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When Angels Sing: Chapter Seven

Updated on July 21, 2016

Welcome Back, My Friends

When I first wrote “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today,” my goal was to write a metaphor of sorts. I’ll leave it to you to discover the meaning of the metaphor, or perhaps to determine if there is more than one metaphor in the book and this, it’s prequel.

I can tell you this, without giving anything away: this story, or collection of stories, or future book, is 90% about love.

And never has this world needed the message of love so badly as now.

Of course, we all say that during our lifetime, don’t we? I’m sure people living during the Great Depression said the same thing….we need love….and people during World War 2….we need love….but this is my story, and my time, so I’m allowed that freedom of opinion….we need love today.

This, then, is my message of love.

Sheila is still ten years old but the calendar has turned to 1970.

A cold morning in Olympia
A cold morning in Olympia | Source

A Cold January Morning

The child Sheila was trudging along by the creek on a snowy Saturday morning in mid-January, a muffled, nearly silent scene of child in nature and nature in child, so one, she was, with all that was natural and so at home in it all, this child was. The flakes fell softly at first, like the beginnings of a drippy faucet with defunct washer, but with each step the child took more flakes fell, and still more, until, after an hour of trudging, the background was fading and the leak was a full-fledged gusher.

She wore her purple overcoat, did this child of love, for purple was her favorite color, purple being the color of lavender, her favorite plant, and on that overcoat were hundreds of red hearts, a color-clash for sure, but the message was not easily mistaken, and that message was I love you and we love us and love is omni-present, and in fact she was whispering those words as she stopped in her tracks amidst the falling snow and then dropped to her knees, her purple coat turning white in the silence of it all.

The creek gurgled nearby, or perhaps it babbled, one can never really be sure with creeks, and the only other sound that could be heard was a slight gasp from the raven-haired child with green eyes and a face of kindness….sort of like “OH” but not quite so pronounced, rather more like “oh” with an emphasis on the surprise and mystery of it all.

She bent down but in truth, she didn’t have far to go, and her tiny hand plucked something from the branch of an azalea and then, as the snow continued to fall and the surroundings continued to turn whiter than white, she abruptly sat down and spoke into her cupped hands.

Ten minutes passed by, then fifteen, then twenty, and the snow fell heavier and the young girl began to resemble the azalea, and the azalea resembled the blackberry bush, and whiteness prevailed as minute thirty-two came and went….and……

The child, abruptly once more, stood up and raced for home.

Inside the old barn
Inside the old barn | Source

And at That Home

From the barn came the sounds of a handsome baritone voice, a voice reminding one of choirs and throaty invocations, a voice which could easily be mistaken for the voice of God, if one were a believer, so deep, so rich, so Mississippi mudlike in quality, and that voice was singing “All You Need Is Love” with no apologies to the Beatles, so beautifully it was sung.

And that voice was attached to a voice box in ways we will never understand, and that voice box was the property of one Sam McCabe, Samuel on his birth certificate but Sam to those who knew him and the name he much preferred. “Call me Sam,” he oft proclaimed and Sam it came to be.

Sam was just finishing the first chorus of his second favorite song when the love of his life sauntered sexily into the barn, not an easy feat, by the way, sauntering in a sexy way, but Heather Miller, his wife, had perfected the feat without really trying. She was THAT lovely in an earthy way, think Mississippi mud once again, and she exuded that loveliness in a bad girl way, a way that suggested she knew a secret, a perfectly naughty secret, and if you were lucky enough she just might share it with you.

And the singing stopped and the two rushed to each other, entwined they soon were, and nature took its course, or began to, for the purely unplanned sexual encounter of these two oversexed human beings ended as quickly as it began with a “Mother, Father” exclamation from outside the barn and getting nearer lickety-split.

Sam had just tugged on his pants, backwards as it turned out, and Heather was busily buttoning her blouse when a snow-covered stalk of lavender walked into the barn, and that lavender had hands and those hands were cupped around a treasure of sorts.

“Mother, Father, look what I found,” said the lavender which of course turned out to be Sheila. “Mother, Father, my best friend has finally arrived and isn’t it just wonderful? Father, why are your pants on backwards?”

