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Stories from the Verse
Garden of Versers
Chapter 109: Hastings 167
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Lauren was fairly confident that the officer holding the pistol to her neck was going to pull the trigger. He was waiting to see fear on her face. She wasn’t really afraid. She did not really want a bullet in the brain, but as she thought about it, there were worse ways to die, and she’d experienced several of them. Still, she had already embarrassed the State’s executioners on live international television, and it would be better that they not recover from that too easily. Still, she probably couldn’t raise a shield where there was no space, and with her hands chained to a ring on the pole she couldn’t move quickly or far to dodge.
She smiled at him. A look of rage started to emerge on his face, but she did not wait for it to reach his hand. Using her telekinetic pulse, she nudged the barrel of the gun sideways, and it cleared her throat just as it fired--she felt the hot gases on her neck, and the report of the pistol left her left ear ringing, but the bullet went wild.
Someone from the balcony screamed. She looked; so did her tormenter. The bullet had found a target; a woman was bleeding, with a completely stunned look of disbelief on her face. This was not really part of the plan, Lauren thought, but perhaps she could fix it.
She shouted, “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”
A collective gasp spread through the crowd as the bullet wound stopped bleeding and closed itself. The woman herself pulled down the shoulder of her blouse to see the freshly-healed wound as the scab was replaced by new white skin.
Lauren smiled, not merely because she had saved the woman, but because several of the television cameras were focused on her, capturing the miracle and sending it to viewers around the world. The woman looked at Lauren, and her mouth formed the words, “Thank you.” Lauren again smiled and nodded.
Recovering from his shock, the officer started shouting orders. “Guards! Take the prisoner back to her cell. Soldiers, seize that woman in the balcony. And shut off those cameras!”
The guards were a lot sloppier in transferring her cuffs from the pole back to themselves. She could easily have disabled them and uncuffed herself at this point, and with a leap to the balcony escaped in the chaos of the crowd; she simply didn’t feel that this was the right direction, and becoming a fugitive was not her top choice at the moment.
They were rushing, apparently unnerved by what they had seen. “Call on the Lord and be saved,” she said, but neither of them dared even to look at her. I did all that myself, she thought. What state would you be in had God actually intervened on my behalf?
She was soon back to her cell. The escort seemed all too eager to be parted from her, as if she were the carrier of a contagious disease, or an undead monster that could kill them as soon as she noticed they were there.
She settled back on the hard bed. Word of what happened was going to spread, she thought. She still had her captive audience--the guard seated at the end of the hall. She resumed preaching the gospel message. Perhaps she had a bit more credibility now.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twelve other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #313: Verser Solutions. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: