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When Angels Sing: Chapter Six

Updated on July 14, 2016

Welcome Back Once Again

I do so appreciate you taking the time to read these chapters. In case you are new to the story, this is the prologue to my first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday to Today,” published five years ago. When this will become a full-length book is anyone’s guess, but in the meantime I’m giving you a sneak preview.

The year is 1969 and the main character, Sheila, is now ten years old.

If you’ve never met Sheila then hold onto your seat because you are in for a treat. Hey, that rhymed! How cool!

On the farm
On the farm | Source

The book that inspired this story

Sitting Around the Kitchen Table

Heather and Sam were enjoying a breakfast of bran and fresh fruit one sunny summer morning. The birds perched on the limb outside the window gladly sang to them as the couple read the newspaper.

“Archie really does love Veronica, you know,” said Heather between bites.

“Woodstock is in two weeks, my love,” said Sam, wiping his mouth with his sleeve. “We really should attend. It promises to be quite the event.”

“But I think he also loves Betty,” replied Heather. “What a tangled web he weaves.”

“It would take us about four days to reach New York, provided our old Chevy doesn’t break down,” chimed in Sam as he carried his dishes to the sink, a piece of banana stuck to his cheek.

“Thank the gods for Jughead,” piped in Heather as she smiled at her husband.

And so it went that morning until Sheila, lovely Sheila, Sheila of infinite gifts and really the anchor of this family and yes, hope for the future, walked into the kitchen. Before a word was spoken she kissed her mother, kissed her father and blew a kiss to those birds on the limb outside the window, for Sheila believed in the sanctity of all life.

“Good morning, Sheila,” said Heather and Sam almost simultaneously.

“I’m going to get married,” replied Sheila, and suddenly her mother and father found their collective focus.

Sheila's favorite tree
Sheila's favorite tree | Source

Providing Clarity

Sam turned to Heather.

“I guess we won’t be going to Woodstock, not with a wedding to plan.”

“And my goodness gracious, Archie will just have to work it out without my help,” said Heather, pacing the kitchen rapidly. “There are plans to be made, people to be invited, flowers to pick and songs to write. Our daughter is getting married! Oh, what a wondrous event!”

Heather and Sam were, of course, being a bit facetious because, well, they were a playful couple who so enjoyed a good laugh, but they also knew somewhere buried in their daughter’s proclamation was a kernel of truth.

“Mother, Father, please stop being silly willies,” Sheila implored. “I’m not getting married soon, of course, and I suspect you are teasing me so ha-ha and all that, but I am getting married in thirty-two years, three months, two weeks and four days, to a man named Bill Hollis, and I thought you should know so you can make plans. I know how you both love making plans, so I’m giving you fair advanced warning.”

“And who is this Bill Hollis, darling?” inquired Heather.

“Right now, Mother, he is a young man living a perfectly normal life, but when I marry him he will be an alcoholic and a night-shift cook at McDonald’s. I’m afraid, Mother, Father, he’ll be quite a mess by the time we cross paths, but you know how we all love a challenge and, well, Bill will certainly be a handful.”

“That’s lovely, Sheila,” said Heather. “Now, what should I wear to this wedding of yours?”

And Life Goes On

The family did not go to Woodstock that August, and the sexual desires of Archie, Veronica and Betty did not climax, so to speak, that summer of love, but life did go on.

The child Sheila continued to do those things that time-traveling mystical healers do when they are children, meaning she danced in the rain, sang duets with the chipmunks and discussed environmental concerns with other resident wildlife.

One such discussion happened the afternoon of August 29th under the spreading canopy of the oldest maple on the farm, nicknamed “The Splendid Splinter” by her father, some baseball reference Sheila did not understand and, at the risk of insulting her father, did not care to understand. Anyway, there she was, under “The Splinter,” drinking a glass of lemonade and talking about the environment with Clarice, a five-year old raccoon and the mother of six rambunctious babies newly-born.

