As I walked in, Reb was pawing at the gate. “Coming boy!” I said. Wriggling and happily whimpering, not able to stifle his joy. He almost bowled me over as I opened the gate.
(Thanks to everyone who has read my novel through chapter 11. As of midnight tonight 03/07/2019 These post will go private. I will ready manuscripts for publication)
Carefully, I provided Lonny the basic facts regarding the newspaper article. I didn’t want to drop the whole story on him now. The right time would come. Auggie received the “baptism by fire” method because I knew he was able to grasp the immensity of the situation. Since Lonny is not as astute, he would have to receive this in measured doses. Reb and I walked Lonny to his bondo mobile. HIs 1995 Volkswagen Beetle had been prepped for a paint job since tenth grade. He was going back to college today. He received a partial scholarship to Auburn University. Just think, my buddy, a future Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. As he was backing out of the driveway, he looked my way and waved. In that instant, I caught a glimpse of his color wheel. At that moment, the most comfortable feeling enveloped my spirit. My judge of Lonny’s character was on point.
The image in my mind, of the beaten boy lying on the dirt behind that dumpster, was disquieting. I gated Reb in the kitchen, grabbed my keys and drove to Children’s Hospital of Mobile.
The department of children’s services had identified the boy as Ian Montgomery. He was eleven… He had spent eight of his eleven years in foster care. He had recently been sent to live with his mother, Meg Montgomery. she had been compliant with the system for two years. She passed all drug test, held down a job, and got an apartment suitable for the two of them. Ian had only been in her care for three weeks when she relapsed. With nothing to eat in the apartment, Ian set out to search for food.
He had been digging through the dumpster for bakery scraps when he met the devil. All the while, his mother lay in a locked bedroom with a needle in her arm.
The doctors had placed Ian in a medically induced coma. They were pleased with his improvement and would attempt bringing him out of it in a few days.
It was important to be present for him. He had been through so much, he needs all the support he can get. Also important is finding out what is going on with his mother. What could have triggered a relapse like that after being sober for two years?
As I left Ian’s room, I stopped short of running over a young lady standing outside his door. After apologizing, I introduced myself. “I’m Elle Davies,” she said, “Case specialist with Department of Family and Children Services. I introduced myself and explained my interest in the boy.
My offer to buy coffee in the cafeteria was surprisingly accepted. I am trying not to be noticeably enchanted by this good looking woman with the pleasing aura, or at least hoping she wouldn’t notice. She smelled of lavendar. Alluring eyes of powder blue, golden curls to her shoulders, peaches and cream complexion, button nose, and an enigmatic smile. Elle, what a beautiful name.
We talked about Ian as we walked the long corridor to the cafeteria. After finding a quiet booth, she sat while I collected our coffee. She said she had only been on the case for six months. It was her first solo assignment. A year on the job, and she had failed her first client. She had visited Ian at three foster homes in her six months on his case. He had begged to return to his mother. After Meg proved she could do what was required, she had a great feeling about their reunion. Agonizing over it all, she was trying to fight back tears. “Meg was so loving! You don’t know people. You think they are fine, then they hurt the ones they love the most.” she cried.
Reaching out to her hand beside her coffee cup, I placed mine over hers. Though slightly fazed, she didn’t resist. Then she breathed in deeply and exhaled. It was if her apprehension was ousted with her wind.
Our coffee talk went well. She seemed happy to have someone show an interest in her case.
Elle was probably twenty-one or twenty-two, but I am guessing. Mama Kate had lowered her eyes and pinched my arm that time I told our preacher’s wife she looked like Martha Washington. She was so embarrassed. On our way home, she lectured me on being polite, “Never make a woman feel old, Pehr! Remember this, don’t ask a woman her age, either!” Seems like I was only six at the time, but the memory of her pinch has not faded from memory. Her lectures are also etched on my brain. That said, I would give anything to be pinched by her right now!
I’m almost certain, a romantic relationship is not in God’s plans for me at this time. Otherwise, I would ask Elle out on a date. There is something about her! Her beauty is not skin deep. Admittedly, I’m slightly conscious-stricken for knowing this. Doesn’t seem fair that I can see her aura. Not when she has no access to mine.
“Stay focused, Pehr!” I blurted out to myself and got into the Impala.
