Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)
TITLE: Heaven Gate?
By Deborah Cooke
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“Well that’s the end of it then.” Amelia thought.
She could never face anyone again; she knew that. Everyone had told her not to go traipsing off on some hair brained scheme to find true love. They had warned her of how dangerous these things can be. The internet was fraught with lunatics and sex maniacs and it was foolhardy to leave everything to go meet some stranger.
Did she listen to them; Oh no, she was swept away by the romance of it all and couldn’t wait to pack her bags and fly off.
He had been everything she had hoped for; at first. But after he had spent her money and compromised every value she had; he was gone.
The only way out of it she decided was to end it all. There was no point any more and nothingness was better than this. This was not something she had just pulled out of thin air. She had worked it all out. It would look like an accident and no one would know any different; she would never have to face them; never have to explain.
The two of them had spent a lot of time together along this stretch of coastline so she was aware of some spots which a person could easily fall; especially at twilight. She had walked the back way to her cottage from the little town regularly enough now for it to appear familiar territory for her.
Once the decision was made, she stepped over the edge, clutching her little bag of groceries. “Oh God if you are really there, I’m sorry I was such a failure.”
She made a feeble effort to grab at the rocks on the way down to ensure it looked like she had struggled. Her head slammed against a boulder and she plummeted into the water. Her heavy winter coat quickly soaked up the surging waves and pulled her down to the depths. The water was chillingly cold and caught her breath as the darkness swallowed her.
She could hear bells, beautiful bells and singing; a choir was singing softly, words of glory and wonder and the majesty of God.
She could feel herself being drawn upward through a fog like cloud, then sink slightly only to rise again; pull and sink; pull and sink. She opened her eyes just slightly; white, all she could see was white. Figures in long white robes shuffled noiselessly past.
“So there must be a heaven.” She heard her own thoughts.
“She’s here now.” A voice spoke.
She opened her eyes fully and her stomach wretched.
“Man are you one lucky girl, Miss.” It was the man from the grocery store. What was he doing in heaven?
“You left your purse on the counter and I called out to you, but you mustn’t have heard me. It took me a while to catch up with you and I nearly missed you. Then I saw you tumble right over the edge; I couldn’t believe my eyes. Just think Miss, if you hadn’t forgotten your purse, no-one would have found you. You’da been a ‘gonna’ for sure.”
“Where am I – the music?” She managed to mumble to him.
“Mary of the Angel’s Hospital, that’s the evening Vespers, pretty aren’t they?” He answered her. “You sure had an angel with you, I reckon.”
“Look Miss, it’s none of my business really, but I’ve noticed you with that chap and I hate to tell you, you aren’t the first and you won’t be the last with a cad like that.”
His words felt strangely soothing to her wounded soul. He couldn’t know how much pain she was feeling and how foolish she felt, but his kindness touched her.
He stayed only a few more minutes and then shook her hand.
“I’ve been looking to begin a little coffee shop in the corner of my store and I wondered if you might be looking for some work.” He went on, “It could be a new start for you; something to look forward too.”
She smiled on the inside. She could start again.
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