Installment 10 of 22 of the serialization of Sacred Vow (Dragon’s Beard Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-9774271-4-7, paperback, Fiction: Visionary/Metaphysical).
Ian felt the tension drain from his shoulders. He could not say if it was because he finally felt relaxed about pursuing this topic with Liz, or if it was merely a result of exhaustion from trying to dance around the subject. One thing Ian was sure of, whether she thought he was crazy or not, he now felt much more at ease about asking his questions.
“Liz, when I asked to buy that teapot, it was only to remind me of the wonderful time that you, and your B&B, provided Beverly and me. I expected nothing more of it.
“But I soon began having a certain experience every time I used the pot in my study.” Ian paused to summon his courage. He started to speak to Liz of “visits,” but suddenly felt fearful, and restricted himself to calling them “visions” instead. His suspicion was that the concept of visions required much less indulgence on the part of the listener.
“I began to have visions of a woman, about my age, with long, auburn hair. She speaks, but I cannot hear her words. Crazy as it seems, I have to admit that I’ve come to an intense feeling of intimacy with her. I am certain, that in the deepest meaning of the word, I know her well.”
“And you think the woman in your vision has some connection with the woman who left the teapot?” Liz asked.
With this question Ian went from being afraid of sounding delusional to feeling shame for being ridiculously naive. “Well . . . yes. It seems so. Do you think that is unlikely?”
Liz topped off his tea. “This will go more quickly if I tell you a little bit of what I know about the pot’s previous owners.
“They were here about two months before your visit. It seemed they had some business in the area and used my place as a base. Though they stayed for three weeks, I did not see much of them. As I do with all my guests, I tried to make them comfortable and welcome. They did not want to be bothered. Even though they never expressed it in so many words, they made it clear they saw me as a servant, not as a friend or a social equal.
“After they left, I noticed that they had left behind a number of items, including the teapot. So I called to ask if they’d like me to ship the pieces home. The wife was indignant. ‘Oh, no! We left them intentionally. We only bought them because—because they were more—familiar,’ she told me.
“She stumbled over the words when she realized that she had been more truthful than she’d meant to be. It was quite clear that she liked those tea things better than the ones I had in the suite, but even they were not suitable for her home. I pitied her, despite the slight, and thanked her for her generosity.
“This lady looked nothing like the woman you’re describing in your vision. She was a good bit younger than you, though she acted older than both of us. She was short and thickset, had short, dark hair, well cared for, but with a style weighted on convenience. Her clothes were also more practical than becoming. In fact, passionless pretense seemed to be her defining focus.
“I think I’m a pretty good judge of character. My years of serving people have given me time to observe and to learn. I feel safe in saying that this woman, bless her soul, is a person so afraid of living that, if you were to tell her your story, even if she were single, she would do everything she could to have you put away—for presenting possibilities that terrify her.”
With the insight that Liz provided, Ian decided that it might be helpful to have some outside input on his experience. “Liz, what is your opinion of what I’ve told you?”
“Ian, I do not question your experience. I’m only telling you what you already know. Be careful to whom you speak of this experience. There are a lot of people who are more interested in maintaining the illusion of knowing than coming to any real understanding of reality. They will make every effort to stop anyone who upsets their self-deluding beliefs.”
Ian felt suddenly downcast. “That is true.”
Liz leaned forward quickly and said eagerly, “But all is not lost! I cannot help you much with your exploration. I’ve always preferred to spend my time with my flowers and my guests, rather than in explicit consideration of such things. But, I have a friend who can help you. This old fellow is a little unconventional, but he can give you just the kind of assistance you need for something like this.”
“That would be great, Liz! Thank you. Can we invite him over today?” Ian asked excitedly. No matter how peculiar this fellow might be, Ian felt like he was getting nowhere alone and he knew of no one who might be able to explain the kinds of experiences he’d been having.
“It’s not so easy as that,” Liz said. “But we are in luck. Normally, we’d have to traipse all over the woods trying to find my friend. He doesn’t have a phone, but I happen to know he is house-sitting this weekend for a neighbor, who does have a phone.”
Liz got up and went into the kitchen to make the call. Ian could see her through the double doors.
“Hello, Djalma. This is Liz. How’s the house sitting going, sweetie?
“Oh? Nice . . .
“I need a favor, darlin’. I have a friend here who could use your special help. He’s been having some unusual visits. Do you think you could see him sometime soon?”
Ian noticed Liz’s choice of the word “visits”. Was it merely coincidental? He had not used that word while talking with her.
Liz got a pad and pencil from a kitchen drawer. As she listened, she took notes.
“In two weeks? On Saturday?”
Liz looked at Ian for confirmation. He nodded.
“He says that’s good, Djalma. Do you need to go to his place? I can drive you. Ian lives several hours away . . .
“No? Okay, I will tell him how to get to your cabin.”
Liz listened a minute and then said, “Okay, on the stone by the bridge . . .
“At seven in the morning? That’s a little early, sweetie. Are you sure?
“Oh? Well, okay then.”
Again Liz looked to Ian. Feeling he was in no position to bargain when asking a favor, Ian nodded while shrugging his shoulders.
“That will work,” she confirmed.
Ian could tell by listening to Liz’s side of the conversation that his meeting would be a challenging one.
“Ian says these visits started when he acquired a certain teapot. Should he bring it with him?” She paused. “No teapot.”
Liz returned her attention to Ian and gave him a questioning look. He knew of nothing else to ask, so he just nodded.
“Thanks, sweetie. He’ll be there. Again, his name is Ian. Stop by if you have questions later . . .
“You too.” Liz smiled widely. “What do you think about that cat of theirs? A real Buddha personality wouldn’t you say?”
She listened for a bit longer and then said, “Yes, amazing. Enjoy. Bye now, see you soon.”
Liz returned the phone to the cradle and brought her pad to the table.
“There you go, Ian. You’re in good hands now.”
Looking at his instructions, it crossed Ian’s mind to ask, “What if it is raining or snowing that day? It does that a lot in the winter here.”
“Djalma said there is no need to worry about that.”
The sheer certainty of her voice didn’t completely alleviate Ian’s concerns, but he could tell that was all the comfort he was going to get from Liz. She brewed another pot of tea, and they spent the rest of the afternoon chatting about other things.
copyright 2006 CG Walters
For those who cannot wait to read Sacred Vow over installments, I have a gift for you–the first 15 chapters online to be read at your leisure!
This link http://authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=1557 is a listing the 1st 15 chapters on HarperCollins.London.
If you enjoy what you read, I’d ask a favor in return; help me pursue a foreign rights publishing contract for Sacred Vow.
Please register on the site (create a profile on http://www.authonomy.com/ ), and search for Sacred Vow. Once you have the page up with the Sacred Vow book cover, notice that to the right of the page there is a column with several options, one of which is “Back this book“, please click that –this adds Sacred Vow to your bookshelf, used to determine which books the editors will consider.—This is not a purchase. Authonomy is strictly a mechanism for selecting books for publishing within HarperCollins.
Please check your profile page afterwards, ensuring that the Sacred Vow cover shows in your Bookshelf.
If you have time, make a comment on Sacred Vow by going to this page
the comment box is below the book description. I would love your input. Fiction is a collective creation between reader and writer.
Thank you for your continued support.
C.G. Walters primarily writes fiction that focuses on the multidimensionality of our loves and our lives.