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The Visitor
by David Story
01/22/07
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Thought I'd submit this original four-parter in its entirety...

----------


One


The dizziness was more than he could bear. After a moment of sitting, he tried to stand. His knees began to wobble, but he was able. His head ached. His body ached. He felt blood flow down his leg as he put one foot forward.

Doing his best to ignore the pain, he continued walking.

-----

“Mom, when Daddy gets home, can we all do something?”

Virginia smiled; she loved some of the ‘unusual’ ideas that little Suzie would come up with. “What’d you have in mind?”

Suzie thought for a moment. “Ice skating.”

Virginia laughed out loud. “Ice skating?”

Big brother spoke up. “You don’t even know how. And besides, you’re too little.”

“Am not.” She looked over at her mother. “Am I, Mommy?”

Virginia turned and gave her oldest a ‘look’ before answering Suzie. “Well, maybe it’s something your father could teach you.”

Big brother Charles spoke up again from the back seat. “How many days till Dad’s back Mom?”

She breathed in a heavy sigh before answering. “Three more.” She understood her husband’s responsibility to his work. Still, she so wished he was here; that they were all together.

The last remark from Virginia left the three inhabitants of the car lost in their own thoughts.

Virginia stared at the road in front of her, amazed at how dark it was on this cold December night.

The car continued to roll down the two-lane highway.

-----

His mind raced back.

This mission, this…battle, was one of the worst that he could remember.

The time of preparation…a ‘testing’ that had been the most strenuous to date. He’d felt ready, and still, the enemy had fought, and fought…and fought.

The pain returned, and he tried his best to focus on the Master.

The Master always has a plan, always has a reason. Nothing is by mistake.

Concentration suddenly gave way to unbearable, excruciating pain, and down his body went. Again.

The last thing he remembered before slipping out of consciousness was a beam of light.

Light. Peace. Safety…

-----

The car came around a wide turn in the road.

It was Charles who first saw the shape. Saw it a split-second before Virginia did.

“Mom, what…?”

“I see it.” She hit the brakes. Hard. The car came to a stop, inches in front of the body.

Little Suzie peered over the dashboard of the car. “It’s a man. Is he…dead?”

Virginia looked at her son in the back, and addressed him. “I’m going to take a look.”

Suzie started to cry; a small, muffled sound.

Charles took over as he leaned over the front seat and touched his sister on the shoulder. “It’s okay, Suz. I’ll be right here.” He looked at his mother. “You sure?”

Virginian stared at the body as she spoke. “He hasn’t moved.” She turned and looked at Charles again. “We have to do something.”

“I could go.”

“No.” She snapped. “I’m sorry. I just think that you should stay with your sister. I’ll be fine.”

“Maybe we should call the police.”

Virginia shook her head. “There’s no time.” She looked at both of her children. “I’ll be okay, really I will. God will protect me.”

Virginia Preston opened the drivers-side door, and got out of the car…


Two


Flashes of brilliance danced in his head.

Soft music filled his mind, his thoughts…his being.

He thought he saw a smile, thought he heard laughter.

He opened his eyes and tried to focus on his surroundings. Before he could make anything out, he slipped back into unconsciousness…

-----

“I want to wake him, Mommy.”

Virginia smiled as she let out a little laugh. “We can’t do that, honey. Not yet.”

“When?”

Virginia stared at the man in the bed. “Soon. Very soon.”

-----

His felt something touching his face. It was soft and wet. It felt good and pleasant.

He wanted to open his eyes, but the part between want and ability prevented him from doing so. Still, he tried. And after much effort, they slowly began to open…and he found himself staring into the most beautiful face he’d ever seen.

The beautiful face suddenly jumped, letting out a small gasp.

He tried his hand at words. They were hoarse, raspy. His mouth was dry. He managed a whispered, “Hello.”

“Hi.” The beautiful face answered back. And then, “Oh.”

He watched as the little girl moved slightly to the left and reached for a pitcher of water. She slowly began to pour some into a glass as she spoke again. Her voice was simple, innocent, pure…angelic. “Mommy said to make sure to give you this if you woke up.” She smiled. “I’ve been watching you.” She looked deep into his eyes. “You’ve been asleep for a very long time.”

