A sudden, shocking silence

A quick excerpt from the upcoming Martuk … the Holy:  Proseuche

In my desperation for peace, for a rest with gentle dreams, I focused my thoughts on pleasant memories, leaving the ghosts behind as I drifted into sleep.

And I dreamt.

Jesus was speaking.  And Mary stood near.  She watched me.  And, still, He was speaking.  But the words were hushed, and tumbled off His tongue.  They were too quick.  Mary glanced over her shoulder into the dark that surrounded us.  And He continued to speak.  She had done that before, Mary.  Glanced over her shoulder.

In this dream, she had done that, though when, I couldn’t tell you.

Her brow was furrowed.  Her heart was worried.  Her hand rested on her breast over her heart.  And Jesus’ hands were on me now.  He held me by the shoulders, His voice rising.

He yelled now.  Jesus was yelling at me, the spit flying from His lips as His face contorted in rage.  But His words were lost.  I could see them leave His mouth.  Could see the lips open and the words come forth, but in that small space between the words spoken and the words heard, they were lost.

Mary looked over her shoulder.  She stopped. This was not a glance.  This was a look, the hand from her heart rising to her throat and then her mouth, as if silencing a scream.  And then she reached to Jesus, her head still turned, still watching.  He continued to hold me.  His hands gripped me.  He shook me.  He screamed now, the tears falling, His nose running, His face blushing red, the spit rolling from His lips and staining His chin, His eyes wide and desperate and afraid.

I feared He would strike me in His rage.

Her hand was on His shoulder.  She clutched the thick fabric of His mantle in her fist, pulling Him away from me.

But His words!  I couldn’t hear them.  I so desperately wanted to hear them.  But even though screamed and shouted in a panicked rage, I heard nothing.

Behind her, the dark thickened.  Grew darker, deeper.  Inched forward.

She pulled at Him still.  She was desperate.  She was frightened.  She screamed at Him as He screamed at me.  I could feel His fingers dig into my flesh.  Those long fingers bruising my flesh.  And her fingers gripped and dug into Him.  Pulled and pulled.

His hand raised now, the palm up as it faced me.

He had grown silent.  A sudden, shocking silence.  A sudden, shocking stillness. His words, His rage, dying a sudden death.  And she had grown still and silent as well, Mary, her head bowed, her eyes closed.  Her hands rested on Him, but no longer pulled.

They had both stopped.

They both watched me, silently, as the shadows drew close and fell first on her, on her head, her shoulders, darkening her brow and then her nose, and then the hand that rested on His shoulder, the darkness then moving to Him, taking Him, both of them soon lost.

It swallowed them.

His hand, the palm facing me, came from the dark then and, with a movement that was gentle and slow and calm, He placed this open palm on my face, over my eyes.

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