The Gifts of Faith - Revelation - (Ch. 5)

Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley | Source

Transcendence

The Lily of the Valley bouquet brought the day of Mama’s death up from Faith’s emotional recesses. She was there again – but at age 26, not 6. In this state she saw something she hadn’t seen that day so long ago.

The rainbow that had brought Hope to Faith on that fateful day hovered over Mama’s head as if protecting her. There was something else there that she was too distraught – or perhaps too naïve - to see at the time, although it was clear now.

But there is was and the butterflies started up again. The butterflies were always a warning that something life-changing was about to happen. Faith found herself glued to the scene that opened up before her and couldn’t move or speak to save her life – or Mama’s for that matter.

A mist filled the room
A mist filled the room | Source

The room became filled with a mist, making it hard to see clearly. The rainbow receded then disappeared altogether. In its place was the form of a little boy, leaning over Mama, gently stroking her arms, face and hair. The mist became thick as she heard Mama groan in her sleep. Through the fog, Faith saw – or thought she saw – what looked liked worms, decay and a roiling bile-like substance moving from Mama to the little boy in a stream of guided frenzy.

Stop! Get away from Mama! You’re hurting her! The silent cries screamed in Faith’s mind but could find no voice.

The grotesque deluge came faster and faster and enveloped the room with a stench that evoked dry heaves as she watched. But she couldn’t move. Faith was helpless as the scene unfolded before her. The little boy seemed to become weak as the putrid gush penetrated his body and took over the light of his soul.

Soon the fog lifted and the little boy was gone. In his place was the soft rainbow Faith witnessed the day she found Mama 20 years ago. Mama’s soul was gone. The room returned to the state it was in when Faith gleefully came to tell Mama of the Lily of the Valley she’d brought home, only to be greeted by the silence of death.

“Who are they from, Faith?” She was back in her living room. Sarah had a panicked look on her face as she repeated the question.

Faith found it difficult to make sense of what had just happened. She had never before been transported to the past or had visions since the day Hope’s spirit spoke to her.

Sarah took the vase from Faith’s grip and set it on the coffee table. “Faith honey, you’re scaring me. Who sent the flowers? Sit down. Talk to me!”

Faith opens up

“Sarah, I’m not sure what just happened, but I know I can trust you with what I’m about to say. You’re my best friend. In fact, you’re the only friend I’ve ever had. In order for you to understand, I need to tell you something I’ve never told anyone – not even Daddy.”

Sarah knew that Faith was the only living child the Montgomery’s had. She knew the history and was aware of Faith’s gift of seeing souls but she wasn’t aware of the foretelling butterflies that erupted as a prelude to life changing events.

“When I was 6, Kitty and I went to my favorite meadow. You know the one on the south side of our property? Well, I got a case of the butterflies, like you do when you first see a boy you really like.”

Faith proceeded to relay the events of that day when she met her sister Hope’s soul. She recited the words Hope has imparted to her:

“As you know, my name is Hope. What you don’t know is I was the child that Mom and Dad never knew. I was stillborn; however, a part of my soul lingered in the womb. Mom and Dad grieved, but God has a special assignment for me.”

“Faith, by the time you came along, Mom and Dad were not so sure you would live, just as our sister and brother and myself didn’t make it into this earthly life, at least not for long. They prayed and prayed and prayed. You are named after their prayers. They had faith that God would finally bless them with a child that could handle the stresses of today’s world. That’s why a part of my soul was left in the womb. God and I wanted to answer Mom and Dad’s prayers. You gained strength from me and I gained purpose from you. Together we have been put on Earth to see what others don’t see. We are here to bring Hope and Faith.”

“My soul lied sleeping. I didn’t even realize it until you were conceived 15 years after my death. It was then that I came alive in spirit. My mission was to make sure you made it through the pregnancy and your entrance into this world. I came alive to answer Mom and Dad’s prayers and to help you with the special gift you have been given. You see souls. People don’t understand. They call you a freak. But you have a purpose on this earth. You see the good in people. Because I was left behind, I can see the darker souls in addition to the good ones. Together, we will accomplish your purpose. You are destined for great things.”

The shade tree where revelations come to life
The shade tree where revelations come to life | Source
The stranger who visited Bouquets and Rainbows
The stranger who visited Bouquets and Rainbows | Source
Hope
Hope | Source

This was a lot to take in, even for Sarah. To give herself time to think and catch her breath, she went into the kitchen and put on a pot of tea. When she returned, they went outside for some air and found themselves walking towards the meadow that was Faith’s favorite playground as a child. Lily accompanied them to the magical land of butterflies and wildflowers.

They soon found themselves resting against the great shade tree where Hope had revealed her story a lifetime ago.