Sheila's drawing of Delilah!
Sheila's drawing of Delilah! | Source

Why Indeed, Father?

Sam had no answer for the question and besides, he was a bit out of breath and flushed, but Heather quickly recovered, as she always did, and addressed her special child.

“Sheila, my darling, whatever are you talking about? What best friend and from where did this friend arrive and oh, my goodness, your father does get confused occasionally, wrong shoes on the wrong feet, shirt turned inside out, pants on backwards, it’s just your father, Sheila, and no worry to you. Now tell me, darling, about this best friend.”

“Mother, Father, it’s Delilah, of course,” and with that the beyond-adorable child opened her hands and showed her parents a…….

Ladybug!

Yes, the tiny hand held a tiny ball of orange and black, barely noticeable in nature, and isn’t that sad, when you think about it, one of the kindest, most gentle of all bugs, merely an afterthought in the natural order of things, as though kindness and gentleness were not valued by nature, but of course that’s silly, now isn’t it, and….oh, my goodness, this narrator apologizes for his untimely ramblings…back to the story.

Mother and Father, a.k.a. Heather and Sam, made the sounds of exclamation and surprise that were expected for they knew, as parents know, how important this bug was to their daughter although, in truth, they were clueless.

“Oh, she is lovely, darling,” gushed Heather.

“A prettier ladybug I’ve never seen,” chimed in Sam. “Very pleased to meet you, Delilah,” he added.

“And you say she is your best friend, Sheila?”inquired Heather.

“Indeed she is, Mother, Father,” the child said. “She and I have wonderful adventures ahead of us. Delilah will be the Maid-of-Honor at my wedding, and she will be of assistance for me as I live out my destiny, and of course she will provide comfort to me and, well, she will do what best friends do. To others she is just a miniature, insignificant creature, but she is so much more to me.”

And then the ladybug flew from Sheila’s hands and landed on Sam’s nose, sat there for a count of five, and then did the same to Heather’s nose, five more counts, and then returned to Sheila’s hands.

“My goodness,” said Heather. “What was that all about? And it seemed to me, silly old me, that Delilah was smiling when she perched on my nose. Is that even possible, lady bugs smiling?”

In response the young girl simply smiled and, as often happened when she smiled, the room seemed to brighten, and when she spoke she did not directly answer the question because, well, that was not her way.

“What was that song you were singing earlier, Father, as I was approaching the barn?”

“A song by the Beatles, my cherub, called ‘All You Need Is Love,’” replied her loving and adoring father.

“Mother,” said the time-travelling ten-year old. “That is the answer to your question. Anything is possible where love resides.”

And with That We Will……

Well, we will take a break for a week, and return in seven days with another installment of the story that would be a book, the little literary engine that could, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..

Thank you for joining me, and of course, Heather, Sam, Sheila and Delilah thank you as well. You are all appreciated.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc) #greatestunknownauthor

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 10 months ago from New York, New York

      Never will I argue with your message of love here and very much enjoying the story thus far. Thanks as always Bill and wishing you a wonderful Wednesday now!! :)

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 10 months ago

      How wonderful, Delilah is a tiny creature I can appreciate and understand.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine and Happy Wednesday to you. We are heading to a farmers' market soon to sell eggs, so I hope you have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      She is indeed, Pop, but oh so very important.

      Thanks for riding along on this one my political firebrand friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 10 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I love ladybugs. My favorite toe ring was a ladybug that got lost somehow. And, I love this story! Thank you...

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      Well, Deliliah has been around a while. It's so nice to hear about her back story. :)

      Bill, if I may be frank, your voice in this instalment seems different from the past ones. Maybe it's the virus I'm fighting that's making it difficult to focus. But it seems like someone else took over the storytelling. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'll have to sleep on it.

      While I think of it, your Amazon link could look better if the module accepts HTML code. I could come up with one for you to try out if you like. Happy Hump Day, btw.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 10 months ago from New Delhi, India

      This story sounds so absorbing to me! I will read the other chapters too as I am curious .

