Friday, April 24, 2015

Bonus Scene 4 - The Restorer

Here's a glimpse inside the mind of Kendra as Susan and Tristan struggle to draw her back from Rhusican poison.

After Chapter 13

Kendra:

I was five when Kieran taught me Perish, barely old enough to remember not to pop the smooth stones into my mouth like a curious toddler. The patterns fascinated me. I loved pushing my white stones into place to block the attack of my brother’s black ones. Imagining the scenarios the game represented were no problem for me. In my mind’s eye, guardians rode forward to protect the clan and noble heroes sacrificed everything to beat back invasion.

No matter how quickly I moved, Kieran was quicker. I’d guard my village on one side, only to be attacked on the flank. My nimble fingers adjusted the placement faster and faster. Black and white pieces shuffled and reshuffled, but I couldn’t clear the game.

Ever since the Rhusican at Blue Knoll stared into my eyes, whispering doubt and confusion, I’d been caught in some sort of game of Perish. Move and countermove.

Anxieties advanced like black pebbles, tumbling, avalanching, burying me.

The clans were in danger. Someone needed to do something. I needed to do something. Yet the political issues were huge. I was powerless. Still, there had to be an answer. Faster. There wasn’t time.

Tristan was taking too many risks. The River Borders were dangerous. But he wouldn’t listen to me. I couldn’t stop him. Yet I had to. I had to do more, or I’d lose him. He was taking too many risks. I pushed one thought aside looking for an answer but, like Perish rocks, another took its place, and the horrible circle continued.

From far away, the voice of a stranger interrupted the battle. “Be still and know…”

No time for that. If I stopped and listened, if I didn’t stay focused on the pieces, they’d surround me. I had to organize the problems. Find solutions. Worry them into place.

“Be still and know…” The woman’s gentle voice chanted a chorus I’d never heard before, but it felt familiar even in its strangeness. My body shuddered as I let the melody pull me from the worries I fought to contain.

“I am the Lord that healeth thee.”

Beyond the thready tones of the woman’s voice, I heard the voice of the One. How I longed to sink into that invitation. But if I didn’t fix the Council and Tristan and the Kahlareans, and—

With a sweep of my arm, I flung the Perish stones aside, lashing out against the fear that demanded solutions I couldn’t provide. A moan tore from the deep pain in my core. What had I done? I scrambled to regather the stones. One more time. I needed to try one more time. Maybe this time I could move the pieces into order and stop this chaos. The tortuous puzzle clamored. Fix this. Solve it. Try harder.

Another voice joined the woman’s. Rough-edged and strong. I grew aware of arms that gathered me, supported me.

I’d thought my eyes were open as I watched the Perish stones, but now I opened them and saw his face.

“Tristan?”

A smile lit his features, hope and relief glimmering in his eyes. Frantic strands of anxiety still clung to the edges of my thoughts, but with each passing moment their grip loosened. Was this what it was like for those who closed their eyes in death but opened them in the presence of the One?

Joy built slowly, stretching and filling my mind, casting aside the stones of worry that had seemed so important, so heavy, so insistent. The joy tossed them aside as the pebbles they were. I was awake.

1 comment:

Nina Ruth Bruno said...

Wow, that is sooooooooooo powerful & SUCH a timely reminder. I am intensely burdened to pray for someone I know right now who is caught in this game of Perish. He cannot do it all. He's not expected to. But ministry demands can seem "true" because they're not "secular," after all, it's the "Lord's work," so that seems to justify a drivenness that is not of God. Now I remember to SING over my friend! :-)