Chapter 09 - Connections

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During the story, Michael kept watch, gazing off into the ether, his face a silent storm reflecting his thoughts. When Bellamy finished, Michael frowned and looked at Jaylina.

"I'm going to check on your body. You'll be safe here. I won't be long."

Then he slipped back to the material plane. Jaylina watched him make sure her body was comfortable. He could see his hands touch her arms and adjust her legs, but she experienced a surreal numbness. She felt none of this contact in the astral plane. She followed him with her eyes as he checked the surrounding area around the top of the lighthouse for threats.

After a moment, she returned her attention to the little boy as he hovered and manipulated energy in the ether like he was finger painting with light. His frayed silver tether made slow undulations behind him, trailing off into the black.

"That's a sad tale," Jaylina said. "Where did you hear it?"

Bellamy looked at her, turning his head to one side. "I did not hear it. I saw it."

Such a sad story witnessed by this small boy, thought Jaylina. Had he understood what he had seen? Is this why he told it as a fairy tale? She knew this was Michael's story told from a child's point of view. It seemed odd to be having such a conversation with one so young.

Her intuition tickled her. "How does it end?"

Bellamy looked at his shoes.

Jaylina realized that Bellamy didn't want to tell her because she was a part of Bellamy's story now.

"Where are you from?" she asked, changing the subject. And why are you here, she wondered to herself.

He waved his hand in a sweeping motion. "This is the only place I have ever known."

"How is that possible? You must have grown up somewhere."

"Only here."

"But surely you weren't born here. What about your parents?"

"My parents are like you, from the material world. I have never met them, though I've watched them from the astral plane many times."

"You have a silver cord like me. Doesn't that mean you also have a body?"

Bellamy carefully contemplated his answer. "I have a body, of course. But my spirit cannot enter it. At least not all the way."

"You've never been to the material world?"

"I can see it like you see it now. Sometimes I can cause my body to do little things, like move a pencil to paper. Otherwise, it is a locked box."

This struck Jaylina as quite tragic. She imagined somewhere back in the material world, Bellamy's parents holding each other in tears while they decided what to do about their catatonic child.

Jaylina's face brightened at a new idea. "You learned to speak by watching others in the material world, didn't you?"

Bellamy nodded. "I also learned to write words and read music, although I've never played an instrument."

Jaylina smiled at the boy, touched by his gifts, so similar to her own. "Can you see into the future?"

Bellamy studied ghostly fireflies that circled each other in the ether above his head. They gave Jaylina the impression of a halo. "What is the future?" the boy asked.

"Things that are going to happen."

Bellamy crinkled his eye brows together. "Everything has already happened in every way in a million, million iterations. Here is only Now."

Only now, thought Jaylina. There was an odd comfort in that.

"I thought I heard you call him Light Bringer. Why do you call him that?" she asked.

"He is the Left Hand of Light who destroys the Dark. He brings Light to Dark places."

"Hmm," said Jaylina pensively, "You make him sound like a santo."

Bellamy stared at her quizzically, his head cocked to one side like a curious puppy. "A santo?"

"Someone who does miraculous things for a greater good. Someone who sacrifices themselves to protect others."

"Sacrifice," Bellamy repeated, letting the word roll around in his mouth like a piece of candy. "Yes, perhaps he is a santo. A lost santo."

"Lost? Why lost?"

Bellamy frowned. "Who will know what happens here? None can see."

"You and I see," Jaylina said.

"What could we say that would make someone else believe," he whispered. "Very few ever remember this place until their material containers have surrendered their spirits."

Jaylina looked away. He means after they've given up their ghosts, she thought. He had a point though. Even if she could find words to explain this to another person, who would believe? Back in the material world, would anyone even care? Would she have cared if she had not seen what she had seen?

Michael returned some distance away and moved towards them.

"Deep in my heart," she said looking at him as he approached, "Perhaps in my ancestral memories, I think I knew all along that this place existed. That the Light and the Darkness have opposed each other since the beginning of time. I think people will know Michael's story is true even if they don't recognize him or completely understand our words."

"Then you and I must remember," he replied. "We must tell his story. Now you know why I am here."

Jaylina flinched as the boy answered her unspoken question, and Bellamy continued.

"But why you are here is not my story to tell."

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