“Follow me!” the voice was gentle, soft, and somehow compelling.
The lovely lady with blue eyes and long waves of golden hair blinked in her drowsy state.
Shelley slowly opened widely her eyes and rose from the hammock on the hill near the big house. A few trees dotted the landscape on the freshly mowed grass and a watermelon smell wafted on the gentle air. This was her favorite spot on a sunny afternoon along the large spread of her parents’ property, eschewing the enticing pool by the ancient house. She could see for miles across the bluegrass roll of hills and felt a calmness never duplicated in her life.
“Follow me!” the gentle voice again intoned.
Shelley was not wary of the near-hypnotic and tranquil voice and innately knew she would follow its command. There was no equivocation, not the usual questions and puzzlement that would come with these uttered words, no doubts of the clarity and ethereal verity. There was no one, no person, to be seen but she somehow knew the path to follow, like an aura spreading the grass in front of her. She increased her gait, sensing an urgency as the aura spread its way in front of her. Shelley’s mind allowed no interfering thoughts to suggest hallucination or sleep-walking. Her purpose was as clear as the turquoise stillness of the pool she now approached.
At the pool, the aura and the spell-like awareness gave way to a strange reality. There on the edge of the pool lying lifeless was a most beautiful blue jay.
Shelley rushed to the bird, knelt, and with a soft tenderness picked up and placed the bird in the palm of her left hand. She moved to the poolside table, sat, and placed gently the blue jay on the table.
With tears welling in her eyes Shelley softly stroked with a forefinger the bird’s feathers, quietly chanting, “Please, God, let this lovely creature live, please, please!” Over and over, she spoke in whispers as her tears spilled over onto the table.
There came a slight tremble of a wing on the blue jay. Then, a small talon moved. All the while Shelly gently stroked the feathers. Soon, the bird tried to rise, only to fall over again on its side. Slowly, her murmurs and tears flowing, Shelley saw the bird finally stand, slowly shake itself, look into her eyes, give a short weak squeak, and fly away.
Shelley sat at the poolside table watching the sky. She saw the blue jay soar, then swoop low into a row of bushes and out of sight. She smiled in wonder, wiping at her eyes, looked up to the heavens and spoke, “Thank you, Lord! Thank you so very much for the miracles you still perform. Thank you. Thank you.”
When Shelley lowered her head, there was the blue jay some six feet in front of her, flapping its wings and chirping, then flying off again into the cloudless sky.
A lady of faith, this experience would last a lifetime, a reminder that she, as were all people, here for a purpose. The reminders of life’s purpose would not always come in the special way of this day’s most exquisite miracle, but they would come for those who would open their hearts and soul to them.
Shelley returned to her hammock. She couldn’t wait until her parents returned from shopping to tell them of her blue jay experience.
Flash Fiction by Billy Ray Chitwood
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