The Bearer

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Fifty years passed.

Hazen was back in Canada, where he believed his adventure began the day he met Renny. It had all started here, and he suspected much would happen here again.

Leaning on his cane, Hazen took a wobbly step from the chauffeured car that had brought him to this cemetery. The pavement was wet from earlier rain. He saw through his thick glasses that the few trees of the cemetery dripped rainwater from their budding leaves. Hazen used his cane to step off the road onto green grass. Before approaching the funeral gathering, he inspected his dark coat and monk robes underneath.

This combo probably looks weird, he thought. Oh, well, I never did dress properly for the occasion.

With a grin, he proceeded along the lane of tombstones. When he arrived at Pax Kandoya's burial site, Hazen leaned on his cane to inspect the mourners. He recognized a few distant relatives in the black-attired crowd. Pax had led a good life, and many tears were shed for their beloved cousin, uncle, friend, and father.

Hazen spotted the one man he was certain he recognized.

There's Troy, he thought. Wow, he barely ages a day...

The pastor at the head of the casket was saying, "Pax leaves behind many who love him. Sister Hipstra and brother-in-law Binx. Niece Marybeth. Nephews Elliot and Connor."

Hazen smiled at the next generation's normal names. Those his age had suffered from their parents' choices and gone the other way for their children.

I'll have to remember to tell Renny when I get home, he thought.

"Sons Troy and Lee," the pastor continued.

Hazen looked at the man beside Troy.

There he is, thought Hazen. The other Bearer brother. He's the one I must talk to and convince to join the Kota.

Over the years, as the number of Kota grew worldwide, those in Tibet decided it was best to establish a Kota Council of elders to help guide their followers. Naturally, as the two remaining original prophets, Hazen and Renny were asked to join this Council. Jazzmon had died in Scandinavia a few years before, or else Hazen knew she too would've been asked. As for Renny and himself, they secretly knew their work as prophets was not yet finished, so they'd accepted positions on the Council. And this was how they'd set in motion the fulfillment of their prophecies. Because of their fame and reputation, it was easy to convince the other Council members that the Kandoya brothers were the chosen Bearers they'd envisioned so long ago.

Hence Hazen's trip to Canada now.

He pulled out the aged journal from his coat. Now, the pages were no longer blank. Along with the prophecies he'd made with Renny, Jazzmon, and Oryan, he'd written several prophecies that had come to newer prophets over the years. Few were anything like the distant-future visions the original prophets had seen, but they were noteworthy in their own way. Many had already been fulfilled, and Hazen thought they added a sense of hope to the book.

Breaking up his thoughts, the funeral gathering dispersed. Hazen watched as Troy Kandoya reached into his pocket and pulled out a phone. The Interceder-to-be lifted a finger at his brother and walked off to answer the call.

Okay, thought Hazen, here we go.

He stepped with his cane over to Lee Kandoya, who was shaking hands and thanking people for coming. His wavy, brown hair blew in the breeze, but he didn't seem concerned about his appearance. His eyes looked as if he'd cried earlier, but now he was politely strong for his family and father's friends.

When Hazen's turn at the end of the line arrived, he shook the young man's hand. "So sorry for your loss. We never met, but I'm a third cousin of your father's."

"Oh." Lee's smile was warm and genuine. "How good of you to come, sir."

Hazen held up the book. "Do you have a moment? I wish to discuss something with you."

Lee glanced at the departing crowd, then gave Hazen his full attention. "Of course. What would you like to discuss?"

"The future." Hazen smiled.     

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