Come on an adventure with Jack and follow along as he writes his new book in real time. Here is chapter 12. Things are getting tougher now. Something to offend everybody. Hang in there!
by JACK DEY
A whisper from the wilderness calling.
A large, white plastic, carry bag dangled from Dani’s hand as she stepped down the high-reaching staircase leading out of the side door of their home-on-wheels. Feeling like a guilty drug mule whose knees might buckle under her at any moment, she was beginning to regret the rashness of her words and the offer to deliver Lisa’s needed supplies. Noticing the anxious concern on the face of his beautiful bride, Ish had difficulty associating the look with Dani’s quiet, yet strong and loving personality. Understanding the verbal attack she’d endured trying to tend to Lisa’s bleeding wounds, he lovingly engulfed her in a tender hug.
Watching the unusual show of affection with a pang of enviousness, Caylin had to turn away, knowing full well it had never been like this for him with either Kelly or Lisa, and probably never would. He felt like a shell of a man and a coward letting a woman confront his beast, but he also understood Dani’s reasons for wanting to take his place and the need to establish a peer relationship with Lisa. Ish had explained in-depth the time consuming procedure they used when rescuing injured wild animals, coaxing them to the point of trust, and that meant getting up close and personal. Once the animal had been allowed to check them out in a non-threatening way, sniffing their scent and establishing mutual confidence, then the cage door was opened and the rescuer stepped in and became part of the animal’s lair and completely at its mercy. At this point, the relationship was at its most vulnerable and extremely dangerous, but without it, nothing could be achieved. Lisa’s injuries were every bit as deep and just as harmful as any person or wild animal that Papa God had brought them in contact with before.
Caylin turned to face the embracing couple when he heard Ish’s voice and stepped closer, but then realised he was praying a prayer of protection over Dani and asking the Holy Spirit to guide her every step. Caylin had never heard or experienced the raw power in the words of a man’s prayer before and it felt like he was eavesdropping on an intimate conversation, and he could almost see the glow of protection surrounding the worshipping couple. Afraid, Caylin stepped back and even though he claimed to know the source of this power, he’d never been in its presence like this before, and the fear and reverence only increased as Ish continued to pray.
The irony in the situation struck Caylin in the face. The elders had all claimed this same ability and expected God to work through them in His majestic power using the traditional ‘spit-bath and massage’ to achieve their ends. The facts were the facts, however, and the truth is… He never did. To save face, the elders deliberately pushed individuals over while they pretended to pray and lay hands on the forehead of their participants. The accepted game continued as the elders fabricated the holy spirit’s energy and made themselves the venerable conduit through which the esteemed paraclete would work, and purportedly transferred his supreme authority into the person concerned. Then, supposedly slain in the spirit, the individual was presumed to complete the circus, pretending to be under conviction and ministered to by the paraclete’s will, but it was just a performance, bringing a sense of importance to the disgusting Pharisees of the day. When Kelly had rejected Caylin and left him torn and bleeding, struggling to find sense in anything, Caylin had submitted to his fair share of spit-baths and massages from the elders, falling backwards as required, but nothing ever changed, only the depth of self-loathing for playing such a deceptive and dishonest game. Struggling to remain upright under Ish’s petition, Caylin felt like he was being drawn under the power for real, and his knees were buckling, but Ish unexpectedly concluded his prayer and the power abruptly let go.
Ish was a formidable and unpredictable man in his own right, both in flesh and spirit, and it made Caylin feel extremely nervous yet full of joy to be around him. The two extremes were perplexing and confusing, leaving Caylin with little understanding of the redhead’s capacities and what he was actually capable of doing. With a lingering kiss and a final cuddle, Dani left her man’s embrace and began the long, anxious trek to the cottage. Carrying the supplies and walking directly past Caylin, Dani gave him a nervous smile. Knowing what she was attempting to do and the personal cost to her, Caylin’s respect for Dani soared, and he stepped back out of her path with great admiration.
“So where are you sleeping tonight, Caylin?” Ish let his words drift over the slender man, but Caylin didn’t seem to register as he watched Dani walk into the lioness’s den. “Dani’ll be okay! The Lord’s walking with her. Do you know my Jesus, Caylin?” Ish seemed to be relaxed with the situation as Dani continued to amble further from the truck and into harm’s way.
Struggling and fiercely uncomfortable with Ish’s questions, Caylin decided to tackle his initial enquiry first. Knowing he had no claim on the God that Ish worshipped and trusted, Caylin didn’t feel like making a spectacle of himself like the many times in church when he’d played the elders’ deceitful game and fallen backwards at their push. Hopefully, Caylin could distract the consequences of the second question with a lengthy diversion from the first. Under the current stresses, Caylin hadn’t given the logistics of sleeping much thought, and like always, Ish’s practical utterances had left him unprepared to respond. “U..uh.. I guess I’ll sleep on the back seat of the car.”
“There’s a spare double bunk in our trailer if you need it. Or if you like, I can put down my swag under the stars. Seems like a safe enough place to sleep out if you don’t mind the snakes, scorpions and spiders.”
Ish’s good natured taunt left Caylin nervous. On top of all this, he wasn’t prepared to explain the weird happenings of the previous night and the fact he wasn’t at all comfortable sleeping in the open after it.
Judging by Caylin’s red face and his shocked, staring demeanour, Ish thought Caylin had taken his humour a little too seriously and slapped Caylin on the back. “I was only teasing, Caylin.”
Attempting to distract the giant further, Caylin took a long, pointed glance up the track to the cottage, watching Dani slowly approaching the ruin as if it was a minefield. She was already within a few easy steps of the porch and although he was concerned for what Lisa would do to Dani, Caylin thought he’d successfully sidetracked Ish on his quest.
“So, Caylin? Do you know my Jesus?”
“I go to church…! Sometimes…! Alright. Okay…! Not very often!” Caylin responded defensively, his truth-telling mechanism collapsing into auto mode and he was just a little miffed that the stalling tactic hadn’t worked at all. Still trying to justify himself, Caylin began to calm down, but stared at the ground to avoid Ish’s eyes. “We used to go regularly until Lisa had a run-in with the worship leader over the colour of the chorus book covers. It got so intense, to the place where Lisa wanted me to sue her. I tried to resolve the issue without courtroom bloodshed, but Lisa dug in her boots and refused to ever return. We haven’t been back since!”
Ish astounded Caylin with a belly laugh, and when his enjoyment steadied to a rumble, he made another astonishing remark. “The devil goes to church, too, Caylin! In fact, he preaches from the pulpit of most churches every week. I didn’t ask if you know church, I asked if you knew my Jesus. Two entirely different things and with two entirely different consequences.”
Before either man could offer anything more, Ish glanced up to the cottage in time to hear Dani’s muffled voice and see her push the door open, followed by a scraping complaint from the floor that was clearly heard from the vicinity of the parked truck. Dani was inside the lioness’s den and as she pushed the door to a close, it scraped again but she left it partially open just in case a quick escape was needed.
“Give her the strength, the words and your love, Papa God, to share with Lisa,” Ish prayed openly. This was the first time he’d shown any unease, but that quickly passed, knowing the Father’s love and concern for Dani – and Lisa, as well. The minutes dragged as both men watched the door to the cottage and listened with riveting concentration. Everything remained quiet, still and peaceful…
Yak back to Jack