“Are you…him?” Ryan wheezed, flat on his back.

“Him?” The woman replied, looking down upon him.

“God?” The sidewalk went cold beneath him. But he was not upset. With all he’d been through, death was not unwelcomed.

“No…and you’re not dying.”

Ryan ran a hand across his abdomen, it came back slick with blood. He held it up, glancing at his hand as it trembled in the streetlight halo. “I’m chronically ill,” he said, not sure why.

“We know…”

We know?…Who’s “we” and how do you “know”, Ryan thought, mind racing.

“We’ve been watching you…it’s okay, Ryan. You will be fine now…”

How’d she know my name? “But…”he stammered, looking down at the spreading red. It was a nice shirt. A Salvation Army special. When he wore it you almost couldn’t tell he was homeless. The shirt wasn’t very nice anymore.

She smiled and extended a hand. Ryan reached out and took it. On contact he felt a surge of energy and she began to glow, going incandescent with light. The bleeding stopped. There were people around, but nobody seemed to notice. “You saved that old man’s life you know,the woman/being said as she held his hand, “he’d be dead if you hadn’t stepped in.”

Ryan nodded. He intervened in a mugging and had taken the blade. Scrawny as he was, he was not able to fight the thug. He had a body though…and he used it. It was not an act of heroism. “I just reacted,” he said as if confessing. “I’m nobody…”

“It’s okay,” the being said with a smile, squeezing his hand. “Come on, stand up…” He rose and she pulled him close, holding him in her embrace. Calm spread through him like a warm rush of sunlight. “Come on…it’s time to go now…”

“Go…go where?”

Another smile; bright and knowing and kind. “We’ll get to that. Right now, we have to journey.”

Ryan’s eyes went wide. He was willing but flinched to residual fears.

“It’s okay, Ryan…you have nothing to worry about. Just know that you are loved…and you will never be alone again.

Thank you, he mouthed, a rush of joy filling his soul as they slowly began to rise off the pavement…


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