Into the Mist

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Chapter Five

The following month was tolerable but I missed the gardens terribly. I came near the entrance to our pod once and was stopped by the Nazi on guard, aptly named Nancy. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“Nowhere. I’m just walking for exercise.”

She actually snorted. “After all that training you guys have.”

I had been sleeping better, but I attributed that to my new pill. I suppose the training helped. I leaned on the desk. “So... about all this training...” I knew this guard was particularly prone to gossip. “What’s it all for anyway? They can’t care about our physical fitness.”

“Oh no. You’re not getting anything from me, young lady. All I know is that it’s political.”

“I know that already. My trainer told me.”

“Then go ask him. He is one fine hunk of man, that Steve.” She sighed. “He must have had a hard labor job.”

“Yeah,” I said. “He was on the new construction crew.”

“Really? Well those biceps. Mmmm.” Here we go, girl talk.

“And he’s so polite, you should go for him.”

“You think so?” She sounded almost giddy.

“Sure. You’re bright and small. Men like to take care of little women.” She sighed again. Here was my chance. “At least he got a good job in the 21st program- that makes him good date material.”

“How did you know about the 21st program?” she asked warily.

“Oh. Steve told me about that, too,” I lied. “It’s a shame what happens to all the others.”

She clammed up immediately. “I can’t talk to you about that,” she said sternly. “Besides, I should write him up over it.”

“Ah no! Don’t get him in trouble,” I said. “Maybe just use me as an excuse to go talk to him.”

“You think?”

“Of course, just don’t mention the program.”

“Maybe I will,” she thought out loud.

“Just talk about training. You don’t want him to think that you’re going to write him up.”

“Yeah... You’re right.” She sighed again. She was going to pass out if she didn’t stop breathing like that. I would have to pay more attention to Steve if he was this hot. I’m sure that’s why they assigned him to me. You can’t flirt with a blank face, and his voice wasn’t tripping my trigger. His personality was OK-no Nobel prize winner or comedian. Just your average jock. Then again, that’s all some women look for.

The minute I was released from lockdown was a Sunday morning so while everyone else was at services I ran to the agricultural pod to the gardens. I plunged my hands into the soil. I could almost feel the presence of bodies from the past. Suddenly, I was engulfed in mist. I don’t know if it was my contact with the earth, or my wild desire, but I could see. First light, then bits of color, then I saw everything around me. It was brilliant, so emotional, so moving and I heard it say, in its tinkle- voice, “We can heal you.”

I was almost too stupefied to speak, “Really?” My eyesight began to fade. “What’s happening? I thought you were going to heal me?” My light faded back to night. I dug in the earth up to my elbows hoping it would help. It didn’t.

“You have to come outside,” it tinkled. “We can only reach you in these gardens by mist. It’s not enough to fully heal you.”

“But I’ll die if I go outside the dome.”

“You have to trust us.”

“I can’t just walk out the airlock, I can’t do it myself and I’d never get close enough. They’d think I’m suicidal.”

“You have to touch us to be healed.”

“Can I see you?”

“You will.”

“Are you green with big heads and giant black eyes?”

The tinkling grew louder, like laughter. “You may see us as angels in human form. Are you familiar with this?”

I didn’t know anything about aliens or angels. I’d never been to religious services. “No,” I said dejectedly. “Are you scary?” I asked

“No. You will not fear us.”

“Do you know things? Do you know about our Earth?”

“They are at war.”

“I think they are training us to be soldiers.” When I said this, the mist was quiet.

“We will find out.”

“Thank you,” I said and the mist dissipated. “Wait! I have so many questions.”

“Your lame friend approaches, we will see you again.”

“Why is this my secret?”

“Because no one who sees can believe.” That I understood.

~*~

“Robin.”

“You’re filthy,” he laughed.

“If I told you I heard voices that said they could cure me, what would you say?”

“I’d ask what meds they have you on.”

“You couldn’t believe me?”

“No.”

“What if I told you I saw the gardens today?”

“I’d say you fell asleep.”

“Oh, please Robin, no one is closer to me than you. I need you to believe me about this.”

“What happened?” he asked skeptically.

“There was a mist,” I explained. “It was alive.”

“How can that be?”

“I don’t know. All I know is that it wasn’t a human trick and it was real and living.”

“Is it an alien?” he asked incredulously.

“They say they look like what we would think of as angels in their human form.” I felt hopeful. “What do angels look like Robin, you go to Christian church.”

“They are tall and beautiful and have giant wings. Most men are afraid of them, they always say ‘fear not.’ They shine like bright lights and carry swords and shields, I guess they are God’s army.”

“Do you believe in them?”

“Yes,” He said very slowly.

“Do you believe they could heal us if they touched us?”

“Yes, but God could heal us without all that, and He hasn’t.”

“I didn’t say they WERE angels. Robin I think they are alien-they just look that way not to scare us.” I was desperate to have him understand.

“You really believe all this, don’t you?” he sounded disappointed.

“I do.”

“I’ll try Arienne, I will, but I just don’t know...”

“I bet they could fix your leg, too.” Maybe. They hadn’t said as much, but why wouldn’t they? If they would heal me, of all people, surely Robin fit the requirements.

“That would be a miracle. I don’t even have bone in parts of this leg to hold my lame foot on.”

“But what if they could Robin? What if all you had to do was believe?”

“That’s called ‘faith’ Arienne,” he said dryly. “I have faith in God, but I am a realist. He made me this way.”

“But Robin-”

“No. Arienne. Just give me time with this, okay?” The finality in his voice devastated me.

“They said no one who sees would believe.”

“I’ll try, for you, but it would help if I felt it, too,” he said loudly, like a challenge.

Nothing happened.

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