Quickly, I redirected my thoughts to Meg and Ian, as I drove back home.
“Dear Lord, You have designated me as an instrument, to make a difference. Lead me to probe the source of darkness. Arm me with the mindset necessary to pursue and make amends, as you see fit. Through Jesus’ name. Amen.” I prayed softly.
Reb and I sat there, on alert, for five minutes.
In the distance, we saw movement. From behind the dumpster, around the bakery on the west court square, there slithered a shadow. As he began walking across the gravel parking area, we were indubitably clear he was of the devil. Armed with the power of God, we crossed the street and stood on the sidewalk. Anticipating an encounter.
His aura of demonic overtones was sensed even from the distance. Any colors in his color wheel were muted, only gloomy drabness.
Reb began to growl unreservedly. Stroking his head, I said, “Easy boy, I feel it, too. Listen to me, Reb.”
As the rogue figure lumbered toward us, I was fixated on him. Reb’s attention was on the dumpster. As the deranged soul was getting closer, Reb broke away, leash in tow. Straightaway to the dumpster, he ran. My concentration could not be broken. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to eye contact. We were aware of his vile ungodliness even from a distance. He briskly picked up his pace when he saw Reb dart away to the dumpster. As I started toward him, he began to scuttle. He was steadily gazing my way. Though vigilant, my stare was locked upon him.
Then as he was crossing the sidewalk, not ten feet from where I stood, he and I met stares. The colors were abhorrent. He continued into the road in an attempt to escape.
The middle-aged man in the white utility truck didn’t have any reaction time. This deviant lunged forward and was drawn underneath. His brakes squalled as he tried to prevent running him over with the back wheels. He hopped out of the truck screaming, ” Oh my God! I didn’t even see him, I swear!” This poor man was visibly shaken. He had an extremely compassionate aura. He was holding his head down, hand over eyes, as this seemed too much to perceive. I stood beside him and put my arm around him. He seemed instantly soothed. He calmed, the shaking ceased. We walked to the bench, we sat silently until the police arrived.
Reb! I had to find him! I rushed around the bakery, and to the dumpster. Behind the dumpster, there sat Reb, licking the face of a badly beaten boy. A short piece of blood covered board lay about five feet away. Reb’s whining had reached an ear piercing decible. Without even having to call for help, an ambulance and police car arrived.
They saw me kneeling down beside the boy, checking for breath. The paramedics took over. After stabilizing, they loaded his pitiful body into the ambulance and rushed to Children’s Hospital Of Mobile.
The officers wanted a statement, so I gathered Reb’s leash. We scooted into the back of the squad car and headed to the station in downtown Mobile. While there, I told the officers about this strange man. He had leaned into the truck as a means of self-execution. Purposely leaving out my interpretation of his color wheel, and the spine chilling sensation brought on by his aura.
The blood splattered board, would provide enough forensic evidence of what I already knew. Swift justice, in this case, came in the form of a white utility truck. Although he was not pronounced dead until he arrived at the hospital. I knew he had passed. The repulsiveness, exuding from him subsided as the tires rolled over his body.
We finished our interview with the detective and were walking down the hall to the exit. Coming our way, was the man from the utility truck, there to give his statement. We stopped and formally introduced ourselves. He shook my hand and genuinely thanked me for my kindness. “Pay it forward, my friend.” was all I said as we met eyes.
His color wheel revealed an almost blinding array of beautiful colors! Brilliant colors, only a tincture of grey in small lines between the glowing allure of vibrant tones. He patted Reb on the head as he proceeded toward the interrogation room.
The following morning Lonny dropped by for coffee. We were on the porch enjoying our brew when Reb came clopping up the porch steps, morning paper in his mouth. He sat wagging his tail, wanting to be acknowledged. Lonny said, “Wow, Reb, Good boy!” He dropped the paper at Lonny’s feet. As he unrolled the paper, he saw Reb pictured with the officer from the scene. Lonny’s look of shock and awe brought a big grin to my face.
