After

Debra Fran Baker





Once upon a time, there was a man gifted with grace and beauty and a brilliance that could sometimes outshine the sun. Men and women both gazed at him with awe and wonder and no little desire as he moved through the world. But the same entity - god or fairy god mother -who had given him those gifts balanced them with a damaged soul, unable to accept the blessings that were his due.

I journeyed with him as he sought to heal the damage inside himself by healing the damage in the world around him. I watched his soul cry to believe in anything, in everything but what was solid and real. He could believe in evil, but never in good and he cried for it in troubled dreams. I walked beside him and tried to show him a brighter world, but that was something beyond his grasp.

They both tried. The two of them. He was all strength and power, ready to protect, to care, to keep him safe, to make him know what life could be. And *he*...he was darkness and fire and danger. And they loved him. And he loved them and he was torn between them and their love. I could only watch him tear himself apart, not knowing who to love and who to hate and who to be with, and I cried helpless tears at night, watched him come in bruised or tired or hopeless day after day and I prayed.

And all of them are gone today, and I'm alone to face the future that they left. I sit in his office and pretend to be strong, and there is a leather jacket in my closet that only ever held one arm, and his fish swim on my dresser. I don't believe in heaven anymore, or hell because I saw them both here.

What? Of course, agents. You can investigate the strange sightings in Iowa. Here's the 302, and don't forget the autopsy report.



Copyright 1998 Debra Fran Baker and NightRoads Associates

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