Friday, March 13, 2009

the Peace that burns.

Written Sunday evening, March 8th, as I hung out with my family, both immediate and extended:

I couldn't bring myself to answer the phone. The little electronic device buzzed and vibrated on the table, but I closed my eyes and ignored the flashing screen like a saint resisting sin. I was reclined in the wooden glider, swaying gently back and forth, and wanted only to focus on the wind as it drove through the slender pine trees, over hill and gully, to caress my relaxed face, to rustle my already tousled hair. Wind chimes of various note and pitch were singing to me as they hung from the eaves of the house, a peaceful melody that reminded me of a garden. This vision was made even more vibrant as the scent of honeysuckle wafted up from the bushes beneath the deck. That coupled with the unmistakable aroma of a campfire burning was enough to intoxicate me on the mild Spring evening.
The laughs of my family members echoed from inside and I opened my eyes, a contented smile on my lips. Light poured from the windows, a pale yellow in the twilight, and figures moved beyond the panes within. Dessert was surely being served, a decadent chocolate truffle cake that begged a glass of milk upon mention. Still yet, I couldn't summon myself to stand, afraid that the peace of the moment would flee when I walked across the deck and closed the screen door behind me. That peace that rested on my mind and in my heart was that special calm that comes with being with family. And being outside in the nature of the Carolina woodlands made it seem to me that much more real and alive, as if the breeze itself bore testimony to the divinity of my blessings and the wonderful family I have; as if the tinkering chimes were themselves hymns of praise sung from the lips of angels, which altogether filled my ears as an ethereal rhapsody descending from on high.
As now I sit in the warmly lit living room, belly and heart full and surrounded by my very own angels, that peace remains and will surely burn through the night.

Monday, March 2, 2009


"Flight 325 to London, now boarding."
The woman's voice echoed ominously throughout the terminal, and Tristan jolted awake. He was sitting upright in a row of black chairs, a one-way airline ticket that he didn't remember purchasing clenched tightly in his fist. He blinked slowly, bringing his free hand to his forehead and groaning slightly. The bare skin beneath his hairline was swollen red and throbbing relentlessly. It seemed the more he came to the harder it pulsed, so he tried his best to clear his mind of any thoughts other than breathing. The wound was sensitive to the touch and he winced, closing his eyes tightly.
When he opened them again, he realized the presence of a rolling suitcase at his knee. Glancing around and finding himself alone on the row, he assumed it belonged to him, though he had never seen it before in his life; he didn't even remember packing it. But upon closer inspection he discovered his full name, street address, and telephone number inscribed on the the tag that hung from one of the zippers.
He furrowed his brow, quickly regretting it when his inflamed forehead erupted in a fresh bout of pain. His eyes watered and he clenched his jaw, trying as hard as he could despite the throbbing to remember. Something -- anything. He fought beyond the wall that seemed to have been raised around his mind, pushing, prodding, groping for a memory.
The lair was the last place he recalled being. Glimpses of Griffin crouching over a bleeding Elliot, tightening a tourniquet and barking instructions at him to switch back and find Ava. Some flashes of the Kennedy assassination in full color, and then blackness.
"Flight 325 to London, final boarding. One-way to London, final boarding."
Tristan ran a hand through his matted hair and let out a shallow and shaking sigh. He stood up slowly, deliberately, and gazed around the terminal. Foreign faces, glazed and indifferent, blurred as they hurried by. There was a steady buzz, a chorus of noise as people conversed, suitcases clicking as they were dragged along the tiled terminal floor. Tristan let his eyes comb the busy scene, trying to make any sense possible of his circumstance, when they fell upon a familiar face.
Fear struck him immediately. A biting, raw fear that permeated even the current numbness of his mind, shrieking, tearing, and suffocating -- and it all came back.
Without a second thought, he turned and ran, any survival depending solely on his escape.