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What's New
a portent
by Tim Gunderson
Not For Sale


The night was quiet as Lynn paced the floor of the cabin. It was late, but sleep would not come to her as she glanced out the window at the star filled sky. She was known to occasionally burn the midnight oil, fixing this, reading that. But this night was different. There was a restlessness about it that she couldn’t shake. The stars themselves seemed to beckon to her, ‘come and see.’ And so she put her jacket and boots on, wrapped a scarf around her neck and soon was walking into the night. She headed down the road, guided only by the light of the night sky. She thought to herself how nice it would be to visit the springs in the darkness. Or was it more than that? Indeed, she felt strangely drawn toward the springs. It was like something or someone was expecting her. Yes, she would go to the pond.
As she walked along the path through the woods, she mumbled to herself, “I must be crazy! What am I doing?” But she continued on, her feet padding quietly on the moist dirt. It was quiet, so very quiet - almost as if the trees themselves were waiting for something to happen, their branches lifted heavenward. She came to the edge of the springs and sat down, huddled on a log, her hands in her pockets. She was still wondering when something caught her eye. There was a stirring in the waters of the pond. Closing her eyes, she rubbed them softly, hoping to regain focus. When she opened them she let out a startled gasp. Not only the water, but now the trees, the grass, and then even the air itself seemed to be moving. She closed her eyes again, resisting what was developing before her. She was afraid, yet also curious… what was going on!? She opened her eyes again to find the entire woods still alive with motion, but now there was more. There appeared a woman dressed in white running across the surface of the pond. As the woman reached the edge she would leap high into the air, out of sight. Moments later she would reappear only to leap over the trees at the other side of the water. This went on for many minutes; twirling, running, jumping, dancing. The woman was accompanied by two figures of light which had form - but not human form. It seemed they were trying to keep up with the woman, but were always a few steps behind. Back and forth, back and forth they went. The sounds were startling as well. Howls of joy and laughter echoed through the woods, bringing a smile to Lynn’s face as she was drawn into the mirth. She could not restrain herself, and soon stood at the edge of the water. Before her sensibilities could interfere, she was walking out onto the water - yes, not in the water, but on the water. Something deep within her longed to take part in the joy, the leaping, the dancing. She closed her eyes and kept walking, the water staying beneath her feet. Before long she stood in the middle of the pond. She opened her eyes to see the woman in white - no longer running and leaping, but standing in front of her. She tried to look toward the woman, but was prevented by the brightness, and could make only brief glances toward her. She began to weep and then to laugh. Dropping to her knees, she began to worship at the feet of the bright woman. “Get up!” the woman said gleefully. “Do not bow before me!” She detected something familiar, about that voice, but still wasn’t sure - who was it? The woman continued to speak. “Such beauty, such joy! And such fun! I had forgotten...”
“Who...who are you?” she said, looking toward the brightness. “You don’t recognize me!?” the bright woman said, her laughter filling the woods. “Oh, you’ll know soon enough,” she said with a twinkle in her eye. “I must go now. He’s waiting for me!” Suddenly, there was a display of light as Lynn had never seen, with more apparitions joining the celebration, twirling round and round and round, going higher and higher, until suddenly, the woods once again grew silent. Lynn found herself back on the log, the pond still and quiet. The vision, or dream (what was it?) was now gone, and only the stars remained to illuminate the woods. It was rather cold, and she began to rub her hands together. Getting up from the log, she headed back down the road. It was late, and she began to wonder; “who’s going to believe this. They’ll think I’m off my rocker. I must be going crazy.”
As she stepped into the cabin, she heard the phone ringing. “Who could be calling at this time of night? Something must have happened...”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Suzanne R 15 Dec 2005
Welcome aboard! Well, you've got me drawn in ... and I'm hoping you're going to give us the answers ... or are you going to leave us thinking?! Beautiful descriptions ... I thought the woman was an angel of light ... like a feminine Michal or someone. Looking forward to reading more. Come join the challenges when they start back Jan 2nd.
Jan Ackerson  15 Dec 2005
You are a very talented writer; this piece has me very intrigued. I hope there will be more to it. I'll tell you what I thought the woman and the lights represented, and I'm probably waaaaaay off. but since it seems that you were being cryptic, perhaps you'll indulge my guess. I think they represented the "beauty" and the "pull" of sin...and that your protagonist risks being pulled in. Am I even close? The only thing I would "fix" here would be, as Beth has said, paragraphing. Since you are new to FaithWriters, their formatting takes some getting used to. You need to put an "extra" space between paragraphs for it to show up. Look at some of the other entries here for examples of properly done paragraphing, and you'll see what I mean. As far as the writing itself--top-notch. Great word choices, grammar, mechanics--you're the total package. Glad to have you aboard.
Benjamin Stephens 15 Dec 2005
Tim, This has to be the opening to something much larger, grander and perhaps allegorical. The story moves us to a place where either we want to be or are afraid to be. We want to dance in the light but are afraid to do so. We would love to walk on water, but there has only been two and one failed. The pull of the haunting lonliness of the wood calls to a place few want to go but are irresistable drawn to. Wonderful start to what I would hope would be a much longer piece. Well done, Ben
Beth Muehlhausen 14 Dec 2005
Very involving. I appreciated the underlying poetic affirmation that there is, somehow, "more" to life than what we know. This is tight and carefully composed. Just one suggestion. Paragraph spacing would make it much easier for the reader to assimilate thoughts. Enjoyed the flow, the mounting sense of exposure and discovery, the possibility of explanation at the end....


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