run towards
a break in the woods, towards something that might be a trail, she hears a roar echoing through the trees behind her. Her
heart leaps to her throat, and she is momentarily petrified...unable to move, to breathe. Another roar, she spins around and
is terrified to see a giant black bear, its fangs bared and drooling, charging towards her from 100 yards away. She screams,
turns and plunges into the woods, heedless of the branches that lash at her face, claw at her throat.
The bear roars
again, this time much closer, but she doesnt dare turn around. The womans feet race across the ground, slippery with rotted
leaves and branches, and she knows with an icy certainty that she must run as fast and as sure-footed as she has ever run
in her life. If she falls, she is dead...not quickly, but in a tortuous, bestial way, prey to a monsters hunger. She cries
out in terror as an image of the giant bear's teeth sinking into her neck flashes through her mind, making her race even faster
through the dark woods.. Then, the image is swept away by another angry bellow from the bear, and she can hear its paws pounding
through the trees, can almost feel the earth shake beneath her. She glances back and sees it thundering directly at her through
the woods, incredibly fast and powerful. She suddenly knows, with heartbreaking clarity, that she isn't going to make it.
With a desperation born of deep, primal terror, she runs faster still, oblivious to pain, to fatigue, to the clawing
in her lungs. She knows she is about to die, and she sobs in agony. Oh God, she thinks, my children...my babies... Her breath
comes in gasps, her sides ache in agony from her fear and her terrified running...but she pushes herself even harder. There
is light ahead, a clearing. Her heart leaps in sudden hope...perhaps shelter?
Another roar, this time nearly deafening
her in its closeness, sounds behind her, and she very nearly stumbles in fright. She glances back again, unable to help herself,
and sees with horror that the bear is almost upon her, only yards away. She screams runs faster still, her body only responding
to its desperate need to survive. In an instant, time seems to slow, then stand still, and the next moments come in frame-by-frame
slow motion. As she plummets ahead, she is horrified to see that the clearing in front of her is not a shelter but a cliff
. She has nowhere to run! She is blocked on both sides by the thick underbrush -- behind her is a roaring monster, in front
of her, only yards away, a sheer drop-off.. She is finished.
In that split second, she makes a desperate decision.
Ice wraps around her heart as she realizes she must choose between two kinds of terrible death -- mangled and torn apart by
the cruel claws and fangs of the beast that is nearly upon her, or almost certain death as she leaps, falls and is crushed
on the rocks that must wait below. Her mind rages against her fate, and in another click of time, she slows, uncertain, wanting
only to survive. In that moment the bear roars again, nearly stunning her. She cries out in agony as she feels its terrible
claws on her back, splitting the skin from her neck to her hips. The claws slice through her, and she scrambles ahead, inches
from beast, knowing the next blow will bring her down. She howls in pain, a heartbreaking death cry that echoes through the
trees, runs straight at the cliff...and jumps.
Time moves forward in a rush. She is falling, tumbling, unable to
breathe. She has only a split-second to see that she is hurling toward a lake, blue and calm, so beautiful, before her body
slams into the water and her world turns black.
It is dark, and the woman lies still.
Suddenly, her eyes jerk open and she sits up, terrified. She gropes around, unable to see in the blackness, and finds that
she is lying in bed. She sobs in relief as she realizes she has been dreaming. It was all a terrible dream, she thinks, profoundly
thankful. The woman turns her face towards the fireplace, enjoying the warmth from the crackling flames. She is still groggy
from her dream, but some part of her mind begins to realize that there is no fireplace in their home. Startled, she reaches
through the blackness to grab her husband's hand. Instead, she feels a wet snout pressed against her fingers, and she screams
and backs away in terror. It is then that she realizes her back is on fire with pain, that she is in a strange place, in the
dark, and not alone.
When the woman screams, she hears a startled yelp, a quick scurrying of paws and the shuffling
of feet. She flinches as suddenly a match is struck. In the glare of the bead of fire, she sees a man's face. His eyes, a
glorious, emerald green, sparkle in the light of the tiny flame. She gasps as she sees him -- he is a stranger to her. The
man opens the dome of a kerosene lantern, lights the wick, and blows out the match. He replaces the dome, and as he turns
the flame higher, she sees him more fully. He is indeed a stranger, and yet...somehow, so very familiar. His hair is tawny
blond, and falls in soft waves to his shoulders. He is tall, and though not powerfully built, he looks very strong. She gazes
at him in frank admiration, for a moment forgetting her fear, for he is very beautiful. It is, perhaps, the kindness in his
eyes, that makes her think of the word beautiful, when she looks at him. The man smiles at her gently, his eyes filled with
tenderness and concern.
