Brad awoke late morning and rolled squinting an eye shut against the sun’s glare. He called for Teyata in the hope that her death may have been a dream. Her grave stood as a silent reminder still marked with a seared cross.
His skin tugged painfully at him from several different places. Sitting up, he noticed removed the poultices he made the night before. Blood still seeped from the mostly dried scabs made around the shallow cuts. Lower down his right arm, he felt a little numb from the damage in his shoulder. He slowly worked the arm in small circles. Tears welled in his eyes as the sinews struggled to comply, but comply they did.
It’ll heal he told himself.
Skinning bark from a tree, he used it as a plate as he gathered up grubs and insects from the ground. He sat, staring over the valley, chewing mechanically.
Not “why did Teyata die,” but “why did he live?” He ate food to sustain himself for another day, yet he had no desire live. It didn’t seem right that the clouds still shifted, the sun shone and birds chirped now that Teyata was gone. He sensed God’s presence, but didn’t want to talk to Him; not yet. As he swallowed the last grub, he tossed the bark aside and looked ahead as he prayed.
“Here we are again, Lord. Me asking you ‘what do I do now?”‘
He waited, not expecting an answer. In fact, he hoped he wouldn’t receive one. His grief had incapacitated his will to go on. For once, an answer came, even though he didn’t want to hear.
There’s still the mission.
Brad laughed. “The mission? It doesn’t mean a lot now; does it?”
God’s spirit remained quiet, allowing guilt to seep into Brad’s soul. Could he have hurt Him? Was it possible?
With a sigh, he looked ahead. Kilometres on, he could make out a road, no more than a black string threaded through the earth’s surface. Focusing, caused the telescopic lens to zoom in, revealing white among the distant trees and…
He zoomed in further.
Surely the light was man-made; more than likely automated, but it warranted investigation.
“God used me to help bring you this far,” said Teyata yesterday. “He’ll take you the rest of the way.”
Brad nodded. “She’s right, Lord.”
Springing to his feet, he groaned with pain. Teyata had trained him, loved him, and even given her life to protect him. He couldn’t; wouldn’t let such a noble life go to waste.
“Time to go,” he muttered under his breath.
Lisa watched as he frantically foraged among the vegetation for healing plants. His sense of urgency and stolen glances at the road ahead perplexed her.
What’s he doing?
He lowered his head between the last two trees and slapped his hands together in prayer.
“Run with me, Lord,” he whispered.
Lisa noted the iron look of determination in his eyes as he stared ahead. Gone now, was the face of the timid, unconfident boy, replaced with the iron will of a man who could never be beaten; just killed.