December 16
I'm sure details will emerge as I write, but how does one encapsulate one's life in words? I consider myself a Michigan native, now misplaced in the southern MidWest. Friends and family have called me a story teller, which is possible. To anyone who reads my work, though, I offer this caution from Isabel Allende, as she describes herself: “If you ask me to tell you my life, I will try; but it will probably be a bag of lies, because I am inventing myself all the time. And at the same time, I am inventing fiction, and through this fiction, I am revealing myself.” Cast of Characters: The Raven = My Wife. To be clear, I'm also her wife. The Giant = Our Son. I haven't legally adopted him (though I would have), but after so many years, he knows I am his parent, AKA Tia.


Owl_Says_Who's Links

MAY 20, 2011 6:11PM

(Almost) Left Behind. Reposted. Updated. Now with Epilogue.

Rate: 25 Flag

The morning breeze trickled in through my window, lake-scented.  Drowsing beneath the cool worn sheet, a light waft of bleach and sunlight tickled my nostrils.  I dozed with one ear open, stretching to savor every sense . . . 10 years old, a rare summer morning, undisturbed.   I imagined myself tall and languid.


The trumpet.  The trumpet is what woke me in a cold sweat, flung me out of bed, and into the far-too-quiet upstairs hallway.  No one was there.  My brothers’ beds were unmade, not unusual . . . but my parents’ bed was also abandoned and rumpled . . . as if a thief . . . no.



Owl to Raven, Living Room, 2008: "No, seriously, go ahead and watch the Nostradamus thing . . . I'm going to do laundry, so you go ahead."



The trumpet again, somewhere in the distance.  There was a jackhammer in my chest, thudding even in my ears.  I took a deep breath, tried to slow myself as I crept down the stairs, just in case.  I was suddenly glad I had slept in my clothes, cutoffs and a football jersey . . . scant preparation . . .


Far too still, the downstairs was as abandoned as upstairs. 


I kept my eyes on the front windows.  The sun had risen some time before, but I was watching for a sign . . . the trumpet would sound, and Christ would appear in the east, and the dead in Christ . . .


I ran for the driveway, looking at the sky above the cemetery a quarter mile north . . . nothing.  I was too late.  Too late. Unless . . .


I checked the garage on my way back into the house, and the car was still there.  Rats.  The pounding in my ears was almost deafening.


Through the breezeway, through the kitchen . . . picked up the phone . . . dialed the number of my best friend from church . . . it rang . . . it rang . . . it rang . . . it rang . . . it rang . . . it rang . . . hung up, dialed the number of my second best friend from church . . . it rang . . . it rang . . . it rang . . . it rang . . . it rang . . . it rang . . .


No.  No.  No.


My gray cat came running, tangling around my feet . . . oh Smokey!  What would I do with her?  I pushed the thought aside to concentrate.



Owl to Therapist, 2006?:  "Well, I guess I'm here because I've been experiencing anxiety attacks, you know, what with the escalating tensions between Palestine and Isreal."



This was wrong.  Not my brother, and not me.  Mick is in trouble all the time.  I am not.  Mick couldn’t have been taken . . . except . . . he's only seven.  Maybe too young to have reached the age of accountability.  Okay.  I should be happy for him.  The little one, well, at four, he should be in the arms of Jesus.




I pace in the hall by the phone, crossing from the linoleum onto the shag carpet of the living room and back again, trying to steady . . . What's my plan . . . I've been working on this . . .


The non-Christians in the neighborhood are good people.  They’d probably help me, if I need it.  When I need it.  Maybe.  Depends on how harsh the crackdown for the Mark of the Beast.  I don't want to put them at risk.  But I can't take the Mark of the Beast.  Maybe they wouldn’t want the risk.  Who could blame them?


Then again, maybe . . . maybe I won't be welcome at all . . . I mean, if I wasn’t good enough to make God’s cut, maybe . . .


Maybe take the Mark of the Beast and help those who didn't?  Maybe that would make me a martyr?  Wait . . . I don't have to decide yet . . . wait . . .





 Owl, to no one in particular, September 11, 2001: "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit . . . so this is how it begins . . .



Resources.  The electricity will stay on for awhile, probably.  I’ll have the house, at least until someone figured out there are no adults around. 


Money.  I check my wallet . . . five dollars saved from various allowances.  How will I get to town?  Worry about that later.  Money will be worthless soon, anyway.  Water from the well depends on electricity.  Water from the lake?  Have to boil it when the time comes.


