Back to Joy

By Helen Lemus

He led her to Rhea, Saturn’s moon, with a thought. The yellowish clouds from the swirling gasses always made her smile with pleasure. To her, God was an artist first and foremost. They had lived in the delight of each other’s presence for so many decades now. They had lost track of their immortal progress in the joy. After their deaths on Earth, they had met in the spiritual plane to continue their marriage. Now, they wrapped each other in each other’s energies knowing one another in a deeper way than they ever could while they had lived.

Elias and Sorcha had met and courted in Miami Beach in 1963. They had married quickly because of their great passion. They had children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He had passed away first of liver disease. He didn’t drink. He was 62. She followed him into eternity in her 95 th year. She had waited for thirty three years to be with him again. When she had crossed through that ghostly veil into the light, he had been waiting. They had smiled with an incredible joy, the joy of love that survives death.

Hedon had worked on the Cassini Mission to Saturn in 2019. From his comfortable chair in San Diego, he had watched the pictures coming in through the feed. He knew what they meant. There were rivers on Titan. The race would be on to develop tech to terraform. Hedon was more interested in his friend, Carlos. Carlos knew of real power. It was the power of the Gods. Where did spirits go after they died? Their energies could be harnessed. Carlos had promised that he would share that information with Hedon. How could Hedon give Carlos what he wanted? It was not easy in the United States to rob graves. Carlos said that once a person died and was buried with a blessed rite by one authorized to do this, that soul could be grabbed up.

Elias and Sorcha swung around Saturn’s rings and flew towards the Moon that had given them so much while they lived. Earth’s moon was still and bright and gave them a great view of morning over their old home. Their spiritual joy did not shine like a visible light, but it did fill the room where their remains lay with peace.

Carlos entered the crypt and knew immediately that he had found what he needed. The couple was strong. He felt their spirits, so free, so happy. He had the jars to hold their skulls and fingers. It was all in their bones. Hedon, the Isreali computer scientist, would pay handsomely for the power to travel with his mind to the places which his telescopes filmed. Sorcha and Elias were interesting names. He cracked their grave open and covered his face to shield it from the escaping gas.

Hedon was at the computer typing away quickly. He was controlling a portion of the network utilised by the Cassini mission controllers. He had access to their network as part of his job, but no one knew that he was downloading data for his personal use. His contact at Incantex, the bio-development firm in Rio, was waiting for his drives. The phone rang. It was a number from Cuba. Carlos.

“I have them. They shine like little suns. $25,000 for both along with instructions. Wire it straight to my account like we discussed,” Carlos said.

“When will you send them?” asked Hedon.

“I am on my way to my courier now. You should get them by tomorrow morning. If I don’t get the money, I will contact the courier and have them destroyed,” replied Carlos.

“And you say that they are souls, living beings?” asked Hedon.

“They are. But no one expects them but you. When no one expects you, your destruction hurts no one but the Goddess of life. She and I have not gotten along for years,” said Carlos. He laughed and hung up on Hedon.

Hedon thought about his father telling him about the stillness of Sheol. Computers were easier to understand.

“Where are we?” asked Sorcha, strangely aware of the sound of her own voice. It sounded so strange after so long.

“We are back in the world of the living. I feel so much pain in my side,” he said. “But we are not completely alive.”

“Let us join. Our power could break these chains,” Sorcha said. Carlos saw the lights shining in the glass where their skulls and fingers were held wrapped in place. He was going to say his incantation but a car cut him off in traffic and he swerved. He thought about the $25,000 and tried to concentrate. The orishas were not on his side. The rain came.

“It’s working,” said Elias. He focused all of his power on his wife while she did the same with him. The rain pounded on the car’s windows and Carlos had to pull over. Would he miss the courier? He decided to keep driving through the rain.

Sorcha and Elias were like two different types of liquid boiling together. They spun faster and faster pushing against the sides of Carlos’s enchanted box. Carlos drove through the rain.

“Life in all forms is precious to me. You will not die, but your suffering will be legendary among us,” the Goddess of Life shouted at Carlos. As her will could change the movement of planets, it easily stopped the movement of his puny muscles. His hands froze on the wheel, and his car flew off of the expressway landing in a small man-made lake. He started to sink as the rain pelted the car. He noticed that although he could see, he could not blink.

“Your pain will be the stuff of legend, but you shall not die lest it be said that the Goddess of Life takes it,” said the power in the earth.

Hedon paused before he transferred the money. He was standing at his bank when his father’s voice said that he should think about the time he stole four dollars from his mother’s purse. He was eight. His father had been angry. Funny that his mind would bring that up. Why was he stealing this data? He was well rewarded for his work without having to do this. He stopped and went to the bathroom. He bent over the sink to wash his face. The automatic water faucet clicked on, and the water came out. Shimmering lights shone all about him. Next to him stood a couple, hand in hand.

“We are no longer tied to your accomplice. Please do not pursue this, it will destroy you,” said Elias gently.

“What are you?” asked Hedon. Then, he knew and ran. He ran out of the bank and he did not think until he was safely in the driver’s seat of his car. When he did think, he considered his life. It was great just as it was. He really did not need Rio. Finally, Sorcha and Elias were again among the stars. They played hide and seek in the asteroid belt after Mars. Joy was theirs to share for an eternity. It was the reward of a life lived well.

THE END

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