Perhaps “talking” is a bit of a stretch because, of course, not a sound came from Clarice. Perhaps it would make more sense if this narrator said Sheila “communicated” with Clarice, for communication can be done without the use of the English language, or raccoon language, for that matter.

“You must make them understand,” communicated Clarice while licking her youngest and thus cleaning his fur.

“But the world is not ready to listen yet,” communicated in similar fashion the young Sheila. “The nature of man is that he/she must suffer greatly before change can happen. People must, unfortunately die first. The Earth must, unfortunately, suffer greatly before change can happen. Only when a sufficient amount of suffering has occurred will man be willing to listen and actually do something.”

“Why is man like that, Sheila?” communicated Clarice.

“I wish I knew, Clarice,” communicated Sheila as she wiped a tear from her eye.

“Is there hope for us?” asked Clarice.

“Perhaps not for us, Clarice, but I do believe there is hope for our children if I can make people listen to me. Now I really must go. Mother is baking an apple pie this afternoon and my goodness, I simply must have a piece while I’m watching Star Trek. You take care of those children, Clarice, and I’ll see you soon.”

The child Sheila raced back to the old farmhouse and found her mother in the kitchen. Of course she kissed her mother and told her she loved her, for that’s what people do with loved ones.

“Did you have a nice time, Sheila?”

“A simply fabulous time, Mother.”

“And what were you doing under the Splinter?”

“Saving the world, Mother, with the help of Clarice.”

“That’s lovely, darling. Will Clarice be able to attend your wedding?”

And as her mother cut a piece of pie for Sheila to eat, her father was outside chopping wood and singing in his lovely baritone voice…..

“Love is but a song we sing
fears' the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
or make the angels cry

Though the bird is on the wing
and you may not know why

*Come on people now
smile on your brother
everybody get together
and try to love one another right now.”

So it was that summer of 1969, in Olympia, Washington, on the farm with Heather, Sam and their daughter Sheila. Big events rose in the distance, storm clouds on the horizon, the frightening harbingers of change, necessary for sure, for man has always needed pain as a motivator, and pain was approaching from the west, the east, the north, south and….from….within.

Thanks for Joining Me

And I’ll return next week with another chapter of this future-book. I appreciate you taking the time to read my musings.

2016 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila sends her love, Sparrow!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There is much truth in that, Deb, and there is a great deal of Bev and Bill in this story.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 13 months ago

      Sheila is delightful :) You have wonderful creativity :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 13 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Bev and Bill...Bev and Bill...Bev and Bill, and from the depths of the canyon, the child is....(grin)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Lawrence. I appreciate that.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      By the way, I believe Congratulations are in order to you and Bev (Sorry for being so late with them!)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Of that there is no doubt, Lawrence. Better weather is approaching, my friend.

      Thank you!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill

      A perfect antidote to a cold blustery day in the middle of winter. A warm sunny story about hope! Storm clouds may be gathering but I'm sure the family will come through.

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aw, thanks Sha! If I had 100 more like you I might actually make some money as a writer. LOL Delilah, Sheila and I thank you!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 13 months ago from Central Florida

      Bill, Delilah must have been riding on your shoulder for this chapter. Exquisitely written, full of life, humor, and my own memories, this chapter leaves me wanting more. I smiled at Sheila's reference to Bill Hollis. It brought images from the 12/59 Shuttle to mind. I think I'll have to read it again. It still is my favorite of yours, as I've mentioned many times.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, that is too funny about your mom and the Archie comics. I'll be smiling about that all day long. Thank you!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 13 months ago from Northern California, USA

      This episode took me way back to the days when my mom and I (yes, my mom) read the Archie comics. Many times there were conversations about who Archie cared more about - Veronica or Betty. There was a lot that could be read between the lines. Anyway, I'm catching up slowly but surely. I love this series.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, I think you are getting it very right. This was always meant to be a metaphor in the disguise of a fantasy story. I would say you got it very right indeed, and thank you for seeing the message.

      blessings always and Happy Weekend to you!

