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An endless shore

The warm sand on her feet stretched for miles along the aqua ocean against the light green sky. The sun, only one, stood high above as they walked together. Joshua, his frilled shirt sleeves rolled up on his arms, walked slowly beside her, Brenzel happier than she’d been in years.

Joshua said, “Oh, look at that!” Bending down and picking up a green shell, he put it up to his ear and smiled. Handing it to Brenzel, he said, “It’s a singing shell, very rare. Put it up to your ear, listen.”

Brenzel took the shell and looked at it, seeing how smooth and lovely the coloring were. She put the open end next to her ear and listened. First, she heard the sound of the ocean, a cacophony of waves. But then, in the background, she heard a song emerge from the waters, low, sweet, rising like a choir of different voices.

“It’s beautiful, I can hear it!”

“Each creation has it’s own song. Everything that is in every realm remembers the song of the Seraphim. They actually sing while dancing the universe into being with the creator. Though it fades with time, song never leaves, the singing shell amplifies it so it can be heard.”

“That’s amazing,” Brenzel said as she handed the shell back to Traveler.

“Keep it,” he said, “when you go to different realms, you can hear its

song, too.”

As they continued walking, Brenzel smiled. She cherished his chance gift, feeling its warmth in her hand as she held it.

So many things to say

There are so many things I want to say, Brenzel thought, not knowing how to broach any of them. She just wanted him to touch her, hold her, be close to him. Yet, she sensed, it wasn’t …time?

Shifting his wing tipped shoes to his right hand, Joshua reached out and took hers with his left. She felt his sureness, confidence, feeling how his hand was both gentle and strong at the same time.

Finally, she asked her companion, “Why do you call yourself the Timekeeper?” getting up the courage to circle back to the burning question in her heart. He looked at her with those brown eyes, seemingly sensing she was driving at something deeper.

You must think I’m a monster

He studied her for a moment, then turned and looked at the horizon as if thinking. “You must think me a monster for what I did to you.”

Shocked, Brenzel replied, “No…no….” she trailed off, not wanting to lie to him.

“If there had been any other way, I would have spared you all of this. I know you don’t understand, but I am truly sorry it had to be this way. There are a surprising number of things that are out of my hands, more than most imagine.”

Then he let go of her hand and sat on the beach, cross-legged, setting his shoes down beside him. Brenzel, puzzled, sat down too, laying her hand on his arm. “Joshua, please, I don’t think badly of you. I’m grateful for everything you’ve done.”

“But,” he said.

Brenzel exhaled sharply. “But you know I want to see my daughter, and I know you can make that happen if you want to.” She paused, then said softly, “I miss her so much.”

Sighing, he whispered, “I know, Brenzel.”

“I just want to see her. I won’t change anything, I just want to know she’s alright, that would be enough.”

Looking uncomfortable, Joshua turned and looked directly into her eyes. “I always keep my promises, but seeing Iris is not as easy as you imagine. It can have… repercussions.”

She was so close to the possibility of seeing her baby she could taste it…so she pushed on.

“For everyone else, maybe, but for you…you could do it easily if you wanted to. It would mean the world to me. You don’t know how I cry nights…missing her…it’s the not knowing how she is that’s killing me. Every time I sleep in a warm bed, eat a good meal, wake up to a gentle sunrise, I feel this stabbing pain in my heart because things are so good for me now. . . and. . . and I don’t know if she’s okay.

You promised

“Please Joshua, haven’t I done enough? We made a bargain, you promised.”

“I did,” he admitted.

He pulled his pocket watch from his vest, opening it to reveal the face, it’s intricate inner workings visible through clear crystal. Handing it to her, he said, “Inside this watch is one of the Stones of Fire, a stone of creation. It is one of the three Beauty stole. We have recovered two so far; she still has the other somewhere.” He handed the watch to her.

Brenzel took it gingerly, wondering how something so small could be so powerful. Joshua continued, “These stones are what the Seraphim use to help God create their realms and everything within them. Earth, oceans, animals, stars, you. The power of creation is bound up in these small red stones. Amazing when you think of it.

“Through this timepiece I control all time, molding the sequences which shape everyone’s future.” Pointing to the small nob at the top, under the ring attached to the chain, he said, “Click this very gently.”

With her thumb, Brenzel pressed down, smoothly. In an instant, all sound stopped, making Brenzel look up and around, mouth dropping, seeing a bird in mid-flight, stationary in the air. The ocean waves froze to a stand still also, frothy crests hanging as if they were only an exquisite painting.

He reached over, taking it from her trembling fingers, then clicked it again, allowing reality to resume. Brenzel stared hard at the bird, suddenly flying again as the ocean waves crashed.

Looking at him place the watch back into his pocket, Brenzel asked, “Does that happen everywhere?”

“On the Seven Realms and Eden,” he explained.

“Everyone, everywhere just stops?”

“No, not everywhere. We didn’t.”

“I see it with my own eyes, but it seems unbelievable,” she said, looking around and back at him. “So you can take me back to Iris, then?” knowing for certain that he could.

Everything’s possible

“It is possible, but not recommended.”

Brenzel sighed, slumping her shoulders a bit. “Please, Joshua, please, I’ll do anything you want, just let me see her, just once.”

Looking down, thinking, he said. “I will hold up my end of the bargain Brenzel, I never lie. However, you must realize that, however important she is to you, there is much more at stake than you and Iris.”

Brenzel sensed her chance was slipping from her. “You have to trust me, too, Joshua. I know everyone thinks I’m supposed to do something important. You can’t keep me from my daughter and expect me to function properly, it just won’t happen.” She felt a bit of anger rising up inside her. “I’m a mother, how can I concentrate when I’m worried about my baby?”

Pursing his lips, frowning a bit, he said, “True, you do have a point.”

Turning to look at her intently, Brenzel felt a wave of gravity wash over her as he said, “It is vital to everyone that events play out as they must, you cannot alter the past, Brenzel, or you risk endangering everyone’s future. I know you don’t understand this fully yet, but you must trust what I say. For your sake, Iris’s sake, you must trust me…but…”


But…Brenzel thought, drowning in expectation, her chest about to explode along with her heart.

“I’ll take you to see her once – and only once, – just so you know she’s okay. Then, however difficult it is, you must promise to never see her again until it’s finished. You must swear to me this thing.”

Scarcely believing her ears she whispered, “Yes, yes….of course I swear! Yes, anything you ask, anything Joshua. Thank you, bless you! You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. You’re my angel. When can I see her?”

Standing and reaching down with his hand to help her up, he said, “Now.”

Moon River by 王OK