An adult speculative Christian post-Armageddon fiction
Dilemma of Dreams
Chapter Seventeen: Complete
A Simple Walk
Peralte knew what my old badge looked like, so I did not bother attempting to describe it. I did however tell him to make me four: one for me, one for my hat, one for Saroniel’s bridle, and one for its saddle. He did not promise how quickly they would get made, but he did promise that Pheloshirra would receive the order.
Since Assadra was going to sneak around the villages, I decide to just take a normal stroll. The problem of course was that this was just grassland. I liked the mountains, and could usually figure out a path on the slopes. Staring over the expanse I felt that I could go in a multitude of directions. Worrying about getting lost, I finally just took off to follow the river.
I have to confess that I did not see what Leotion found so soothing in the land around me. I did not see any texture. It was just grass for miles and miles. The river was about the only landmark. What was worse, the wildlife did not look that versatile either. There were deer, bear wolves, squirrels, and quite a number of other animals that I could potentially see in my walks through the mountains. I allowed that I really did not have the experience with grasslands to understand the variety that could be gained, but I did try to see past what I considered obvious.
I did see the men riding about. I did not consider it strange, as it was the best method of traveling. The animals did give you some height that enabled you to see further as well as give a better angle for seeing into the grass. Assadra, or any predator, could have an advantage staying low in the grass, but they became much more visible should one get a more aerial view. Seeing the men turn to me did cause me some concern, but I did not call for Saroniel. I trusted my horse, not to mention two men that I also knew to be riding about, enough that I felt that I could wait.
It was a group of about eight men that rode up, with one saying, “Leotion say that you called him your brother.”
“That’s right.” Hoping to skip any problem questions, I added, “We have the same Father. My name is Vetacha.”
“My sister married Leotion. He good man, but she never meet any of his family. We would like to know more of his family.”
I really did not know how to handle that question. Spreading the good news among the commoners was not the same as it had been in my original life. It was not that God did not love these people, but that He did not love them so much that He was willing to allow them to claim the blood of his son. Jesus was my Big Brother with me being a joint-heir to a relationship with God. Any of these that actually made it to Heaven would gain the privileges, but not the actual relationship. I really did not know just how big of a difference that was.
“It’s a long story. We however heard of Leotion having trouble, so came to help. After we finish, then we may stay to tell you more.”
That question put me on the spot. I really was expecting it, but also hoping that it would not get asked. Not being able to think of anything else, I lifted my necklace as I gave an answer.
“Your land has no gold.”
“Why do we need gold?”
I really knew nothing of the Mongolian steppes. The manner that I saw the people living was nothing that I would consider a proper life. As Sheriff Vetacha, I would not be happy here. I however did not see people suffering. Whatever type of reality this was, the commoners were not starving, and did show a desire to care for each other and their way of life. I looked at those around me, and accepted that whatever this reality was, it was a good one.
“I don’t know, but there is a problem with this land. It will be destroyed. For the sake of Leotion, I do not want that to happen. I like gold. I was thus looking for gold.”
“We do not need gold.”
I was not exactly focusing on needs. I was looking for something that should be present that was not. I did not remember needing anything before my town went away. Still, I was not going to ignore advice from any source. The man mentioned needs, so I allowed myself to speak on that topic.
“What do you need?”
“We lack nothing. The water for our crops is good. The grass grows thick and good for the animals. Our children grow up strong.”
I felt those words proved my point, and worked to get the man to understand the desperateness of the situation along with my reason for being here. “I once ruled over a place where I did not need anything. I was happy there. All was going well. One of my brothers was however aware of a problem, and he tried to help. I kept stopping his work, because I liked my land. It all went away one day, and I had to realize that he had been correct. I have now learned of Leotion having a problem. I have come to help him. Please, let me do what I feel best.”
“Our ways are good ways. Our lives are good lives. Do not attempt to change what we have.”
“Your ways are Leotion’s ways. Leotion’s life is a good life. I would not change anything, because of him. I am not here for you, but I am here for Leotion. I will do what I must for him.”
The men grew quiet. They did not say anything, but I saw glances pass between the men. Finally, the one that had been speaking spoke again.
“You do not look like Leotion’s sister, but you sound like Leotion’s sister. We will thus leave you at peace. If you have a need, come to us.”
The man signaled the others with him, and they rode off. I watched them leave truly desiring to help them, so I felt myself want to cry due to my lack of knowledge about how I could. As my eyes scanned the vista to watch where the men went, I saw my brothers riding toward me.
Peralte said, “You have a way with people. What did you say?”
“Why would I not have a way with people? I was a good monk. I spent my entire life helping others. I would hope that part of my personality would show in this life.”
Jeraketh chimed out, “Yeah, Peralte. Just because you can be a bastard does not mean that the lady has to be a bitch.”
Peralte humbly said, “I apologize. Still, you have generally been a loner, Vetacha. I thus find myself surprised at your people skills.”
I replied, “I don’t believe that it is people skills. It is simply a true willingness to help others. I came to Heaven to finally get my rest. Well, I have slept enough. I came to Heaven not to work anymore. Well, I have come to realize, and I have to give you credit for your guidance there, that nothing gets done without some work. The work here is however rather easy, and the rewards are now apparent. This is not my original life at all. This is not even the life that I stepped through the gates of Heaven to live. It is still everything that God word said that it would be.”
Dimerkess seemed annoyed as he asked, “So, what did the people say?”
“That they have a good life here. They however listened to what I had to say, and decided not to arrest me.” I now walked up to Peralte to look him in the eyes as I said, “Something that I should have done.” I turned my gaze to the others, then looked back to Peralte to add, “But this was not Leotion. It was his wife’s family. Peralte, did any of my people ever come to you?”
“Well, now I have another reason to fight for this reality. Not knowing what else to do however, I am going to finish my walk.”
I believe that the men wanted to talk me out of it. They however simply told me that they were going to continue to stay on patrol. Peralte only paused before riding off to let me know of other things that had been done.
“Camp has been established. Remaliyne is working on a beef stew and a chicken soup along with fresh bread and crackers. Hopefully, it will be what you need to stay on the case. Oh, and Pheloshirra said that you will have your badges in the morning. Let me however say, Sheriff Vetacha, that you are out of your jurisdiction.”
“Hell, if I am. This might not be my Wild West, but it is my brother’s territory. I believe that my authority will be recognized.”
“I just saw evidence that it was recognized. I am beginning to wonder if I will be able to handle you when you grow up.” He winked at me as he added, “Although I will try.”
Feeling that I was getting some understanding of how to make a witty response, I replied, “I hope to make our time a learning experience for both of us.”
“My type of lady. See you back in camp, Vetacha.”
His words did please me. I thus watched the man ride off. Getting an idea of where camp had been established, I actually found myself considering that I had not walked that far. I thus turned back to the river, gained my sense of direction, and pleasantly resumed my walk.
Not really desiring a life in this reality, I turned my attention from the people to the animals. Knowing that there were regular settlements on this side of the waterway, I moved to the other shore. The flow was strong, and swimming in my outfit was not that easily done. I called for Saroniel, and with its help I managed to gain the other shore. I then walked with my horse as I studied the animals. What little I saw told me that they were not being troubled by this life, so basically going about their business accepting the presence of the humans as the only problem in their lives.
I found it growing dark with me not feeling this reality had any problems at all. I saw it as very complete. An overwhelming desire to protect it filled me, but I felt the dread of despair that I would not be able to stop the collapse. I looked to the sky wondering what was really wrong with the life around me.
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.