“Shhhhh!” The gnarled being hissed at his comrade who was dancing himself into a frenzy, contorting himself into various forms as he spun around the body of The Sleeper.
“You’d wake her, Idiot!”
He snarled, eyeing the dancing creature with disgust.
“We can’t wake her, you brainless blob!”
He spat back, making a low guttural sound.
“‘Cos, she’s dead!”
The dancer leaped at the mention of the last word, excited at the darkness it conveyed.
The sleeping form did stir, the vivid images and painful shock waves conjured up by her tormentors racking her soul.
She let out a moan, a cry for help.
“She can’t be dead if we can hear her.”
The blob reasoned, looking confused.
“As long as they can’t or won’t do anything about it, we are safe.”
He pointed above them over the millions, billions of sleeping bodies; many surrounded by creatures viler and more loathsome than they.
Suspended in a trance-like state above them were the Guardians of The Light.
Each one of them had a lamp of Ever-Living Light glowing from their core where their hearts would have been had they been human. Their bodies were one with the blazing robes surrounding them that seemed half fire, half mist.
The blob spat.
“Reminds me of how glorious we used to be before we were cast down.”
“Ahhh..” snorted the dancer.
“They are no threat to us. You see they used to be Archers. All of them. But The Archers! You should fear!”
He circled the sleeping creature, eyeing her maliciously.
“They shoot the Arrows of Light that wake the sleeping ones and pierce their darkness.”
“That’s why we must cut their wings and when they can’t fly they become afraid and choose to guard rather than spread The Light! They fail to see that The Light was not meant to be guarded but to be spread. So they live locked up as Guardians when they were meant to fly free.”
Up above, Andrea heard The Sleeper. She spotted the trio and her eyes locked on The Sleeper.
Diving towards them, she spread her wings revealing The Light.
“An Archer!” came the blood curdling shriek. “Fight!”
In one swift move, Andrea pulled back and let go. The Light-tipped arrow pierced The Sleeper’s heart.
“Amen!” She cried.
Andrea knew well it wasn’t her aim but The Holy Spirit Who guided the arrows.
The sleeping form sprouted to life, her new wings sweeping the creatures away as they unfolded. Taking flight, she burned with The Light.
Andrea poised herself for flight but felt a tearing pain as the dancer ripped her left wing from her body.
“You fear The Light!” She shouted as she shot him between the eyes.
He fell, scrambling away in anguish.
Unable to fly, she called out to the Guardians who floated by. None of them stirred. Arms across their chests, they guarded The Light, oblivious of its true purpose.
Bravely, she withstood the principalities and powers.
“We hate you.” A creature hissed, creeping up behind her and poking her with a spike.
Two more slithered up in front of her.
She was out of arrows but The Light was still strong enough to keep them away...hopefully it would burn long enough for her wounded wing to heal.
“Back off!” She ordered, blinding them with The Light, hurting as she struggled to find her balance with one wing.
“Not one step closer!”
They recoiled in fear, chuckling quietly at the sight of her wounds.
Suddenly, she was lifted. She held on, relieved as an Archer helped her to safety.
Then it happened. What every Archer dreaded.
Crashing hard, her second wing broken by the impact.
She’d lost both wings and did not want to lose the one thing she needed to survive.
Instinctively, she braced herself and floated, feeling for the first time….the security of being a Guardian.
* * * * * * *
In a hypnopompic daze, she knocked over the bedside lamp, waking her husband.
“Shhhhh! You don’t want to wake the town.” Derek warned, pulling her close.
“It’s just a dream.”
He rolled over, going back to sleep.
Andrea wasn’t quite sure about that. It was the story of her life. She tossed and turned unable to shake off the dream and go back to sleep.
Trusting God for help, she knew what she had to do. And Derek was right. She didn’t want to wake the town. She had to.
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