My name is Alan Jones, and I am the author of “To Wrestle with Darkness”. This blog is a discussion board to discuss the struggles we all face everyday, as we wrestle with the darkness which confronts us. The book is an adventure story on the surface, but in the seven years it took me to write it, I hope that it is much more to each of you who choose to read it. Likewise, I hope that you find these entries insightful and meaningful in your own lives as you read them, as they were to me when I wrote them.
Peace and Blessings to each of you.
Excerpt from To Wrestle With Darkness
We all got out of the cab and I realized that I felt much better than I had ten minutes earlier.
The street we exited on was nice, but there was such a sadness about it. Not even knowing the worst of it at that point, I could have told anyone that no one danced around there. The Spanish moss was the only garland on a sad parade of dying 300-year-old trees and cemeteries up and down the street.
Uncle Paul reached out to touch one of the trees and then raised his right arm to point to a large two-story home that stood well off the street, “That’s her house over there.” It was as if even the trees had borne witness to Mavis’s deeds and somehow, Uncle Paul could hear their testimony.
There were six large white columns outlining the front porch of the house. There were no signs of life. No cats, no birds on the wrought iron gate surrounding the property, no blossoms on any of the bushes lining the porch. The wind swirled all around us sweeping leaves to and fro, but not a leaf stirred in that yard.
Akina spoke up, “Carla’s in there. I know it.”
But then Uncle Paul’s face took on the look of a seasoned master inspecting the work of a protégé, “But how much do you feel it?”
She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, “Only vaguely. It’s like she’s there and then she’s not. It’s like she’s not all there. What is that?”
Uncle Paul stroked his beard as he answered slowly, but knowingly, “I suspect they have her bound down between two worlds. They can’t send her to the next world, because not even they could bring a mortal like her back, but they dare not keep her in this one, because a telepath like Carla, even sleeping could be a danger to all of them. They’ll wait until around midnight, when they’re stronger, and feel that she is weaker, to wake her for their amusement.”
Darnell twisted his head back as he peered back over his shoulder towards us, “So, does that mean we can go in now?” His hands tightly gripped the black metal rods surrounding the grounds.
Uncle Paul attempted to mellow him, “I don’t know, but I don’t think it would be wise to bust in there with Carla in her current state. We need her fully in this world before we take her back. The only thing is that they might be expecting us.”
“What is this ‘they’ stuff? I thought we were just dealing with Mavis.” That didn’t sound good to me.
Uncle Paul complimented me, “Good observation. Well, of course you have Mavis, then you got all those she might have currently enchanted, maybe even Carla. Plus, you got whatever demons she may have conjured up.”
“Yes, conjured,” my uncle said back to me before turning and walking away. Sandy followed immediately, taking his arm, as Akina pulled Darnell from the fence. He would have stayed there the rest of his life, but he knew Uncle Paul was right and that there was little they could do now but make things worse. I was beginning to understand but I was still somewhat confused and still trying to digest it all. I lingered, staring blankly at Mavis’s house. How could it all come to this? I hadn’t seen her since I was a small child, but I still had warm memories of Christmas and her entertaining me and the other little cousins. She wasn’t much more than a child herself as she tried to raise Akina and still, still she was one of us.
I began to come to myself and turn away when a whisper came upon me. I heard the sound of a child calling my name, begging me not to leave. Then I heard an even more faint voice of a man pleading “Make it stop, please make it stop…” Hearing him startled me. I began to look around, trying to locate the voice speaking to me. Then, for a moment, and then another, the shade of a woman appeared before me, stretching her arms out to me. She cried to me, “Please take me with you. I could make you happy.”
Those voices had me turning every which way. Although I saw nothing full on, every corner of my eyes held a glimpse of fear.
Suddenly, I felt a hand grab my arm and I jumped about four feet to my left, further out into the street.
“Whoa! Michael calm down. It’s me Sandy. You okay?”
“Sandy, yeah…. Hey, did you see that?”
“See what?” she said in all honesty, her face somewhere between smiling and puzzlement, but innocent as always.
I tried again, “I just saw something… and I heard it too. It was right here calling my name asking me to take it, no her, or maybe it was them… I don’t know. Oh my God, you didn’t see what just happened?”
She said nothing, but the look on her face again, just flexed back and forth between emotions.
Akina had drifted back to us and couldn’t resist a snipe at me as she smiled slightly, “There you go again, calling on the Lord. I thought you were an atheist? Hmmm. Come on, let’s go. We’ll be back later.” Then taking another look at my terrified expression as she dragged me along, she said, “Kid, you ain’t seen nothing yet!”