“Opened Eyes” (Part 5)
by Joseph Linhardt, ©2003-2004
Peter pried his eyes away from the ravine top. “Wait a minute,” he said, standing. “What’s going on here? Who are you and what in the world was that thing?”
“There is no time to answer you here,” said the white being earnestly. “We must go. Now.”
“Why should I trust you?” demanded Peter, annoyed. Surprisingly, the white man did not get angry.
“Don’t trust me,” he said, as if Peter’s question was completely ridiculous. “Trust the One who sent me.”
These words made no sense to Peter, but he did not sense the immense darkness he had felt in the other creature. And if he stayed, Peter was certain the black thing would return.
“All right,” Peter said reluctantly. “But who are you?”
“Malachi,” replied the man. He beckoned Peter forward. “Come.”
He left no more time for questions. He hurried up the steep slope as if it were nothing more than a flat plain. His feet scarcely seemed to touch the ground. In moments, he was waiting patiently at the top for Peter. When Peter arrived, he fell to his knees, breathing heavily.
“Come!” said Malachi urgently. He pulled Peter to his feet. “There is no time to rest, yet.”
Peter sucked in a deep breath and followed his strange guide. To Peter’s complete surprise, the mysterious man led him out of the woods and back toward the school. There was no hesitation in his stride.
He seems to know his way around, thought Peter.
“This way,” said Malachi when they reached the wide, busy main street. Peter followed wordlessly. He wondered what the passers by would think of him walking with this white, radiant man, but no one paid the least bit of attention to them. It was as if they could not see Malachi.
“Here,” said Malachi at last. He turned down a narrow, two-lane rode that lead to a small, brick church. A cross stood in the center of the church’s small grounds.
“What are we doing here?” Peter asked, surprised. The white clothed man stopped on the front steps of the church.
“Don’t you know?” asked Malachi. “They cannot come here.”
“Who are they and why can’t they come here?” asked Peter, completely at a loss. “Tell me what’s going on!”
The man sighed. “Yes, it is time. You must know.” Malachi looked Peter in the eye. A heavy tone came over his voice. “Listen well, Peter. You have been given something special, something rarely ever given to humans, something…extraordinary, as you would call it.” Malachi paused, eyeing Peter carefully. “You have been given the ability to see angels and demons.”
Peter’s mouth fell open and he took a faltering step back. “W—What?!”
“Peter,” continued Malachi, his voice soft. “The ‘thing’ you saw in the ravine…it was a demon.”
“N…no,” Peter stuttered. He sank down onto the grass. “This…this isn’t real. This can’t be real!”
“It’s true,” corrected Malachi. “This is real. Peter, you are seeing angels and demons. They do exist, thousands of them.” Malachi sighed heavily. “And few humans realize the danger of them.”
Peter gazed up at Malachi, disbelief on his face. “Then…then you are…!”
Malachi nodded. “Yes. I am an angel, sent to help you.”
Peter’s head sank into his hands. “I can’t believe this. I gotta be dreaming!”
The white man kneeled beside him. “Peter, you are not the first to see. Your friend also fell into the ravine and was permitted to see us.”
“How?” demanded Peter. “Why?”
The angel shrugged. “The ways of our Lord are His own. He has His own purpose for allowing you to see us.”
Peter started at the ground. “No…no, I have to be dreaming! This can’t be real!”
It was as if some, unknown voice heard his statement.
That’s right, it said, like a voice inside Peter’s head. You fell into the ravine, hit your head and you’re having a fevered dream. This is nonsense.
The angel’s face turned sad. “Your friend said the same thing.”
Peter stood, suddenly angry. “Where is he? What happened to Bryan?”
“He was taken,” said Malachi sadly. “Into a stronghold of the demons. He would not listen. They were able to conquer him because of that.”
That’s ridiculous, Peter! You know better than that!
Peter shook his head violently. “No way! This can’t be true!” He began to walk backwards, away from the white angel that stood before him.
“Peter, no!” warned Malachi. “They are already trying to conquer you!” Peter continued moving away from the white being.
“Forget it!” shouted Peter “This is just some dream! I fell into the ravine. I must have hit my head…that’s it!” he ranted.
“Peter…stop! You must listen!”
But Peter did not listen. He turned and ran as fast as he could, away from Malachi.
* * *
This isn’t right, thought Peter angrily as he walked the busy streets, toward the school. This can’t be right!
The voice inside his head answered his thoughts.
You know it, don’t you? You’re just dreaming.
Peter shook his head and kept walking. Though he was a Christian, he could not bring himself to believe what was happening to him.
“The last thing I did,” he said to himself, “was fall in the ravine. So maybe, if I go back there I can wake up!”
The words of the angel Malachi trickled through his mind.
They’re already trying to conquer you!
“Forget it!” muttered Peter under his breath. “Humans can’t see demons and angels!”
A dark shadow suddenly flickered to his left, but when Peter looked, it was gone. He shuddered involuntarily.
Just the sun making shadows, he thought. He turned a corner and arrived at his high school.
“Okay…here are the woods! Ha, I bet I wake up with Jenny splashing cold water on my face!” he said to himself, trying to laugh. His forced chuckle died on the air.
The woods loomed black and large before him. They seemed dark, and threatening in a way they had never been before. Peter swallowed. All of a sudden, he began having second thoughts.
“Maybe it is true,” he said, hesitating. “Maybe I can see angels.” The memory of what had happened to him in the ravine only moments ago surfaced.
The voice in his head answered him.
Are you crazy? You’re tired and you hit your head. You’re just dreaming. Get in there. You’ll wake up. All dreams end sometime.
“Right,” answered Peter uncertainly. Still, it was the only thing he could do. He swallowed hard and plunged into the woods.
Continue on to part 6…
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