The Gifts of Faith - Message in a Dream - (Ch. 7)

The great oak loomed in the distance
The great oak loomed in the distance | Source

A restless night

She could see herself walking in the early morning mist of the dawn. The great oak where she had first met Hope loomed in the distance. Although there was a chill in the air, it seemed inconsequential. Faith was propelled toward the tree. She soon saw two images; one she recognized, the other was not quite clear.

Is my imagination playing tricks with me?

The closer she came to the tree, the more she was kept from its life. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how many steps she took, Faith could only take her seat in this play from the outside looking in.

Faith's cozy kitchen
Faith's cozy kitchen | Source

The earthy scent of fresh-brewed coffee awakened Sarah from a light slumber. Bleary-eyed, she made her way to the kitchen where Faith was bustling about making an omelet and slicing fresh fruit. Sarah helped herself to the much-needed brew.

“Good morning, Faith.”

“Mornin’, sweetie. How’d you sleep?”

Cupping the mug in both hands, Sarah took a long, slow drink before responding.

“Not very well; my mind was going a million miles a minute. When I finally drifted off, I had the weirdest dream.”

“Do you want to talk about it?” Faith finished slicing the fruit, filled a bowl and placed it on the table.

Sarah scrunched her nose and furrowed her brow, a unique expression she wore subconsciously when reaching for the right words to flow from her memory to her mouth. Faith grinned – just a smidge – at recognizing Sarah’s effort to bring congruity to a situation that didn’t make complete sense. At least not yet.


“I’m not sure how I got there, but I was under the mighty oak in the field where Hope spoke to us yesterday. At first, I had no idea why I was there. It was misty, I was in my nightgown and rather confused. Just as I was about to come out of my dream, Hope appeared, but I didn’t recognize her at first. She came to me from beyond the tree and I almost didn’t see her. She seemed to be a part of the mist. When she finally came close enough for me to make her out, she appeared in a much less congruent form than when she first made herself known to me.”

Faith interrupted Sarah at this point.

“I was there, Sarah! I had a dream too, although now I realize it wasn’t a dream at all. I found myself drawn to the mighty oak, but could only go so far. Some kind of force kept me from coming close, but I saw two beings, one of which I recognized. Now I know it was you. After what you’ve told me so far, I know why I didn’t recognize the other person. I’ve only seen Hope twice and both times it was during daylight hours. She rode in on a rainbow – for lack of a better description. Nevertheless, Sarah I’m not so sure this was a dream. I saw the two of you from afar, but was not allowed a view better than that of a voyeur. Please, go on!”

Hope came to Sarah in the mist of the mighty oak
Hope came to Sarah in the mist of the mighty oak | Source

Call them spirits, call them angels. Listen to this man's story.

Hope's message to Sarah

“Sarah, I’ve drawn you here for a reason. I’ve watched you over the years and have complete faith in you to carry out the task I must assign. You have been by Faith’s side through thick and thin. You’ve never doubted, nor chastised her. You know of her gifts. You also know she has a special purpose on this Earth.

Her mission is not an easy one. It requires help from me. But, I must admit…my strength is wearing thin. Souls need human bodies to feed them with the life they need to thrive and become strong. I was denied that. I had lain stagnant in Mama’s womb for 15 years until Faith was born. It was another six years before I made myself known to her. In the meantime, my rainbow was the vehicle allowing Nathaniel, a human, to survive his ordained mission. I failed him because I was beginning to weaken. I thought I had enough strength to meet with Faith and help Nathaniel take the cancer from Mama. My timing was off. I was distressed by not being there in time to save both of them. Now Mama is dead and Nathaniel is diseased. His purpose on this Earth has become compromised as the result of my miscalculation.

At first my intent was to combine my soul with Faith’s. I now know that would have been a grave mistake. She needs all of her fortitude to carry out her purpose. Because of her gift of seeing souls, hers works overtime. I can’t compromise that.

It has become apparent to me that I must join with you in order to bring the trio of souls together as they were intended. Please don’t be afraid. Your love for Faith and your open mind and loving heart will only fortify what I have to offer.

I’m tired and my plenitude is diminishing. You are strong. You can carry me. I will nourish your soul and make it possible for Faith and Nathaniel to carry on with their missions. However, it will not come to be unless you are willing. Are you open for this journey, Sarah?”


