Seventh Dimension Series
The Prescience, a YA Fantasy, Book 5
A thunderous explosion startled me as panic shredded my senses. I dropped my hands from Daniel's neck as marriage dreams evaporated. We might die this second after returning from Shambhala. I thought we had left hell behind. Had we arrived in Jerusalem on the brink of Armageddon? Noxious fumes blew into my face. I couldn't see Daniel , but I heard his voice over the blasts.
Run!" he shouted.
Blinding light from simultaneous eruptions lit the night sky in a spectacular display of falling debre. If only these were celebratory fireworks, but they weren't.
Fear seized me as I stared in disbelief. My feet felt as if they were entombed in concrete. This couldn't be happening. Not now, Jesus, not when you just told us to marry quickly.
Daniel grabbed my hand and tugged. "Shale, come on, we've got to find shelter."
But I was paralyzed. Seconds ticked by as I imagined my body blown to bits from rapidly approaching missiles. Screeching sirens faded in and out. Swishing knives cut through the air as if they were tearing a veil, followed by loud booms that shook the ground. One after the other, they reverberated, each one getting closer. Temporary silence ensued, followed by more explosions and more thunder. Multiple alarms sounded as transformers blew across the city. I felt something burning on my arms. I screamed, slapping at whatever it was.
"Ashes," Daniel said.
I wiped the soot off me. How could this be? One minute we were celebrating our first kiss discussing marriage plans, and the next we were running for our lives. I brushed my fingers through my long brown hair. Yuck. I'd have to shower to get the soot off.. Another missile swished by followed by a powerful boom.
Daniel pulled me along through almost total darkness as the ground burned underneath us. How could he tell where not to go? Smoke billowed everywhere and disorientation rattled me. Minutes later, Daniel found some sort of enclosure that reminded me of a bus stop. The building vibrated every time a bomb fell. Was it that secure, or was it designed to only give a false sense of security?
"We're going to die, Daniel," I cried. I struggled to catch my breath.
Daniel's brown eyes betrayed no fear. Only gentle reassurance. "We're in a bomb shelter."
"A bomb shelter?" For the uninitiated like me, I never dreamed I would need one. We didn't have such things in America.
Daniel put his hand on my shoulder. "You're shaking. Here, come close." He wrapped his arms around my waist. I buried my head in his chest to hold back tears. A thousand thoughts pierced by short-circuited brain as disturbing sirens echoed in the distance. How many had died? Where were we, anyway?
I didn't want to think I'd taken my last breath in a bomb shelter, especially with the only man I ever loved. That was too trite, too much like something one would read in a book. I wasn't ready to be a heroine in a sad love story where one or both of the main characters died.
Other thoughts supplanted that one. Was my mother still alive? I tried to remember the last time I'd seen her. How long had it been?
My mother had never met Daniel. Even when I returned from the first century, I never told her about my journey to the seventh dimension. She would have taken me to that psychologist, giving him reason to validate all the things he wrote in that stupid report to the wretched principal who wanted to expel me.
Instead, I had chosen to wait on God's timing. Why couldn't this attack have waited just a few more days? Jesus, I know you told us to marry quickly, but we just got back to Jerusalem. We couldn't marry that quickly.
Daniel whispered in my ear, "I love you, Shale."
I broke into sobs. "If only..."
Unexpectedly, out of the temporary stillness and reprieve from death's brutality on a persecuted people, I heard a dog bark. The sharp yelps pierced the momentary silence. From which direction were they coming? I became very still to catch the words.
I clasped Daniel's shoulders and peered into his eyes. "The dog, do you hear it?"
Daniel's eyes met mine. "What 's he saying?"
Now the sirens drowned him out. I stepped toward the shelter entrance to hear better, but Daniel blocked me.
"I'm not going to let you rescue a dog. That's crazy."
I met Daniel's determination with my own. "The dog needs help for an injured child."
Daniel stared. "No, can't be."
I knew Daniel wanted to keep me from leaving the safety of the shelter. "We must go," I pleaded. "We can't stay here and do nothing."
Daniel stepped toward the entrance. You stay here and let me check."
