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On the Seventh Day, they rested.

(Realm of Elysia)

Waking very early on the Eighth Day, Bren looked up at the sky and it’s complement of stars. However, though crystal clear, shimmering lights danced across the heavens, waves of colors that streamed in ribbons of sunset orange, golden yellow, bright green, sky blue, indigo, and violet. Hands behind her head, watching the display, Bren’s mind raced over the previous feast days, marveling at one thing after another. I’ve seen so much in so little time, Bren thought to herself.

Yesterday, on the seventh day, Brenzel and the five rested the entire day. Meeting her outside Mysteries, they all said goodbye to Desere, who went back into the mist with Phaelyn to visit more with her people. Felicity, Grace, Robyn, Hope, and Manu chatted with Brenzel excitedly, desiring to know everything that Bren had seen.

Hope asked, “Did you meet the Pandas?”

Bren, nodding, replied, “Yes! They were so big, I got to hug one, you know.”

Hope grinning from ear to ear, said, “They’re sooo soft!”

The green grass of Elysia

After the seventh day’s rest, they slept together out in the open grass with down pillows and light blankets, talking deep into the night until each one, like spent candles, flickered off to sleep.

Manu, as usual, snuggled close as she could get, nestled at Bren’s side. She was a beautiful girl, all sweetness and innocence. Yet Bren felt there was something more to her, especially after the quixotic conversation at breakfast the other day.

Turning, looking at Manu’s peaceful features, Bren shook her gently, whispering, “Dove…”

No response.

Again, gently prodding her, Bren said, “Dove…it’s me, Bren.”

Groggily, sleeping beauty mumbled, “Yes, what is it Bren,” then turned over and continued sleeping.

Watching her, Brenzel felt a growing sense that she was right.

Just then, in the stillness, trumpets sounded. Seven times they rang out, each a few minutes apart as the sun rose in the east. A low note, then a high note, then a staccato scale of clarion tones ringing out across the vail. Manu stirred along with the others, saying, “Finally, it’s here!” Then another, said “Eighth Day!”

The Rundseys are coming

The Rundsey found, when he returned, that his mate had already given birth to two new pups. The other youngins wanted to sniff them, but their mother wouldn’t permit it, at least not for a few days. He, for his part, felt so tired, he simply stayed close to his mate and family, sleeping most of the time. Vaguely, he heard the trumpets from the valley below announcing the Eighth Day. Satisfaction and peace filled his heart.

Down the mountain, though, from various places across the opposite valley and beyond, other Rundseys darted through the thick underbrush. In lush, grassy fields their wakes, seen from above, revealed many animals beneath making their way purposefully towards some common destination. Presently, a single Rundsey climbed a rock in the middle of the glade, sniffing the gentle breeze, chirping again and again. Those wakes stopped, then changed direction slightly and headed for the mountain.


The girls all woke up, clearing the sleep from their eyes one by one. Bren who had never had a sister before, felt a love in her heart for each of them as if they were. In the short time she’d known them, they’d become a part of her heart.

Grace, gathering her few things, invited Bren to come for a swim and to wash up.

“Sure, just give me a minute,” Bren replied.

Walking with her to the pond that was part of the garden in which they’d slept, Bren tested the water with her toe. Sure enough, it was a perfect temperature for swimming, almost like it had be drawn just for them by some ever-present housemaid.

Letting her clothes slip to the ground, Grace stepped in, as Bren did the same. The crystal clear water coming up to her waist, Brenzel leaned forward and dove in. Breaking the surface, her hair wet and clinging to her back, Grace came close and started washing Bren’s hair with some soap they’d picked up at the festival.

“You have beautiful hair, Bren, I like how it curls at the ends after it’s washed,” Grace said, for her own hair was long, but totally straight.

It’s the Irish in me

“I think it’s the Irish in me. My Mother had long, curly red hair. My father was English and his hair was black. I don’t know why I turned out blond.”

When Grace finished, Bren turned and did the same for her, rubbing her shoulders a bit as she did.

Bren, as her fingers lathered up her young friend’s hair, commented, “You know, Grace, ever since I met the Rundsey, I’ve felt free.”

“Yes, your burden was taken away,” Grace stated.

“But I didn’t even know I had one.”

“I don’t have much experience with burdens, because I’ve always been in Elysia, but I suspect it is like many had from the Great Rebellion. When you go through terrible things, it is like a piece of you is stuck in time where they happened. Over the years, these pieces take away more and more of who you really are until there is not much of your true self left in the present. Many had to be healed and put back together by Rundseys after those dark days. It wasn’t easy, but eventually they became whole.”

Whole and fabulous!

“I think I know what you mean, I do feel like I’m more present and together. I don’t think about those bad things anymore, at least not like I used to. Desere helped a lot, too.” Bren mentioned.

“I love Des,” Grace said, “she is a very special girl. I am glad you and her connected.”