He said, “The front page of the Mobile Register! What did you do?” He read about the unidentified boy behind the dumpster, discovered by a black lab mutt, named Reb, now a hero. The perpetrator was hit by a vehicle while fleeing and later died at Mobile Providence. Divinely Appropo.,
“Dear Sovereign God of the Universe, I pray for courage and wisdom to carry out your plan. Thank you, dear Lord, for choosing me for your service. Just as you knew Jeremiah even before you formed him in the womb, you knew me, dear God. You set me apart, as well. I am deeply grateful, and will do whatever I am called to do., Please empower me. in Jesus name, AMEN!” I prayed, wholeheartedly. Sitting on a bench where Orion and Rigel used to sit right next to me, or on my lap. They were not here in body, but I can feel their spirit.
It had been two months since my confrontation with the bully, Justin Wells. Every day I come to the pier to pray and meditate. Physically, I am transforming. Marvelous changes, body, and soul, since the Orion Constellation was inked upon my back. A ravenous avidity for eating and a rigorous exercise routine is helping muscle cover bones. Mama Kate would be so proud. Still not sure what any future assignments will require. All I can do is pray, and pray often. This is God readying me to be commissioned.
Tonight Auggie is bringing Reb to stay awhile. He’s going to Tennessee for a visit with his mother, Maybel, and sister, Jean. Miss Maybel’s health has been on a steady decline following Mama Kate’s death.
Reb is a mutt, a black lab mix. He is a very large boy. A big ole baby when he has a vet check. Auggie always asks me along to help hold him still, and keep him calm. Reb listens to me. He is almost ten now. I used to beg Mama Kate to ask Auggie to give him to me. Truth be known, that was his plan all along.
When Auggie first brought Reb over, I was eight years old. Our dog, Queenie, had passed away only six months before. She had been my Mama’s dog. When Mama Kate inherited me, she got Queenie, too. She was a German Shepard. Mama Kate said Queenie grieved for days after Ruth died.
Auggie brought me home from the hospital. As he placed me in my crib, Queenie was sniffing and jumping to get a peek of me. She lay down beside my crib and didn’t budge. She knew I belonged to Ruth. I was her new charge. We were inseparable up until she died. My world came falling down. Queenie was my best friend. As bad as I took this, I know it was much harder on Mama Kate. When Auggie came along with Reb, she said she didn’t have it in her to raise a puppy. Although, we knew Queenie’s death had taken an enormous portion of her heart.
Since my calling, people were seen as color wheels. If I made eye contact, I could get a picture of their color wheel. It would even send positive or negative vibrations that I felt to the core of my soul. Everyone’s colors vary. Some very bright with very little drearily dull tones. Others, not quite as vivid, with drab tones intermittently mingled. The bully, Justin Wells, had a color wheel with pleasing colors that were lackluster. Contrasted by the most soul-chilling dimness imagined. Would I ever get a glimpse of the Thacker twin’s color chart? Am I being used to promote kindness, thus brightening the color wheels of those within my scope? So very much to absorb! Nevertheless, I was feeling stronger every day. Stronger in mind, body, and spirit. I’m up to the task!
I set out on my evening walk, Reb, dog trotting alongside. The city square was only a mile and a half from my house. Normally, I walk to the square, loop around, and walk home. As Reb and I approached the south side of the square, I began to receive vibes I can only describe as highly malevolent. Reb instigated a growl, although soft, a guteral grumble.
Reb hopped on the bench at the corner, still snarling. I sat down and began to pray.
My tattoo from the sketch I drew this afternoon and the one planned for me were the same. Exactly the same. The Orion Constellation. Inspired by Orion and Rigel, my dear pet cranes. Now, I knew they were more than just pets. They were really angels in the form of long-legged, long-necked birds, sent from heaven to prepare me for this role. So many years of joy on that pier, feeding those cranes! When I was on that dock with those birds, I felt a sense of well being. Mama Kate always told me to be kind. there are angels among us.
As I lay face down on the table, Z began to fill my skin with the most magical ink. The pain had never felt so right. I know it is only a symbol of what is happening to me right now. But with it, I am strengthened and empowered. If not for Orion and Rigel, I might not have been chosen.
I was on that table for only two hours. I raised from the table and was given a mirror to admire the divinely inspired artwork. It was absolutely flawless. Upon leaving, Z told me I would affect many lives with that tattoo. Mulling around in my head was the magnitude of it all. Would I be able to handle being used by God for a specific purpose? Would I know what to do? These answers would come to me. And I was ready for the call.