“Faith, for some reason, I knew that Hope made herself known to me because I was to be a conduit. I didn’t hesitate in welcoming her. As I nodded and responded “yes” her soul faded even more. At the same time, her rainbow became brighter then both were gone. The last thing I remember is curling up at the base of the mighty oak – completely exhausted – until the smell of coffee woke me up a few minutes ago.”

The only sound was the tick of the wall clock
The only sound was the tick of the wall clock | Source

Much to think about

The only sound to be heard at that moment was the tick of the wall clock. Both girls were deep in thought, each drinking in the perplexity of the shared dream that wasn’t a dream at all.

“Faith, the timing of Hope’s plea for rest, your meeting with Nathaniel and my being trusted with this spiritual message is all related. I know it in my heart, but the purpose still eludes me.

It’s almost time to open the shop. You go take your shower while I do the dishes. I think we both need some time to think.”

Mondays were good days to catch up on the books
Mondays were good days to catch up on the books | Source
The organic market in town
The organic market in town | Source

Mondays at Bouquets and Rainbows were typically slow, allowing the curator and her partner to catch up on invoicing, payables and inventory. This gave the girls plenty of time to mull and discuss, mull and discuss on this particular Monday.

“Sarah, I think I’ll invite Daddy over for dinner tomorrow. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been very diligent in keeping in touch with him since we opened the store. I have this nagging feeling that Nathaniel reappearing after all these years may have something to do with Daddy. I need to know he’s okay. Furthermore, I’d like to find out if he knows anything about Nathaniel. What do you think? Are you with me?”

“That’s a great idea, Faith! I haven’t seen Hal in ages. Tell you what… today at lunchtime I’ll go to the organic market and pick up some chicken. If you don’t mind, I’ll make dinner tomorrow – chicken and dumplings with cornbread. If I recall, it’s your dad’s favorite meal. How’re you fixed for flour and cornmeal?”

“Chicken and dumplings is perfect! I’m good on cornmeal and flour, but you might want to pick up some buttermilk. Daddy has had a glass of buttermilk with his meals for as long as I can remember. Get some coconut while you’re there. I’ll make ambrosia for dessert.

And Sarah, I love your new look.”

“What new look? I’m a wreck today!”

“The rainbow colors I now see in your soul. Very becoming!”



Shauna L Bowling

Refining, Defining or Rhyming

All rights reserved

Have you encountered a spirit (or soul) in your life?

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American Indians have long believed in the spirit and the soul

© 2014 Shauna L Bowling

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Comments 54 comments

Jane Arden 2 years ago

Oh wow. I'm going back to Chapter One before I read this. Looking forward to this.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Way cool, Jane. The ink has barely dried and here you are! Yes, please read from the beginning and let me know what you think. And be honest, please!


DreamerMeg profile image

DreamerMeg 2 years ago from Northern Ireland

Really enjoyed this next chapter. Never expected that!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

I love your response, Meg. I'm pleased that I've not become predictable in this story. It motivates me to keep the momentum.


DJ Anderson 2 years ago

You are keeping me on my toes, Sha.

I have to go back and listen to the video on Angel Encounters.

My mother always served cornbread with chicken and dumplings.

And, cornbread was not really cornbread unless it was made with whole

buttermilk!

Great read, Sha!!

DJ.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

DJ, chicken and dumplings is one of my signature dishes. It's my grandmother's recipe. When making the dumplings, instead of adding milk to the flour, add a ladle full of chicken stock that you made while boiling the chicken. Roll is out as pie dough, cut it into 2" strips and you don't have that big ball of gum in your pot! Opps! I just gave away a secret.

Anyway, my point is, there is a whole lot of me in this story. I'll have to make note from now on to not disclose where I show up! :-)


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

Wow,

I love this Shauna. I am definitely going back to the first one. Could I put the link to this on my Burwell Mysteries, so similar. This story line reminds me of my mystery/spiritual series called the burwell house mysterys. I hope you will read them. Voted up and all.

http://hubpages.com/literature/The-Burwell-House...


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Nice touch with the organic market. :) Spirits here, spirits there, spirits everywhere. Yes, you are most definitely in this....looking forward to the next chapter. You have us all on the edge of our spiritual seats. :)


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Very interesting twist with the merging of souls. I didn't see this coming.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

I will agree, Sha...I was not at all expecting this direction to the story and it feels right.

