Return to Abraham Rock

Last year, we brought you the tale of two wild sojourners and their spiritual experience on a magical hill in a secret little town. Now, for the very first time, the stunning sequel – in which one of the two returns.

He knew it wouldn’t be long before the sky opened. He would not fail today. Victory and great laughter would be his.

Return to the Abraham Rock

The return to the Abraham Rock took place a few months later. It was conducted alone, by only one of the two travelers in early summer, but not in a depressing way. It just was. In fact, the one who made it up there that November morning in a sunlight that looked warmer than it was, he was enthusiastic about his day-long installment atop the hill.

He needed it.

He needed a biblical narrative every now and again – or, at the very least, a biblical landscape upon which to contextualize his life. He knew that not everybody was like that, but he knew equally well that he was and always had been. Sometimes, this was to prevent it from becoming boring – when all the usual methods didn’t seem to be working. (And, make no mistake, “the usual methods” were quite extensive.) Other times, as was the case on this particular day, he required such forced mythological nonsense because he found his ordinarily extraordinary powers waning to critical levels.

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In great contrast to that boisterous, defiant day in summer, his spirit had turned heavy for reasons he couldn’t even properly articulate. In fact, by any standard to which he could reasonably be held, he was doing quite well. Perhaps it had to do with the time of year – he’d never done particularly well with November. Whatever the proximate cause, he no longer held within his being much capacity for solving the problems of society and humankind; instead, though it surely brought him no joy, he was reduced merely to an attempt at restoring his own individual spiritual health.

To ward off stray bullets, he would rely only on the powers of his mind (and any friendly spirits so inclined to offer him protection). That, and the haphazard red strips of cloth he had tied all over himself.

To ward off stray bullets, he would rely only on the powers of his mind – and any friendly spirits so inclined to offer him protection. That, and the haphazard red strips of cloth he had tied all over himself.

He was armed with a chair, ciders from the angry orchard, and the ability to make the music emerge from the ground. This, he knew, would be no defense against hunters. It was deer hunting season, which may also have accounted for the fact that the guardian good-omen deer that greeted them in July were nowhere to be seen. To ward off stray bullets, he would rely only on the powers of his mind – and any friendly spirits so inclined to offer him protection. That, and the haphazard red strips of cloth he had tied all over himself. These had originated in the form of an old, shrunken, Red Stripe t-shirt, which he had sliced into strips,. The forecast had promised something around forty degrees with no precipitation, but over a period of hours, this would still require layers and a warm insulated flap-hat. The bands of former t-shirt adorned his right thigh over his jeans, both biceps, and atop his hat.

Even if he ended up killed, nobody would be able to claim to have mistaken him for a deer. Everyone would know it had been a targeted assassination. Or something. Probably.

Despite his somewhat disadvantaged position, his aims were ambitious: call down the fire from heaven and draw up the energy from within the earth. He wasn’t guaranteed success by any means, but he knew it could be done. If it was to be done it all, it had to be done now, before the elections, before the not-so-warm sun turned not-warm-at-all.

The dice were thrown, the spell cast. The goblin-like outline of the trees ringing the skies in all directions began to move in concert, or at least solidarity, with the clouds above, who began to dance.

He knew it wouldn’t be long before the sky opened. He would not fail today. Victory and great laughter would be his.

*

Sacred spaces have a tendency to behave in a sacred way. What was more, though, was that this sojourner, despite his appearance and attitude and beliefs, was a real-deal pilgrim. He was devout, solemn, pious…somewhere deep down. Without ever really considering it consciously, he knew how to pull it out to the surface when it counted. Like today. In accordance with his sincerity and his imperfect faith, he would be rewarded. Hopefully.

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To ask whether any of this merely happened “in his head” or in some objective reality only reveals the questioner’s failure to grasp the point – of any of it. Such things scarcely crossed the sojourner’s mind. He was no master or champion – in recent years he had been forced to acknowledge this himself – but he was still a seasoned veteran. He could execute.

There’s no real way to describe in letters what it’s like to call fire down from heaven, so please don’t ask for weird things like that. It’s what happened, though.

There was laughter and strange far-off communication. The trees and clouds continued their dance as he sat upon his throne or got up to pace the field that now belonged uniquely to him. He could hear gunfire in the surrounding forest as “Dire Wolf” and “Ripple” played from the earth, but he only laughed at such little noises.

He saw few live animals, at least at first, save for the crows and a stray hawk. Always a stray hawk, or two.

There’s no real way to describe in letters what it’s like to call fire down from heaven, so please don’t ask for weird things like that. It’s what happened, though (the fire is white, for one thing). The other part of his object, the subsequent drawing of power from the earth, was another success. The heavens and the earth, in concert, presented him with a giant buck – a deer but practically an elk – with a purple heart. This purple heart was to be his, and he was to use its power to “survive November – and perhaps beyond.”

He felt no pity for the terrorized hiker, but he felt bad for the children he later traumatized.

This was pretty early on, and his prize was already won, and he knew it with solid certainty and no longer had anything to worry about. Now he could sip his cider, draw from a wizard’s pipe, own a field for an afternoon laughing and skipping like the love child of Ken Kesey and Tom Bombadil.

The conclusion itself contained two wonderful episodes of comedy. The first came when an apparent hiker, the first soul he had seen all day besides the deer-elk with purple organs, seemed to be headed in his direction. The sojourner was fine with this; he wasn’t exactly looking for company but his Arabic sense of hospitality demanded that he welcome this guest into his field. If he’d had soup in a cauldron over a fire outside a tent, he would surely have rushed to prepare some to offer the fellow traveler. Fortunately, he was never put in a position to apologize for his lack of warm broth – the hiker hadn’t yet seen the sojourner. As soon as he had, he stiffened in what the sojourner felt could only be mild terror, made a 90 degree turn and headed for the relative safety combat-marred forest.

He felt no pity for the terrorized hiker, but he felt bad for the children he later traumatized after having departed the field on foot along the road back to the house he lived in. A bus had just dropped them off. He surmised that they ranged in age from 8-12, but he was notoriously bad for judging such things, among both children and fellow adults. And there he was, walking straight towards them, aviator sunglasses making mirrors of his eyes, his wild hair darting in all directions from under his flap-hat, still adorned with some sort of militant red bandana (as were his arms and leg). He carried a backpack and a chair. By all indications, he was a dangerous transient revolutionary hobo who would harm children.

He knew this and actually did feel bad about it. They hadn’t done anything to deserve it, and they just looked so scared. But he had only smiled and nodded to try and be disarming and had continued on his way. No doubt they’d glanced over their shoulders every several steps until they reached their home, but he continued facing forward so as to not scare them further.

Inability to effectively inspire the nation’s youth notwithstanding, he’d left the field with his power levels boosted to a level he could scarcely have hoped for. He couldn’t have known – but did suspect – he’d need every ounce of this power and energy to survive the winter to come. It would prove to be a horrible winter that would sap him of all he had. Again, not something he could have predicted – but he did know in advance the necessity of holding that field one last time before the snows would fall.

 

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