Food.  Some in the refrigerator, and the freezer in the basement.  Except . . . I don’t know how to cook . . . but I can read . . . there are cookbooks . . . okay for now.   I know how to not burn the house down, that's a start.


I knew I should have started the shelter in the woods.  I should have started it in the spring.  Oh well.  It's summer.  No one will be wondering where I am, so I can start on it tomorrow.  


Today, I'll start assembling survival gear, an axe, the fishing poles and tackle, a saw . . . did we have a tarp?  The coolers.  Jacknife.  Rope, string, twine, tape . . . duct tape . . .  Tools.  I'll need to make several trips.  Take the books, too . . . the Foxfire book, and the one on shelters, and the one on wilderness survival . . .


I'll have to transport things at night, so no one knows where my shelter is.  I can use my bike.


Maybe I should make a list.


For now, I’ll be okay.  For now, I’ll be okay.




I slowed my breathing, and glanced up to the picture window in the living room.  Rounding the corner outside, a motion.  Mom.  Dad.  Mick.  Matt.  A morning walk.



Owl to Parents, phone conversation, Easter Eve, 1996?:  "Don't think for a second that I'm not aware of what the church teaches about homosexuality . . . I'm willing to stake my soul that it's wrong."



I took the stairs to my room two at a time.  Closed the door.  Curled up in my bed with the sheet covering my shivers.  Buried my face in the pillow to muffle the tears, and my God-pleas . . . my God-please.


Safe.  For now.





Owl to Mom, phone conversation, 2011 May 20: "Good thought, Mom . . . I was thinking the same thing about no man knowing the day or the time of Christ's return.

Do you suppose that God the Father is all ticked off now? I mean, what if he'd planned to have the Rapture tomorrow . . . had it in his day planner and everything . . . and now what?

He's gotta cross it out and reschedule . . . that's gotta throw off a whole lot of logistics . . ."





Kid Fears
by Amy Ray

Pain from pearls - hey little girl

How much have you grown?

Pain from pearls - hey little girl

Flower for the ones you have known

Are you on fire,

From the years?

What would you give for your

Kid fears?

Secret staircase, running high,

You had a hiding place.

Secret starcase, running low,

But they all know now you're inside.

Are you on fire,

From the years?

What would you give for your

Kid fears?

Skipping stones, we know the price now,

Any sin will do.

How much further, if you can spin.

How much further, if you are smooth.

Are you on fire,

From the years?

What would you give for your

Kid fears?

Replace the rent with the stars above.

Replace the need with love.

Replace the anger with the tide.

Replace the ones, the ones, the ones that you love.

Are you on fire,

From the years?

What would you give for your

Kid fears?

Replace the rent with the stars above.

Replace the need with love.

Replace the anger with the tide.

Replace the ones, the ones, the ones that you love.





Want more about the story?


Here's Part I of Hook, Line, and Sinker; it's kind of my intro to the subject.

Part II is here, if you want the "middle ground."

Part III is here, with the "ending."







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According to healthcentral.com, generalized anxiety may involve specific situations, issues or objects. Many with this problem weave a web of excessive worry that encompasses a wide range of everyday situations, many of them quite trivial.

I call mine the "Armageddon Complex."
It is my HONOUR to rate this piece as you have been so nice to me.
Bravo and well done.
rated with hugs
Owl_Says_Who this was just tremendous! I loved this. So well written.
Yeah, I thought of you with this open call. It was the first time I ever heard of anyone traumatized in this way.
I remember when you first posted this. I am so glad you reposted so that people will understand.

Thank you, Owl. Always a pleasure to read you.
And you should sleep tonight, like a baby. For you are good and kind and the Jesus I know and believe in (or...well...sort of half, or less than half, believe in...) is tolerant and accepting, even of fractional believers as long as they have love in their hearts, and treats others as they'd like to be treated. (That's the one Jesus teaching a lot of "christians" seem to conveniently forget!) I think you'd be IN.
Linda - Thanks, my friend. I know I haven't been around much, lately.

micalpeace - That is high praise, coming from you.

Harry - It seemed like a good time to recycle this piece. And I thank you for your encouragement when I wrote it - it literally gave me courage.
vanessa - Thank you for coming by . . . especially for a repeat episode! I think that's part of why I reposted . . . people "get it" or they don't. Maybe this will help bridge it a little . . .

