Pas is Born: A Short Story with Hope and Mercy
The Inspiration for This Story
I do listen to my followers and friends. I am a creative writer, and in order for me to improve, I need to stretch my wings, be willing to fly over deep canyons, and trust that my writing abilities will keep me from harm. Isn’t that what I’m always preaching?
During the past month I have written three stories about two magical children, Hope and Mercy. The stories were well-received for sure, and why wouldn’t they be? We all want to believe in those children, don’t we? We all want to believe that they exist and that their healing powers can right wrongs.
I was pretty much done with the series when a friend of mine, Zulma, wrote the following:
I don't suppose Hope and Mercy would consider adopting a brother into their family? Maybe? Possibly? :)
So there you are, the genesis and inspiration for the story that follows.
Thank you, Zulma!
- A Child Named Hope: A Moment with Bill Reflection
Sit down, get comfortable, and allow me to tell you about a very special little girl
- Hope Stands Among the Poor of Spirit
The second chapter in the Story of Hope
- The Story of Mercy: Ann's Challenge
The story of a remarkable young woman. Some of you may know her. Some of you will meet her soon.
A Child Is Born
Tucked away in the northeast corner of Montana, close to the Canadian border, is an orphanage, The Sacred Heart Home for Children. The vast forest embraces the main building, wrapping its primeval arms around it, making it one with the foliage.
Few know of its existence; fewer, still, even care. Here you will find the unwanted, the discarded, and the forgotten. It is the last stop for those children who have slipped through the cracks of society.
It is run by a delightful and loving couple, Delores and Tom Banks, childless themselves, but determined to give love where love is needed. Their home is a safe place for thirty-two children, ranging in age from one to seventeen, and a more loving place you will never find.
Tom is the handyman, the fixer, the provider of all physical needs, and each day finds him pounding nails here, fixing fences there, always with a smile on his face and a word of encouragement for the children who help him with his chores. Delores provides the intangibles, the hugs, the tenderness, and the unbridled declarations of love.
Some of the children eventually find homes with adults who come in search of fulfillment; some never find homes and remain with Delores and Tom until they can fend for themselves in the world beyond the forest.
One dark, gloomy, morning, Tom rose early, as was his habit, and left the house to begin his day of chores. Opening the door he spied a bundle, and wrapped in that bundle was a baby, no more than a month or two in age. Gently Tom picked up the bundle and took it into the grand meeting room, where a fire blazed in the hearth. He called out to Delores, who came immediately, and then they both took the first tentative steps toward providing a home for this bundle of joy.
A beautiful boy he was, with curly brown hair and stunning green eyes, the green of a deep pool of water. The child’s smile was infectious, and soon the other children of the orphanage gathered around and welcomed their new brother.
After some serious discussion and debate, for all the children had suggestions, the name of the child was put up to a vote, and once the tally was in, Pas was officially a member of the human race.
Ten Years Pass
The President of the United States stood in the Oval Office, staring out the window of that great room, with his trusted friend and advisor standing nearby.
“Where is this child?” the President asked.
“Sir, he lives in an orphanage in Montana. The place is operated by Tom and Delores Banks, a childless couple. According to our sources, the child was left on the doorstep of the orphanage ten years ago. The parents are unknown, and we really have very little to go on. All we know is what we are told at this point, that the child has some rather special powers.”
“Do we consider the child a threat?”
“Oh, no, sir, but he is remarkable. It is said that wild animals befriend him, that storms calm as they pass overhead of the orphanage, and that people who see this child feel….well….at peace. It is also said that his eyes are mesmerizing. Rumors are flying fast and furious, as you might suspect. Some think the child is a hoax. Some think this is the work of the supernatural. Since Mr. and Mrs. Banks are rather protective of the child, there really is no substance to any of these rumors.”
“And the child’s name is what?”
“That’s a rather odd name, isn’t it? Does it have some significance?”
“Sir, I’m told that ‘Pas’ stands for peace.”
“Fine. Let’s find out for ourselves before we do anything else. Send your aid, Marci, out to Montana and have her compile some information about this Pas. I want this kept quiet, understand? We don’t need the voters thinking that we chase after wild geese, certainly not a goose named Peace.”
Two Days Later
Tom and Delores welcomed their official visitor and took her into the living room, where they all sat with tea to discuss the matters at hand. Marci was, in fact, Miss Marci O’Brien, aide to the Secretary of Homeland Defense. She was thirty-four years old, a political junkie in D.C. who wanted nothing more than to serve her country with honor. She was unmarried, easy to smile, and possessed an I.Q. of one-fifty, with a Political Science degree from Stanford and a masters in Governmental Studies from Georgetown.
Yes, unmarried, but not because of a lack of suitors, for Miss O’Brien was an Irish beauty with long, flowing red hair, hazel eyes, dimples, and enough freckles to feed fantasies for years. She was smiling as she took her first sip of the peppermint tea.
“Thank you for meeting with me, Mr. and Mrs. Banks. I really do appreciate you taking the time, and I apologize for the unannounced intrusion. If you could tell me everything you know about this child, Pas, and then, if you would be so kind, allow me to meet the child.”
Delores set her tea cup down and folded her hands in her lap. “I’m sorry, Miss O’Brien, but Pas is no longer with us. As for telling you about him, really all we can tell you is that he was left on our doorstep ten years ago, and now he is gone.”
“Gone! My sources had the child here two days ago. Where is he if he isn’t here? The President of the United States has requested information about this child, and it’s my job to please the President.”
“Yes, Pas is gone,” Tom said. “As for where he is, we really aren’t at liberty to tell you that, Miss O’Brien. We are very protective of our children, and we have an ironclad rule never to give out that type of information. All we can tell you is that Pas was adopted and it was a marvelous union. We are very pleased with the outcome, and Pas is as happy as we have ever seen him. It would serve no purpose in telling you of his whereabouts.”
“Excuse me for saying this, Mr. Banks, but that really isn’t your decision to make. Listen, folks, I’m not the enemy. I understand your concerns for your children, and I highly respect you for the work that you do, but the President of the United States wants information about this child, and it’s my job to secure that information. I really need you to tell me where Pas is?”
Delores smiled at her visitor. “Miss O’Brien, do you believe in Hope and Mercy?”
Marci took a moment to consider that rather strange question.
“Of course I believe in hope and mercy. I represent the government of the United States of America. What kind of a government would it be that didn’t believe in hope and mercy? But I really don’t see what that has to do with the location of Pas.”
Delores and Tom rose, signaling the end of the meeting. Delores took Marci’s arm and steered her to the front door. “Miss O’Brien, all I can tell you is that Pas can be found where Hope and Mercy reside. Now, I hope you have a safe trip back to Washington D.C. It really was lovely meeting you.”
Marci climbed into her rental car and made her way to Missoula, where she would catch a plane bound for the nation’s capital. What a strange answer to my question, she thought. What in the world am I going to tell the President? He will never be satisfied with my report that Pas now lives where hope and mercy are found. The Banks couple seemed nice, but they are obviously delusional.
Meanwhile, in Oregon
The young boy named Pas ran through the field of lavender, his laughter spreading outward like ripples in a pond when a stone hits the surface. He crested the hill and looked down on his new home. His adopted sisters, Hope and Mercy, saw him and waved. Their smiles were radiant, and they opened their arms as Pas ran down the hill towards them.
The three of them hugged, and as they did the birds flew overhead, chirping in celebration. Animals large and small came from the forest, clouds parted, and the warm wind caressed them. Mercy looked at her brother and sister.
“Come. We have much work to do. The world needs us.”
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)