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SUSPENDING ALL BELIEF

MakepeaceRandall Makepeace stood at the edge of the town of Craven. It was a strange hamlet, a glimpse of Armageddon long before the first volley of war. A hellish lot, Makepeace believed, not fearful of death or the wrath of God. He had plans to change all that.

There on the outskirts, his entourage set stake to ground and proceeded to raise the tents for the planned revival. It was a matter of their spiritual survival, Randall reasoned. He was sure he need to go extra heavy on the brimstone this time out. Standing at the top of Harding Avenue looking down the center of the town, he readied himself for the service.

The lack of curiosity of the town folk bothered Makepeace. Usually the looky-loos come out of the woodwork and he could “grease” the crowd; get a feel for their needs as he saw it. He wondered how to get into their heads. Randall decided to venture into town.

It seemed deserted. He could faintly hear the sounds of a radio broadcast coming from the General Store. Peering into the front window, he saw no signs of life. Strolling further up the main thoroughfare, he felt the uneasy feeling of being watched. It was starting to spook him out. In his head Randall searched for the words of Psalm 23. He couldn’t remember the passage; he just repeated “The Lord is My Shepherd…, The Lord is My…”

There, nailed to the telegraph pole he saw it. A handbill of sorts… a memo to the townsfolk(?). The memo was yellowed and faded, some letters stood out from the other as if highlighted for visibility.The entire text read:

THe town has ISsued a restriction on unwelcomed vISitors HEre. Leave us aLone!

Makepeace read the message and searched over his shoulder for a sign of some life. He found none. He heard a thumping sound emanating from his chest. His heartbeat was loud and rapid. Sweat beaded on his forehead. Out of the corner of his eye he caught sight of the memo again. Now all he read was:

THIS IS HELL

“In the name of all that is Holy, come out and be seen!” Randal demanded.

The sound of sinister laughter echoed from vacant doorways. Unseen eyes peered at him, seeing into his soul to view the hypocrite Makepeace truly was.

A thunderclap of a voice reverberated.

“GET OUT!”

“I CAN SHOW YOU THE LIGHT!” Randall Makepeace defied loudly! “IF HIS WORD DOES NOT SOOTHE YOUR HEARTS, MAY I BE STRUCK DEAD!”

The voice was silenced. The laughter resumed. Randall Makepeace should surely have made peace with his maker. His distorted body lay sprawled on the dirt, eyes wide and heavenward. His mouth grotesque and misshapen; a look of pure terror on his face, as if he had seen the devil himself.

Brother Jeppison came searching for his pastor. Strolling further up the main thoroughfare, he felt the uneasy feeling of being watched. The sound of laughter was horrifically familiar. Jeppison had heard it before. It was surely Makepeace.

“Pastor Randall?” he called.

The thunderclap of a voice resounded again.

“GET OUT!”

It was the pastor. Jeppison turned tail and ran for the tents.

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, THE LORD…”

THE POINT

“The rising orb of the Son gained the upper hand over the ravages of darkest night…” (Photo by chevygirl1064 on Photobucket)

Oblio and Arrow had come to the rendezvous point. It was an arduous journey for sure, but a trek well worth making. And even though it had taken him years to arrive, Oblio knew it was well overdue.

He had gotten there a bit early in the morning. The moon and the rising sun fought the night for dominance, and Oblio just watched in wonder. He had been under its spell; the magnificence of nature being revealed in metered increments. And as he observed, his dog Arrow sat on its haunches admiring the scene as well. His head cocked slightly to the right as if listening to his master’s voice.

It seemed the both were. The boy had read in the Manifests that this was the spot and moment in which He would appear. No one else gave the impression that they believed in His real presence in this world. But now as the promised “second coming” was at hand, it remained just Oblio and Arrow, side-by-side as they had always been since they were both young “pups”.

The rising orb of the Son gained the upper hand over the ravages of darkest night, as it crept ever-slowly into the morning sky. Obilo swallowed the lump in his throat, awed by the display that made his being there, more meaningful than he could imagine. Arrow barked at the sight of Its brilliance, singing his praises in Doggese as his tail swiped at the sand in sweeping arcs.

Oblio bowed his head in reverence. Arrow did the same. And the morning Son had returned. The manifest said it would be a sign, and by His sign you would know Him. And be saved by Him.
They would be nourished and protected by Him. Oblio believed it. Arrow did the same. The beauty of His coming was a sight they would not soon forget. It engrained itself in their hearts.

They felt sorry for those who did not believe. The Son also rose for them. But now, they’ll never get the chance to know!