"No," I insisted. "You don't understand dog talk. It's my gift. I must go."
Daniel grimaced. "Let's hope he keeps barking or we'll never find him."
"The child is a girl," I said.
Daniel held my hand. "Watch your step."
If only we had a light. The darkness overwhelmed me now that the transformers had blown. There wasn't even emergency lighting. At least the bombs had stopped and the ground was still. The only significant light came from fires burning in the distance that revealed falling, shadowy embers.
Careful where you step," Daniel warned. "There could be bombs lying on the ground that didn't explode."
Why did he have to tell me that?
The dog barked. "Hurry, hurry. Come quickly."
We crept closer, guided only by the dog's desperate barks.
"What's he saying?" Daniel asked.
I translated. "Anybody, please, come quickly."
In front of us, I saw a shadowy four-legged figure that reminded me of Much-Afraid. I pointed. "There he is."
When the dog saw us, he wagged his tail. "Hurry, hurry."
As we neared, I held my hands in front of me so he could catch my scent. "We're coming to help."
He whimpered, hopeful enthusiasm tempered with concern.
"Are you hurt?" I asked.
"No, but hurry." The dog added. "A rare human who understands dog talk. Oh me, oh my. This is my lucky day."
Daniel and I quickened our pace.
Another bomb screeched by. Seconds later, it exploded. The loud boom nearly broke my eardrums. Daniel reached out to embrace me.
The undeterred dog barked again. "Don't run away. You’re too near to leave now."
The dog took a few steps to the left, apparently reassured we would cause no harm, and lowered his head, indicating something on the ground.
Daniel clutched my hand. Then I saw two bodies. Horror filled me. I watched as the child stroked the bloodied carcass underneath her. As we neared, I could see it was a young woman with long brown hair dressed in slacks and a T-shirt. I stumbled over something as we approached. When I looked down, I saw shoes. Blood covered the woman's feet. Small cries escaped from the young child.
I knelt down beside the distraught little girl.
"Thank God she's alive," I exclaimed.
"Her mother and father aren't," the dog wept. "She has no one. God sent me to find someone to rescue her. Very few humans speak animal talk. You are the ones God sent."
Daniel didn't understand our conversation, so I filled him in with details.
That's what he said?" Daniel asked.
I nodded. My heart wept as my vocal chords went dry. Numbness filled my throat. The young child's parents were dead.
The dog barked again. "I must go rescue others. Take care of Shira. You are all she has."
"Wait," I pleaded. I reached over and stroked the top of the dog's head, focusing on his crusty eyes. "What do you mean?"
"You are the ones who came. God called you."
"I understand animal speak, but I don't know this poor child. She must have relatives."
My eyes turned to the helpless babe. I tried to pick up the orphan, but she clung tenaciously to her dead mother. Her wales pierced my heart.
"Mommy," she wailed again, ignoring my attempts to help her.
"Many are called, but few are chosen," the dog said. "You know."
His eyes reminded me of Much-Afraid’s eyes when she rescued me.
The dog's barking interrupted my thoughts. "I must go now. Others need my help. Take Shira and run, if you want to save her life." Then he disappeared into the darkness.
Was that her name?
When Shira wouldn't come with me, Daniel tried to pick up the child, but she responded with strong protests.
He stopped and glanced at me. "We need to find the child's relatives." He walked around to the other side and searched the pockets of Shira’s father. I looked around the mother for a cell phone.
"His pockets are empty," Daniel said.
I tapped gently on the child and spoke in Hebrew. "Sweetie, come with me. Your mother and father are sleeping. Come with me."
The child lifted her head and focused her mournful eyes on my face. After a brief hesitation, she reached out her arms so I could pick her up. She was so small, so light. She couldn't be more than three.
"Let's get out of here," Daniel said.
"Where should we go? Your mother's?"
Daniel shook his head. "Jacob's."
That sounded like a good idea.
"Jacob can help us find her relatives," Daniel added.
I forgot Daniel didn't understand dog speak. When should I tell him she had no one but us?
Look for Seventh Dimension - The Prescience
to be available for summer vacation reading!