TITLE: Just Jewels
By Tasha Reed
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Jewels Angelo remembered her age at twelve with clarity, how she used to snuggle under her soft, cushiony white comforter at night and listen to her grandmother’s stories. And although her gran could whip out biblical stories that could keep her attention, they seldom seemed to distract the scarred memories that forced themselves to surface. Memories of her parents’ death.
Of course, Gran Angelo knew the pain Jewels felt by her actions. She didn’t play as she used to, climbing in and out of trees, fumbling through the woods, being the outdoor girl she was. However, Jewels often did visit one spot in the woods. The spot where her and her mother would relax and chat for hours. Those were the good days. Not that Gran wasn’t a good storyteller or anything, no—nothing like that…
“The seventh seal opened.” Gran said looking at her Bible and back at Jewels. “Stillness came upon heaven about the space of half an hour. Then, the angel looked down at the earth and once more at the censor filled with fire. The angel took the censor and with quickness, cast it down to earth…”
“What then Gran, the earth is destroyed?”
“Well my dear… like a woman in travail, the world would feel its demise.”
“Gran, do you believe mama and daddy are in heaven?”
“Why did God kill them in the first place? I hate God for killing them.”
“Dear, I understand you’re hurt and angry, but our Father God needed them. Our Father told me to take care of you, your heart would be crushed but one day would heal. That’s why I like reading out of your Bible your daddy gave you. One day, you will read from it and grow in the Lord’s spirit.”
The coffee pot’s alarm sounded and broke Jewels from her past memories as she eyed her computer. Now at the age twenty-five, she was in for another dreadful humid, scorching ninety-three-degree day. And instead of her driving down to the beach like she used to, listening to the smooth sounds of classical or a sizzling jazzy tune while letting her locks blow wild inside the cab of her Jeep as she cruised to the coastal front of Galveston, she bore a hole into her computer, wearing her keyboard out. Thinking aloud she said, “I should go to Galveston. Get out of this white robe and hit the rode.”
She visualized the people jumping and playing in the warm ocean. Her nose wrinkled at the smell of the salt on the seashells, and the sandy shore called her toes to run them through its warmth. The sun, hungry to bronze the rest of her skin to match her farmers tan. And she thought how sipping on an ice cold Raspberry Tea with a fresh squeeze of lemon would quench her parched taste buds.
But not her. No… she chose to sit at her computer as millions did, drink her coffee like many do, and nip on a bagel while pondering what forums she planned to indulge her mind with this day as countless would.
“Do I feel like reading or participating? Uplifted or angered? Christian or agnostic. Choices and decisions…” she sipped her coffee. “Let’s type in www---.com. Ah, a forum for the agnostic-people. I’ll read a little ignorance for humor.”
She stumbled on a forum called Atheist against Christians. Then she read aloud, “This forum is intended for the community of Atheist, so if you’re a Christian and want to voice your ridiculous perverted insights about your God, this is the place to do it. And don’t worry about your feelings getting hurt here—they will.”
Astonished at her readings, “Uh… ouch… these people are cruel and unusual. Actually, not so unusual anymore, since being an Atheist is becoming the in-fad. Gran, bless her heart, before she gave up the ghost and even now coats my spirit with her insights of understanding and wisdom. She said, ‘Jewels, not a day goes by that our faith is not tempted. And it’s the way we handle the wickedness of this world is how we grow in Christ and in our Father God.
The wicked one is roaming up and down the earth with his servants invading the flesh of God’s children and filling their hearts with evil. Just because you do not see a scary monster with red eyes and two horns coming from the front of its scull with the number, six-six-six engraved in its forehead doesn’t mean Satan isn’t roaming the earth. He is.”
Jewels missed her grandmother. A strong woman in her life, Jewels hung on to her wise words and a delicious habit of hers. Drinking good, strong coffee.
Jewels loved starting the day making a fresh pot of coffee. She enjoyed smelling the aromas of French Vanilla Roast. And to her, nothing went better with coffee than a blueberry bagel smeared with cream cheese. She took those two joys and relished sitting in front of her computer in her white puffy robe, reading the interesting blogs and forums, which were usually about the things concerning the end times.
She took good notes while reading the forums. She also studied the human behavior and how well the Holy Spirit and the spirit of wickedness worked in the flesh. “My faith is being tempted,” she would say to herself, “loyalties tested and judgment sits patiently around the corner. But I trust God knows me as he knows all of his children. But how I fear my past demons eagerly wait around every corner, trying to trap me and kill me as they have in my younger years.”
She felt twenties were rough on young adults. And she believed at her point in life, that staying in and typing away on her computer was better than being on the streets. But she certainly knew, even then, danger lurked inside the computer. Nowhere in the world was safe anymore, except, in the spirit of God, she knew that.
“Why’s the adversary after me?” She’d asked herself, feeling him lurking in her presence. “Why doesn’t he ever give up trying to be friends with my shadow? If you’re listening Lord, I count on the Holy Spirit to help me understand, and after understanding to grant me the patience to work through him… my adversary.”
In that moment, Jewels’ computer went blank. She tapped on the keys, but nothing. She leaned over and looked behind the monitor down the pale yellow wall to see if the cord was plugged in. It was. The monitor threw up letters and numbers in no certain order—wait—there’s was a message. Jewels winced when she got to the end…
The computer went blank. “What’s going on—?” she cried. She jumped up to find the remote control… “Houston doesn’t have earthquakes do they?” she thought aloud. “Where’s the remote control…” she dashed around her house in panic searching for the remote control. She finally found it and when she did, she turned the TV on…,
“If you have just tuned in, scuds have hit California, New York, Florida, Kansas City, and Houston. We are under catastrophic attack… I repeat.”
The power went out. The sirens screamed… and Jewels sprint to the door… she opened it—
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