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* The Library - Fiction for the Heart *

The Gathering
Ch. 4 - The Voice

At last, exhausted, the children fell asleep, and the woman went out into the night.

The woman had come away from the child's memories filled with rage. Why was humankind so cruel, why was the world so heartless? Why would no one help a starving child? Her anger filled her eyes with red and she pounded the ground, crying "why, why, why?" Sitting on the grass under the trees, she raged and cursed and raged until it seemed the tears turned to acid on her cheeks and her throat grew ragged from her screams. "There must be a reason," the woman cried to the sky. "There must be a reason!" she cried to the trees. She pounded the grass and demanded to know the reason.

And from somewhere she heard a deep quiet voice say, "It was a mistake."

Startled, she looked around. "A mistake?" she called. "A mistake?!? You dare to look on this pain and say it was a mistake?!?"

She felt her rage surge up again, strong enough to perhaps burn all the valley, but she held it in check, and the voice said, sadly, "A terrible, terrible mistake… … I want to help make it right… if you'll let me."

But the woman wouldn't trust that easily, and the voice frightened her, though she couldn't say just why.

"Who are you?" she asked, warily.

The voice was silent for a long heartbeat. "I was… we… knew eachother long, long ago. It was my fault, and I want to make it right. I want to help."

"I don't trust you," she said. "There's something about you... I can't remember, but I don't trust you."

"I know. And my greatest sorrow is that if you remember you will hate me and fear me, but ONLY if you remember will we all be able to heal and be whole. There is no other way. It's a risk I have to take. It is my commitment to you. My promise. I will help you remember and heal, any way I can."

The woman considered this. There were things here she couldn't grasp, but she said, "This is my valley. We are safe here. If you come here, it will be at MY invitation, never unless I call you. If you really want to help, you will respect this."

"Yes," the voice replied. "I promise."

"Who are you?" the woman asked again.

"You will remember," the voice answered. "You will remember who you are too, and that is more important. Gather them all together, gather and heal... " And then the voice was gone.

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