by Timothy W. Tron, Feb. 2022
In the crucible of time, a story is born that rises from the ashes of the fires of torture and anguish. It is within this bitter history that a spirit of faith, hope, and love are revealed; embodied in the true worshippers those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. Return with me, if you will, to those distant, ancient Alpine valleys to a place where God planted his word beginning with the Apostles of Christ. There, the Word of God was nurtured as if it lived within an incubator, growing, and enriching the lives of all that would come to possess it. From these people of the valleys, a movement of belief would arise that would span continents, and plant the seeds of the Reformation. But as with all things of great marvel, there are those who become equally jealous and bitter and seek to destroy what brings this joy.
Follow along as the saga continues as the characters you met in the previous two novels return to once again face trials and tribulations unequivocal to anything we have or will ever know. Rejoice with their momentary raptures, and find solace in seeing how they persevere through the darkest of times.
I hope that you are blessed by this excerpt from Chapter 1, and please feel free to comment on what you think of the story’s beginning.
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Lightning crackled in the foreboding sky above, illuminating the darkness in brief flashes of hellish light. His heart kept time as the crashes of thunder rolled across the earth, becoming one with his soul. As he ran up the mountain toward the flock, the tall summer grasses frothed like waves on a sea, their billows creating a feeling of dread. The harder he pushed, the more it seemed as if that distant point to which he strove moved farther away.
The light raced across the darkness as a demonic thread of light rippled like broken ice on winter pool when the foot treads upon its thin surface. A feeling of dread permeated the air like a thick fog. Once more, his eyes strained to see in that instant, up ahead, on the far side of the herd of sheep, stood a figure standing in a black cloak, its hood pulled forward so that the abyss within compelled one to look away for fear of being sucked within. The image silhouetted against the backdrop of the broken sky did not move. Jakob felt the hair stand up on the back of his neck, but he continued onward. Something inside him said to turn back, but he felt the urgency to reach his father’s flock before they were hurt. In the brief instant of imagery, he could see that the sheep had all lain down in preparation for the coming storm. Their natural instincts that God-given ability to sense danger, had already driven them to the ground.
Jakob raced onward, driven by something within to save them. Rain began to fall in sheets as the storm engulfed the peak around them. The wind pushed against him, taking his breath. Something was not right. His hand gripped the shepherd staff in his right hand and drove it into the earth, hoping to propel himself forward, but it only sank into the ground as if the soil had become soft like the winter snow.
Lightning pulsed once more.
His breath stuck within his throat as his heart seemed to stop. The dark being had now moved and stood between him and the sheep.
Another ripple screamed through the dark firmament, and once again, the creature had advanced at the moment, now standing but a few feet away. It did not breath, but yet, seemed to suck in the air around it, creating a vacuum of despair.
Jakob tried to scream, but his voice was blocked by his own heartbeat. Nothing moved. With every ounce of his being, he pulled the staff from the earth and tried to lift it to strike this thing, this evil that betrayed his mind, but it seemed frozen, one with the ground. Again, he thought within his own being, seeking an answer to escape. Then, in the deepest recesses of his mind, a voice began to permeate through the evil, “Use what you have been given, my son.”
Suddenly, from the seemingly broken tongue, a song began to illuminate all that had sought to extinguish hope. It began to bubble up from the farthest reaches of his young being until it reached his lips. There, it began to dance upon this tongue, and the melody started to sing forth. The lightning angrily flashed again as if driven by the being before him, its ire incensed by the sound.
Then without warning, there was a current of heat that tore through the night. Its river of fire split the very marrow of his small body. The last thing Jakob remembered was seeing the demon’s figure shadowed face become an abyss of rage, and then it was gone.
As darkness enveloped the mountain as an eerie calm came over him.
Jakob could see his body lying on the grass below as he hovered just above. He didn’t take notice that he was flying until he heard the distant voice of his brother, Jean Paul, crying out his name. Jakob could see his brother running up the slope toward his lifeless body in the driving rain, his tears becoming one with the water that fell from above. Jakob wanted to reach out to him, but as he remained aloft, he began to rise higher into the sky, watching the scene below, becoming more distant with each beat of the distant thunder.
Jean Paul picked up his brother’s body and began stumbling, at first in awkward strides, back down the mountain, toward their humble dwelling. As he progressed, his legs picked up momentum, and soon he was running at full speed. Jean Paul began praying as he ran. His brother’s voice drifted past Jakob in the air as his own spirit, and the prayer seemed to race one another for Heaven above. He wanted to answer, but the valley of space between him and Jean Paul seemed to grow. The entirety of the mountain beneath was within his view. The sheep enduring the storm huddled in mass upon the ground; meanwhile, Jakob continued running for what seemed an eternity back down the mountain, his voice echoing in Jakob’s ears, the storm raging around them both.
Nothing seemed to matter anymore.
To be continued….