An adult speculative Christian post-Armageddon fiction
Dilemma of Dreams
Chapter Five: Part Two
And Another Comes for Me
Peralte had me speak to Assadra about what we did yesterday. I did not want to mention that I was naked most of last night, but he brought out the fact when I did not. I cannot say that Assadra appreciated his honesty, as she kept a very displeased expression on her face throughout the conversation.
As we rose from the table, Peralte again took my hand. He then directed me toward the front of the inn. I noticed that Assadra did not walk behind Peralte in the normal manner, but simply trailed as if watching where he was going. I continued to hold his hand as he paused to speak with the butler about sending our luggage on ahead to a place he mentioned being around a Lake Sebestra.
Upon leaving the inn, Assadra said, “That is not far away.”
“We are walking,” Peralte replied.
“Oh, how sweet. What are we going to eat for supper?”
“It depends on what is provided.”
“Hell with that. Do you mind if I do the providing?”
“Just because you made the effort does not mean that another is not responsible as well.”
I found it strange to watch the two momentarily bow their heads before Assadra replied, “I took that to be a yes.”
“I know who you are, Assadra. I thus accept certain behaviors once we leave this city. I however am not that familiar with your preferences. I do enjoy my entrees cooked.”
Wondering about the lady, I interjected, “You eat things raw?”
She looked to me with a perturbed expression as she replied, “You will understand when we leave the city.” Assadra then turned back to Peralte to ask, “How much authority do I have with her?”
“Let us start with the basic level of none. You are here as an observer of me, an advisor to me, and a possible companion for me. Truthfully, you are not here for Vetacha at all.”
“I am liking this less and less.” Assadra turned to me to say, “I am here for you, Vetacha. Peralte, he is a strange one, and if you find yourself becoming confused you should turn to me.”
I cannot say that I liked the lady, and the feeling must have been deep as I quickly replied, “Peralte has agreed to be my friend, and he does have ownership of me. I do trust him.”
“I am going to remind you that you said that, probably for the rest of eternity.” She then turned to Peralte and commanded, “Well, my dear man, lead on.”
I gripped Peralte’s hand as he began moving through the city. While I had moved with him the day before, I still found the people around me to have no direction to their travels. I did not like being where I was, although I trusted Peralte, which I tried to let him be aware of by holding securely to him.
At one pause, I looked around for the mountains to which we were heading. All I saw were buildings and people. The massive city did not seem to have an end. I thus took an opportunity at the next pause to speak to Peralte.
“Master? Vetacha, we are friends. Call me Peralte like you have been.”
“I am glad to have your friendship… Peralte, but you do own me, and we are in public.”
Assadra said, “That was just a formality to get you out of that place.”
Peralte knelt to look me in the eyes as he said, “It also was to assure that you understood certain things. I was worried about how you would accept me. That piece of paper is already basically meaningless. Anyway, Vetacha, what was it that you wanted to say?”
“When will we reach the mountains?”
“Do you eat lunch?”
I felt very unsure of my place as I answered, “After midday prayers.”
“Well, we can say a prayer, but excuse me if it is not to Tresepsus. It also will not be long, but quickly rushed words before I bite into something.”
Assadra knelt to also put herself at eye level, although I again noticed that her legs did not seem to act as normal. “Were you happy in that convent?”
“It was pleasant. A very quiet existence. I had nothing to complain about.”
“Damn.” Assadra rose as she said, “This is not going right at all. You could have told somebody, Peralte.”
The man hugged me, then took my hand again as he rose before speaking to the lady. “As chaotic as things are, there are clear rules. I brought this matter to a certain party, the one we are supposed to bring matter unto, and He reminded me of my duty. What bothered me was that it seemed no one else thought to bring the matter up to a certain superior.”
“Yes, well, the fault is not with me. Dimerkess however should get his hands slapped.” I saw the green eyes of the lady look to me as she said, “Darling, we will say grace before our meal.”
The two discussed various places to eat. Neither acted satisfied with my general replies. I tended not to be concerned with food. The food that Peralte had served to me was rather tasty, but I could not say that I liked it enough to request it again. I however found myself stopping with shock when he mentioned a dish that I did remember.