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 13 months ago

      Am I getting it right ? One can not but take seriously your clandestine message revealed by Sheila. The whole creation goes through stages of pain associated with changes: a grain dies to its original form once out of the "sleeping (dead) life" is being born the multiple life in a new form ... Perhaps Sheila would come out with a courteous answer to my initiated unflinching thoughts . Eh?

      Good night my friend, and blessings to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, she does indeed, Vellur. In the novel they live a very good life. Love does conquer all, my friend.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 14 months ago from Dubai

      Sheila marrying an alcoholic is difficult to envision, wish life would surprise her with better things. But being a special child, she will be able to overcome any difficulty.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Dora. My mind works in mysterious ways.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 14 months ago from The Caribbean

      Sheila's 32-year prediction got my attention. You manage to come up with story elements that are truly unique. Great work!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Missy, I hope you do too. I'll mention you to Sheila and see what she can do for you. :) As always, you are appreciated.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 14 months ago from Florida

      I'm like Frank, I'm enjoying this story a lot and I caught myself humming the song too. lol. It is a great song and I am glad you reminded me of it in one of my hubs, I too used it in the next one I wrote.

      I wish I could borrow Sheila. I wonder what she would tell me of my fated future. I hope I find a way to become successful enough to travel the world. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Dee, I don't know if you and I will see it in our lifetime, but I hope your wish comes true in the near future. Thank you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 14 months ago

      "The Earth must, unfortunately, suffer greatly before change can happen. Only when a sufficient amount of suffering has occurred will man be willing to listen and actually do something.” This is a picture of world today. Profound! I sang the tune at the end -- if we can only get along and love each other. Blessings, dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, MIke. It's always nice of you to stop by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      A little humor tossed in with the supernatural, Rasma! Isn't fiction fun?

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 14 months ago from Missouri

      I love everything you do, Bill. Original and thoughtful, bringing a moment of happiness into our often dreary worlds with your upbeat words. Thank you Sir. This story is a good one and I am looking forward to your next installment.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 14 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      Really enjoying this. Love how Sheila speaks about her future marriage.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shannon. I'm having fun writing these chapters. I can be playful and still deliver a message.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 14 months ago

      For a second, I thought we jumped ahead in time to Sheila actually planning a wedding. I like how you presented the breakfast conversation. It reminds me of how many messenger chats seem to go. LOL Two conversations at once. Yet neither one of them seemed to mind.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, that is kind of you. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      True words Laurinzo!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I miss quite a few, Ruby! HP is not what it once was, for sure. You and I are some of the oldsters still kicking around, and I appreciate you very much.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton

      You know billybuc I find this ongoing piece slick and entertaining.. I also caught myself humming the tune to the lyrics....:) another great chapter my friend.. :)

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 14 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

      amen to that "always exploring" met some realllly good folks through here!!!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 14 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This was a delightful episode, bringing some of my favorite comic characters back. Fossi took Martie and me to Woodstock, we had a blast. Which was a hub, of course. I miss her. She no longer writes on HP, so many are gone. Sigh!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Duh! You're right, of course, Zulma!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Manatita....she is easily my favorite character of all the ones I've created.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 14 months ago from United Kingdom

      No 'darn it'. Have you forgotten Sheila can time travel and take others with her?;)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 14 months ago from london

      Actually, it's already getting better, Bill, and Sheila as usual is awesome. Great imagination you have. Nice one!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, just consider me your travel agent. Hop on board the Holland Express for a trip through fantasy land.