I now have a wild craving for chicken and dumplings...just my luck, right before bedtime (LOL)!

You are creating a beautiful story and I am so proud of you! Love, Maria


Ghost32 2 years ago

Faith, Hope, and Sarah...and the greatest of these is Sarah? (That kept running through my consciousness from the moment I saw the 3 names. ) But then Hope and Sarah become one, perhaps with a new combo name? Horah? Sape? My 4th ex-wife was Peggy when I was with her, Sa Lee a few years later; could she have had a similar merging experience?

Dang. You made me THINK! :)

Dream focus is always worth a looksee, at least to me. Don't recall ever dreaming about 2 Souls combining, though now that you've brought up the possibility, who knows what's coming next. Great work, even allowing for the view of "your" soul. (I figure you ARE Soul, not that you "have" a soul, but hey, not trying to nitpick here.)

Now, speaking of a craving for chicken and dumplings. I'm pretty sure I've only tasted chicken and dumplings 2 or 3 times in this lifetime, and never since childhood. One of these days....


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Laura, I would be tickled for you to post this story on your site. I'll have to go check it out. Thanx!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Ha ha, Bill. I sense a song in there somewhere. I'm glad you're enjoying the story. That means the world to me. I always look for your comments when I post to see how I'm doing.


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Flourish, I love it when I hear someone say (write) they didn't see it coming. The last thing I want to do is create a predictable story!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Maria, I kinda have a hankering for chicken and dumplings myself. If I wasn't the only one to eat it, I'd be making a pot today. It's dreary and cold here this morning. Chicken and dumplings with a side of cornbread would be just the ticket to warm things up.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Ghost, you being Soul and knowing what I do about you and dreams, I'm thrilled you're relating to this story. That's interesting about Peggy. I've heard you refer to Sa Lee but never realized they are one in the same.

So, I gotcha thinking, huh? Awesome!


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 2 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

bravewarrior, I am so in love with this story and your writing, girl! You give us just enough to crave more, but not feel like we were shortchanged. Although I must say, I am literally on the edge of my seat right now!

The chapters are coming a little faster, and that's a great thing ;) Pearl


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Pearl, if I recall correctly, your comment to chapter 6 was to hurry up and bring the next one. Faith must have been reading over my shoulder... :-)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Interesting and unexpected twist here, which has us wondering what is in store! I know without a doubt I have had encounter with angels throughout my life.

Blessings,

Faith Reaper


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

Another brilliant chapter Sha;I feel by now that I know these characters so well and your talent shines through. I am now sharing them all onto my FB page. Didn't get round to it yesterday and needless to say I am looking forward to the next part. Wonderful!!!!

Eddy


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

I know you have Faith. I enjoyed your contributions to the M & M series. I'm glad you're following along and I haven't lost you!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Eddy, the fact that you are connecting with the characters tells me I'm on the right track. Thank you for the love my dear friend!


Jane Arden 2 years ago

Wow. I read it all and I reckon that was the best way to read it, only I'm fed up now as I didn't want it to stop. You really are a brilliant short story writer and should be selling this as a book on Amazon. I'm going back to see the Stephen King vid now. I think I'll wait for you to finish the series before I read again, as I much prefer reading them all at once. Voted Up and very much Awesome!!!!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Jane, I have no idea how long this series will be. It seems to just now be taking off. I'm not sure about selling on Amazon, unless at a full book price. I do want to do something with it when I'm finished, but $0.99 doesn't entice me to go e-book route. I much prefer real books anyway. I'm sure that's the avenue I take when it's complete.

You might be waiting a long time for the rest of the story. I started it in June of 2013. I have no idea what's coming next until it hits me. Although, the story line seems to be coming to me more quickly now.

Your comment is awesome and inspires me to write more fiction. I've found that I really love this genre. But then again, I prefer reading fiction so it only makes sense. Hmm. I just now figured that out!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Your imagination is taking us on an interesting adventure, Shauna. The thought of souls collaborating with the souls/spirits of living humans in order to achieve a specific goal, sounds quite right and meaningful.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Martie, I don't know how or why that concept came to me, but I now feel it's an integral element of the story. We shall see!


