The stars stood out and sparkled bright
Over the dark shadowy ground as
Though they were distant eyes watching
Some mystery. There was a heaviness
In the air leftover from the day, from
The duty of labor and the worries
Plaguing homes across the countryside.
And there among it all building it even
More was one of the brightest full moons
Of the year. Jon had only gazed up
Briefly to the night sky trying to shake
All feeling…when he heard someone
Call out his name as he was about to
Go into the barn.
A shadowy form stood around the
Corner of the barn to his right watching
He froze in surprise at the figure
And the sound of his name being
Called. Then he squinted and
She slowly and cautiously moved
Closer to him until she was more
Visible. ‘Jon, I’m sorry…but we had
No where else to go.’
‘We?’ He asked nervously, ‘What’s
Julianna took a step closer looking
About uneasily. ‘The camp…there was
An attack. Everyone ran…’ She paused
Eyeing him with this desperate look in
Her eyes. ‘Can we talk inside?’ She
Nodded at the barn. ‘In private?
‘Yes. Of course.’ Jon said fast, then
Opened the door for them to go in.
Once inside Julianna took a stand
By the door leaving it open a crack
So that she could watch outside.
‘I’m sorry about this.’
‘What’s happened?’ Jon asked.
‘I don’t know why…’ Julianna seemed
To moan. ‘I don’t know what’s wrong
With people. They lose their minds and
Attack without thinking. Such dark times
We live in, desperate.’
‘Is everyone alright?’ Jon asked.
‘Villagers came.’ Julianna whispered
Urgently. ‘Men on horses…carrying
Torches…from all over. Some were
Dressed in black. They came shouting
All sorts of ridiculous claims, and
Then they just started attacking people…’
‘That’s AWFUL! Was anyone hurt?’ Jon
Asked with growing shock.
‘Many. Everyone just started running
In different directions.’ Julianna told
Him as she watched the outside again
From behind the barn door. ‘We didn’t
Know what to do…They were so outrageous
Out of their minds casting blame. They
Made no sense….’
‘Are you alright?’ Jon asked studying her.
‘I’m fine.’ She assured him, then
Looked into the dark of the barn.
‘I came with Jona…and Matthias. He
Was hurt badly…he was stabbed.’
‘WHAT?!’ Jon exclaimed. ‘What? Why?
And you brought them…HERE…with
‘Yes.’ Julianna nodded then closed the door.
Then she smiled and called out, ‘Jona?’
Then his tall bulky shape stepped out
From the dark shadows into the brighter
Light at the end of the barn. ‘He carried
Matthias. We just ran. We didn’t know what
To do. We had gone North as you know
Then were coming back this way with the
Wagons when the attacks came. Matthias
Had told us your farm was close by…so
Jon and Julianna went to the other
Side of the barn then where Jona stood
Panting in the dark. Beside him, laying
On the ground in the hay was Matthias,
He was bleeding heavily and barely
Conscious. Jon knelt quickly over him.
‘This looks bad.’ He said as he examined
The wide gash in his shoulder, ‘When
Did this happen?’
‘Just before nightfall.’ Julianna told
Him looking very worried. ‘We just
Didn’t know what to do. It happened
‘Let me go and get some things from
The house.’ Jon told them. ‘Everyone
Is heading to bed now. I will be fast. I
Will get what I can, but I’m not sure how
Much I can help.’ Jon explained, then
Julianna nodded at him and he ran
Off. He returned very quickly with a
Bucket of water, linens that he
Found to treat the wound, and salves
And some candles; which he lit
Then in the corner of the barn as
Images made by the candlelight
Danced all over the walls, Jon treated
His friend’s wounds as best he could.
The gentle giant, Jona, hovered over
Him watching while Julianna paced
About nervously. ‘What happened to
Everyone else at the camp? Sara?’ Jon
‘I don’t know.’ Julianna answered
As she shook her head back and forth
Nearly in tears. ‘It was getting dark.
People ran. The things they said, the
Villagers…I have no idea what came over
Them. A vicious angry mob.’
‘This looks really bad.’ Jon kept saying
As he tried to then work on helping
Matthias. But his friend just moaned in
Agony, pinching his eyes shut as he lay
There gasping for breath and sweating.
‘I don’t know what I can do!’ He told
Them desperately. ‘Why would anyone
Jona stood angrily watching as he
Recalled the scene at the camp. Then
He growled the word, ‘Idiots.’