      Thanks, buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      At the very least, Zulma, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young would have written a song about her. LOL Now that I think about it, I'm sorry she didn't make it there too. Darn it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I promise you that Sheila will always be interesting. She's someone I wish I knew...oh, wait, I'm married to her!!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you whonu! Sheila gets all the credit this time. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, welcome to the story where the unusual is the usual. LOL Thanks for stopping by...it's always good to see you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Laurinzo, that is kind of you. Thank you and it's good to see you again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, Flourish! And then we have the hunters and all they see is meat. I'll never understand it.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 14 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a wonderful vacation you have planned for me each week. Yes a bit short but truly a respite from the travails of this world.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 14 months ago from United Kingdom

      It's a shame the family couldn't make it to Woodstock. I would love to have read what the crowd would have made of Sheila and her amazing gifts. They probably would have declared her a Goddess and followed her anywhere.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 14 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Sheila is certainly an interesting person! I'm enjoying learning about her special abilities.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 14 months ago from United States

      I enjoy your work very much my friend. You always have meaningful content. whonu

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 14 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Well, Sheila has a bit of wisdom going, doesn't she? "Only when a sufficient amount of suffering has occurred will man be willing to listen and actually do something.” Sounds like somebody I know, and know very well. Thanks Bill, for letting yourself seep through these characters in such an entertaining fashion.

      They missed Woodstock to plan a wedding roughly 33 years in the future? Now that's dedication.

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 14 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

      You never have disappointed in the writing department.. I see that that is still true Mr Billybucce indeed!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 14 months ago from USA

      I like Sheila's connection with animals. I wish more people appreciated them as she does. Seeing deer, especially with theit baby fawns, makes me feel like there is an amazing connection between us and all creatures.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Larry! That means a lot to me.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 14 months ago from Oklahoma

      Another great read.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      She is for sure, Ruchira! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so very much, venkatachari M. I'm so happy you enjoy this story and my fanciful characters.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 14 months ago from United States

      Sheila is a strong character...good write up!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 14 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Beautiful. Sheila is very nice in informing her parents about a marriage 32 years ahead. Her parents are also nice and understand and love her very affectionately. The story is going beautifully.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Not a thing she says stuns them, Linda, and ain't that cool? How many people remember the lead singer of the Youngbloods? Jessie Colin Young, as a matter of fact.

      And that's your trivia bonus for the day.

      Thanks, Linda!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....MizB, the 12/59, in a way, is all autobiography. One just needs to pay close attention to see it...like you just did. Thanks for the great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I'll take all the angels you can spare, my friend. Thank you...and keep up the hope.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, for sure, Sheila will straighten Bill Hollis out when the time comes. She has great plans for him.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Pop, he'll end up being a pretty good guy....after he grows up and dries out. LOL

      Thanks for being here!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 14 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear that, Meg, and yes, Sheila has the perfect parents for her situation....of course, they're high a lot, too, so that helps. LOL

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      Linda Lum 14 months ago from Washington State, USA

      How many people remember the Youngbloods. Darn it Bill, now I'll have that song stuck in my head all day. Sheila is such a delight and her parents are pretty amazing too. Nothing she says seems to really stun them anymore, does it?

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 14 months ago

      Okay, that makes good sense, Sheila is going to marry a downtrodden no-'count alcoholic working at McDonalds? At least he's working. And she'll pull him up by the elastic in his dirty underwear and sober him up. Then we will all discover that he is really a fellow Starseed who got pointed in the wrong direction by a genetic anomaly in the body of the human he chose to occupy. Cool!

      Shades! Do we see just a little autobiography written her, my good friend? Love it.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 14 months ago from sunny Florida

      Amen...'try to love one another right now'!!! What the world needs NOW is love!!!

      Enjoy this engaging hope-filled journey you are taking us on...you know I am all about HOPE.

      Love and hugs and many blessings, bill, to you and Deb.

      Many Angels are headed your way this morning ps

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 14 months ago from Texas

      Bill, I am really enjoying this, oh BTW you left out the title of the book that inspired this story.

      Sheila is a delight and I am sure she will turn the guy marries around and make him into a wonderful human being.

      Blessings always.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 14 months ago

      Couldn't Sheila marry an upstanding guy? Just asking....

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 14 months ago from Northern Ireland

      I am enjoying this story greatly. Sheila has very understanding parents.