[FFML] [ORIG] Angel Dawn, Chapter Four

Henry Cobb henry.cobb at gmail.com
Thu Nov 26 17:48:05 PST 2009


[ORIG] Angel Dawn, Chapter Four
By Henry J. Cobb, all rights reserved.

I think that the characters and situations presented here are original, but
I owe a heavy debt to my influences.  This chapter should be considered to
be PG-13 level for adult situations, in addition to the usual blasphemy.

Chapter Four: "Candle chases moth"

I think I managed to keep a straight face throughout the sermon.  Whomever
had written this Bible not only knew a great deal about my family but also
had a very wry sense of humor.  It reminded me of Father's.

"I think I've bored you enough for this week and like the rest of you I'd
like to hear what our guest of honor has to say,"  The priest stepped to
one side and motioned to the podium, "Dawn, if you would please?"

I glanced at Mr. Himoto and he nodded so I stepped forwards.  The podium
was a bit too tall for me so I stood to one side of it as I addressed the
crowd, "Hello.  It seems you all know what I am so I won't go into that.
I'm not here to solve all your problems or tell you what to do.  Just ask
yourselves what my Brother would do and approach issues with compassion and
humility.  Nobody knows Father's plans and we're all in the same situation.
Rushing to judgment does not help.  Trying to take on part of Father's job
like that doesn't make it any easier for Him.  I can't promise that I'll
make everything better, because I know that things are going to get a lot
worse, but I don't know when.  I do know that if you live in the light then
one day you will find yourself before Father.  My suggestion is that you
take the time to thank him for Creation and say how much you've enjoyed the
limited time you've had with Everything.  And you know what He will say?"

The crowd sat in puzzlement so I continued, "He will thank you for your
kind words and then He will start to apologize for the compromises of
Creation.  And before you know it, you'll be talking with Father about the
evolution of butterfly wings or some other obscure and fascinating topic.
I've seen many outraged souls who have assaulted Father with angry words
and Father has taken and taken the blame until these poor souls have found
that all along they've only been angry with themselves.  When your problems
seem to be too big then look around the corners and see if you can't find
some small part of your problems that you can deal with yourself and leave
the big issues to Father.  I've seen him at work and I don't think that He
does too little.  I worry that He takes on too much."

"That's enough from me on things in general.  I'm not here to rewrite this
book," I pointed to the Bible on the podium, "Or write a new book.  I'm
here to deal with the plague of demons who have come here from Hell to
bedevil mankind.  So if you want to help me then please let me know when
you see something odd and wrong going on that you can't explain."

I returned to my seat and the service soon ended but the worshipers formed
a line to see me.  Several families asked me to bless their children, a
girl asked if her boyfriend was the one and a lady asked if I could cure
her husband's performance problem.  I asked her if he was an actor.  He
said that he'd be okay if I could just lay hands on the afflicted region and
then she decided that he didn't need my help.

One man waited for the others to leave then approached Mr. Himoto and
myself as we were almost to the car, "I think I have a case of demonic
possession."

I reached out to grab his arm, "Surely not.  You're just human."

"It's not me.  It's a patient of mine.  It's a psychosis with no physical
explanation.  Can you come see now?"

I turned to Mr. Himoto who nodded, "I trust Doctor Numatera."

We followed the doctor's car to a large building, then followed him
inside.  He went to a room where a couple were seated by a young boy who
was sleeping in a bed.

"This is Dawn,"  The doctor indicated me, "She is a, um, faith healer."

The man looked up at me, "Sorry Miss., but we've tried that before.  No
need to waste your time."

"Dawn is special.  Will you let her try?"

The woman put her hand on the man's arm, "It can't hurt Dear.  Go ahead
Miss."

I looked down at the boy, "He seems to be sleeping peacefully?"

The doctor checked a clipboard, "No, he's under sedation.  This is the only
way he gets any rest.  Otherwise he's uncontrollably violent."

