You suddenly find yourself standing alone on an unknown sidewalk in an unknown place. It’s night and snowing and the only other person around is walking away from you….
As I watch the silent figure grow smaller in the distance the softly falling snow illuminated by the street lights adds a mystery to the night. I notice the red drops of color mixing with the white of the snow amidst the footprints she leaves that are quickly being covered by the falling snow. The red mingles with the white to a soft pink as it is absorbed.
Where she is headed I have no idea but it really does not matter, I only know that I must follow so I did. This is my mission, my destiny, whatever one might call it. It is the only road I have ever walked and it is one that few people would dare tread if given the chance. Like a hazy dream I can remember my mother reading out of the bible as I lay quietly in my bed in the early evenings. Her voice soft and caring as she would read and then explain to me what the words meant and the destiny she believed God had for me. She had told me God had spoken a verse to her while she was pregnant that was especially for me and the calling that was on my life.
“The LORD will protect you from all evil ; He will keep your soul.” from Psalm 121:7, I would never forget that verse as she recited it to me often and I accepted it into my heart. She also explained to me that this promise meant God would protect me, but that also I was meant to protect others. It was so easy as a small child to believe in the unseen and trust my mother like one trusts gravity or the rising and the setting of the sun. It is just as real as any solid object. My life had continually born out this verse in so many ways that I had long ago stopped questioning.
As I followed the young lady I noticed the hunching of her shoulders and head pitched forward under the umbrella as she walked into the cold wind. The drops of red that different people left behind had always intrigued me and even frightened me somewhat. It was a privilege and power that most never ever witness. The soul is a magical and mysterious place and the scars this life leave on it are unseen by most human eyes. This gift was something I had never asked for but my mother had said, I had simply been chosen.
The city streets were quiet this night as the storm seemed to gather intensity. Most people had chosen to stay inside safe from the cold. She continued to walk, me following, past rows of nondescript buildings and storefronts. Homeless people huddled in the doorways heads and hands buried against the freezing night trying to stay warm and sleep. For these nameless people she paid no heed but simply continued to walk her stride never wavering.
The gift of seeing the pain of someone’s soul and the blood that continually dripped from the wounds that others and this life had inflicted, was both a blessing and a curse. I carried within me the torture and ache that each person endured. At times I was given the ability to ease that suffering, but those times seemed all too infrequent.
I knew it was time as my pace quickened slowly closing the distance between her and me. With the rushing winds I knew she would never hear my approach so was unworried about being detected. Even though there was no traffic she stopped and was standing at the intersection just ahead and waited for the cross walk light to change. Approximately twenty-five yards behind her, I knelt down in the shadows of a doorway and raised my rifle. I felt the firmness of the stock against my shoulder as I pointed the barrel in her direction.
Looking through the attached night vision telescopic sight I was able to penetrate the darkness of night. I slowly continued to raise the rifle above her head and into the blackness until I saw the dim flashing red light through the still falling snow. My mind was calm as I slowly took a breath and exhaled my finger tightening on the trigger. Within the cross hairs I could see the unmanned drone craft as it hovered silently some two hundred yards above her head monitoring her every movement. A loud rumbling truck roared through the intersection as I slowly squeezed the trigger, firing the rifle and the craft in a silent flash of light disappeared.
The light changed to ‘Walk’ and she oblivious, began walking again crossing the street and continuing on towards her destination. I knew she would be safe this night. As I stood and silently watched her walk into the distance I knew my job was far from over. There were others, there would always be others.
~Mark Schutter ©2014
The above was written for Free Write Friday from the Time and Place Scenario in italics at the beginning using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just writing! Please check out Kellie Elmore’s official site or click on the Free Write Friday Image for more information. Post your submission with a comment and link to your blog on Kellie’s blog, post on twitter with the hashtag #FWF, Facebook and join the fun!