Saturday, March 21, 2015

Battle Scars

By Angeline M Duran Santiago

 Part 2 to On Heavenly Wings

copied photo from http://www.mobiles24.com/downloads/s/591131-331-wounded_warrior_girl

Ariana hugged herself in a soft moment of weeping as she recalled those moments in her dream where she had ended up on the battle field. She moved her hands upon her shoulders and realized the soreness from her dream was also real upon her flesh, here in life that was not her dream. Ignoring her husband's voice, she carefully made her way off her bed and towards the mirror. 

Her face was covered in bruises and she saw bruises and scratches upon her legs and her arms. "How?" she whispered. "How is this possible?" She began her walk towards the living room, wanting to sit for a few minutes before getting into the shower. Ariana's head ached and she couldn't understand what had happened. How can someone have a dream, so real, so vivid, so painful, and wake up to the proof of every second in her nightmare?

Questions raced through her mind. "Am I going crazy?" "Is someone playing mind games with me?" "Is this part of my dream?" "What do I do now?"

Rising and heading towards the shower, Ariana turned on the hot water, as hot as her aching body could handle. As the steam circled around her and the heat massaged her back, she turned to let the hot water fall upon the top of her head. As the warmth fell upon her, moving it's way down her face, a well of emotion broke from deep within her and she was unable to stop the cries that came through. Tears disappeared with the soap and water, and her heart cried out in ways she couldn't stop or understand. 

Her cry became a prayer and she remembered to call out to the One who had come just in time, carried her away, and allowed her to fall upon the wings of the beast, the gigantic eagle, whose feathers had become her momentary sanctuary, taking her away, to that unknown place. The place she could only remember as mountains, mountains with clouds all around the top, somehow beckoning her and offering a refuge from the battle.

Turning off the water and drying herself, she thought of making a good, hot cup of coffee. Her husband knocked at the bathroom door and she answered, "I'm coming out now." "I just wanted to know if you're ok?" he asked. "Yes. I will be." She opened the door and placed her head on his chest. He held her for a moment and said, "I'm here, honey. No matter what is going on, we will get through this." "You don't understand, honey." She interrupted. She looked up at him and wanted to tell him just how badly she felt, how confused, how much soreness was upon her body, and just how confused she was feeling.

"I can't explain to you what has happened. It's like I wasn't here all last night, but then when I look at myself, it's like whatever took place in my dreams was so real that I am feeling all the after effects of it all. I sound crazy, I know, but..."
Ariana's husband, Saul, placed his arms on her shoulder, then lifted one arm towards his face, bringing his hand to his mouth and saying, "Shhhh." As she allowed Saul to direct her to the sofa to sit, he said, "It's okay, honey." 

"No! How can you say that! You don't get it! Look at me!" Ariana pointed at her scars and bruises, allowing once more, tears to fall down her cheeks, "I just started to remember how I got these. You don't understand!"

Ariana's husband walked away from her, and stood in front of her. His began to remove his white T-shirt, lifting it up, "Oh, not now, Saul. You got to be kidding me!" Ariana voiced and suddenly was hushed as she began to continue speaking. Saul stood before her, chest and back full of burned like lines, as if he'd been whipped and beaten, bloody marks upon his chest and bruises upon his waist. 

"See honey, " Saul said, "I understand."

He walked away, heading towards the shower, and just as he walked inside, he turned towards Ariana, with tears in his own eyes, "It's not over, honey, but we will win!"


Ariana decided to pray right there in her living room as Saul entered the shower. Images of her dream became alive again in her mind and she could hear the voices, the clanging and hitting of swords. She heard the shouts, the curses, and the insults. 

She got on her knees, trying to call upon the name of the Lord. "I need you to help me understand, Lord. I need your wisdom, your strength, and your guidance. Flood my mind with understanding and help me to understand what you are allowing Lord. Remove all my fears and doubts and fill me with courage."

Ariana saw herself in some sort of arena, an empty arena with no audience. She was surrounded by men and women dressed in some kind of battle garments, black and grey, metal pieces, spikes, chains, and all kinds of instruments used for punishing inmates in their hands and on the ground. She couldn't run.

They came at her in waves and she realized all she had was a sword and a shield. Somehow she knew how to use the shield and used it to protect herself from the onslaught that came upon her from the front, but the thing behind her was quick, and used his whip upon her back, causing her to painfully fall  forward on her knees. She forced herself to get up quickly, ignore the pain, as she saw two others, something not even human, racing towards her to finish her off. She shielded herself on one side and rose up, steadying herself to use her sword against the two that came towards her.

They ran quickly and insulted her, cursed her and spoke against everything she held dear to her heart. Words began to flash all around her, "Fear- Intimidation-Confusion-Sadness-Abuse-Depression-Hatred-Violence-Scandal-Lies-Slander-Gossip-Bitterness-Anger-Disappointment-Abandoned-Lust-Fornication" On and on around her, she saw the words and realized that each word represented one of those human like creatures attacking her.

She used her sword swiftly, left to right, aiming, blocking, cutting through. There were so many. She was so tired. Then she saw to her side, three of those ghastly looking beings brought someone who had been severely beaten. They laughed and cursed, throwing him on the ground, kicking him and spitting on him. He tried to get up but couldn't. Blood stained the ground he laid on and covered his face so she could barely see who it was.

Something hard, violently crashed upon her head, knocking her off her balance, as another cursing being, kicked at her back and her ribs. The impact was so powerful, she lost grip of her sword, letting it fall to her side. She tried to get up and only felt the pain in her head. 

"God, I'm holding on to Your Word. I have nothing left..."
Allowing the rest of her body to fall unto the ground, she tried to reach for her sword but her body would not obey her mind.

"Lord...."

Whispering a prayer in her mind, and unable to open her eyes, as he saw the dark beings encircle her and the other person, she saw them look upward, and she saw the light breaking through that dark arena as if the sun was rising right in front of her eyes. She felt the warmth of the fire coming down. The Light pushed back the dark ones and they began to walk away in confusion, in anger, cursing and lifting their weapons towards the Image that walked towards the man on the floor. Fire danced in waves of joy around the Light. As the Majestic One, in the midst of the fire moved to lift up the beaten warrior on the ground, a dozen gigantic winged creatures began descending on the arena's floor. Witnessing the descent of these amazing Eagles, her body gave out, and the last thing she remembered was soaring in the heavens on the back of one of the Giant Eagles, trying to get up, and seeing only the mountains ahead, calling out to her.