What you will find here

This is a place to examine plans filled with hope; plans which promise a refuge from chaos; plans which will shape our futures. Veterans with and without PTSD, Pentecostal Presbyterians, Adjudicated Youth, and Artists-Musicians-Writers: I write what I know. ~~~ Evelyn

Friday, February 21, 2014

Excerpt from To Build an Army Chapter Two

The portals shimmered into existence: two to the east of the chapel, two to the west, and one hovered in the center of the graveyard. People stepped through to leave Earth.  Others jumped in from other worlds.  Shouts of “Whom do you serve?” mixed with “Comes the warrior.” Le’Vander had visited the Atlanta airport six years ago.  This was the same sense of organized chaos.  He leaned against the hood of his car and crossed his arms.  It was a shame Patsy was missing this, he thought.  It was better than the airport, because here the people traveling to hold back the dark.

With all the bright portals glaring in the afternoon, the shadow which swelled from the size of a fly to a loaf of bread just beyond the cemetery in front of the parsonage was overlooked by most.  Le’Vander felt the evil of it, and turned just as it expanded to the size of a window.  Le’Vander yelled, but with all the other people yelling, no one heard him.  He jammed his arm into the open window of his Toyota and beat the horn: three long, three short, three long blasts.  All eyes turned to him and he pointed at the dark disc which was now as large as his car.

A helmeted head poked through and gazed at them.  Soldiers of the light harmonized their actions, habit taking precedence over surprise and fear.  Soldiers of the dark tumbled and rolled from the door of despair, spreading out in various directions and immediately initiating battle.

Children were hustled into the chapel.  Twigs of Atticus encircled the building.

Le’Vander had his shotgun pulled from the trunk and firing before he ever gave thought to the action.

The smell of Chantilly floated to him.  Patsy was walking from the fellowship hall toward the chapel, earphones in and attached to some device at her waist.  A sheet of music held in both hands captivated her attention.  Le’Vander yelled, “Behind you! Patsy! Behind you!”

A warrior armed with what looked like a cactus – except the stalk was black and the spines were red – threw her head back and laughed.  Then the black cactus wielding woman swung at Patsy.  Patsy was in the middle of the refrain but glanced up at the movement.  She opened her mouth in surprise and instinctively raised her voice, “She could hear the driving nails on the hillside, and she prayed that His spirit will not fail!”

The cactus wielder crumpled.

“Hey, Patsy.  Do it again.” Le’Vander shouted; his voice unable to rise above the cacophony around him.

But she didn’t need his advice.  She did what she did best – Patsy sang.  And the dark soldiers fell back from her voice as if it were a sonic blast.

The song on the CD ended and Patsy advanced toward to door.  “My God is an awesome God,” she belted it out.  Dark soldiers writhed in agony.

The battle lasted an hour at least.  The dark soldiers were vanquished; the light prevailed.  People around Patsy began to sing, too, and what could easily have been a slaughter became a victorious songfest, like some macabre musical.

The injured were carried into the fellowship hall.  The children were bussed to the refuge.  Patsy made her way back to the car, after being hugged by most of the elders and strongly questioned by Gwen and prayed over by Atticus.  Patsy felt radiant.

Until she found Le’Vander’s shotgun snapped and shattered on the bloody ground by his Toyota.

She grabbed a medic – and not gently.  “Where’s Le’Vander?”

The Pakistani shook his head.

“Le’Vander!” she hollered.  “Tall, skinny, balding, makes the best coffee in the world, blue Star Wars shirt.”

“Clone Wars?” the young man asked.

“I don’t know!” She shook him.  “Where is he?”

“Fellowship hall.  With the wounded.”

“Is he hurt?  Is he dying?  What’s wrong with him?”
            “Nothing. I can do nothing for him.” The medic stuttered as Patsy continued to shake him.

His words sank in and she found herself running.  Her flotsam sandals flew across the grass.  She pushed someone out of the way and then she was beside him.  He was laying on a table in the fellowship hall, eyes closed, arms and legs stretched out as if he were asleep.

“Oh, Le’Vander,” she whispered.  “Le’Vander.”  She pressed her hands on his shoulders and he opened his eyes.

“You were magnificent, Patsy.  You were slaying them right and left.  I was never so proud of you in my life.”

“Oh, Le’Vander.”

He tried to sit up, but she insisted he lay back down.  “Don’t try to move, Le’Vander.  Just rest now.  You just rest here.  And I’ll stay with you.  No matter what.”

“Is everything alright, Patsy?” he asked softly, his voice trembled.

“The doctor said,” Patsy’s make-up smeared with her tears.  “The doctors don’t know everything.  They don’t.  He said there’s nothing he can do for you.  But I don’t believe him.”

“Patsy,” Le’Vander gasped.  “You’re crushing my shoulders.”

Her hands flew in the air.  “I’m sorry.  I’m sorry, Le’Vander.  Are you in a lot of pain?”

“No,” he shook his head.  “No, not much.”

“Is there anything I can do for you?”

He looked at her, then checked to his right and left, then looked at her again.  He lowered his voice, “Will you kiss me, Patsy, just once, before I die?”

“I swear it, Le’Vander.  I swear on our mothers’ graves, I’ll kiss you before you die.”

He grinned, began to sit up, and then lay back down again.  “Did you ever think, if you’d won that scholarship and gone away to sing opera at the Met, you wouldn’t have been here today?  You would have been the best opera singer in the world, dressed in sparkly outfits, eating oysters and caviar and sipping champagne with kings.  And everyone who heard you sing would have fallen in love with you.  But God had something better in mind for you.  I always said it, didn’t I?  And here it is.  You could have been singing for kings and queens, but today, you sang for God, and defeated the darkness.  You sang for God and He sang through you.  It don’t get better than that, Patsy.  Not ever.  No matter how many kings –“

Excerpt from

To Build an Army

© Evelyn Rainey

Available for publication.


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