Finishing, they both stepped out of the water and toweled off. Picking up their clothes, they walked to where the other girls were. Robyn and the rest said in unison, as they beamed, holding out the special dress they’d saved for Bren’s first Eighth Day, “We’re going to make you look Fabulous!”

After they all got ready, and with a great deal of fuss and preening, they made their way to the main thoroughfare of the Seven Days of Wonder. It seemed everyone had come out for the procession of the Seraphs. People not only lined the main promenade in mass, but they spilled out beyond the vine gate, standing on either side of the road almost up to the Angel Gate. An amazing amount of Elysians, all smiles and gaily dressed, waited expectantly for the start of the Last Great Day.

Through the angel gate

As Brenzel and her friends took their place among the crowd, people began talking excitedly, looking up and pointing to a small cloud in the otherwise clear blue sky. At first it was tiny, no more than a puff of fluff in the firmament. Then it began to grow larger, descending towards the Angel Gate, finally resting upon it, covering the twin figures.

Again, the trumpets sounded, but this time they began low and then rose in pitch and intensity until the ground shook. Bren wondered how her ears did not hurt as their loudness grew.

A great cheer went up from the crowd nearest the gate, cascading down the hill to those at the festival, as the first of the Seraphs emerged from the mist. One by one, the Seraphs followed each other down the hill to the Seven Days of Wonder, growing ever more majestic as they drew closer.


Seeing Alethea coming through the festival’s main gate, Bren, too, whistled and cheered, seeing her smiling face, tiara sparkling in the sun, and clothed in a shimmering golden tunic and skirt. Six light orange wings fluttering in the breeze, as she rode in a golden chariot pulled by six white horses, bedecked with gold, silver, and precious jewels. Musicians, who went before her, played a light, airy melody that conjured up scenes of a ancient forest in the early dawn.

Next, drums sounded in a rhythm that made Bren’s hips move without her realizing it. Tall men, in brightly colored wraps, played as they went before Thandeka, Warrior Seraph of Zulu, yellow wings large and stately. Her golden crown gleamed with wings at either side. She was dressed in a wrap-around Katange, sporting patterns which seemed to move and change as she waved. Her chariot, pulled by two enormous white leopards, sparkled so much it seemed on fire.

Island beauty

Twelve beautiful women, dancing to the music of the Seraph of Aukum, (her wings of pale green), told a story of beaches, beautiful sunsets, and sea green waves, which Bren saw in her mind’s eye as they passed. Bren and the girls instinctively began to dance, drawn into the vision, too.

Whaitiri followed them, with long black hair flowing in the breeze, a vision of island beauty, brown complexion, bedecked with jewels and a crown of green and gold. He dress hung loosely on her tall, slender form, flowing like water as she smiled and waved. Her chariot was fashioned out of one shell, pulled by spotted horses, six in all.

Next, men, 70 in all, proceeded Coatlicue, covering Seraph of Omey, indigo wings fanned out, riding as she smiled in a gleaming chariot made, it seemed, of some shiny metal like silver, etched with intricate patterns. Six animals, the likes of which Bren had never seen, pulled it. They had the head of a big cat and spots, each with four wings.

The march of Omey

Men marching in costumes made of brilliant feathers, danced like exotic birds before their queen. The musicians played crashing, majestic rhythms that inspired everyone to dance once again as she passed. Looking directly at Bren, she blew her a kiss and smiled.

Guanyin stood tall and regal, in violet wings, hair banded in gold, fitting with a shimmering dress of pale silk. She smiled and nodded to Bren as she passed, too. Her chariot was moved by six dappled horses. As she neared, Bren and apparently everyone else, felt love flow into and through them, a warm sensation starting from their bellies and spreading outward. Many hugged and kissed, looking into each others’ eyes. The five hugged and kissed Bren, telling, from their hearts, how much they loved her.

Lastly, in a large and ornate carriage drawn by six white draft horses, sat Dove and Libby the Librarian, waving with white gloved hands as they passed. Dove’s wings, down at her back, were pale blue, while the Librarian’s were a light silver. Their carriage, the stuff of fairy tales, elegant and ornate, wheels tall and delicate, seemed to be made of glass so see-through, it looked as though the two Seraphs road on thin air. As they passed, Bren felt Dove’s bliss again and heard Libby say in her mind, as they both looked towards her, “She’s such a nice girl.”

The fruit of the tree of life

Lastly, after they passed, the entourages of the individual Seraphs followed, hundreds strong. Men and women of their respective realms, a grand procession to the King of Kings, all coming to celebrate and worship the One True God, creator of everything: YHWH. Within their ranks were at least 50 women who all looked and dressed like Phaelyn. Felicity leaned over to Bren saying, “Look, the cloud herders are here!”

After them, dozens of wagons came, piled high with the red fruit of the Tree of Life. As the last wagon passed, the crowd fell in with them and all made their way to main venue of the Last Great Day.