Saturday September 30th 2023

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Returning: Chapter 31

The Wind Changes

a photo of the author
Patrick Cabello Hansel

The visitor who came bearing the truth was not perfect. Most heroes or heroines are not. And to be honest, most heroines and heroes are not welcomed with open arms by those who they come to help.
Such was the case with Agnes; dear old Agnes, who showed up at Attafe, AKA Mother Light’s door. She had been forced to do the dirty work of Brian Fleming, who threatened to kill or sell overseas Amethyst*, Agnes’ granddaughter and only living relative. Torn by guilt over her culpability, she vowed to save Guadalupe, the kidnapped daughter of Angel and Luz. She knew the possible cost for doing so was terrible. But the damage to her spirit if she did not try to save the little child was greater.
Mother Light brought Agnes into the living room and stood between her and our little family. That was a wise and necessary thing, because as soon as they saw her, Luz and Angel were up on their feet, shouting and moving toward Agnes.
“Where is our girl?”
“What have you done with Lupe?”
“We trusted you and you betrayed us!”
“How could you do that?”
Mother Light let the wounded parents yell for a time, then raised her hand in such a way that everyone knew it was time to be quiet.
“We will not secure the child by hatred or fear,” she said softly.
Luz, who a few moments earlier was ready to physically attack Agnes even though she was elderly, sat down, put her face in her hands and wept.
“Where is my baby?” she cried. “What have you done to our little Lupita?”
There are cries which feel as if they could tear the fabric of the universe in two. Cries so deep and ancient, no human balm can soothe them. This was one of them.
Mother Light sat next to Luz, put her arm around her, and said,
“Your suffering will break as with the dawn,” she said simply. “Agnes is here to lead you to your child.”
“Agnes!” Angel cried out. “How can we trust her after she led us right to that evil man?”
Mother Light breathed deeply, and as she exhaled, the first barely blue was born in the eastern sky. A single bird sang outside the window. A breeze, unique to each person, rose from each heart and mingled in the air above them.
Mother Light shot up into the mingled wind.
“We must go!” she said. “Now! If you don’t trust Agnes and the great sacrifice she is making, trust me. Trust what the wind in your heart is saying.”
Angel and Luz rose, not knowing what to do, not even knowing if they believed what was happening around them. They rose because their bodies made them. They rose because their son, Angelito was already out the door, holding onto Mother Light’s hand. It looked as if they were flying.

  • Author’s note: Previous installments incorrectly named the threatened young woman as Ingrid, who was Agnes’ daughter and Amethyst’s mother. Even in magical realism, one ought to keep better track of these things!

Patrick Cabello Hansel is a retired pastor, having served with his wife for 15 years at St. Paul’s Lutheran in Phillips. He spends his days writing poetry and fiction, gardening and yelling at the TV.

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