Faith frantically grabbed Sarah’s arm saying, “They’re back. The butterflies. Something’s about to happen”.

The time had come for Faith to tell Sarah about the stranger who had visited the flower shop. She held nothing back. She spoke of the revulsion she experienced by the appearance of his soul and the conflicting intrigue she felt by his good looks and pleasant demeanor.

Soon they realized a gentle rain was falling. Faith saw the rainbow she had seen in this very field when she was a little girl. It showed itself in brilliant colors then reached down to the Earth in brilliant shades of gold, just as before. Hope emerged once again.

“Faith, what’s happening? Who is that walking towards us?”

“You see her?” Faith asked excitedly.

Of course I see her. She’s beautiful and almost ethereal. She’s wearing a white dress and has flowers in her long brown hair. I’ve never seen anyone or anything so beautiful in my life!”

What Mama may have seen as Hope shined her rainbow in all its brilliance
What Mama may have seen as Hope shined her rainbow in all its brilliance | Source

Do you believe in spirits?

  • Yes, they have revealed themselves to me.
  • No. I believe when you die your soul goes with you.
  • I'm not sure. I haven't seen any evidence.
  • I'd rather not think about it. The thought scares the pants off me!
See results without voting

Hope speaks

“Faith, I’m so sorry; it’s all my fault!”

Faith interrupted to introduce her dead sister and her very much alive best friend.

Hope continued:

“I tried to save Mama, for your sake. You were so young and Daddy was busy trying to keep up with the bills. Mama had been sick for years. That’s why none of the rest of us kids lived. Mama had cancer. She never told you because you had it so hard when you were a child as it was, because of your gifts. I should have come to you sooner. Perhaps I could have saved Mama.”

“I don’t understand, Hope. How could you have saved Mama?”

“She was dying and I was standing watch, waiting for Nathaniel to come take the cancer from her.”

Faith’s eyes became as large as dual full moons. “Nathaniel? Nathaniel Baxter?!”

“Yes. Please let me finish. I was to stand watch over Mama with the full strength of the rainbow to help him extract the cancer, but not absorb it. I thought I had plenty of time. I knew I had to come to you, reveal myself and let you know the extent of your gifts. I felt it imperative to let you know that I am here to help you with the dark souls that you will undoubtedly encounter in your life. I thought I had plenty of time to get back to him and help him save Mama’s life. Unfortunately, when I returned, he was so weakened by the magnitude of Mama’s cancer that I couldn’t stop his soul from being filled with the deadly disease. Mama grew so weak by the extraction that she died, despite his efforts.”

Faith took a moment to let this sink in.

“Hope, please don’t blame yourself. We cannot change what is meant to be; it’s in God’s hands, not ours. You came to me at the time you did for a reason. At least Mama’s soul was able to leave this Earth cancer free. Please see that and don’t feel guilty. Mama hung on as long as she could. You strengthened me on that day and let me know I wasn’t alone; that I have a purpose and you will always be with me to help serve that purpose. Mama needed to know that before she’d let herself leave this world. Oh, how she loved us!”

Faith wept freely and uncontrollably for the first time in years. Sarah held her close to let her know she’d always be there for her. Lily curled up in Faith’s lap as if to say, “I’m here for you Mom. I love you.”

When the tears subsided, Faith looked up at Hope and asked, “What of Nathaniel? I saw his soul and mistook him for evil. What is to become of him? And why is he here now?”



Shauna L Bowling

Refining, Defining or Rhyming

All Rights Reserved

© 2013 Shauna L Bowling

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Comments 46 comments

Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

I should be writing a presentation but I saw the email for your hub. Well what a web of intrigue you have spun with Nathaniel! Great twist and foreshadowing. You ended the chapter superbly.

I am loving the paranormal atmosphere and I NEED to know what happens next, soon... :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Anna, again I didn't know what was going to happen until the first two paragraphs hit me the other night as I was going to sleep. The rest unfolded as I continued writing. I'm hoping that this new twist will bring the next parts of the story to me more rapidly. I'm starting to see it now....

Thanx for taking time out of your schedule to read and comment. Much appreciated!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Anna mentioned foreshadowing and I agree, you did a wonderful job at it. This is you at your best. When you write inspired fiction like this you are writing from your heart and soul and it is beautiful to behold.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Nice twist, Sha! This chapter is even better than the previous ones. Now you've really got me wondering about the purpose of Nathaniel's current visit. I like to see passion and creativity in writing, and you display it here.


J - R - Fr13m9n profile image

J - R - Fr13m9n 2 years ago from Morris County, New Jersey

A story from Heaven.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Bill, I always look forward to your comment on the Faith series. I can gauge my progress as a writer by what you have to say. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Flourish! The story is beginning to open up more quickly to me now. I'm so pleased you're enjoying the story!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

J-R: something like that! :-)


DJ Anderson 2 years ago

Very nice, Sha!