I put my hand on the boy's forehead, "Human and demon.  Yes, there is
another spirit inside.  This is not the demon I was looking for, but I
cannot forgive this."  I looked down at the boy as I considered my next
move.  I couldn't just blast the boy into ashes.  That would destroy or at
least hurt the demon, but the price was too high.  I'd need to get into his
dream somehow.  If I simply went to the valley of dreams alone I could
search for thousands of years and not find the right dream.

I needed to force my way in to this boy's soul.  Somehow my learning
process had created a connection to first Ichiru and then Ana.  I bent
down, pulled the boy's jaw open with my hands and touched my tongue to
his.  I tasted his soul and the demon's.  I tried to force my way in, but
they both resisted.  I summoned my spiritual strength and smashed in.

"What are you doing!"  The man rose to his feet as my attention faded away
from Earth.

I fell and landed on the ground inside a dream.  It was nighttime and I was
lying on the ground in front of a large house.  I reached my hand out to
feel the ground.  The human's spirit was there, but the demon was not part
of this dream.

I rose to my feet and looked around.  There was a large yard around the
house, surrounded my a hedge.  All was silent.

I stepped up to the house.  The front door was locked.  I used the same
unlocking technique I had used at Mr. Himoto's house to open it.

Inside it was even darker than outside, because the starlight was blocked.
I tried the wall switch, but no light emerged so I raised my right hand and
summoned a small fire between my fingers.

I could hear sobbing so I followed this up a flight of stairs to another
locked door.  I opened this with my left hand.  Inside I could see that it
was a bedroom, but somewhat larger than mine.

"Go away,"  The boy lay curled up on his bed.

"I'm here to help."

"That's what they all say.  Don't bother.  I'm not worth saving.  I'm
evil.  I screamed at my parents and friends.  I hurt people.  Just leave me
alone or I'll hurt you too."

"Every human soul is worth saving."

"Why do you say that like you're not human,"  He looked up at me and then
at the flame I held in my right hand,  "How are you doing that?"

"I can do much more that this,"  I clapped my flame out between my hands as
I forced my will over his dream.

He turned to see the light of a new dawn through his windows, "Huh?"

I sat down next to him, "The things you did, they weren't your fault.  The
demon forced you to do them."

"Mr. Tora said I could do things, but I'm the one who did them."

"The way of demons is to force their way into human souls and then seduce
them to evil," I picked him up and put him in my lap, "They make such
modest requests at first and then mislead the humans, step by step until
the human finds that they've become somebody they don't know."

"Who are you?"  The boy uncurled and turned to look me in the eyes.

"I'm Dawn, and you are?"

"I'm Shinnosuke, but my friends called me Shin-chan, back when I had
friends."

"I'm sure they're just waiting for you to get better, and now you can.  If
you feel the demon return to your nightmares then call out my name and I
will hear it,"  I leaned down to kiss him on the forehead, "Do you feel
that connection?"

He put his arms around me and kissed me on the lips, "Yes, it makes me feel
all warm inside.  But why are you doing this for me?  I've been so
horrible.  I've done such nasty things."

"God's forgiveness is infinite, but you have to be able to forgive
yourself."

"God?  Are you a christian?"

"Christ is my brother."

"I can't forgive me.  I've done too much.  Nobody cares for me anymore."

"Your parents seem to be very worried about you.  They wait by your side
for your return.  Can you be a good son for them and do the things they
ask?  I'm sure they love you."

He curled up in my lap as he started to cry uncontrollably.  But after a
few minutes his breathing soften as he dreamed of being asleep.

I tucked him into his bed then stood, summoned my wings of fire and gently
flew out of his dream.  I stood in the valley of dreams for a moment and
watched as his dream crawled away from the dark tower and towards the
light.  Then I willed myself awake.

I was lying in a second bed that had been added to the room.  I sat up.

"I told you, she'd be fine,"  Mr. Himoto nudged Doctor Numatera.

"Yes, that was quite a fright when you fainted and could not be awakened."

"I'm okay.  Check on Shinnosuke please."

Doctor Numatera examined the boy, "He seems to be resting peacefully now."

