An adult speculative Christian post-Armageddon fiction
Dilemma of Dreams
Chapter Fifteen: Part Two
A Meeting with Leotion
Peralte did not call his ladies to set up tents as he had done previously. I saw Essabyish and Pezraneeta, but they set up the usual simple camp. The only addition was the bathtub surrounded by some screens with a colorful painting of the phoenix upon the panels. Pezraneeta showed me a pink outfit saying that Peralte told her to make it for me. I was not too certain how it would look on me, although had to accept it when she also presented a pair of pink cowboy boots. Essabyish set up a large platter of ribs with great bowls of other dishes, then told us that Remaliyne said that she hoped it would be enough. We thanked the ladies, then settled for a period of rest.
I sat out where I could watch the flowing river while attempting to isolate what about the surroundings was bothering me. I actually felt as if things were familiar. In a way, I thought it good, because I felt that nothing wrong would come from things that I was familiar with. Considering that I had no knowledge of the impending doom that was coming to my own reality, I felt that whatever was bothering me had to be something good.
The voice of Peralte came from behind me. “I hope that you do not mind the pink outfit.”
“No. I guess that I might as well get used to wearing things like that.” Having him come sit next to me had me keep on talking. “I was a girl for over twenty years, so I am basically accepting of my present gender. As a monk, I wore a simple white garment covered by robes, and as a girl in the convent I wore a simple white garment usually covered by a simple white outfit. I like white, am used to white, so favor white. I consider red morbid. My sins might have been washed in the blood of Christ, but the process made me white as snow. Pink, I don’t know. I wore red. I guess that I can wear pink.”
“Okay, red out. I still think that you look good in that color.”
“Maybe pink will be a compromise.”
Peralte hugged me, then asked, “What are you looking at. I mean, I see the river, but I am just trying to get you to speak of your thoughts.”
“Something is bothering me. I cannot place it however, although I feel that it is something familiar to me.”
“Have you talked to God about it?”
“No, but I am sitting out here where I can hear His voice. Still, Jesus told us that it would be best for us to figure this out on our own. I am thus out here attempting to figure it out.”
“Okay. Sounds good.” I felt that Peralte was going to rise and leave me, but he hugged me again before saying, “Oh, good riding and shooting.”
“The shot was simple. Saroniel put me right next to that antelope.”
“It was still a first time. Take your compliment, girl.”
I now hugged him and told him thanks. We kissed. He then stood up preparing to leave, although had one more thing to say.
“Oh, Dimerkess is worried that the natives might attack. Stay alert.”
I pulled the pistol that I had fired earlier, and put a bullet in the empty chamber. I then returned the weapon to its holster. Looking at Peralte’s eyes, I could tell that he wanted to say something. He however did not. He only put his fingers in the shape of pistols, blew on them, then acted as if he holstered them. With a smile on his face, he left.
It was not too much later when Assadra came out to sit next to me. She said that Dimerkess wanted to know what I was doing, but that Peralte told him not to bother me. Dimerkess however felt that he could use another lady as his informant. I had no reason not to tell her the same thing I told Peralte. After I finished, she rose from her place next to me.
“Sounds good. Keep at it. I will just tell Dimerkess the same thing Peralte did.”
I replied, “It doesn’t matter. I am getting tired, so about to go to bed.”
“Good idea. I will take my bath after you.”
Thinking about what Peralte warned me about, I asked, “Do you think the natives will attack?”
“If we would go on to sleep, they can’t.”
“This is a life of rest. Sleeping is one of our gifts. If we take a nap, everything just has to wait for us to wake up. We can wake each other up, as siblings can get away with things like that, but God has to approve for anything else to awake us.”
I had never thought about that. Peralte did not sleep, but every time that I suggested more sleep to him he gave me permission to do it. I did not realize that my rest was a priority of my life.
“Good, as I feel tomorrow is going to be a rough day.”
Assadra agreed. I did try and regain my thoughts about finding the source of my suspicion, but that did not happen. Considering that I could ponder my thoughts in the bath tub as well as where I sat, I returned to camp.