Your story is continuing to bring mystery and a bit of supernatural.

Most intriguing!

Enjoyed the video of the two ladies seeing their mother's spirit.

I believe that entities walk in and out of our lives. Most of the time,

we cannot see them. There are some who are sensitive enough to

see much more than the common person. I believe one can be trained

to 'see' and feel the presence of those who have gone on before.

I am not familiar with the singing artist, Eva Cassidy, but her voice was pure and silky while she sang one of my favorite songs, "Fields of Gold".

All in all, this was an amazing hub.

Great job, Sha!!

DJ.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Totally intriguing! What more can I say, Shauna?

Looking forward to the next chapter :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

DJ, I feel the same as you; that spirits walk among us constantly. I have seen glimpses occasionally - basically out of the corner of my eye. When I focus, they're gone.

I don't know Eva Cassidy either, but I thought the song was appropriate to the story.

I'm glad you're enjoying it!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thanx, Martie. I'm glad to see you here. We've been a bit out of touch. I hope you and your honey are doing well.

Thanx for the positive comment. Coming from a short story teacher, that means a lot.


Barbara Co 2 years ago

Sha: You have an uncanny ability to visualize in your mind the powers of Reiki (Ray-key). Communicating with your Spiritual Advisor from many lives ago. That spirit is guiding your hand as you write. divine breath, the miraculous energy Reiki would show you how to contact your spiritual guide and send the miraculous energy or spirit force to please your audience with the most incredible story as you are doing right now. Your writing is chilling because I feel you have lived it in another life. You can bring to us a remarkable finale to this saga. P.S. I love your "Faith" character because I think she is you in another life and you don't even know it. Build an aura of light around you when you sleep and your answer will appear.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mom, your response intrigues me. I actually 'heard' the first two paragraphs of this chapter when I was in bed. I quickly got up and wrote them down. The rest of the chapter came to me as I wrote. Who or what is Reiki? You've never spoken of her/it before.

Mom, you've given me chills with your response. We will talk. I need to hear what you have to tell me.

Mom, part of my Faith character is me. The part that couldn't make or keep friends easily, although she and I have different reasons for it. I've also always been able to 'see' into others because I see into myself when I need fixing or redirection. So, Faith is very much me. I believe in previous lives for souls who have not met their purpose on Earth. Perhaps you are right about my having lived Faith's life at one time. Perhaps that's why so much time goes by in between our 'conversations'. She needs to know I'm ready.

Wow, Mom! We need to talk!


Barbara Cook 2 years ago

Sha, Reiki is not a person. It means Universal Life Energy! Through spiritual guidance the hands of the Reiki Master is able to locate your pains, discomfort, unhappiness, fears, etc through the power absorbed in the teachers hands by an aura of light he or she receives from their spiritual advisor. Every person has it, but it is generally locked up because of literal mind set. It is used in China, Japan, India and other Eastern cultures. America is dragging their feet in accepting this. Stan and I are trying to locate a Master now. My acupuncturist administers it but I have never given her permission to use it. I will on my next visit. There is a Master in my town and when I have seen her there is a mystical nature about her that signals she has a message for me. I am now ready to receive her. Have to find her phone no. The best book on it is "The healing Power of Reiki" by Raven Keyes. She assists Dr. Oz in the operating room at a hospital in N.Y. She worked with the 9-11 victims and Ground Zero firemen and policemen for 3 years and NFL and NBA pro ball players to help them repair injuries. Reiki lets you discover who exactly you are and your purpose on earth. The answers to all our grief, guilt and bewilderment can be realized and then you can get on with your life doing what you were destined to do. Sound good? It is. I will send you a copy.

Food for thought!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mom, I googled Reiki last night after I responded to your comment. Fascinating! I look forward to the book. You've also provided inspiration for another article. Thanx - you're the best!


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

I'm so pleased to read another chapter today. This one sent shivers down my spine. Your writing is mesmerizing.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you, Crafty. Now get a cup of hot chocolate and warm up! :-)


grandmapearl profile image

grandmapearl 2 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

Shauna, my friend, I don't think you know just how very talented you are! YOU SHOULD BE PUBLISHED. This is good--it's so good! Your characters, their environment, their backgrounds and the mind images you create are awesome. I love how you have developed this suspenseful but very touching story with each installment.

You always leave me wanting more--I am totally immersed!

Happy Holidays Wonder Woman ;) Connie


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Pearl, I've been thinking about you lately and meant to send you an email. Please forgive me for not doing so.

Your comment has swelled my heart with pride and joy; I can't begin to tell you what it means to me. You are such a good friend and staunch supporter. If I had a fan club, you'd be President!

Merry Christmas my sweet friend.