Shinnosuke's parents rose from their chairs and his father asked me, "Will
he be okay?"

"He should,"  I stretched my limbs, then stood.

"Then we need to get to school,"  Mr. Himoto picked up his coat, "If you'll
excuse us please."

Back at our house Mr. Himoto washed up first, then walked into the kitchen
in his suit, "You must be hungry?"

"What?"

"You've made so much."

"It's not just breakfast, but lunch as well, and I missed dinner last
night."

"What is it?"

"I don't know.  Please don't show it to anybody."

"Yes, I've had lunch in my office alone before.  It won't be suspicious.
I'm just surprised to see you so energetic after working all night.  Were
you active or sleeping?"

"This human body requires sleep.  When it has been active for a long period
it becomes sluggish, the senses get blurry and it requires extra
concentration to move it around, but if I leave it alone for several hours
it will reset,"  I handed him his lunchbox.

"Thanks dear,"  He rose from his hastily eaten breakfast and kissed me on
the cheek, "Sorry.  Force of habit.  I need to run into the school now, but
you've got another hour before classes start.  Can you find your own way to
school?"

"Yes.  I have walked that way before."

I ate, showered, dressed, took my bookbag, stepped outside and made the
door lock itself.

"It clicked, but you didn't use a key,"  A girl from my class was standing
on the sidewalk.

As I turned to her, I could see that she had also been at the church on the
previous day,  "Mr. Himoto uses a piece of metal for this.  Perhaps I
should ask him for one."

"Can you do that with any lock?"

"I suppose, but I have only encountered a few of mostly the same type so
far,"  I walked with the girl towards the school.

"What else can angels do?"

"I can do a great many different things, but I would prefer if the angel
reference wasn't used openly."

"Oh, sorry.  I'm Sadako Tanikuro.  We're in the same class,"  She extended
her hand.

I grasped it in mine, "You are human."

"How could that be unusual?"

"The demon I am looking for is at our school."

"Oh?  Who is it?"

"I do not know."

"So you're working undercover to smoke him out?"

"Something like that."

"Demons.  My folks have always been all fire and brimstone, but I didn't
believe a word of it.  They had to practically drag me to church
yesterday.  An angel has arrived.  Yeah, as if.  And when I saw it was you,
after the way you've acted in school.  Well, it must have been something in
the Kool-Aid, right?  And then you've done these things."

"Sadako, will you help me?"

"Yes, of course.  I wasn't a christian before.  But now that I've seen proof,
I want to sing your praises from the rooftops."

I stopped just around the corner from the school and rechecked my memory of
the previous week, "I have not done anything in your presence that should
appear to be beyond human capabilities.  I did not even heal that child
yesterday."

"That's the point.  A fraud would have setup a fake healing.  The child
would have been pushed in a wheelchair, you'd have laid on your hands and
commanded her to walk and everybody would have applauded.  Only a real
angel would consider the girl's soul to be more important than her life,
her suffering or your own appearances.  You're playing it real.  There is
Good and there is Evil and it's not up to us to question God's reasons.
That is why I'm ready to do what you ask."

"Thanks.  Well, have any of your friends acted in a strange way lately?"

"Sakurayama wasn't a friend, but he hung himself on Friday.  Do you think a
demon made him do it?"

"I had not considered that, but will check.  And please keep my secret."

"May I swallow a thousand needles if I betray you."

"I don't see how that would help?"

"You're really not from anyplace around here, are you?  But why the eyes,
if you wanted to keep yourself secret?"

"Eyes?"

"Yeah.  You don't look Japanese with bright red hair like that, but I'm
fairly sure that no human being anywhere has golden eyes, like twin suns,"
She stared at my face for a moment longer, then turned and walked into the
school.

Hakumei had worn dark glasses while possessing me.  I considered the occasions
where I would have to do the same as I walked into the school.

That morning all of the classes were assembled for a memorial service for
the fallen student.  I looked over all the students and teachers. but could
not spot the demon.  Which one was Zephyr?