“Steak and potatoes.” He felt the resistance to my hand, so turned to me and smiled. “Yes, every time you put me in jail I was served steak and potatoes.”
Assadra said, “I was planning on serving you steaks tonight, although not necessarily with the potatoes.”
“Not necessarily cow either.”
“True, so I guess that we have cow.”
This time when I sought my mind for memories, I found an answer provided. “It is easy to cook.”
The smile on Peralte’s face dropped as he stooped to again look me in the eyes. “You need to stop thinking like that, Vetacha. At least, if you truly want to regain what you had. There is enjoyment in doing things, and it makes the pleasure of the partaking even greater. You have eternity looming before you. Why do you bother in saving moments?”
“Why should I have to work? I did what was required, and gained my reward. I was told that I would not have to work anymore.”
Assadra also came back down to my eye level as she asked, “Mesapher?”
“No, Vetacha. I am Vetacha.”
“Vetacha,” Peralte said, “you don’t have to work. There is a place for you, and you are free to spend eternity there. If that is your desire. You however wanted more than a simple existence. If you want more, more is required.”
Those words sounded correct, so I asked a question that bothered me. “Why could I not stay in the convent?”
“Because you are not to pray to Tresepsus. There is another that you need to recognize, and He is a jealous person.”
Those words sounded correct as well, so I asked another question. “Why can’t we just go now to your home? I can live and worship with you.”
“Damn,” Assadra spoke, “I was scared of this.”
Peralte hugged me, then kissed me on a cheek before speaking. “The answer to your question, Vetacha, is that I won’t stay there. The life that you desire is not the life that I desire. It is thus best if you do not stay with me. Walk with me through the mountains for a few days, and let us get to know more about each other. A solution should come to us.”
We walked a good while further, then my elders saw an eating place that they both felt would serve a proper meal. There was a prayer to someone without a name, but just called God, the Father. Both Peralte and Assadra mentioned what they were about in a rather informal fashion. They told me to say hello, and I did, but I felt very uneasy doing it. At the conclusion I however did feel that I had done enough to enjoy my meal.
I stuffed myself on the food provided. Memories did not come to me with the meal, but an ancient pleasure in eating steak and potatoes caused me to delight in what I found on my plate. Assadra tore into her bloody serving, but Peralte had me slow down and savor my bites. He spoke of me being a young lady, but I believe those words were meant more for Assadra than me. What I found him stressing to me was an enjoyment of certain flavors. Butter, sour cream, and other things were put on my potatoes. Different sauces were set on the meat. Most I did not like, but Peralte would not allow me to simply take another bite. He had me go through certain motions. Considering that most had been required by the nuns in the convent, I obeyed the man as knowing the proper methods for things to be done. By the end of the meal, I felt very stuffed, as well as comfortable in my place with Peralte.
Seeing my plate clean, I felt that my elder had something to say, although I spoke first. “I can be a girl and like steak and potatoes, can’t I.”
“Certainly.” As if amused by my words, Peralte asked, “If I said no, would you have decided to take back on the form of Mesapher?”
“No. He was not happy. The happiest that he ever was, was in that reality where everything collapsed around him.”
“Ah, there is your problem, Vetacha. If that was your happiest memories, you should thus set about to recreate them. Only, this time let me show you how to keep that existence going.”
I did not like those words, which I felt showed in my voice as I asked, “By working?”
“By having pleasure in performing those things required of you.”
“If I don’t enjoy something, I don’t enjoy it.”
“You are going to have to make some decisions, Vetacha. One of the reasons that I really did not want Assadra with me is that I am going to have you face some facts.”
The lady asked, “And what fact is that?”
Peralte looked to me to ask, “What day is it tomorrow?”
I almost gave the basic reply to that question, but then a fact came to my mind. “It’s my birthday. That report you read was part of my annual obligation. Before my birthday, I am to meditate and seek guidance concerning my future.”
“Yes, dear Vetacha, tomorrow is your birthday. And guess what? Tomorrow you will be ten.”
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.