Lots of love,

Shauna


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

This story is continuing to intrigue, its really fascinating, should be an ebook, I said it before! lol!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Nell, as someone who doesn't own an e-reader and prefers to hold a book in my hand, my dream is for this to be a novel that the reader can hold, feel and smell, not to mention make a place for on the bookshelf.

Your encouragement is fuel for my dream. Thank you so much!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Wow, Sha, each chapter is more intriguing than the one before it and leaves one wanting more! Excellent write. Up and more and sharing Blessings, Faith Reaper


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Faith, I am so happy you are enjoying this story. I am becoming more and more intrigued with Faith and her life as she opens up to me.

Thank you for sharing Faith's message.

Love,

Sha


Happyboomernurse 2 years ago

This is my first reading of The Gifts of Faith and it captured my attention from beginning to end! Simply beautiful and very intriguing.

The final paragraph is a perfect ending for this chapter and leaves me craving more.

Great job!

Hugs & Love,

Gail


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Gail, I'm glad you're enjoying The Gifts of Faith. It's my first attempt at something longer than flash fiction. We'll see where it goes!

Love,

Sha

P.S. Merry Christmas!


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Fascinating I've always had close contacts with the world beyond Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a bright and shiny New Year


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Rasma, you'll have to share your stories sometime. I'd love to hear them. Merry Christmas!


klidstone1970 profile image

klidstone1970 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

Mystery and dabbling a touch in the paranormal? You have me totally thinking one way, then yanking me in another direction! I'm loving this.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Kim, I love your comment. I hate it when you can figure a story out before the end. I have no idea how long this story will go on. It seems with each chapter, something new unfolds. I'll keep going until Faith has told me all she wants me to say for her.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Late to the party but thoroughly loving this story and the freedom I see in your style...

The paranormal framework is uniquely presented with your ethereal and graceful style...I, for one, hope Faith has much more for you to say on her behalf...

Beautiful writing, dear Sha!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Maria, I have a feeling Faith has just begun. We shall see - together! I'm thrilled you're enjoying my first short story (novella?) .


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

Oh wow, Nathaniel was like an angel taking mom's cancer. I can't wait to hear how this unfolds. You are a natural at this fictional writing but I see so much of you coming out in the story.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Linda, I take that as a compliment. At this point in my fiction writing endeavors, it's hard to not have a touch of 'me' interwoven into my characters.


DreamerMeg profile image

DreamerMeg 2 years ago from Northern Ireland

I have now caught up with all the stories (I think this is the latest). What an exciting story and what a twist, to find out about Nathaniel. Can't wait to see what comes next!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

DreamerMeg, I need to get onto chapter 6, don't I? I'm glad you like this story.


Ghost32 2 years ago

Aw-w-w...you got me! Beautiful twist. I could usually spot 8 out of 10 of WillStarr's twists ahead of time, but didn't see this coming even one little bit. Event though the worms should have tipped me off (another long story).

Now the question (for me, anyway) is: What's to be done about Nathaniel and his wagon load of worms? Not a good situation, that!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Ghost, you'll just have to stick with the story to see what's to become of Nathaniel. I'm thrilled to have snuck one in on ya! :-)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 2 years ago

I must say Shauna , once again, I am more than impressed here with your writing, I am in awe, and you are just a natural at this literary genre and also very very good at character dialogue which often trips up or is a stumbling point for a lot of short story writers.

Because I am a short form writer myself I have a short attention span for others (lol) especially if it is long, but your style and the perfection of the short story craft is making it easy for me to read and to me that is not only a style of your own but true talent as well.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Epi, your comment blows me away. I'm happy this story is keeping your interest. Thanx for taking the time and being such a loyal friend. Enjoy your day and love to you, Gabriel and Tiffy!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Yes, Hope, What about Nathaniel....? Why is he there? Please tell us!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

You'll find out soon enough, Paula. It seems every time I get ready to reveal Nathaniel's role in the story, a sub-plot pops up. I'll get there, trust me.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Wow Shauna this is extremely gripping. Nathaniel is a mystery. Did he consume any of the cancer? Oh i know, in time it will we revealed. Your story has it all, death, paranormal, friendship that's everlasting and now possibly love? I'll be back.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Ruby, as you say, you'll have to find out. I'm tickled that you keep coming back. Hopefully, when I get this novel completed I'll get the same response.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

I swear I read this before....I loved it then and I love it now. Every chapter draws us into Faith and Sarah's life deeper and deeper and we can't wait to read more. I know I can't.

Forget the ebook this needs to be a real book, Part One.

Voted all but funny. Shared so readers get intrigued and read more!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mary, a real book it will be when I finish it. I prefer to read the old-fashioned way, so that's the way it will be.

Thanx for sharing!

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