‘You have no idea why they attacked
You?’ Jon asked.
‘It has something to do with the lights.’
Julianna told him as she stood there with
Her arms crossed over her chest holding
Herself. ‘All the strange things happening…
The weather…The hard times. They were
Shouting at the gypsies, blaming them for
Everything. No one did anything! You
Know it was just a group of us roaming,
Curious about the lights. We weren’t a
Threat to anyone!’
Jon just shook his head. ‘It doesn’t
Take much to set people off…. especially
‘Will he be alright?’ Julianna asked
Watching as Matthias lay there in terrible
‘Honestly, I don’t know.’ Jon told her.
‘I have never seen a wound like this.’
He nearly fell over to one side sick with
Shock and worry. ‘Why, why would
People do this?’ He grabbed his head
Fearing the worst. ‘I don’t know what
‘We didn’t either.’ Julianna shook.
‘And the camp…everyone else? Did
You see what happened to them?’ Jon
Asked, his eyes wide upon her.
‘I don’t know.’ Julianna replied weakly.
‘People ran. I think…I think they started
Grabbing people…I think some of them
Grabbed Sara…and maybe some of the
Others. I don’t know, I couldn’t see. Jona
Was there beside me, when some men
Struck at Matthias...He blocked them. I hit
One with a rock...And then we ran…!’
Jon just froze, his eyes huge and wide
Loat in her words picturing what she
Described. The insanity of it all. ‘All of
This from some curiosity over these lights?!’
‘It wasn’t just that.’ Julianna weakly said.
‘It’s everything…the mood in the air…
The way so many struggle…’
‘Yes, well, striking out never helps
Anyone as you see.’ Jon replied fast,
Angry at it all. ‘People just insist on
Lashing out all the time. And did they
Find their solution…in blaming the
There was strained silence then. ‘They
Had such a WILDNESS in their eyes.’
Julianna told him. ‘Like nothing would
Satisfy them…Like it was some sort of
‘They would strike out at any strange
Thing passing by.’ Jon understood. ‘I
Have seen how people can get about these
Things, believe me.’
‘It wasn’t like that in the city.’
Julianna said. ‘They would have talked
‘Or argued more you mean.’ Jon laughed.
‘Yes, they say the villagers have smaller
Minds…and in the city, what? They find
Some more intelligent way to be cruel???’
Joanna winced at his point, she could
Not argue that.
‘All for the sake of curiosity.’ Jon
Laughed. ‘Dare to be different, to break
A bad pattern…IS A PUNISHMENT in
Some way, He paused looking at them,
At Jona’s towering anger, at Julianna’s
Terror and Matthias’s pain….’You
Kept talking about how marvelous the lights
Were… the mysteries…about finding
Answers. You see how people are…do you
See? They don’t want answers, they want
It their way.’
‘Some do.’ Julianna insisted.
‘But not everyone sees it that way no matter
What you say.’ Jon defended. ‘It’s always
One point of view versus another…with each
Defending a different right or wrong…There
Are NO ANSWERS that way. How can there
‘We just wanted to see the lights.’ Julianna
‘In this world?’ Jon laughed. ‘Nothing is
So simple…will it ever be?’
‘We felt so close to solving something
Though…’ Julianna started to say…
‘To solving what, a mystery?’ Jon said
As he stood tall in the candle light among
Them. ‘About what? How much will anyone
Be satisfied with? Maybe you see and know
All that you need to…that you can handle…’
‘You’re not saying we were wrong for
Simply LOOKING?’ Julianna asked.
‘No, of course not.’ Jon told her desperately.
‘I’m saying nothing will be enough to
Satisfy everyone…They will ALWAYS want
More…ANOTHER ANSWER tomorrow, and
The day after that…and the day after that.’
‘You think this is the point that Sara was
Trying to tell us?’ Julianna asked then, looking
Quieter and unsure.
‘Tell me…’ Jon said to them, from a strong
Voice within himself. ‘These lights…to whatever
End they are…Why do you think they would
Come here…to visit some world ages behind
Their own? OR…to seek out something rare, or
New…to influence it…or collect it for their
Own?’ He took a step back thinking far away
Of things he tried to never think about…
‘What would they do…to influence a course…
A territory? And then watch and wait and observe
To see what would happen…What would time
Mean to them, it if meant anything AT ALL?’