Bellwether - Anymore, I try to focus on living in the moment . . . doing well/good in the now. I've been pleased that this particular prediction hasn't laid me out . . . I guess that's progress.
Chilling! Good to see you back, Owl!
Owl: I remember reading this last time. Deep breaths. Count your beautiful attributes. You are a most wonderful human being. Indigo Girls have it right in their song "Closer to Fine."
I am truly blown away by your writing. Who can write so magnificently without a soul to match? ~r
Owlie, if you get left back I'll find you. You know I'll still be here. BTW, you write terror terrifically. This was engrossing and...well, scared the bejeebies almost out of me.
High Lonesome - Always good to be here . . . and thanks for coming by!

Linnnn - That is one of my favorite Indigo Girls tunes . . . then again, pretty much everything I've heard from them strikes me deeply.

Joan H. - Thank you so much . . . I can only hope . . .

Matt - I was really working for that angle . . . that's how it felt, so if the reader feels it, then I've done it justice.
i loved this the first time, too. i wish you wrote more often, but i'm so happy to read you that i don't care if it's a second or even more-th time. you are amazing, owl. don't you wonder sometimes how we who experienced really weird and sometimes wicked childhoods ended up being even sort of normal? (some would say i should think twice about pinning that to myself. heh) love this. and you.
I'm sitting with goosebumps on my arms - after your powerful writing. I hadn't seen this before, thanks for reposting as well as including the link to Raven.
I have those fears and the way you wrote this I could feel your (my) every fear when I can't find anyone and for that second I am scared to death I really was left behind..
I remember this. Great, great piece. So good to see you pop in here. Sleep well!
Candace - Thank you so much . . . I feel bad re-posting because I want to produce more "new" content. I often wonder whether normal even exists . . . goes to my theory of relative pain, wherein each person's pain is the worst they've experienced, and therefore valid as being painful, even though from an objective point of view, some things are actually worse than others.

FusunA - I am always happy when something I write becomes visceral to a reader . . . and you give high praise with your comment.

Lunchlady2 - Those fears seem to become so engrained . . . it's hard to know how to let them go. However, I feel certain that you are in no danger of being left behind!

trilogy - I know you've had some dealings with fundamentalist theology as well! I shall sleep, as the Spanish say, with dreams of little angels.
a masterpiece ... so much soul.
Chuck - Yeah . . . maybe a little. . .
You tell a riveting story, Owl. Glad I caught it the second time around.
Wow! That raised goosebumps!

I've felt every bit of that in my own life. One difference perhaps - for me it was not a nightmare, it was a lovely dream....... ;-)

I was thrilled to see and read this. I am going to the other parts now. You really should write more--you have much talent. You captured the feelings so perfectly.....
Owl, the other day two bunnies played in my yard, and I wondered, "I hope Owl is okay, I haven't seen her in what seems like years...." :)


~leaves some bunnies for the Owl and then wanders off into the thorn bushes~
Spectacular writing my friend!
Snippy - It has been an interesting ride, so I'm glad that came across. Glad you caught it too!

skypixieo - What an interesting thought . . . not a nightmare, but a dream . . .

Elisa - ((((Elisa))))

Dr. Spud - It was one helluva moment, one which I've revisited from time to time, unfortunately. It's a little like PTSD.

aim - I love you, too, my friend. Thanks for reading.

Tinkertink - I know . . . it's been too long . . . but thanks for the bunnies! They are a tasty treat!

ladyfarmerjed - Thank you for coming by. This was part of my marking another day of non-rapture, I suppose.
An elegant journey back into childhood thought. rated
Late late Owl but still reading here.
I am glad you reposted this in honor of the day.
I am also glad to see some new writing from you dear.
And glad you are around to aim a cyber hug at.
You are gonna be fine. I say so and that is it.
Caroline - Thanks so much for coming by!

Mission - Never too late . . . that's part of what I like about OS. Right back at you with a cyber hug. It's all good . . .
"Depends on how harsh the crackdown for the Mark of the Beast." I so want a t-shirt that has that on it.

Miss you. It's nice to connect today via our posts. Hope you are well.
Owl: I remember this the first time around and was away when you re-posted it. Good timing to post it again what with the "Rapture" and all. Fitting song. Glad you are sleeping well.
Beth - Quite well, thanks. And you? That would make an awesome t-shirt, and perfect for you . . .

Scarlett - I figured since I can't seem to write my way out of a paper bag, I may as well re-post for the occasion . . .
This is one terrific piece Owl. I have missed seeing you around here and was happy to have found this. rated highly with thanks.
Rosycheeks - Thanks . . . I've missed being around. There never seems to be enough time . . .
I love this and am sorry I wasn't here when you posted.
I liked this a lot and esp the opening lines...