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Authors: Vijaya Schartz

Tags: #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Fantasy, #General, #Angels, #Human-Alien Encounters

Archangel Crusader (32 page)

BOOK: Archangel Crusader
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*****

 

Michael materialized under the big oak tree on the front lawn of Dave’s farm and called, "Jen!"

"Daddy! I knew you'd come, like you told me in my head." Jennifer climbed down from the lowest fork where she sat and rushed into her father's arms. "They think you're dead. I thought you were too, for a few days. But when I felt you in my mind, I told the others. They didn't believed me..." She stopped talking for a moment. As if noticing something unusual, she asked, "Are you okay, Dad? You look different. You're not saying anything."

Michael let Jennifer down gently and gazed into her eyes. "Nothing escapes you, does it?" He took his time before going on. "See, sweetheart, I really was dead... But I'm alive now. Amrah gave me this new body that can live forever, but it's still me, your dad, inside." He sat down in the grass, letting her digest the information.

"But you're okay?" She sat across from him.

"Better than ever. I'll stay with you for a little while, but in a few weeks I'll have to go with Amrah, far away. I'll be gone a long time... But I'll be back, I promise."

Jennifer was silent for a while, staring at the grass. Michael observed the process in her mind, feeling the pain and the disappointment she did not want to show. She raised her big green eyes full of resignation. "You really have to go? How long?" Her voice choked with repressed emotions.

"A few months, a few years, as long as it takes to eliminate the threat of the likes of Lufriec and Krastinios. It needs to be done, Jen, or this planet will not be safe."

"I know." She lowered her head in resignation.

Unable to withstand his daughter's pain, Michael entered her mind. I'm not abandoning you, Jen. I'll be with you all the time. You can contact my mind whenever you like. I'll be there for you whenever you need me. Think, you'll have me around as long as you live and you won't have to take care of me in my old age. I'll still be here to take care of you.

She raised her head and smiled. In that instant, Michael took away the pain, the disappointment and the grief. He would carry it for both of them.

She sounded happy as she said, "Cool! I'll be grown up when you see me again. Mom likes having me around. She'll be glad to keep me."

"I'll miss you, Jen." He took her hand.

"I'll miss you too, Daddy. But I know you are alive, and I know you’ll come back."

"That I will. Can I get a hug?" He rose, scooped her in his arms, and held her tight. Soon she wiggled and he let her down. "It seems to me that you have developed some new mental abilities in this very short time. You'll need some training, kid. These forty days are going to be very busy."

"Please, Dad, don't call me kid, I'm not a kid anymore."

Michael laughed at her seriousness. "All right, Miss, come with me. Let's teach the grown-ups to believe in ghosts."

Father and daughter walked side by side through the grass, toward the only building left standing on Dave's farm, the naked frame of the new house. Several cars were parked in front, Dave's blue pickup truck among less familiar vehicles. At the very end of the row, Michael's motorcycle stood alone. The debris of the old barn and the remains of the trailer had already been cleared up. The surviving pigs had been penned outside, and the chickens ran wild everywhere.

Michael and Jennifer approached the group of men bent over a set of blue prints. "Hi there, Dave, need a hand to build that big house of yours?"

The men stopped talking and looked at the newcomer. Dave dropped his tape measure and stared, white as a sheet. "My God... I must be tired, I'm seeing things."

"No, you're not dreaming, little brother, I figured you'd need some help, and I'm free for the next few weeks. What do you say?"

"But I thought you were..."

"I was. I just came back. I'll tell you about it later. For now, there's a job to do. Let's hurry, I haven't much time." Michael casually picked up his brother's tape measure from the ground and handed it to him. "You'll need that, little brother." He patted Dave on the shoulder.

 

*****

 

"Why didn't you just make a miracle, rather than work hard when you didn't have to?" Dave asked one day, towards the end of Michael's stay. The house had much advanced by then.

"Building a house makes for good memories," Michael answered. "We're forging bonds that only hard work can seal. We don't value things given as much as things earned. Besides, It may be a long time before I build another house, and I do enjoy the work."

During that happy time, Jennifer often disappeared for several hours at a time. Only Michael knew that she was with Amrah, getting trained to control the powers recently awakened in her.

"I wish we could always be like this," Jennifer told Michael on their last night together, sitting under the big oak tree, watching the stars.

"It will happen again, Jen, but not for a while. Eternal life comes with obligations. Always remember that we'll never be apart. You can reach me anytime. Don't be afraid to contact me. I'll check on you as often as I can."

"I know. Still, it’s not the same. Why don’t you take me with you?"

"I can’t this time, sweetheart. Next time, maybe."

 

*****

 

The next morning, near the big oak tree, Michael, Veronica, and Maria said their goodbyes. With moist eyes, they hugged and kissed and promised to come back. Dave, Becky and Clara huddled together on one side while on the other side, Jean-Marc held Shadow the cat, and Jennifer squeezed Tori's hand. They stared, holding on to each other.

When Michael looked into Jennifer's eyes, the young girl's sadness vanished. She seemed transfixed with love and understanding. The tear that came to her eye expressed indefinable joy and pride.

The three immortals waved, ascending along a wide shaft of blue light, then disappeared from sight into the morning sky.

And in the light of day, the untrained eye did not see the spacecraft move slowly from behind the moon and set a course for a distant star, but Jennifer followed it a long time, knowing that some day, she would accompany her father on the long journey to her grandfather's home world.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

 

 

Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims she comes from the future. Her books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. She makes you believe you actually lived these extraordinary adventures among her characters. Her stories have been compared to Indiana Jones with sizzling romance. So, go ahead, dare to experience the magic, and she will keep you entranced, turning the pages until the last line. Find more at http://vijayaschartz.com

 

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BOOK: Archangel Crusader
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