Dimerkess seemed agitated when I said that I was going to take my bath and go to bed. I however heard Peralte and Assadra tell him to leave me alone. I however then heard another voice telling me to go tell the man what I had said to those who came out to speak to me. I thus did so. It seemed that Dimerkess had turned to God for answers only to get the reply that I had the solution. Hearing what I told him did not really make him feel better, but he accepted that I did have the proper mindset and wished me a good night.
Whether due to what Assadra said or the simple fact that we had been traveling through the land not causing trouble, no attack came during the night. Peralte did point out some sentries at a distance, but noted that they had done nothing but watch us. Hoping that the rest of the day would also be peaceful, we readied for travel.
Assadra put on an outfit that I had not seen. Up to now she had basically gone from very conservatively dressed, which hid her feline traits, to fully exposed. The outfit she wore today covered her front, but had her rear almost completely bare. She did not wear a hat. Her large ears were clearly visible, as was her tail. As she put a blanket over her saddle to help her with the ride, I asked her about her choice of attire.
“Don’t know, but God told me to wear this. Yes, I would like an explanation, but I don’t question Him.”
I had to agree with her there. I also agreed with Peralte having us wait for his ladies to break camp. Generally, they did the work at their leisure in our absence. He however showed his concern for them by keeping a watch while they went about their business. Only after parting kisses did he agree with Dimerkess that we needed to be on our way.
The journey itself was really no different today than yesterday. Something continued to trouble me, but it was not the agitation of the people. I saw children continue to be called into the homes. Men kept going to their mounts as if they would need to ride into battle.
I however stopped upon seeing a man walking. He was just serenely strolling between two huts, but it was enough for me to realize the situation. I wanted to cry, but instead found myself looking about for something to do. I actually stood in my saddle attempting to find an answer. Deep in my heart I however knew that there was not a solution. The man that had been walking wanted to run when he saw me charging toward him, but Saroniel was too fast for him to escape.
I demanded that the man point me the way to Leotion. He meekly complied. I then signaled Saroniel to start galloping. It took confronting two more people before I found the man’s home. He was at his horse, but again my steed was far too swift to give him time to react. I dismounted only to hug the man.
“I am sorry. I am so, so sorry.”
I turned to mount Saroniel, but Leotion put his hand on my shoulder as he demanded, “Why?”
“You’re happy, aren’t you? You have a wife, children, a life. You don’t think life could be any better, do you?”
“This is the life I have always wanted.”
I lifted my eyes toward the sky as I said, “God, I really don’t know what to do.” I then looked back to Leotion to say, “I really am sorry. You are going to hurt whatever happens.”
He appeared puzzled for a moment, then asked, “Who are you?”
“I am your sister. Those men out there are your brothers, and that cat lady is actually your sister as well. We are family. We came here to help. I however was where you were, and I understand what can happen and what could happen. I fear neither is the right option for you. Give me time to think, but trust that I will do what I feel is best for you. I do love you. I don’t know anything about you, but you are my brother and I want you to be happy.”
As if attempting to get me to talk some more, he said, “You have a wonderful horse.”
“Thank you. Its name is Saroniel, and it is a wonderful horse. One day, we need to sit down and speak to each other. I would like to hear your story, because I fear it will be a lot like my own. I feel that you will become one of my closest brothers, but right now you have set your path. It is a good one. Maybe not the best, but good is better than what we had in our life before. We have eternity before us, so there is no need for you to be whisked away. Go back to your life. Tell your wife that you love her. Tell your children the same. Do whatever you normally do while trusting that your brothers and sisters will be looking out for you.”
As if failing to make sense of my words, he said, “I have never seen you before, and you do not look like my family.”
“Yes, life is strange that way. Go back to your life, Leotion. I wish you the best.”
I mounted Saroniel, then headed back to where the others waited. I could tell that Dimerkess wanted me to tell him what happened. I however had a question of my own.
“Peralte, can we go to Hell?”
“Go to Hell?”
“I want to cry, and I cannot do it here.”
“God will remove our burdens from us. Come, let us go back to where we can establish a camp. We can then gather around and let you explain things to us. We can give you help.”
Jeraketh said, “And whiskey.”
I replied, “I owe you a kiss Jeraketh.”
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.