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  1. #1
    C Hat

    Is there a market for this?

    Oh dear Lord, was that a vision?” Naomi woke abruptly. The nightmarish images burning in her brain left her gasping for breath and her frail heart pounding in her throat.

    A dream, nothing more, soothed a quiet voice in her mind.

    Naomi frantically searched her lap for glasses. Not finding them, she swept the carpet around her rocker. She noted erect hairs on age-spotted goose bumped arms. “Just a dream?” she wondered aloud. “But it felt so — so different.”

    The quiet voice mocked, Are you a prophet? Are you Isaiah? Who are you to receive visions?

    “Muddle headed woman, What was I thinking? It must have been a dream. Thank God.” She paused a moment to ponder the surreal images still swimming in her head. Naomi shivered, “some dream!”

    Too much Peretti, reasoned the quiet voice.

    Finding and donning her glasses, Naomi saw things clearly. Beside her rocker lay the book she had been reading, one of Frank Peretti’s vivid stories of angels battling demons, Piercing the Darkness. Naomi giggled softly, “Of course. Too much Peretti.”

    She gazed out her dusty glass patio doors to judge how long she’d been napping. This day’s last hour had come and in it’s final fleeting moments, the Lord painted a most magnificent display. From deep violet seas, swelled magenta ripples westward ‘til golden foam capped crests crashed against the setting sun. The dying daylight washed Atlanta’s aging suburbs in ember reds and long dark shadows. Crystalline chimes cast the sun’s final throws as kaleidoscopic sparkles upon her rolltop desk.

    “But the angel gave me a sign,” Naomi remembered. She pushed her feeble body out of the rocker and hobbled for her desk.

    You’re hungry. It’s dinnertime. Eat now. Write later, her body urged.

    Naomi retorted with a familiar verse, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. ” The voices fell silent. Naomi opened her rolltop desk and with pen and paper, recorded all she remembered.

    Upon our town descended darkened clouds, a gloomy fog forecasting stormy times. Just overhead hung thick the dreadful shrouds and from a tear which ripped across their base, fell thick as rain wild demons gray as ghosts, their bodies roughed and warped like ancient vines. Though once they walked along side heaven’s hosts, their faces showed no trace of former grace.

    Enticing man with yearnings, hopes and dreams, the devils dangled bait of worldly things; of promises of prominence, and streams of loyal fans enthralled by every word; of leisure, comfort, ease, and un-kept beds for countless loves content with casual flings; of youthful bodies clad in dazzling threads, and every longed for form of wealth conferred.

    Like cats pursuing bouncing butterflies, the people leapt to seize enticing lies. With focus fixed on their elusive prize they noticed not the nearby cliff’s steep drop.” Turn back!” friends warned those near the precipice. Ignoring pleas they fell like wing clipped flies into the fiery lake of wretchedness where wails and tortured howls persist nonstop.

    I could not bear to see such senseless loss and so I turned and through my tear drenched eyes, I saw an angel with a blood stained cross embossed across his bright white flowing frock.

    “When greedy eyes are set on selfish goals; when deafened ears ignore downtrodden cries; then easily deceived these naïve souls who follow paths where angels dare not walk.”

    “Behold the weapons Satan’s minions wield.” He pointed to the devils with his blade. “Their arsenal is plucked from what’s concealed within a hardened heartless human heart. Sometimes it’s gluttony or selfish greed, or coddled seething from a debt unpaid, or secret shame from some disgraceful deed. With such the fallen strike with skill and art.”

    And then he said, “Close ranks here by my side. Pick up your sword and join me in this war!”

    At his suggestion I was horrified. “Who am I to fight against these things? My strength has long since left and I am weak. No worldly blade can their skin even score. No, I am not the soldier that you seek.”

    To my reply he flexed his mighty wings. “You have more strength within than you yet know,” he said displeased. “In truth I say to you, the weapon angels use against this foe comes from the very mouth of Christ our Lord. In Revelations John made note of it in verse sixteen of chapters one and two. A gift provided for your benefit, this weapon is a two edged sword.”

    He offered me the hilt of his own blade, “The Lord Sword given freely to all men.”

    To which I cried, “I can’t! I’m too afraid,” and hid in fright behind the cherubim.

    “Fear not,” he sighed. “Another has God chosen. But you are also charged to help your friend find faith before her time on earth is frozen. You know her well, her name is Evelyn.”

    “Help her?” I asked. “You cannot mean my pastor? Of spirits good or evil she is blind. A battle led by her would be disaster!”

    Again he pointed at the battlefield. “And so you’re charged to help her see this truth. Now to that end the Lord provides a sign, through Evelyn will sight be granted Ruth so by her ears our world may be revealed.”

    His riddle left me very much perplexed. I wondered, “Should I ask him what he meant?” His face expressed he was quite vexed. I felt I should have nothing more to say.

    “Record these things,” he said insistently. “And hide them ‘till her time with you is spent.” He turned to leave but paused reluctantly. “Regard the faces of the devils’ prey.”

