“Spirit Run” – part 12 … and a tiny recap

Part 12 here today. It’s Friday so that means it’s a good day to make a post, I figure. This week has been a busy one (what’s new, right?) but it’s been an extremely life-giving week in many respects. Keeping up with this blog is as good a test as any in my tiny world, but it’s a test I look forward to completing daily. So here we go.

To catch anyone up on this story – who may be checking this out for the first time – Spirit Run is a short story I’ve been dabbling with over the past couple months. It’s about three angels who have been tasked with guarding a spark of life as it runs towards its human vessel. At first, the angelic trio hovers high above, watching over, but eventually they are called to action. They begin fighting off creeping shadows, dark spirits, and even other rogue sparks that may be after the little ball of light – who isn’t so little anymore.

Here’s a recap of what’s happened thus far:

– The Trio encountered a Rogue spark, forming a barrier to protect their own.
– The spark grew in size, until at last it turned into a “Newborn”; a human-like being of pure light
– Shadows came after the Newborn as it ran along, until at last it became too much and the Newborn literally “exploded” into what I can best describe as a galaxy of floating debris.
– The Trio fought through the aftermath to find their ball of light damaged, but with some perseverance that involved attacking the wounded areas of the spirit, the ball got to rolling again.
– After that, the ball starting growing until it transformed yet again; only this time the form it took was that of a Daughter, shocking the Trio as they were not expecting their spark to be a girl.
– Running at full steam again, the Daughter has been getting attacked by everything – the ground beneath her, more rogue beings running faster than the Trio can see, and the ever-present Shadows. With so much happening, the Trio is overwhelmed and forced to ask for some help….

…which leads us into Part 12.

“They just won’t quit!” shouted Harda.
Harda turned and shot down three Shadows to his left. Evert visible enemy was decreasing in number, but still, the Daughter struggled to keep running. Another flash of light and Armin saw one of the intruders for the first time. It was a Son. He was burning with blue, purple, and red. The blue side of his body reflected off of the Daughter while the purple and red illuminated the other. This type of deception was strong. The blue and gold were alluring to her, but it concealed the more intense red and purple colors of his underbelly. Armin wanted to plunge his spear into the invading Son, but he was too slow. The Son was gone as quickly as he had come.
“Ah!” cried Armin. “Some of this is working, but not enough. We’re still too slow.”
“Armin, were you not one who said to not lose heart?” asked Harda. “Were you not the one who asked the most of us – the one who wanted this journey to begin as soon as we were able? Were you not the one who asked us to hold our ground against the Darkness?!”
Armin did not reply. He looked at Harda with sympathetic eyes, realizing the error of his own speech. He clasped his hands together again and started to pray, speaking quickly and earnestly into the Daughter’s ear. Her head surged upward as Armin’s prayers wrapped her like a warm blanket. She charged ahead, gaining ground and size again. The resurgence gave life back to the Trio but the group was fast becoming overwhelmed. Shadows attacked from every angle, the ground rose up to claim the Daughter, and the light on the horizon was no closer than it had been before. Hope was distancing itself, it seemed. The journey would be over if the Trio could not do something drastic. Sensing the impending danger, Balphin and Harda withdrew their defense and surrounded the Daughter with their wings. The Trio turned every focus inward, enveloping the Daughter inside of their bodies with a fortress made from their own bodies. Together, they prayed over her, speaking words in quick phrases but not in unison. Their speech sounded like a chorus of bells, drowning out the mayhem outside the barrier. The Shadows clawed at their backs, raking with their hands and weapons, spilling out angelic blood onto the path. The blood sparkled as it touched the ground, bringing up new life before it was strangled by a weed or another Shadow. The Trio was in pain but they did not cry out; one sign of weakness and their enemies would take advantage.
Then, something radical happened. Another being of light emerged, a Son, running close to the Daughter. He was brimming with beautiful colors, radiating vibrantly with a renewed energy that the Angels had prayed for. His face smiled as he came up alongside the Daughter. The Trio unlocked their wings, opening a pathway for the peaceful intruder. This one had not come to harm her, it had come to help her.
“Can it be?” shouted Armin, breaking the prayer vigil. “Balphin…Harda…do you see this one?”
The Angels gazed upon the Son in their midst. Near the center of his body, next to his heart, there was a blue mark like, a scar. It glowed and pulsed with every step, getting brighter as he ran closer to the Daughter. The Trio did not resist him, his intentions were not selfish. Each of the three could feel this new power coming from inside the Son. That’s when Harda recognized the Son’s familiar light.
“The Rogue!” he cried. “The Rogue has been redeemed. Would you take a look at that?”
The Trio was on the verge of rejoicing. It was indeed the Rogue they had seen before. The center was completed filled – a powerful blue aura arising from its core. What had once come to destroy, was now here to save. With a new being alongside her, the Angels could continue their previous watch.
“Well, don’t gawk for too long, lads,” said Armin. “I think he’ll do what he can now. Let’s keep up our part of the deal.”
The Trio set out to defeat any of the advancing Shadows. Their bodies had been torn but the light of the Redeemed healed their wounds. He ran in tandem with the Daughter, blocking out other beings from getting too close. The deceptive creatures were deflected, shunned away by the power of the Redeemed. The Trio was at full strength and with that, the horizon opened up again. The centerpiece of light erupted and for the first time, the Trio could see a scene beyond the scattered trees and mountains they had been running in. They saw a street, connected to a sidewalk, and a large building in the middle of a city. More stone buildings rose up all around; street cars appeared and people stood in droves on the sidewalks. It was late evening but everything was silent – frozen in time; there was no movement from anything or anyone. The scene captured the Trio with wonder. They hadn’t been this close to the physical plane for a long time. More and more, the physical realm took over the empty space they had been traveling in. The Trio continued their guardianship, mindful that the destination could be mere moments away.
“Do you see it yet?” asked Armin.
“Nothing.”
“I do not see it yet either.”
The Trio was faring better than ever. The advancing Shadows were pulling away, but the path was getting narrower. The Angels had to fly closer to one another to keep within a safe distance of the Daughter. There were several more beings, like the Redeemed, running up alongside the Daughter as well. They replenished her with their own strength and then broke away. And just as the Daughter had been aided, she aided others in return – running onto their paths, crossing light, and then leaving. This exchange of light accelerated the journey, moving her faster than ever.

