The Dead: Book 6 (frag. 3)

Submitted by Ken Watts on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 21:32

THE PARAMEDIC WAS injecting him. The poor young man looked almost as worried as Daniel and Janine. He closed his eyes, and floated, somewhere between the family and himself.

Location is a matter of focus. But Susan had been there, had been part of the whole.

Was time a matter of focus, as well?

Another leap upwards.

He was all of the family, now. Not just the father, the mother, the wife, the son, but also the children's spouses, and the grandchildren too.

He narrowed himself to the mother, the wife.

Susan shivered.

The day was cold to begin with, and church was not well heated. She peered through the little window in one of the doors, into the sanctuary, at the pews full of people.

A hand grasped her elbow, and pulled her back.

Her father smiled.

"You don't want them to see you, before the grand entrance."

"No. You're right. I don't."

"Susan. I hate to bring this up right now, but—are you completely sure? Don't get me wrong. I think he's a good man. But life, married to a musician..."

She laughed.

"I'm completely sure, Dad." She looked him in the eye. "I love Norm."

The music had started. Her father offered her his arm.

"Well, here we go..."

Upward again. Further than before.

The whole now included Norm's friends, as well as his family. He had so recently been Norm, that some curiosity remained.

The grandchildren.

What would life be like for them, in ten years?

He found the right finger, focused, but at the last second a higher instinct took hold. Just an ordinary, pleasant, day. Thorton Wilder had been so...

Another finger came briefly into focus, and he laughed, as he remembered writing that scene.

He dived fearlessly now, focusing on later date. He wasn't going to live it just now. He was only going to visit—dip in, for a second or two.

Daniel Junior shook his head and took a deep breath. It had only lasted a second, or less, but he was quite sure it was one of those experiences that some people talk about.

Less than even a fraction of a second, but overwhelming, nonetheless.

What did they say? A sense of unity, of oneness with the universe. Well he wasn't surprised that it should come, unbidden, today.

To be standing here, staring through this window, after all the impossibly hard times—after all the pain, and depression, and loss—to be standing here, looking past his own reflection, at his newborn daughter, Pam's daughter, was reason enough.

He allowed himself another deep sigh, felt the tears on his face, running down past his grin. It was all so perfectly...

Upward again, even further than before.