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

I have read loads of fictional and non fictional paranormal books and I have never encountered soul combining. Well done you, on creating a whole new pathway for paranormal fictional writing; I didn't see Sarah's involvement coming either. You story is moving along at a very good pace building up foreshadowing and making us relate to the characters. I am looking forward to the next chapter.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thanx, Anna. I believe the power of the soul can never be underestimated, so why not combine two? This aspect seems to have my readers thinking. You're not the first one to comment on this twist to the story. Very cool! It makes me feel good that I may have come up with a new way of keeping readers on the edge of their seats.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. There are many different side to a soul and I have seen the most amazing things and they always make my faith so much stronger. Looking forward to reading more. Passing this on.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Rasma, the soul is powerful indeed. I would love to hear about your experiences sometime. I'm glad you're enjoying my story.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

You have written this with creative imagery that really helps to pull the reader into the story. Your references to foods is stimulating. I now want to smell coffee wafting up the stairs! Angels are spirits that I have encountered at special times in my life. Write on, Bravewarrior!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Dianna, with the feedback I'm getting for this story, I am propelled to write on! However, I now have a conundrum facing me in combining Hope's and Sarah's souls. I'm working on it in my head. This story seems to be claiming most of my brain cells. Fortunately, I was able to set it aside long enough today to do my taxes! :-)


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

A merging of souls. What a fantastic idea!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Glad you like it, Kim!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Wonderful, and I love the idea of merging souls. You definitely have my attention with this story.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Glad to have you aboard, Becky.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Hi Shauna,

Came to congratulate you on winning the GC Gold Novel award for this fascinating work of literature.

As you know, I am interested in paranormal stories and this one, though fiction, is very realistic to me.

Nice to see you getting some well deserved recognition for it.

Hugs & Love,

Gail


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you Gail. I love this story and the characters. They have taken a place in my heart, which will, hopefully, enhance the story as it unfolds.

I'm thrilled to have received this very unexpected award!


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

I so very much enjoyed reading this a second time. And I believe that when we dream, those who are destined to learn of what is or what will be, the message is for told in ones dreams. Awesome, beautiful and interesting. Shared and Up once again into the arms of Hope & Faith. :-)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Jo. And thanks again for the award. Have you read all the chapters? So far, I've posted one through eight. I need to get working on chapter nine!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

So fabulous to see this chapter highlighted on Jo Goldsmith's GC Publication Awards, dear Sha.

As you know I am loving this book and hoping it catches on like wildfire. It is filled with magic, intrigue and absolutely one of a kind -- just like you!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Maria, I hope it catches on too. I'm loving writing it and love the characters.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

I can't believe I'm this late to Chapter 7. It's amazing Sha and I just love how your developing this spiritual story. I am riveted.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Very cool, Linda. You have two more chapters to go!


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

I'm looking forward to reading more. Ambrosia is one of my favorites. I've missed out on the last few chapters, so I have some catching up to do.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Take your time, Crafty. They'll be here when you're ready!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 2 years ago

I like how you title each chapter, Shauna, and just like you always do - each page is a lovely presentation making for a complete visual experience as well. It's been a pleasure to read your words because your writing just seems natural and effortlessly just like the way people talk in real life. You have captured all of this and more and yes you have recognized your calling in literary life as a fabulous short story writer and I am so proud of you.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Epi, I think it's essential to have characters talk as we do in real life. How can you relate to a character if conversation is stilted? That's where the freedom to use improper English comes in. We don't sound like encyclopedias when we speak, so why should our characters?


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Oh Sha....now the girls are touching very close to home and personal experiences.....your story is magical, GF.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Things are definitely changing between the girls, Paula. And for good reason.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is getting more intriguing with each chapter. Sarah's bond with Faith is maturing into much more than friendship. Now, Nathaniel is a complete mystery. I'm slowly catching up.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Ruby, the story morphs as Faith and Sarah speak to me. Unfortunately, time lapses between chapters. I have to wait for that signal or voice. I won't comment on your reference to Sarah other than I see her now as a much more formidable character than when I first gave Faith a friend.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

When I think it's not possible to get better it does. Bringing Sarah into the spirit world with Faith brings us in too, wondering what comes next? Will the rainbow help them find the answers with Nathaniel and what will Hal add to the story? Loving this!!

Voted out useful, awesome, and interesting.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Glad to hear it, Mary. It's feedback like this that helps me grow. The fact that each chapter raises questions in the readers' minds, tells me I'm on the right track. Thank you!

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