      Thanks for another flavour of your work! A very good day to you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I love frank, Zulma. It is a different voice than my normal writing voice. I am shooting for whimsical and quite frankly I'm not sure how I feel about it, either. That's what this is for, a testing ground to gauge reaction.

      Thanks for the offer...i don't know what a module is so I have no idea what you are talking about. LOL I am brain-dead when it comes to tech talk.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      As I said, I'll have to think about the voice so I'l get back to you on it.

      A module is what HP refers to as the different sections that make up a hub. For example, where all your writing appears is called a text module. Pictures are in photo modules, videos in video modules, etc. I know HP is fussy about links in the hubs so they don't allow much in the way of HTML but I'm thinking a hyperlink to your book would look much neater.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Ruby! Ladybugs are my favorite insects and always will be.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, ChitrangadaSharan...i'm so glad you like it. Best wishes to you, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, that would be helpful....if you can do that for me I'll be very appreciative, Zulma. Thank you!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 10 months ago

      I love your message of love. It’s a neat story, Bill, and I hope you want honest criticism here. As a fantasy buff and fellow writer, it is beginning to get a little syrupy. Don’t overdo the descriptions. Maybe Phoenix2327 is right here, the voice is different.

      I like the idea of ladybugs and have always loved them, especially the red ones. All my life I was told that they don’t bite. This spring I rescued an orange ladybug from my car before I was about to drive off, and the darned thing bit me. I let it go and decided that the next orange ladybud could just ride along or fall off, whatever. I guess it wanted to hitchhike to town and I spoiled that. Be careful that Delilah doesn’t bite Sam or Heather on the nose!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 10 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great read!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 10 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wonderful story. And your narration of it is awesome with beautiful descriptions of the scenes and feelings of the characters. I admire it so much. And waiting for the next instalment with eagerness.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh MizB, I don't mind criticism at all. No worries! This is an experiment for me, especially the third person whimsical approach. What it looks like when I finally write this book is anyone's guess, but feedback helps. Thank you! And I've never had a ladybug bite me, but Bev has. It just goes to show that ladybugs have good taste. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Larry! I appreciate that.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      Right, I've sent you an email with the code in it. Just copy and paste and cross your fingers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Venkatachari M. I'm having great fun writing it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Zulma!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 10 months ago from london

      Cool! A ladybird, eh? To be at Sheila's wedding too. Interesting take on mom and dad trying to get their clothes on. Sweet and charming story, as usual.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      I've just sent you a corrected code. Hope it works.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

      Goodness, there's more sex in this than most novels I read. I'm wondering if you shouldn't try another genre as an experiment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Fanciful all the way, Manatita...and having fun writing it. :) Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Long day of farmers' market yesterday. I'll try the new code soon...thanks again, Zulma!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Nah, I don't think is, Flourish, but it's fun to play around with it in a very suggestive way. Thanks for making me chuckle.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 10 months ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Bill, I am thinking that as some point, only to be fair to Sam and Heather, you will need to leave Sheila out of an installment of this story of love. Otherwise, this is a delightful story that I am enjoying very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, it's funny, Sam suggested the same thing to me. LOL Thanks, buddy!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 10 months ago from sunny Florida

      well, bill...this took an unexpected turn ...didn't see this coming...but I suppose I should have. Leave out the Mother, Father? Not for a minute. It is the 'almost getting caught' that makes it delicious!!!

      Angels are headed your way ps

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 10 months ago from Texas

      That ladybug must have a rather long life expectancy, but then again any friend of Sheila's likely does.