He took the glass from her and smiled again. “Thank you.” The water was good, very good.

The little girl smiled as she watched him drink. When he finished she took the glass from him and set it back on the bedside table. “I have to get my mommy now. She said to – if you woke up – that is.”

The little girl started to turn away, then quickly turned back. “Don’t you worry. We’ve been taking care of you. Mommy says you’re going to be alright.”

She started to turn away again, but he stopped her. “Can I ask you something?”

She grinned. “Sure.”

“What’s your name?”

“Oh…huh, I forgot.” She smiled as she playfully slapped her hand against her head. “Silly me.” She walked back to his bedside and offered her hand. “Hi, I’m Suzie.”

He slowly reached over and shook her hand, though the pain was evident in every move. “Hi, Suzie. My name’s…” his brain was still not functioning on all cylinders, and he had to think about it for a moment. Finally, he answered. “My name’s Max.”


Three


Max grabbed the pot of coffee from the kitchen counter. He went over and sat down next to Virginia. “How late is he?”

Virginia did her best to smile as she held her cup up for Max to fill. She waited until it was full, and then slowly sat it back down on the kitchen table. She looked at the clock on the wall. “He should’ve have been here four hours ago.”

Max’s face was one of concern. “And he hasn’t called?”

Virginia shook her head. “Last I heard from him was when his plane landed.”

“And you’ve tried his cell phone?”

“Yes.”

Max got up and walked back to the kitchen counter where he placed the coffee pot on the burner. He turned around and grabbed his coat and hat that were draped on another chair nearby.

Virginia looked at him. “You’ve leaving?”

Max walked over and stood next to Virginia. He spoke as he put on his coat and hat. “You and your children have been very kind.” A smile overtook his face. He let out a small laugh. “I’ve especially enjoyed Suzie’s company.”

Virginia did her best to return the smile. “She really loves you. You’ve meant a lot to her these last couple of days.” She paused before continuing. “You’ve meant a lot to us all.”

Max pulled his chair next to Virginia’s. He leaned in and gently took her hand into his own. “Virginia, do you believe in miracles?”

Virginia looked alarmed. “Am I in need of a miracle?”

Max loved the response. “We all are from time to time.” He said, thinking of himself only a few short hours ago, laying hurt and alone on a cold December night.

Virginia lowered her head, contemplating Max’s previous statement.

Max let her ingest the words. Then, “Your family has taken me in without any care for your own safety. You have restored me to health so that I can accomplish my mission.”

Virginia looked up. “Your mission. What does that mean?”

Max smiled. “I wasn’t sure myself at first. But it seems the Master always has a plan.”

Virginia tried her best to understand. She slowly whispered her next words. “God always has a plan.”

“He does indeed, Virginia Preston.” He took her chin in his hand, causing her to look directly into his eyes. “You and your family have been my miracle.” He got up and stood behind her. “Now. Let me be yours…”

Virginia turned around to face Max, only to find that she was alone in the room…


Four


The dizziness was more than he could bear. After a moment of sitting, he tried to stand. His knees began to wobble, but he was able. His head ached. His body ached. He felt blood flow down his leg as he put one foot forward.

Doing his best to ignore the pain, he continued walking.

-----

“Mom, when Daddy gets home, can we all do something?”

Virginia smiled; she loved some of the ‘unusual’ ideas that little Suzie would come up with. “What’d you have in mind?”

Suzie thought for a moment. “Ice skating.”

Virginia laughed out loud. “Ice skating?”

Big brother spoke up. “You don’t even know how. And besides, you’re too little.”

“Am not.” She looked over at her mother. “Am I, Mommy?”

Virginia turned and gave her oldest a ‘look’ before answering Suzie. “Well, maybe it’s something your father could teach you.”

Big brother Charles spoke up again from the back seat. “How much longer, Mom?”

She breathed in a heavy sigh before answering. “Just a few more miles. Maybe…about thirty minutes.” She missed him more than usual this time around, and was so thankful that they would all be together soon.

The car continued to roll down the two-lane highway.

-----

His mind raced back.

Thoughts of who he was – who he is – filled his mind. He tried, oh how he tried to remember. But there was nothing.

Nothing.

