Part III - The Vision
Bleeding and on the run, Cal headed into the alley near the low-income apartments on 34th Street. He clambered noisily up the fire escape, checking
windows as he made his way up. He needed to find a safe spot to check out how bad he'd been shot. On the sixth floor, he found a win-dow that
budged. He slipped his frozen fingers underneath the pane, gave it a pull, and flopped himself over the edge into the darkness.
Inside and on the floor, Cal looked around the dark apartment. Luckily, he landed in an unoccupied bedroom, but there was a faint glow coming from the
doorway. He waited silently, listening for any sign of occupants. After a minute or two to catch his breath, he grabbed a pillow case from the bed
near the window to wrap up his arm. He took off his coat to check the damage. The bullet had passed right through, no major arteries hit. Cal
wrapped it tightly and got ready to move.
He could hear the mayhem on the street below, sirens and loud voices. His mind raced -- make for the back stairwell, get to the viaduct and head for
the bus station on 27th. Creeping slowly toward the dim glow of the open doorway, Cal readied his knife then rounded the corner, down the hallway,
past the kitchen. "Good. Nobody home," he thought. The glow was just a shabby Christmas tree in the family room.
Cal made it 5 feet from the door when he heard a sound. He spun around ready for action, but was shocked to see a little girl, maybe five or six years
old, kneeling in front of the Christmas tree. The dingy lights from the sagging tree reflected off her auburn hair, and she clutched a teddy bear in
"Shhh" he motioned, thinking about what to do. "She's gonna wake up her parents, and the cops are only a few blocks away," thought Cal. He looked at
the knife in his hand, then back at the little girl. She didn't scream, just looked at Cal in wonder, then pulled the string on her teddy bear. The
tattered bear started playing a warbly version of "Joy to the World."
Cal's attention was suddenly drawn to the star atop the Christmas tree, as it appeared to be glowing brighter than before. The music from the bear
got louder and louder as the star got brighter and brighter. Cal's head started spinning. Soon, the entire room was filled with a blinding white
light, and "Joy to the World" rattled his skull at unearthly decibels.
Suddenly from beneath him, Cal was lifted out of his body by two ethereal beings. He watched the apartment building fade below as he was gently lifted
into the night sky overlooking the city. To his left and right were angelic figures comprised of light, like millions of many-faceted diamonds
spinning in unison.
The angels carried him without touching him, swooping freely to-and-fro over buildings and between the people walking the city streets. They stopped
briefly near the mission, where Father McNeil was still smiling and serving soup to the needy, hovering close enough for Cal to see the joy on their
Then on to 29th Street, where Mr. Kim was busy in his market, chopping fruit to serve to the hungry, as he did every New Year's Day for the past 22
years. Up, up, and over they glided to a family's home on 34th Street, where the children sang with their parents near a warm, cozy fire. Then
finally, the angels suspended Cal in the church, where the echoes of "Joy to the World" were still effervescing in the hallowed chapel, more
magnificent than ever before.
As his vision continued, Cal wondered what had become of Johnny T and his boys. Nearing the Finley Lounge, his heavenly hosts hovered momentarily over
the scene, the bodies of the deceased, the revelers crying in the street. The contrast of his handiwork compared to the others in his vision was
"Take me back" he said, suddenly wanting desperately to be back in the apartment with the auburn-haired girl so he could just get out of there, get
out of the city and never see it again. As they descended upon the squalid apartments, Cal tried to see into the building, to catch a glimpse of that
peaceful girl in front of the Christmas tree, maybe hear a few more notes of "Joy to the World" before he made his timely escape.
But all Cal could see was a dark, black void pulsating from the bottom of the fire escape, black vines of nothingness crawling up the lattice to the
6th floor win-dow. The blackness grew and ascended until it touched his feet, and he passed out as the darkness enveloped him.
When Cal came to, he was standing on the railing of the fire escape outside the open window on the 6th floor. The freezing winter air was swirling
around him. He turned to glance in the window, to catch a glimpse of the girl, or the warm glow of the tree and the white light, but he couldn't.
Cal's mind was now inexplicably transfixed upon and filled with a singular thought. He looked down the length of the fire escape, over the edge and
into the black void of his future. He realized that he had no Vision for the New Year. There was only one way he could bring the beautiful resonance
of "Joy to the World" to the people of the city.
Cal Mariminn was smiling upon impact with the pavement below, for he knew that God had given him a true vision of his future. Father McNeil walked
over from the mission, but was too late for last rites.
edit on 12/30/2014 by InTheFlesh1980 because: (no reason given)