A Guest Post by Michael Lynes
There is a Reaper…Creation
Almost four years ago now I first sat down in front of my computer in my office, driven to somehow find a way to honor the memory and life of my son Christopher Aaron. I thought I would write a few words, something to try and capture some of the memories, some of his spirit, before they became too far removed from memory and distorted by time.
I sat there, really just lost, and unable to find a way to begin. Touching back into those memories was like opening a long shut door, reentering a place of fear and failure and pain that I was not sure I would be able to handle. I typed a few words and discarded them. And then I typed a few more, with the same result.
I realized that, in order to tell this story I would have to face my fear, and my failure. My fear rooted in the pain that this re-exploration would dredge up; my failure in my inability to prevent or find some way to cure him of this deadly affliction. These two overarching forces combined to hold me impotent.
In all likelihood, left to my own preferences, this project would have been abandoned, stillborn…but…there was a third force.
As I sat there, blank page before me, paralyzed by my own doubt, my own fear, my selfish craven indulgence….it was Chris, clear and sharp and bright and powerful, who appeared in my mind’s eye. I realized that he wanted his story told, that it needed to be out there.
The feeling had grown, imperceptibly…first a wish, then a whisper…then a calling and now an unfulfilled duty.
When Chris had become sick, we were consumed in combating his disease. When he lost his battle we were shattered by his death. He knew that we needed time, to heal, for the wounds to knit and scar, for his memory to become a story rather than a source of heart-bursting agony.
He had given us that time.
Now he was calling me, back to myself and to my task. I owed him this – and my debt was due.
I nodded my head, silently signing my unspoken contract.
There were many false starts, and many, many days when I laid aside my task, exhausted by the anguish and emptied of tears. Despite all, the promise I made to Chris and to myself that day drove me onward. The story, Chris’s testimony and epitaph, the memorial of his life here and the start of his life-eternal is now complete, and I fervently pray that it satisfies my debt and honors his memory.
Thank you, Chris, for pushing me to complete this work…
I hope you like it.
Five-year-old Christopher Aaron has always been a whirlwind of heroic action, leading his brothers into all sorts of youthful mischief. A mysterious illness suddenly plunges him and his family into a frightening nightmare of hospitals and doctors and extreme therapies far from his small-town home. Can his doctors diagnose his strange disease? How will he and his family adapt to this bizarre new world they have been thrust into?
Heart-wrenching, searing and powerful, There is a Reaper immerses the reader in Christopher’s intense struggle against his pitiless foe as he matures and transforms in the white heat of his epic battle.
MElancHoly by M. D. Lynes
God….it has begun…again.
White lined scars still pink and smooth mark me, mark my spirit…lamb’s-blood, smeared and dark, cross my lintel.
Passed over-saved I may be, but not healed…no.
Fettered still in the flimsy cage where last I bound it, the hungering demon gibbers and frets. It strains, deathless…sensing my weakness…baleful black orbs rimmed once more with fire…searing and soul wracking.
I am not ready.
Still…my hands know the way. They betray me.
I am practiced and I am competent and I have been tried and blooded in battle bitter. My agony intermingles now with pleasure…a draught of Siren wine…it sings in my veins.
I am tempted.
I feel the quickening now of unwanted pregnation; the mourning-nausea, the swelling and the stretching. The Parasite stirs.
I know them and hatethemlovethemhatethem….
I know this will kill me…a part of me dies by day, by and by and bye.
Possessed…driven, afraid and hungry, the Jekel-jackal begs for release. The ink-dark water of transformation is near to me…so near… so simple, a pen-prick and the abyss yawns-wide, yawns- deep and warm and black.
Why afflict me with the pain of Adam, as all are afflicted?
Why further afflict with the flame of Prometheus, the tongue of Loki, the eyes of Heimdal and the ears of Poseidon?
I wished for none of this.
My fellows – some fallen – some mad, would agree. Success here is more than pain…it is immolation!
Cleansing fire and through it we give sight to the blind and grant hearing to the deaf.
The Cave dwellers are brought news unwilling of their broken chain, of air keen-crisp and dawn-new, of horizons sailed, of seas unsullied and glory, joy, black sorrow and love-rivers- warm beyond all pain.
It is our curse…and our greatest blessing. You who know, you know me…you are me…you can name me.
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