Witnessing a Rescue

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.

The vision comes in the early morning. I’m barely out of bed when it hits—just a flash and then it’s gone but I’m wide awake and fully cognizant of all its participants.

Flying By Night novelI am standing across a street in the sunshine, and I’m looking at the high walls of a courtyard. For some reason, I associate this landscape with its rich sabal palms and palmettos with West Palm Beach, near the Kennedy mansion there, but it could just as easily be St. Augustine where some of my writer-friends live. There’s definitely an association with a country club neighborhood. Florida flora everywhere, and deep pink bougainvillea. It’s really quite the paradise when you look at it from a distance. Hmmm, though the flora is all either hard or thorny and good for getting cut or pricked.

I smell the ocean nearby and sense it. Blue, not green like in the Gulf or around South Florida. I hear the hum of surfers as they glide on water.

The courtyard walls are tall, maybe 8 feet high, and white stucco, the kind that has deep and intentional brush strokes in its surface so that if you leaned against it, you might even scratch yourself but from a distance, it looks smooth and pretty. It appears to be a courtyard next to a white stucco building with red Spanish tile on the roof, but it’s not a courtyard. It’s a prison. No roof and lots of sunshine, but still a prison.

Why am I seeing prisons of all sorts in these visions of mine?

There’s an opening at one corner. It faces the street between the courtyard and me, and it’s wide enough for two lanes of cars or a very wide driveway. I think there’s an ornate iron gate that’s usually locked. I see it but when I look again, it’s not really there. Just the opening and the corners of the iron gate where the hinges are, as if it’s open or torn down. Yes, the gate is open, and I have a sense of this being different somehow.

A man appears at the gate. He’s leaving, and he’s carrying a child, a boy of maybe 4 or 5 with sandy brown hair and cuddled against his chest, knees drawn up under him. The child is weary and not asleep, but maybe unconscious. No, not unconscious. His head doesn’t loll. Hurt. Scared. Unsure. So weary.

Then I get a better look at this “man.” He is tall, a giant. Maybe 12 feet tall. The courtyard fence is taller than any man I know, and this man towers over it. He’s 40ish, with black hair, long on his shoulders but tied back in a ponytail. His hairline recedes a little on either side, creating an exotic widow’s peak of black hair. He has dark brows, a prominent nose, and piercing eyes that I think are dark.

He wears a black leather jacket and black pants, and doesn’t carry a gun but is more dangerous than if he did. The word that comes to mind is Bodyguard, followed by Rescuer and then Protector. He stands at the gate with the child, ready to leave the confines of the courtyard and cross the street, or at least leave. His expression is a little angry, but it’s more resolute than anything else. He is not to be toyed with, and he is determined…yet at the same time, very gentle with the child in his arms.

I don’t see anyone else. No wardens or parents or people behind him. No one’s aware that he is leaving with the child, taking the child out of this pretty prison in the sunshine. The child is not frightened of him—he’s clutched tight to the man’s chest. He’s knows this man can carry him away from where he’s been hidden away.

And I know who this giant is. I know without a doubt. It’s the Archangel Michael.

Then I realize not just how powerful he is but how big he is. And if he is a giant, the child he is carrying is not a child. The dimensions have fooled me. The child is a full-grown man. I look closer, and it’s a man.

Archangel Michael, the Protector, stands at the open gate of this man’s prison and carries him forth.