Concentration suddenly gave way to unbearable, excruciating pain, and down his body went.

The last thing he remembered before slipping out of consciousness was a beam of light.

Light. Peace. Safety…

-----

The car came around a wide turn in the road.

It was Charles who first saw the shape. Saw it a split-second before Virginia did.

“Mom, what…?”

“I see it.” She hit the brakes. Hard. The car came to a stop, inches in front of the body.

Little Suzie peered over the dashboard of the car. “Is he…dead?”

Virginia looked at her son in the back, and addressed him. “I’m going to take a look.”

Suzie started to cry; a small, muffled sound.

Charles took over as he leaned over the front seat and touched his sister on the shoulder. “It’s okay, Suz. I’ll be right here.” He looked at his mother. “You sure?”

Virginia nodded. “I’m sure.” She looked at both of her children. “I’ll be okay, really I will. God will protect me.”

Virginia Preston opened the driver’s-side door, and got out of the car…

-----

Flashes of brilliance danced in his head.

Soft music filled his mind, his thoughts…his being.

He thought he saw a smile, thought he heard laughter.

He opened his eyes and tried to focus on his surroundings. Before he could make anything out, he slipped back into unconsciousness…

-----

“I want to wake him, Mommy.”

Virginia smiled as she let out a little laugh. “We can’t do that, honey. Not yet.”

“When?”

Virginia stared at the man in the bed. “Soon. Very soon.”

-----

He wanted to open his eyes, but the part between want and ability prevented him from doing so. Still, he tried. And after much effort, they slowly began to open…and he found himself staring into the most beautiful face he’d ever seen.

The beautiful face suddenly jumped, letting out a small gasp.

He tried his hand at words. They were hoarse, raspy. His mouth was dry. He managed a whispered, “Hello.”

“Hi.” The beautiful face answered back. And then, “Oh.”

He watched as the little girl moved slightly to the left and reached for a pitcher of water. She slowly began to pour some into a glass as she spoke again. Her voice was simple, innocent, pure…angelic. “Mommy said to make sure to give you this when you woke up.”

He took the glass from her and smiled again. “Thank you.” The water was good, very good.

The little girl smiled as she watched him drink. When he finished she took the glass from him and set it back on the bedside table. “I have to get my mommy now. She said to.”

The little girl started to turn away, then quickly turned back. She walked over to the side of the bed and hugged him. “Don’t you worry. We’ve been taking care of you. Mommy says you’re going to be alright.”

She started to turn away again, but he stopped her. “Can I ask you something?”

She grinned. “Sure.”

“What’s your name?”

She looked at him questioningly before deciding she’d gotten the joke. “You know my name, silly.”

-----

Virginia grabbed the pot of coffee from the kitchen counter. She did her best to smile as she offered to top off her husband’s cup.

He smiled and let her pour.

After a moment of silence Virginia spoke. “You don’t remember a thing?”

He slowly shook his head.

“Me? The kids?”

Silence. Then, “Nothing.”

Virginia smiled. “It’s okay. The doctor will be here soon.” She gently placed her hand on his. “We trust God. He’ll see us through this.” The next words out of her mouth seemed all too familiar. “The Master always has a plan.”

He looked encouraged.

She continued. “Besides, it’ll be good to have you home for awhile. We’ve missed you.” She got up and placed the coffee pot on the burner. “I’m just glad I decided to go the other way last night. I haven’t traveled that road since the new highway opened. Guess I just wanted to take the old way.”

“Lucky for me you did, huh?”

Virginia was about to answer when her eyes caught something draped over another chair.

Her husband caught her staring. “Is that my coat and hat?”

She continued staring. “Uh. No, they, uh…belong to a friend.”

She got up and walked over to the chair where the coat and hat lay. She touched them, and the memories came flooding back. “You and your family have been my miracle. Now. Let me be yours…”

A tear rolled down her cheek and fell onto the hat in her hand. Through teary eyes she made her way back to her husband and stood directly behind him. She placed her hands on his shoulders, and didn’t have to wait long…before his hands found hers.

-----

Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! – Hebrews 13:2 (NLT)

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"Whispers" (featuring the angel Max, is now available at the FaithWriters ebook store.

To learn more, click here:
'Whispers'



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