I had lunch with Mr. Himoto in his office.  "I need to touch the instrument
of death."

"What?"

"What tool did Sakurayama use to end his own life?"

"He hung himself with his warm-up jacket in the boy's locker room during
P.E.  The police have the jacket now.  I'll make a call so come back here
after classes."

That evening we went to a building that had a big sign in front of it that
said Police.  Inside there were several adults that all wore the same style
of clothing.  The recognized the one who greeted us as one of the humans
from the audience in the Church.  He took us to a small room with a table
that had two boxes on it.

"The official story is that you two are being asked about the events
surrounding Sakurayama's death,"  He opened one of the boxes and brought
out a school jacket in a plastic bag, "Unfortunately it will be discovered
later that the video tape for this room wasn't running at this time."

"We thank you for your consideration," Mr. Himoto turned to me, "Can you
work without having to remove the jacket from the bag?"

"I can try," I picked up the plastic bag and focused through it to the
jacket, then I put it back, "Sakurayama did this by himself, of his own
will.  I don't think any demon was forcing him and certainly not the one
I'm after."

"That's a relief,"  The man put the bag back in the box, "We were fairly
sure it wasn't murder.  Do you mind helping us with another case?"

"Yes, I'm sorry to have wasted your time."

He opened the other box and pulled out a knife in another plastic bag,
"What do you think of this?"

I picked up the bag and felt through it to the knife.  Then I put it back
down on the table, turned and vomited up my lunch onto the floor.

"Dawn!"  Mr. Himoto got up from his seat and knelt beside me.

I struggled for breath then climbed back up to my chair.  A woman in a
similar uniform had arrived with a glass of water and I accepted this and
drank to clear my throat.

"Dawn,"  Mr. Himoto put a hand on my shoulder, "What was it?"

I looked up at the man in the uniform, "The man who did that.  He was a
human, not a demon, but he enjoyed it.  How could he?"

"Do you know who it is, or what he looks like?"

"No, all humans look about the same to me.  I could tell who it was if I
touched him, but I couldn't spot him from a distance."

"Let's go home,"  Mr. Himoto helped me to my feet,  "There's nothing else,
right?"  He asked the man in the uniform.

"No.  Thank you."

That night in a dream I found myself in a confined space and a human was
pressed on top of me.  It was a human, a boy who was larger than myself.
At first I lay there, awash in the flow of his strong emotions.

His fumbling hand undid the buttons of my blouse as he kissed me,
"Hakumei."

I opened my eyes and saw that it was the boy Hakumei had called Lover.

He reached inside my blouse and placed his hand on my bra, then he opened
his eyes, "What?"  He sat up.

I looked around and saw that we were in the back seat of an automobile.  I
shuffled off to the side and sat up in the seat next to his.

"Who are you?"

"I am Dawn,"  I rebuttoned my blouse, "And you are?"

"Tokujiro Terashiro.  Those lips, those curves, your scent and something in
the way you move.  You were the one who pretended to be Hakumei, weren't
you?"

"It wasn't a pretense of my choosing."

"Why?  Who put you up to this?"

"I am sorry for your inconvenience, but I must be going now."

"Wait!"  He grabbed for me, but I pushed him back while opening the car
door with my other hand.  Then I stepped out into a moonlit wooded area,
walked around a tree and stepped out of his dream.

I found myself in the valley of dreams, next to Terashiro's dream.  We were
slightly closer to the dark tower than the light tower.

Why had I let myself indulge in his emotions?  I levitated above the plain
and meditated for the rest of the night, seeking my center.

The next morning I fixed lunch again and so missed the ride to school.

Sadako was waiting outside, "Good morning Dawn."

"Yes, this is Tuesday, isn't it?"

"How can you not know the weekdays?  Isn't one of them supposed to be
special to your father, Friday, Saturday or Sunday?"

"We really don't have days there.  We don't sleep, other than for dream
operations and every moment with Father is precious, even for those who
have been there since the dawn of time itself."

"When was that?"

