A Prayer in the Night

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A Prayer in the Night

Post  DM Sage on Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:08 pm

The boy gave the rock an angry kick, sending it soaring through the air. In his mind he pictured it as his father’s head and a smile crossed his freckled face. Thomas had never been close to his father, one of Ranzington’s most successful merchants. He didn’t understand how a man could be so friendly and caring to complete strangers or business partners, and at the same time treat his only son as if he were a vile creature from the city’s sewers. Thomas was free spirited and adventurous. His father was practical and shrewd. They never saw eye to eye. Needless to say, their house was a battleground.

This afternoon’s earthquake had troubled Thomas deeply. Not because he feared for his life, though the roof had shaken violently and he was thrown to floor. It was the feeling that washed over him during the tremors that bothered him. The best way Thomas could explain it was to compare it to what he did to ants. He was fond of squashing ants. Not just ants, all insects really, but ants were his favorite because he could stomp on dozens at a time. It made him feel like he was one of the giants he read about in the books at the library. But now he understood what the ants must feel like each time his boot hovered over their helpless little bodies. That’s the feeling he had during the earthquake.

Thomas was convinced something big was hovering over the island ready to crush it. He tried to tell his father as much when he returned from the market but he didn’t want to hear it. All he was concerned about was the damages to his inventory of goods. That started an argument which led to a fight that turned violent. Thomas had a black eye and a split lip to show for it. And now here he was on the Ranzington Road with a sack of clothes slung over his shoulder. He wasn’t sure where he was going, but he was going there in a hurry.

The boy kicked another rock and it tumbled down the road, coming to rest at the foot of a boot. It was hard to make out the features of the person who wore it, but the moon cast enough light to reveal a woman dressed in simple robes. Judging by her voice and shape, she was of middle age.

“Careful little one,” the woman said gently, “You wouldn’t want to cause an old woman to stumble.”

“Sorry,” Thomas replied. “I didn’t see anyone there.”

“What are you doing out at night all alone,” she inquired. “There are many dangers outside of the city’s gates.”

Thomas puffed out his chest. “I’m not afraid. I travel this road all the time,” he lied. “Besides, there is no one out here besides me and you.”

“Come now,” the woman responded with a touch of laughter in her voice. “You know that is not true. There are people and creatures all around us. Even … above us. You just can’t see them. Now, I’ll ask you again, why are you out here all alone?”

He couldn’t resist. He told her about the fight with his father and more importantly about the feelings he had during the earthquake. Discussing such things left a sick sensation in his stomach. He was scared.

The woman approached him and placed her arm around his shoulder. She smelled like pine and smoke. “I believe you,” she said in a whisper. “There is something terrible happening to the island. Someone has arrived, large enough to smash this land into little pieces.”

Thomas’s heart rose to his throat.

“But there is another already here that can protect us,” the woman continued. “He is willing to shelter all those who honor and serve him. You must simply commit yourself to him.” She brought her lips to his ear and he shivered. “Would you like to pray to him?”

Thomas couldn’t speak, so he nodded.

“Repeat after me,” the woman began. “Most gracious and powerful Gra…

DM Sage

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