    I sadly turned to view the holocaust. The numbers swelled with eager, willing souls ignoring ghastly wailings from the lost.

    “Look close,” he ordered, “See whose fate impends because, like you, too many fear to act.”

    I timidly approached the wicked trolls and when I saw just whom they did attract my eyes beheld the faces of dear friends.

    “My friends know well the gift of God’s salvation. What treasures can be offered by these frauds against the greatest gift in all creation?”

    The angel scorned, “It’s your mentality to try and seize God’s power for your own. Though everlasting life is truly only God’s, soon boastful scientists will make it known that they’ve discovered immortality.”

    Remembering nothing more, Naomi put down her pen. “Immortality? Can science really be that advanced?” She pondered the possibility that it wasn’t just a dream, that man was on the verge of some great discovery and that demons would use it somehow — against her own friends. Her heart raced.

    This isn’t real, her mind argued. Demons don’t have that power.

    The words pricked her soul. They felt like something Satan wanted her to believe. Naomi considered her dream a moment longer, reading the freshly written words, “The Lord provides a sign, through Evelyn will sight be granted Ruth so by her ears our world may be revealed.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean? ‘Sight granted Ruth?’ Her sight is fine. She’s stone cold deaf. How can her ears reveal anything? Is Evelyn supposed to restore Ruth’s hearing?” Naomi read her notes again. “No, it says sight, not hearing.” Naomi continued sorting the puzzle pieces in her mind. “Spiritual sight! Could that be it? Did he mean the gift of discernment?”

    No, insisted the quiet voice. It was just a dream. Stay. Eat. It’s late.

    \"No! If it\'s a vision, my friends need help.\" Naomi grabbed her keys and shuffled out the door into Atlanta’s twilight for her old friend, Ruth.

  2. #2
    d. Leroy

    Re: Is there a market for this?

    A market for what? An old woman having weird dreams? I only read about half of it.

    Not sure what you're asking. Are you wanting a critique for this piece?

    As far as a market, I don't have a clue what it's about, so I don't know.

  3. #3
    L Bea

    Re: Is there a market for this?

    I'm familiar with Peretti -- have read him. I think that there could be a market for this, but not as is. You need to carve out your character more and EASE into the vision. It's too "Revelation-ey." It's too "King James." You know what I'm saying? You need to pull back on the symbolism and the meaning behind the meaning. Make it more real--something that anyone can relate to whether they're versed in end time prophecy or not.

    Honestly, I struggled to get through it, and I AM familiar with this type of content. I think you need to make the vision more concise. Or maybe break it up with some other "real life" things going on. It's really difficult to get through.


  4. #4
    d. Leroy

    Re: Is there a market for this?

    My apologies... maybe I misunderstood the question. Are you comparing this to Peretti and asking if there is a market for Christian writers? I've read Monster, The Visitation, and The Oath, but like Bea said, yours is a little too Biblicky (is that a word?). Peretti is a Christian who writes fiction, he does not always write Christian fiction.

    Am I still missing the point? Bea seems to get it - should I butt out of this one,Bea, rather than continue making a fool of myself?

  5. #5
    L Bea

    Re: Is there a market for this?


    You're not making a fool. You've got it. I think most of your posts are great, helpful, etc.

    We all are typing our opinion. You have yours. PLUS -- I love ya!


  6. #6
    C Hat

    Re: Is there a market for this?

    Thanks both of you.

    One of the things I was experimenting with is portraying the vision. It's in verse to give it a more dreamlike feel. Evidently I'm doing a poor job of juggling meter, rhyme, clarity, and brevity.

  7. #7
    d. Leroy

    Re: Is there a market for this?

    Dang, Bea... now you got me all misty-eyed. Thanks for helping me out.

    And good luck, C Hat. Keep experimenting, I didn't think th writing was bad, needs some cleaning up though.

  8. #8
    L Bea

    Re: Is there a market for this?

    C Hat,

    I agree with d. Don't get discouraged. It seems you can write, but you're getting too carried away with the vision. You need to break it up more. It's too heavy. Remember: as a reader, we don't see the benefit of what you see in your head. You have to SHOW us that. I think you need to show more. I hate it when people say that--it's so over-said. But I can't SEE what you're writing. I need to be able to get taken away by it. What is it, when you're reading, that gets you immersed, gets you involved? You need to get more REAL. I understand you're trying to show end times/scripture. But do it in today's language. Relay the vision in a way that we can see it/feel it. We go through McDonalds drive through. We have the internet. We have instant gratifiction. We're sidetracked by uniimportant, temporal things. The very things that the vision is speaking about, is your audience. So how can you make them sit up and take notice?


  9. #9
    C Hat

    Re: Is there a market for this?

    Thanks for the encouragement and the honest feedback.

  10. #10
    M. Deschanel

    Re: Is there a market for this?

    Just wanted to say that whatever the merits of the story, beginning with a character waking up (dreams or not) is such a gruellingly common clichè, I actually can't ****ing stand it. It's so overbearingly unoriginal and been done to death, again and again for centuries, I find it hard to go on reading.

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