Chapter Ten, Pauline strengthens her resolve
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8
Lying on the ground, Pauline was out cold. But she did not notice. To her, the air had a sparkly look and the ground was manicured like an ornate garden. “Beautiful,” she breathed. Why was she on the ground? And yet her head hurt, badly. She put her hand up to the spot and it came away wet with her blood. She frowned. She rose unsteadily to her feet. She had a sensation that she was walking, and yet it felt like a vivid dream. She continued along the little stone path that wound along the creek and saw a little cave. She went inside and it was completely dark in there. She tried to feel her way along, but she fell and descended into darkness.
Much later it felt like she was floating. She awoke to see that she was being carried by a paramedic and then placed on a gurney. “What?” She said softly.
“Oh good, she’s awake. Make sure she is secured so that she doesn’t try to get up.”
She looked around but could not move her head around. “Just lie still,” someone said. “You had a bad fall and we need to make sure your neck is ok before you move it any\more, so we’ve secured it. You can’t move your head right now.”
She struggled to make sense of what had happened. “I fell?” she whispered.
“Actually a branch fell on you and THEN you fell. You are lucky your neighbor found you. But she doesn’t know your husband’s cell phone number. Can you give it to me?” Pauline looked around just moving her eyes and saw Alice. She smiled.
“My cell phone . . . in my pocket,” she said. “Look for Tyler .”
The paramedic found the number and called Tyler and told him to meet them at the hospital. He let her talk to him for a minute so he would be reassured and then they hung up.
Pauline thought about what had happened. She remembered looking at the deer and walking back to see them closer. It was a bittersweet event every time she went to the part of the yard that was down the hill. She remembered when she was small their father had put up play equipment, a swing set and monkey bars. They had a picnic table he had built on the patio in front of the fireplace he had made. He had hauled in sand and fill dirt so he could plant grass. Over the years he was less and less able to maintain it and now there was no more grass. Only some of the wildflowers remained. And the branch that hit her was a piece from the very willow tree that he had planted.
Arriving at the hospital the two of them wheeled her into emergency. “Can you tell us what happened?” asked the doctor.
“Evil demons!” answered Pauline vehemently.
“What?” Said the doctor, smiling and shaking her head. “Better do a CT scan right away. She seems to be delirious and confused.”
Tyler burst into the room, ripping the curtain aside. “Are you ok? What happened?”
“Evil demons!” She said again. “They don’t like that we are trying to start an occult support and mentoring group. They are trying to stop us!”
“I think I might just know what’s going on here,” said Tyler . “We have been talking about the spirit world lately and I think she has been dwelling on it. She does feel though that the spirit world doesn’t like when we teach people the truth. So her saying that means she is pretty lucid. Whether we can blame her injury on evil spirits is another matter.
“I’ll call the pastor. He should know that this has happened so we can all be praying for her, and he will want to advise her on this. She has been investigating some paranormal happenings around here and trying to help people affected by them.”
When Tyler returned from the hall where he was phoning the pastor, they had put a hospital bracelet on Pauline’s arm and were getting ready to take her to the CT scan room and for neck x-rays. He walked along and waited outside the x-ray machine room for her. They had taken some routine bloodwork so that any kind of chemical imbalance could be ruled out, such as mineral imbalances that might cause her to fall. Even though she had definitely been hit on the head, it’s possible she may have fallen first since there was no one there to see the exact sequence of events taking place.
“Pauline,” he said. “Do you feel ok?”
“I have a headache, she said.
“I mean . . . I mean did you see anything strange in the backyard or did anything happen that you remember before the branch fell? Anything at all?”
“I had just seen some deer by the creek and walked back to try to get closer to them. The next thing I knew the paramedics were picking me up. Oh . . . “
“I had a sort of a dream,” she said.
“Could have been a hallucination brought on by the head injury,” said the nurse.
“But it was just like I was walking in a garden. Somehow it looked and seemed very familiar.”
It reminded Tyler of the dream gnome episode from the last year, and that bothered him. God had sent away the gnome spirit and told it not to come back. She hadn’t mentioned the gnome again, but this sounded like a similar dream. He would have to watch her carefully and get help at any signs of spiritual danger.