The woman blushes, suddenly painfully self-conscious. She backs even further away toward
the wall, wincing in pain. She gingerly reaches around and probes the wound on her back, and it is then that she notices the
bandages under the coarse linen shirt she wears. She blushes again and holds the covers against her protectively, realizing
that she is wearing what must be a shirt belonging to this man. It hangs on her body, covering her from neck to knees. The
woman looks away from the stranger, deeply embarrassed, and glances fearfully around the room. She sees that she is in a small
, rustic cabin, the floors wooden, with two chairs, a table and a bed, all very simple and crude. The fireplace is stone,
and tin pots and cooking tools hang on nails which have been pounded into the face of the stone. Over the fireplace hangs
a copper kettle, now whistling merrily. The man turns away from her, still smiling softly, and reaches for a cup from the
mantle. He opens his vest and removes a packet of what looks like ground ginger, light, powdery. He pours a small amount into
the large clay cup, replaces the packet and reaches for the kettle. As he removes it from the flame, the whistle slowly dwindles
and becomes silent. The room is suddenly very quiet, and the woman can almost hear her heart pounding. It is then she notices
a large black dog lying in front of the fireplace, its coat lustrous in the light. The dog whines softly, and watches the
man with dark adoring eyes as he prepares the steaming drink. As the man turns to her once more, the woman is startled again
at his beauty. He walks to the side of the bed and offers her the cup, his eyes gentle, his smile almost timid. "Drink
this, it will ease the pain," he says, softly.
His voice, she thinks, her heart beating faster. I have heard
his voice before! Trembling, she watches him for a moment, not moving. Then, she takes the cup from his hands, and drinks.
It is hot, but not scalding, and tastes like rain-water, and peppermint. She swallows, feeling it warm her body, and she is
suddenly completely soothed. She gulps the rest of the hot liquid, almost giddy with relief as the pain leaves her body. She
doesnt notice as the man takes the cup from her hands. She is floating, her body a cloud, and the room seems to melt away.
She hears the man pull a chair near the bed; she feels him take her hand. She opens her eyes, and sees his face, his gentle
smile, his shining, emerald eyes. As she stares at him, his eyes seem to loom larger and fill her vision. He begins to speak,
softly, and she closes her eyes and listens.
This will pass, he says to her mind. Remember, I love you, I am here.
You will have pain, you will be hurt, but I will never leave you. The woman nods, not understanding fully but feeling deeply
comforted by his words. The beast will hurt you once more, but as you survived the bear in the forest, you will survive the
pain you will soon be dealt by his hands. Then you will be free of him, the man says, and he gently strokes her hair. His
fingers caress the womans cheek as he continues. You must be strong, my darling, he says, and you must remember...you are
never alone.. I love you. The woman sighs softly as his beautiful eyes begin to fade from her mind, and his gentle, familiar
voice becomes a whisper I love you, he says again, and kisses her cheek. She feels his strong hand grip her own once more
before she falls into a deep slumber.
When she wakes again, it is morning. She is in her
own room, and her husband sleeps beside her. The woman sits up, breathless, as the dream comes back to her in sudden clarity.
She reaches behind to touch her back, searching for the ripped flesh, but finds only her own, smooth skin. The woman sighs
deeply and lies back, watching the morning light stretch in across her bed. She thinks of the man in her dream, remembering
his beautiful eyes -- so familiar.
She lies in bed, thinking about the dream, the vivid details, remembering how
she felt, what she saw, remembering even the smell and taste of things in her dream. "That was more than a dream,"
she whispers, and shivers, chilled in the morning sunlight.
Her angel watches, silent, a smile lighting his face,
his eyes beautiful and sad.
~TO BE CONTINUED~
"Serenity" and "Glorious Sunset,"
above, and "Quiet Moments,"
below, Copyright Eve.
Used with permission.