Driving home, I realized there was no mention of money. I had not paid or been asked to pay. Oh well, I would go back tomorrow and talk to Z. I wanted to pick his brain as well. There had to be a reason he knew about the Orion Constellation. But now, I need to sleep.
Waking up to birds chirping, and sun radiating through my window. I dressed, grabbed a couple of oatmeal cookies, a cup of coffee, and headed out to Z’s. When I arrived, I parked in the same spot as the night before. As I headed down the alley, it seemed different somehow. When I got to the door, there was no sign saying, “Zhau Llu’s Ink”. In fact, there was no trace whatsoever of a tattoo parlor. Nothing! It disappeared without a trace! This was falling into place. Rather than being alarmed. I just knew. I was going to be alright. Peace was with me. Knowledge was being sent. I’ve never been more ready for this. Life had a purpose.
Wondering if I would be used right away, or if I had more to learn was answered almost immediately. Pulling into the main street, I noticed two young boys being followed by an older boy. I pulled into a parking spot. As they walked past me, A sensation came over me. I felt fear, the fear I had when the Thacker boys were after me. I was channeling the fear felt by the boys walking in front of my parking spot. Then as the bigger boy walked past, I felt a feeling of sadness, mixed with darkness. A feeling I had never felt before. I knew at once the younger boys were scared of the older boy.
Getting out of my car, I called out to the older boy. Sensing I knew what he had planned, he turned and ran across the street. Barely missing being hit by a truck. I yelled out again and the boy turned to look at me. “Hey fella, I just want to talk.” He turned and started walking toward me. Relieved I didn’t have to chase him down, I motioned for him to sit on the bench beside me. I was going to get his story. I would make sure he never bullied anyone.
As he sat next to me, I said, “Hey buddy, why did you run from me?” He just shrugged his shoulders. I asked him if he knew the boys walking ahead of him. He, again, just shrugged his shoulders. What he didn’t know, was that I knew. I knew what he was going to do to those boys. It was much worse than anything that the Thackers had ever done to me. His evil vibrations were easy to read. If someone’s character was a color wheel, with bright colors depicting good, and dull drab colors depicting evil, his color wheel would be predominantly dull and drab.
What’s your name, boy? I said. He started to shrug his shoulders but met my stare. Hoping he could tell I was reading his soul, I leaned forward. He stuttered, “My nah nah nah name is Juh Juh Justin Weh Weh Weh Wells.” “So, Justin Wells, what would you say if I told you I knew what you have been doing to those boys, and others?’ I asked. He stared at me, eyes wide. “Justin, you have a story, I’m sure. Is your home life bad? Are you being mistreated?” I asked. He looked down, then said, “My dad ye ye yells and beats mmm mmm me. um, uh uh uh li li li live with mmm mmm my mom.”
At that point, I was seeing more light from his color wheel. He was a victim turned bully. Maybe he could be saved. I told him I was going to be watching. He was visibly shaken by our encounter. Probably divine intervention. He got up and walked away as I sat there wondering if I had passed the first test.
When I got home, I saw Auggie’s car in the drive. This time he had pulled into his normal parking spot. As I came in the door, I smelled chicken, when I rounded the corner, I saw Auggie sitting at the table with a big bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The one thing Mama Kate never had to beg me to eat. He said, “Dig in, my boy.”
We talked about Mama Kate, his dog Reb, the weather, and how dang good that chicken tasted. Then I got up, took my shirt off. Turned to display the magical tat, against my reddened skin. I couldn’t see his expression, but there was a barely audible gasp. Then he said, “My boy, when did you get that?”
We went out on the porch where I told Auggie the whole story. If I could trust anyone with all this, it was Auggie. Afterward, he didn’t say much. We stood, as he was about to leave. He stepped toward me, to give one of his characteristic bear hugs, and I stepped back. “The tattoo!” I said. Then shook his hand. He grinned and turned to go.
Thinking about something Mama Kate always said after the Thacker boys pushed me around, “Makes me angry, Pehr, but anger isn’t Godly either. Jesus would say turn the other cheek. But those boys get right up under my skin!”
It was time for me to meditate on my newfound fate. God, the universal sovereign, would make it clear.