Thoughts on “Spirit Run” – part 9

I hope it’s no secret by now that Spirit Run is a story dedicated to the unseen. A place that’s invisible and open to interpretation dependent on the individual. Where he is in life, where he’s going, and where he’s been. And we all get to experience the “invisible” in different ways. For instance, I was reading a Twitter post this morning via National Geographic that said something like this (and I’ll paraphrase): “Science allows us to see what cannot be seen otherwise.”

I would agree with this statement. Science certainly does permit access to a realm that cannot be witnessed by the naked eye. Who knew that every single thing is made up of tiny particles called ‘atoms’? And how else might we learn what lies on the surface of the moon and beyond? The human ability to create, dissect, and analyze the most minute and far places of the universe is really astounding if you think about it. No other creature in the known world can do that – only us.

*pause for effect*

I was fortunate to hear a speech this weekend that covered topics related to human science and discovery. The speaker talked on what the world must have been like when we discovered how the Earth was not the center of the universe. It was our planet that was moving, not the sun. People’s brains must have been turned inside out. And when our atom smashers discovered protons, neutrons, and electrons – well, you get the picture. Scientific ventures continue to unlock more of our universe, but in the 21st century, we know that the Earth rotates the sun and we are made up of atoms. This is common knowledge. These may not seem as exciting to the seasoned scientist, but they are scientific fact all the same. And as we move forward, only the new and the undiscovered will pique our interests as adventurers. That much is also true. In other words, we are delighted for what we know, but we are driven even more to find out what we have yet to understand.

This story is teaching me a lot about this human reality. As much as I want to have a handle on everything I encounter, I am reminded how I cannot get all the answers at once. What’s unseen is intriguing enough though, so I do what I can to unveil those yet-to-be-revealed parts of my life. But first, I must simply be open to the idea of not knowing. In that way, I can find what it is I am looking for. Philosophical? Sure, it absolutely is, but it’s also a truth, I feel. Spirit Run‘s latest section, 9, delves deeper into this concept. My characters might have thought they were guarding a male spirit, a “Son”, but in reality, it was a “Daughter” the whole time. Their willingness to see through the journey made that revelation possible though; a revelation that’s amazing to them. I feel like science and faith find themselves in the same boat on that one. Sometimes our pursuits of one thing lead to the discovery of another. And it happens when we least expect it.

And I’ll be honest, I like having a good surprise in my story too.

A Few Things

Just a few things.

Although it’s been more like me to present some thoughts and opinions on here, I’ve decided to share some actual work I’ve been doing. Sometime later today, I’ll begin posting bits and parts of a short story I’ve recently finished. Considering the work I do now, I’ve been fortunate to be in what writers might call “hyper creative season” (many thanks to my friend, Immanuel, for crafting that phrase). It’s a fancy way of saying, “I’ve had more free time to write.” The extra time is great, but the discipline required to use that time effectively can be very hard.

Over the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with new ways to manage all my added time. Do I write in the morning? Do I write at night? Do I only read this week? Do I not read at all? These seem like simple questions – and let’s be honest, they are – but to someone who is bubbling with thoughts and ideas, it can be daunting. Focus and direction are key. And they’re concepts I’ve been studying, honing in on, and desperately trying to wrangle to the ground. That way I can stop living in the clouds and start running on solid ground.

Which is, coincidentally, a great image and part of what inspired me to write this short story, appropriately named Spirit Run. To preface this, Spirit Run is the tale of three angels who have been tasked with guarding a spark of life as it “runs” towards its human vessel. Their conversations, the enemies they face, and their interactions with other angelic beings are all weaved into this story; eventually culminating with the breach of the physical realm and an encounter with their intended destination.

This is a major break from what I’ve done in the past. The primary reason being that it’s fiction. I’m telling a story rather than presenting an essay. That is something I’ve really enjoyed, but have also found to be quite challenging.

And that’s all I’d like to give away at the moment. I look forward to sharing this soon and look forward to feedback and comments.

Till later,
J.C.L.