"In your terms almost thirteen and a half billion years ago."

"Oh.  Did you find anything on Sakurayama?"

"He killed himself."

"So where are you going to start looking for the demon?"

"Two of the three times it's appeared have been in the gymnasium."

"Oh, when?"

"One time was when it told the class that I had practiced acrobatics in
Brazil."

"Oh yes, didn't you win a competition in Brazil?"

"I've never been to Brazil and my cover story is that I was a poor orphan
there."

"But I remember reading about it."

"Where?"

"In some magazine."

"Which magazine, when?"

"I don't know", Sadako stopped.

"Now do you see what I'm up against?"

"That's scary."

"So is there anybody who has a connection to the gymnasium?"

"Yasuki is in there most afternoons practicing basketball."

"She was the girl who attempted to recruit me?  Tell me more about this
basketball."

"I'll bring you a book at lunch."

At lunch Sadako sampled the lunch I had brought as I read through the book
she had checked out of the library.

"What is this stuff?"

"I don't know."

"But it's homemade?"

I looked up from the book, "If anybody asks it's Brazilian cooking that I
don't know the Japanese words for.  If they press me I'll make up something
in Portuguese."

"Do you know every language?"

"I acquired Portuguese and Japanese and I'm learning English, along with
the rest of the class."

That afternoon after school I went into the gymnasium while Mr. Himoto
worked on some of that paperwork in his office.

Yasuki looked up from bouncing, er dribbling the ball, "What do you want?"

"I've decided to take you up on your offer and join the team."

"As if,"  She tossed the ball into the basket.

"Let's play a game, one on one.  If I get more baskets than you then I get
on the team."

"Okay, you're on.  Go get changed."

"I only have thirty minutes,"  I stepped onto the court in my school
uniform and shoes, "You go first."

"Sure," Yasuki tossed the ball towards the basket.

I jumped up three meters and hit it back towards her.

"How did you block that?"  She moved back and then tried to pass me while
dribbling.

I reached out and hit the ball away from her, "Looks like I just knocked it
off bounds, your ball."

She charged towards the basket and tried many long shots and I blocked
every one.

Finally she let the ball drop from her hands and squatted down with her
hands on her knees panting, "I -- I give up.  I don't know how you do
that.  Are you even human?"

I stepped up and shook her hand, "You are.  And it looks like I lose.  My
time's up and neither one of us made any baskets so I failed to make more
than you."

"Wait, you can't just do that and walk away!  You've made your point.  With
your skill we'll just stroll up and take the national championship.  Nobody
can stand up against that."

"Sorry, but I haven't got the time."

There was another girl from our class at the door, but she stood well back
from me, "Kawahiro, can you help me with something please?"

"Can't it wait, Jisshouji?"

"It's urgent."

"Okay, give me a moment," Yasuki walked off with the other girl towards the
showers then turned back to me, "This isn't over Dawn!"

That night I returned to Shinnosuke's house in his dream.  This time it was
a sunlit morning instead of the darkest night.  I looked around and saw
that I was on the other side of his house than I had approached before.

"Dawn!" Shinnosuke ran up to hug me, "You've come back!"

"You have summoned me.  Has the demon returned?"

"No, I just wanted, can you do something for me?"

"Sure."

"Okay, stand like this, with your arm outstretched like that,"  He walked
around me, "Great, just hold that pose,"  He retreated behind a frame that
had canvas stretched across it and was supported by a tripod.

"What are you doing?"

"Painting.  Stay still."

I waited for a few minutes and then he said, "It's great!  Come see."

I walked around the tripod and saw what he had painted on the canvas.  It
was myself, but with red eyes instead of gold.  In the painting I held my
sword of fire and spread my wings of fire and instead of my schoolgirl
uniform I wore strange black armor that had demonic runes of fire on it
that repeated "Hellborn Princess Dawn, daughter of Darkness" over and over.

"Isn't it great?  I don't know what those symbols mean though.  Are they
words?"

