Short StoryApr 30, 2023
As I head inward to clean up The Treasure Map, preparing for worldwide launch, I stumbled upon this short story I had written many years ago, not quite a decade. I had completely forgotten about this. Honestly, I do not recall writing it in the years I was moving through my own true healing with The Treasure Map. I smiled as I reread the words of the recurring dream that I once had when I was a little girl. How I had changed the meaning to fit this fictional story entitled 'The Lasting Light of Love.' It speaks of the issues with perception, how the veil of guilt in the subconscious distorts the truth of love that is here to help.
I hope you enjoy The Lasting Light of Love.
The Lasting Light of Love
“To be free is to forget,” these words echoed through her mind, stress was a nightly robe she was too young to be wrapped in. Huddled underneath her favourite blanky, the one Pappy gave to her four Christmases ago, which hopefully would protect her from the nightly creeper, she panicked. Yet having no idea what those words even meant. It wasn’t the first time this had happened. The room was dark, the light non-existent. The wound she carried had become her tormentor. For what you bury becomes your basis.
Her tiny lithe body trembled as she prayed for dawn. That first ray of light to enter that had the power to calm her senses, caressing her in the love she craved, holding her mind, whispering, “You survived.” For the darkness was consuming every ounce of her being. With tired eyes, she curled into the foetal position, gaze focused upon the window in the hope a ray of help would miraculously appear. Too afraid to nod off, in case he returned. It was only when the morning sun had ventured in, that she could breathe again. That her lids could close, the way her staunch mother pulled down the blinds on those stormy evenings. He could only stomp where darkness lay.
“I’m running, I am running fast, as fast as my legs will take me, through the menacing forest,” her panicked voice hurried to her angelic friend. Stella had been with her since the accident and the only ears Samsara now trusted. There was no judgment or fear of guilt that called forth to danger. She listened soundly, with a security and love that this little girl craved. “I know he is after me, I keep running. Jumping over logs and darting past trees and weaving through the scrub. Even a growling wolf is circling.” She buried her head into the bosom of her best friend's coat as if this would keep him away. “I can’t see him, but I can hear him, he is laughing at me.” Stella moves in closer to cradle the one she has been sent to protect. “Only I can’t run fast enough. I know he is playing with me. I know he is after me. I know he gets me. Then I wake.” Repeating her repetitive dream that claims her peace each night and leaves her sitting up alone until the sun comes to join is draining. Her body once again shook, as she shared her pain with her trusted greyhound. This world and everything in it was not safe. “Stella, I just don’t understand, in the dream. I mean,” she hesitated. “I am big. I’m not small, but I am… an adult. I know it’s me.” It was all too confusing to Samsara. Had this already happened in another time and place, or was it a premonition of what was to come? Yet how could she see into the future, she questioned fearfully. “And then, just as he gets me, I wake up.” She lifts her head from the comfort of Stella’s belly, “I know the man,” she stammered whilst looking around to see if any other ears were listening in on this secret conversation. “I know him and he is after me,” she finally acknowledged.
Night after night, Sam’s body, which is what the extended family referred to her, would tighten as she rubbed the pink flannelette pillowslip that helped to soothe her as she dosed. 'Is it safe to sleep?' she would toss over before the heaviness grew too demanding. It was never a question of will he be back, but rather what time. Locusts swarmed her belly, as the anxiety rose. Peace had been a puzzle to her, as had those words on forgetting. For freedom was what she did not know, nor was she old enough to comprehend, even though she had reached double digits.
Samsara hated the dark of the night, when the light of the day’s beauty had bid farewell. She often looked out of the bedroom window, begging the softness of her sun friend to stay, for it was in the darkness she had to pay. It was as though they wanted her life. Calling for her to come. Yet warning, one day yet to manifest he would find her. 'I wonder if I will survive?' She thought as she pulled a little too hard on Stella’s soft short hair.
Stella was the sister that Samsara had always wanted. With no siblings in the family and a parent that was busy working hard to avoid anything, this little girl kept everything hidden. Hiding the darkness that swirled within, she feigned pleasure and cried when alone. Even putting on a “happy face,” as she called it to continue the façade that all was well in the life of struggle. The misery stemmed like sharp thorns that covered the beautiful flower of life that could not blossom. Samsara could not forget her Pappy.
Life was fearful and fun less for this girl growing up with dreams to get through the night. As Pappy had said, “You are my butterfly born to be great.” Yet Samsara was floundering, from school to sports, friends to food, she was stunted in every area of her short life. But perhaps the trauma she survived was burnt into her brain.
The night had been dark and eerie when the torch of terror came to greet. When the smell of fear flamed her consciousness and the loss of life of her dear Pappy swift. He had saved her, when he threw her out of the second-floor window, into the loving embrace of the youth below. If only she had of listened and not played with the fire. And then he went back for his “buddy,” the husky he had grown; they became like ghosts that haunt the night together.
Guilt became her guide and terror the tormentor as every night when darkness stalked, she was forced to relive the moment that destroyed her family. She lost Pappy, but she also lost Mommy as well. For the lady that gave birth to her became a fragment of her former self, broken like shards of glass.
Yes, there is always a gift to be had, even when darkness comes stalking. For you see, her nightly visitor was her much-loved Pappy. But because Samsara was afraid, she misread his guidance. He chased her, for he loved her so, he would not let the nightly darkness keep them apart. He had heard her pleas and begs for help and so each night, he waited patiently to meet her in the only place he could. Her mind. He tried to grab her, to embrace her, to calm her down, but each night he waited, she ran as fast as she could. He tried as much as he could, but terror has a way out outrunning trust. He wouldn’t give up. Each night he would find her. He knew, as soon as she would forget, she would remember. You see, you need look through the dark to find the light. For hidden behind the door that comes to ruin your day, is the window that lights up your night. He promised her this, “When I catch you, I will awaken you with every new dawn.” And this is what he did. He made sure she survived the dark of the night, to arise, as she would always be the light of his life. No matter what.
Love cannot ever be lost, stolen or destroyed, but when you are covered in grief of guilt you cannot know goodness and grace.
You perceive what you have within, to see the light is to remember the truth of innocence, where there are no shadows of suffering to hurt or harm.
Much love, peace, and Truforgiveness,