      You made me think of when my children tried to keep a ladybugs as a pet. Sweet memories. LOL thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you PS.....I'm so happy you enjoyed my trip to the fanciful. Blessings and hugs heading your way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, when your owner can bring you back from the dead, what's a life expectancy? LOL Thanks for riding along with me on this one. I'm having fun writing it. Nobody gets shot in this story. LOL

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 10 months ago from Dubai

      With Shela around the ladybug is saved. Love the song by Beatles. What is going to unfold in the story next, I wonder.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thanks for riding along on this journey. What's next? As soon as my muse tells me, I'll tell you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 10 months ago from The Caribbean

      Love, family and nature (in more than one from) are great ingredients in your story. Thanks for a really good read!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate the kind words, Dora. Love and family will always be strong elements in my stories, and the environment was a central theme in the original book. All important to me.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton

      your writing is wonderful.. it does evoke emotions, values.. and I feel it's brought me to a time when everything could be peaceful..yet.. I love when the angel sing series.. awesome :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I really appreciate your observation, Frank. Thank you so much.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 10 months ago from Florida

      A lovely and charming story as always. The simplistic tale of love and all which that entails in all different ways; the parents who love each other, and then the child who loves the parents, and how they all love each other in that special family way. Maybe a bit more special than even a usual everyday family loves. I like how the love of nature always makes an appearance in these chapters. I love the Beatles, and they had it right when they wrote and sang "All We Need Is Love." I'm enjoying this story of love. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 10 months ago from United Kingdom

      Okay, now that I've finally shifted that virus I've reread the hub. I'm still not sure about this new voice. Maybe it's because I've grown accustomed to your regular voice that I find this sudden shift of gears a little jarring. Having said that, I think it's more suitable for Sheila than for her folks. I guess when it come to kids, whimsical seems to fit better.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you MIssy! I love writing about love in a metaphorical sort of way. I'm so glad you are enjoying it. I'll be by to see your latest very soon.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's all right, Zulma; I'm still not sure about the new voice either. It is foreign to me to write in a whimsical way. I'll just have to give it a fair trial and then decide. Thank you for your honest opinion.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 9 months ago

      Another good tale from the heart and mind.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for those kind words, Dee! I do appreciate you being here.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 9 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      You intertwine themes of goodness and love effortlessly...a sweet and tender installment. Moving on and smiling ... Love, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, that's what I was shooting for...sweet and tender. Thank you my sweet and tender friend.

      love,

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 9 months ago

      Hi Bill.

      Unexpected presence of a ladybug in a snowy/cold January morning, opens an appetite for more extreme expectation of your intriguing story inspired by ever present life of love… ( I might be missing core of true meaning this time.)

      Peace with us.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Michael my friend, I don't think you missed anything at all. Thank you! Ladybugs in the winter? Anything is possible when love is shared.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 9 months ago from Central Florida

      I'm so glad Delilah made her appearance. Odd that she'd come into Sheila's life in the middle of snowfall, but then nothing about Sheila is ordinary. Delilah is destined to live a very long, interesting life as she and Sheila embark upon the 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 9 months ago

      Interesting thought about having a lady bug as a life long friend :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 9 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Through nature, we learn what we need in order to carry on with life.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I did that on purpose. If I'm going to make this a fantasy, then ladybug in the snow is perfectly normal. LOL I love the freedom that fantasy gives me...almost uncontrolled freedom.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      They are very loyal friends, Sparrow! Try one the next time you see one. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Deb! Now we have to teach their meaning to others.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 9 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      Did you know that in Ancient Rome purple was the 'imperial' color? Only the absolute ruler, the Emperor himself was allowed to wear a purple robe! (only a boring history lover can come up with that I know!) but here in the story Sheila's wearing a purple overcoat with hearts on it, as if carrying it's own message that the ruler of the universe sent us a gift in love!

      Just a small question, when Sheila stopped in the snow was it to 'revive' Deliliah?

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, I did know that about purple...an old history teacher better know that...and yes to the Delilah question.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 9 months ago from SW England

      Absolutely delightful, bill! I love ' a voice... so deep, so rich, so Mississippi mudlike in quality' - wonderful imagery and imagery that one can hear!

      I'm catching up slowly with these chapters of your story. Each one is a welcome break from everyday 'stuff''.

      Hope you have a great weekend and I hope Bev is feeling much better.

      A wondrous wakeful wistful weekend, bill!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw, thanks, Ann! I was kind of fond of the "Mississippi mudlike" phrase myself. LOL

      Happy Sunday to you!

      bill

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