I placed my hand on his forehead, "I don't sense demonic possession.  But
who would do this?  Would any demon dare mock Darkness herself?"

"Did I do something wrong?"

"No, it isn't your fault.  Excuse me please," I kissed him on his forehead
then stepped back, summoned my wings of fire and flew up into the sky and
out of Shinnosuke's dream."

I saw that he was on the dark side of the valley of dreams, but I could
find no demon nearby.

I awoke feeling uneasy.  I looked down at myself then stood and rushed for
my door, "Help!"

"Huh, what is it Dawn?"  Mr. Himoto opened his door.

"I'm bleeding."

"What?"

"Down here."

"Oh!  Wait a moment, let me get you some things.  Go down to the bathroom."

He came to the door of the bathroom and handed me a book and some boxes,
"This should explain it."

"What is it?"

"It means that you can have children.  It's perfectly natural for girls."

"Of course I can have children, but it would have to be with Father or one
of my senior uncles and they'd have to supply most of the spiritual energy
so I don't see why they'd bother.  Wait, you mean human children?"

"Apparently."

"How could that be possible?  I don't have a human soul and even if the
child had a human body, how could it have a soul that was half human and
half angel?"

"Look, just read the book, wash up and use the tampons.  Take the day off
from school and I'll tell your teachers that you're sick."

I took a shower then used one of the items then stepped out wrapped in a
towel.

Mr. Himoto was waiting at the door, "You doing okay now?"

"I'm still feeling a little uneasy."

"Are you in pain?  I've got some things that helped my wife and daughter."

"No.  I'm okay."

"I'll wash up and then get to school.  You take it easy today."

I read the book about the female human body then went downstairs around
noon to make myself lunch.  I noted that we were running low on food items
so after lunch I dressed in Hakumei's casual clothes and put some of the
money that Mr. Himoto had given me in my pocket.

On the way to the store an automobile suddenly turned around and parked
next to me.  It was the car Tokujiro had dreamed about.  He got out of it
and walked up to me, "Say, were are you going?"

"Just to the grocery store,"  I continued walking.

"You're her, aren't you?  You're the one who pretended to be Hakumei."

"I'm sorry for any inconvenience I may have caused you Mr. Terashiro."

"Who put you up to this?  Who told you my name?"

"You did."

"That was just a dream!"

I pushed him out of my way and continued walking.

"Don't ignore me!"  He walked up behind me.

I felt a sudden sharp pain in the back of my head and found myself in the
valley of dreams.  Had my body just died?  I crossed my legs and floated in
meditation.  I listened intently and heard my own heartbeat.  I tried to
return, but found my way blocked by a wall of pain.

I waited for over an hour and found myself awakened by a splash of water to
my face.

Tokujiro was standing over me with a bucket in his hands, "Back awake again
I see.  You can try screaming if you like, but nobody comes around here
anymore."

I looked around and saw that we were in a very large very empty building.
His car was parked a few meters away.  I tried to sit up, but I couldn't
move my arms.  I looked and saw that my thick ropes where tied around my
limbs and secured to posts.

"Yeah.  You're not going anywhere until you tell me what I want to know.
Now, who put you up to this?"

I waited and considered my options.

"Not talking?  Well, I had a dream about this.  Let's see how that goes,"
He knelt down by my right side and pressed his lips against mine as he
unbuttoned my blouse.

Again I felt that strong emotion from his dream, but this time it was
almost buried under darker more violent urges.  He wasn't under demonic
possession, but doing this of his free will.  He was a human under risk of
falling and I had to save him.

I tried my bonds again, but they didn't bulge.  He was mostly on top of me
now, but mainly to the right side so I invoked my element starting from my
left hand.  I could feel the disturbance as I imposed my violation of
Father's laws of the Universe.

He raised himself to look down on me and saw the fire, "What?"  He rolled
off of my body.

I intensified the flame and burned through the rope binding my left hand,
then spread my flame across my body to burn away my other bonds.  My
clothes ignited and fell away as I stood.

He sat where he had landed on the ground and stared up at me.