She trembled slightly upon his words. ‘You
Have thought a lot about this…’
‘More than I ever wanted.’ Jon nodded
Reluctantly. ‘Maybe I have more answers
Than I want.’
‘You know there is more to this then…the
Lights?’ Julianna asked. ‘Sara knew. But she
Only shared so much…She was always so
Careful. Is there really something so terrible
‘Honestly, I don’t know.’ Jon told her
Sincerely. ‘I suspect…. from what I know.
That’s why I told you…It makes me appreciate
The simple things more. Maybe that’s all the
World is ready for. What other answers would
‘But if we know more,’ Julianna tried to
Reason, ‘Couldn’t we do something about
‘If there is the power in the lights to
Come here, to come this far…beyond their
Own,’ Jon answered, ‘What could we do
About it? It’s scary to think about…What
They could be looking for…and why…’
‘You think they’re looking for something?’
Julianna asked as Jona listened intensely
Jon hesitated to answer. ‘Or waiting…
Or Both. Can you imagine if 500 years...
Only meant moments to them?’
‘Like Sara’s bracelet?’ Julianna wondered.
Just then there was the sound of wood
Creaking…soft footsteps on dry ground.
Before they knew it a cloaked figure in
Black emerged slyly through the barn door.
The strong form of a man entered and stunned
Each of them silent with shock. Fast moments.
The man began shouting nonsense accusations
At them, calling them, ‘bringers of darkness
From the skies.’ Then he withdrew a long shiny
Blade that flashed like silver in the dim light,
And lunged at them.
Jona grabbed Julianna and stood
In front of her baring his teeth
At the intruder, ready to fight him.
But the cloaked man
Set his sights on Jon instead
Aiming his knife at his chest…
So fast it happened. Jon gasped
And went wide-eyed with frozen
Shock…Then suddenly, the man
Went solid and motionless, his eyes
Bulged and he shook as though some
Tremendous force seized his insides…
Then he began to shake violently
Unable to control himself…The
Three of them watched in horror
As the man began to bite his
Teeth fighting to make a move,
‘What is happening to him?’ Julianna
All at once, the cloaked man suddenly
Stood taller, as though something
Invisible was stretching him out…then
Violently his knees made awful
Breaking sounds as they were bent
And snapped backwards…and
Then his neck began bending backwards
And looked as though it was being
Squeezed, choked…And then finally
He let out this terrible distorted
Moan as his chest pounded in and
Out…until he fell motionless
And lifeless to the ground.
The three of them waited in
Silent shock just staring at the
Man’s body on the ground for
Minutes…and then Jona
Bravely crept over to him, bent
Down and examined him. He
Touched the man carefully, then
Slowly turned back to Jon and
Julianna numbly. ‘He is dead.’
Julianna shook and grabbed
At her throat. ‘What? How?’
Jon swallowed hard then trembled.
His mind raced, afraid, as his
Senses told him the fearful answer.
‘What happened?’ Julianna exclaimed.
‘What could have done that?’
Slowly Jon collected himself
Before answering with quiet words.
‘You don’t want to know.’
‘Do you know what did that?’
She said, stepping carefully
Closer to Jon.
‘It wasn’t me.’ Jon said shaking
His head. ‘I think it was them…’
‘Them?’ Jona asked as he stood up
Before they could further react
Another sound began to fill the air,
A sound none of them had ever
Heard before. It made the noise
Like a bee, but louder…echoing
Then rolling until it felt like
The entire barn was vibrating…
‘What is that?’ Julianna asked
As she looked everywhere.
‘I don’t know.’ Jon said nervously
As Jona moved closer to join them.
All three of them just kept looking
In every direction nervously,
But saw NOTHING.
Matthias began to moan in pain
Again, on the ground, his eyes
Squeezed shut, fighting something
Deep within. ‘What’s going on?’
Suddenly, Jon’s eyes shot straight
Up, guided by an internal trigger
He could not explain. ’There’s a
Light coming.’ Then he raced to
The barn door, with Julianna
And Jona close behind him. He
Threw the door open
And they looked out to see a
Strange orangey-red ball streaking
Across the sky…
Julianna just shook her head and
Leaned to Jon close and said
Desperately, ‘What is happening?!’