The Gift

The sky danced. Fingering the worn, tattered parchment, Karia glanced upward at the heavens. Auras of blue, green, purple, and various other colors sifted through the immense, concealed expanse. Her gaze returned to the shale-lands about her. Small, brittle stones dusted the hardened snow.  Philosopher, skeptic, outcast, enemy of herself – she frowned at the ice-gems beginning to crust the tattered blanket and flicked them away with a calloused, bandaged hand. Eyebrows knit together, a weary sigh spread over her pale features, but in her eyes snapped sparks of pain. This was her only mirror of translucent glass – the bitter eyes through which she both detested and envied the small group huddled by the fire some twenty feet away and through which she glimpsed herself …and hated what she saw.

“Have you met them?”

Her gaze alighted on the approaching figure, then returned to the auroras painting the sky. “And you return to trouble me again.”

A slight smile comforted his almost imperceptible sigh as he seated himself on a nearby rock. Keen, kind eyes peered out beneath a dark hooded cloak.  “And I shall continue to return as I am able.” The grieving light within them, framed by the deep grooves of many years’ toil, grew still lighter and changed to one of rapture, upturned to the heavens. His smile widened, revealing crooked, white teeth. “You know them, do you not?” he questioned again.

“Do I care to know them?” The snarl crept into her whispered answer.

His tone was steady. “Whether you care to or not, you know, but how much you understand is a different matter. Why do you not accept them as my messengers?”

“When I understand all, perhaps then I would. But again and again you ask this, yet never you impart what I need to understand.”  She scowled and kicked away a small pebble, sending it skipping across the tundra-firth.

“Perhaps you have all you need. That’s why I gave you my messengers.”

The churning within her suddenly erupted. “Why did you give me more of what I could already find elsewhere? Why give me the stars instead of answers? Those who cast me out of my home and my land gave me reasons – meaningless, forgotten reasons,” her eyes sparked once more with torment. “What about hope?”

“I did give you answers.” He smiled at her and again at the aurora. “You simply refuse to see them.” His hand swept across the sky and then towards the Writings she held. “Look at the painting – before your eyes even now.  Look at the Story to which my canvas has directed you. Look at my messengers. How many things they’ve seen.”

Of sudden, the aura dispersed from the centre of the heavens. In their wake, distant, luminous sparks matched the fyre in her eyes, yet their fyre kindled life. Not death. Karia kicked at another stone. “So they’re stars. Orbs of fyre.” Her eyes narrowed to slits, head shaking slightly in disdain. “Suspended in darkness, lifeless, and barren. I see nothing.”

“Because you choose not to see.  Believe, Karia. Choose to trust what you already know. I gave them to you.  Karia,” his kind eyes settled upon her, “they tell of Me.”

She awoke. Icy mist wafted through the air, colliding with the twirling trail of smoke from the dying embers of an unattended flame. No friend or foe encircled the remaining ashes. The parchment still lay beneath her hand.

Listen.

Karia jolted to her feet,  searching. “Why can’t I see you?”

Listen.

She did. Brilliant gold- and silver-hued points of light slowly descended, growing larger. A wave of music, faint but close, surrounded her, yet she knew not from whence it played. It swelled, a chorus of voices singing in marvelous Words. They were familiar and pure, and she hearkened to them. Her stare traveled to the parchment, and simple, straightforward joy filled her gaze.

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. 

***

They found her next morning clutching a worn parchment with runic lettering. The cold had struggled, shrouded in dark pall, clawing with an unshakable grip. But the smile on the orphan’s face and her gentle, restful breathing unveiled her glimpse of the stars’ secrets revealed in beautifully uncomplicated Words.  And wondrous were they at the dark cloak draped across her shoulders.

© 2017 Fynland Arkwood. All rights reserved.

 

References KJV Bible (all to be taken within Biblical context): Jeremiah 31:3, 1 John 5:20 , 1 John 5.

 

 

 

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