I stopped powering my flame and it died out, having no fuel to burn.

I pointed my left hand at him, "Repent!"

"What?  I..."

"Repent!"

"I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!"  He bowed down before me, pressing his forehead
against the floor.

I knelt down and pulled him up by his shoulders to look him in the eyes,
"Thou shall not assault human beings.  Do you understand?"

"Yes!  Yes!  Forgive me."

"That's a good boy," I hugged him against me, then kissed him on the
forehead and stood.  I looked around and saw some large burlap sacks.  I
fashioned one of these into a garment in the fashion from Aunt Flora's
dream and tied a remaining piece of rope as a belt.

I walked back towards Tokujiro, who had returned to a face down posture.

He put his hands over his head, "If there's anything, anything I can do."

"There is."

"What is it?"  He looked up.

"Give me a ride home please."

"Of course.  Where do you live?"

"At Mr. Himoto's house."

"Oh,"  He rose to his feet and walked to his car.

Back at the house I barely had time to close the car door behind me before
Tokujiro sped off.

I walked inside the house and the door was slammed behind me.

Mr. Himoto was standing there, "What were you doing with Terashiro and what
happened to your clothes?"

"I saved him and I had to burn those off, sorry.  Let me wash up and I'll
fix dinner."

In the bathroom I removed the tampon and threw it away before stepping into
the shower.  Apparently being inside my body had protected it from my
element.

That night I stepped into a very modest ramshackle building in a dream.

"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry,"  There was a girl of perhaps seven years old
squatting in the corner.  It was Ana, but her mental image was of a younger
version of herself.

I regressed myself to match her age, and adopted similar garb to hers,
little better than the sack I had worn earlier.

I saw she was clutching something and she looked up as I took it from her
hands, "Dawn?"

It was the diary, "You wrote this, didn't you?"

"Yes.  I'm sorry I forced myself on you, I couldn't help it, I mean it's
all my fault."

"I like it.  It's very interesting, but the things in this diary have
nothing to do with the shops and parks you showed me before.  You were
writing about your own life, before you moved in to the big house?"

She nodded.

"This was the time you wrote about.  This shack, this place?"

"Yes."

"Then can you please show me this life I was supposed to have led?"  I took
her hand and helped her to her feet.

Outside we saw a group of slightly older boys kicking a ball back and
forth.

I pointed at the one Ana beamed at, "Who is he?"

"He was my brother Adao.  He's not really here, like you are, is he?"

"No, this is just the way you remember him."

We walked through her old neighborhood and some of the people greeted us by
name.  We sat in the shade and rested for a moment.

"How do they know you Dawn?"

I turned to Ana, "This is what you imagined when you were writing the
diary.  Creation always has consequences."

A woman walked up.  She wore black and white garb that covered all but her
hands and face, "Dawn!  Why aren't you working?"

"It's my fault Sister Eva.  Can I help Dawn with her chores to make up for
it?"

"Very well, but hurry."

We followed Sister Eva to the orphanage and were set to work cutting roses.

"This place exists?"

"Yes, it's in my father's district so don't worry about anybody
squealing on you from here.  Especially not with the church's support.
What are doing?"

I had fashioned some of the roses into a ring, "It's a crown for a
princess," I placed the ring on her head.

"Ow!  It's got thorns!"  She pulled it off of her head and pushed it down
on mine, "Say, how come it doesn't hurt you?"

"I have the mark of my Aunt Flora.  Not even the dreams of plants can hurt
me."

As I awoke I considered the implication of my dream and walked out into
Mr. Himoto's backyard.  I hugged the tree and this time I could sense it
responding with joy to the mark my aunt had placed on me.

"What are you doing?"  Mr. Himoto stood at his door.

"Testing something,"  I walked past him back into the house.

Even if Aunt Dreams was determined to block me, I could still get back into
Heaven at places sanctified by Aunt Flora.  Best not to risk it for now,
because it might embarrass her, but I would find the nearest such place.

Next: "Counter Revelationary Operations"


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