The Story of Hope Continues: Into the Void
How It All Began
I’ve been asked before where inspiration comes from, and in truth, I have no idea. I don’t know how the creative process happens. One day nothing and the next day my muse is screaming in my ear, demanding that a story be told. So it was with Hope.
This series began with a story called “A Child Named Hope,” and the opening lines were:
“And the child was born, and as she grew it became apparent that this was a special child. Her golden hair reflected sunlight on sunny days, and during the gloom of winter she seemed to absorb the darkness, so that those in her proximity felt warmth where there was cold.
By the time she was eight she was sought by millions, all longing to be near her, to touch her, to bask in her peacefulness, and to hear her words. Every week, every Saturday, in a field of lavender, she met with those who had come from distant shores, and she answered their questions with patience, and with love.”
There have been six separate but related short stories since, each leading to this new installment. I have decided to write a novel based on these characters, and I’ll begin work on it shortly after the first of the New Year. In the meantime, as I await the arrival of my “book muse,” I invite you to enjoy this continuing series of short stories.
- 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.
In a Field of Lavender
The five friends frolicked on a sunny day in central Oregon. Hope, Mercy, Pas, Honor, and Glory, all special individuals, all with incredible gifts, but on this day, average in their pursuit of relaxation and enjoyment.
They played with reckless abandon as though they sensed that their childhoods were coming to an end. There was serious business to attend to, serious matters that demanded their attention, serious issues that must be addressed soon if mankind had any chance at all of reaching its potential.
Hope was the leader of the group, although barely eleven years old and reluctant to be called a leader. Her vocabulary was greatly advanced for her years, and she spoke with the confidence of a veteran speaker. She was quiet and unassuming in person; she most definitely did not seek attention, but attention was given nonetheless, for who could not notice her inherent gifts? She was the personification of gentleness and yet, when she spoke, it was with the collective power of a thousand pile-drivers, pounding a message of hope onto all who listened. So it was on this day.
She called her playmates to her side. “We have work to do, my friends. This is the last day of childhood for us all, and although that reality is accompanied with a certain amount of sadness, there is also joy in knowing that we are needed and what we do is crucial.”
One of the newest members, Glory, raised her hand. “Hope, there are only five of us. We are all so young. Can we really change things in this world?”
Hope reached out and held Glory’s hands. “My grandmother and grandfather believed strongly that we should never underestimate the power of a small group of determined people. Change begins with individuals like us. It would be lovely to think that the government will take care of the needy. It would be lovely to think that civilization will suddenly embrace love, and that all men and women will, from this day forward, treat each other with respect and compassion. But the only way those things will happen is if individuals become the instruments of the change they want to see.
“We are the instruments, and it is time for us to play our sweet song. Now come, my friends. It is time to put away our childhood playthings and move on to more serious business.”
Honor raised his hand. “But Hope, where do we begin? How do we begin?”
“Hold hands, all of you, and follow me. I’ll answer Honor’s question in a few minutes.”
Looking down on the City Below
Hope led her companions to a bluff that overlooked their city. The homes and business spread out before them. From their vantage point the vehicles looked like ants busily moving about as thousands of citizens conducted the business of life.
“Look below,” Hope said. “Down there are fathers out of work. Down there are mothers struggling to provide for their children. Down there are human beings crippled by addiction, smothered by financial problems, and drained of all tears. Homes are being foreclosed, bread lines are increasing in number, and businesses are closing. Walk among those people and you will see eyes devoid of joy. You will see tears and anger, uncertainty and fear.
“Where do we begin, Honor? We begin here. We begin now. And when our work is done here, we will move to the next city, and the next, and we will take our message to the internet, the televisions, and the radios. We will demand to be heard, not by shouting but rather through our actions. Come…follow me….let us begin.”
Into the Bowels of the City They Went
Hand in hand they walked into the great city. Hope led them to an abandoned factory, once the workplace for thousands of men and women but now, a symbol of a failed economy. The five children stood in the empty employee parking lot. Mercy turned and looked at the emptiness around them all, then turned back to Hope.
“This place is empty, Hope. What can we do here?”
The words had barely escaped her lips when the children noticed people approaching from all directions; first a trickle but then hundreds. Children and adults, people of all races and creeds, they all walked steadily to the factory and encircled the five young messengers. Hope stood atop an empty wooden crate and gazed out at the throng, now numbering in the thousands. She raised her arms to silence the crowd, and then spoke to them.
“I understand. I hear the cry of a wounded sparrow, and I feel the pain of a hungry infant. I know how you feel, and I want you to know that you will never be alone. My friends and I are here for you. All that is left for you to do is embrace us.
“Wherever there is someone down and out, I will be there. Wherever there is oppression and apathy, Mercy will be there. Wherever there is war and bloodletting, Pas will be there. Wherever there is disgrace and shame, there you will find Honor. And wherever there is humiliation, Glory will be there. These things I promise to you, but I also promise you that if you are not willing, then none of us will stay among you, for we can only be useful to you if you find it in your hearts to change the world with us.
“Will you join us?”
Should this story be made into a novel?
Another Day Ends
The parents of these special children arrived in a van and drove them back to the farmhouse located in the beautiful river valley. It was not easy sharing their precious wards with those who were needy. There were times they were frightened, for the world is a scary place, and exposing your child to the ills of the world is not an act taken lightly, but they knew their children were needed. They knew, instinctively, that one does not hoard Hope, nor does one tuck away in a vault Mercy, Peace, Honor or Glory. These precious messengers must be shared with all if mankind is to have any chance of flying with the angels in a higher realm of existence.
This will be the final short story in this series. Next week I’ll preview the upcoming book with the first chapter. I hope you like it, and I thank you for the support and encouragement you have given as this remarkable child has grown before your eyes.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)