Sunday, August 30, 2020

The fourth extract from the novel Redemption

 

Ann with her AI pal Rob

I'd like to present the fourth extract from my novel Redemption

In this discussion, Rob explains to Ann which intangible values affected her Spiritual Choices in her first two lives.

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“I don’t understand it, Rob,” said Ann as she stepped out of the shower. 
“I had expected these nightmares to stop after going to the psychic. Several weeks have passed but - if anything - the dreams are more worrying than ever. It’s gotten worse instead of better.”

“That is all part of your journey, my lady,” Rob replied, looking out from the screen of the E-A device sitting by the sink. 
“Consider the Buddha’s path from the golden palace to enlightenment or Jesus’ journey through the cross to the resurrection. The greater the destination, the harder the journey must be.”

Ann considered this while drying herself with a towel. 

“I guess I can accept that,” she said eventually, “but from what I’ve seen on my two visits to the psychic, my - what did she call it? - My reincarnation chain has hardly been a series of victories. In my first life, I lost my son days after giving birth to him and ended up killing myself. And in the second I failed to save the woman I loved and died of a heart attack. I achieved nothing!”

“Nothing?” Rob raised an eyebrow at this and shook his head. 
“But, my lady, sacrifice has always been a necessary part of the greatest journey.”

Ann stopped drying her hair to look questioningly at him. “Sacrifice?”
 
“Of course sacrifice! Or did you think you gave up those lives without reason?”

“Well…” she continued drying her hair as she tried to think. “Maybe,” she conceded. “But I didn’t really achieve anything. I didn’t get Wu back or save Alfreda. Even if I did sacrifice myself, what was it all for?”

“Answer this then: when you were living in the Stone Age, why did you die?”

Ann shrugged as she picked up the E-A device and headed back out into the bedroom. “Because I shoved a spear through my heart.” 
She winced again at the memory that sharpened stick pushing into her body and placed a hand on her chest.

“No,” said Rob, now watching her from the bedside table. “That was how you died. I asked why.”

“Because that big murdering bastard was going to get me!” Ann jabbed crossly at the SmartHome screen on the wardrobe, selecting a red trouser suit. 

A wooden panel slipped back and the requested suit slid out on a rail.

“And what was that ‘big, murdering bastard’ going to do with you?”

“I don’t know,” she said, pulling on the underwear that had appeared through another panel. “Rape me? Beat me? Keep me as a slave wife?”

“All of the above, no doubt. So why did you decide to kill yourself?”

“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Death has to be preferable to such a life. I died for freedom.”

“For freedom!” Rob agreed. “And what about your death as the Roman priest?”

“Egyptian priest.”

“Indeed.”

“That was just a heart attack, wasn’t it?”

Rob sighed and gave her a long meaningful look as Ann pulled on her trousers and tucked in her blouse. “Again, that was how you died. Ask yourself why.”

“Because I had been running and pushed my body too hard?”

“Okay… and why had you been running?”

“To save Alfreda’s life, to rescue the woman I loved.”

“So why did you die? For what reason?”

Ann finished buttoning up her jacket and stood up straight, suddenly realizing what Rob was getting at. “I died for love.”

“Exactly!” said Rob with a beaming smile. “You sacrificed yourself for freedom and for love. That’s good karma right there, my lady, huge steps on the path to redemption.”

Redemption?” Ann looked puzzled for a moment, trying to remember where she had heard that word recently. 

“The psychic mentioned that at the end of our last session when she was going on about reincarnation chains and other weird stuff.”

“Perhaps it would be worth talking with her again and finding out what she meant?”

“I’m not so sure, Rob,” she said, picking up the device and walking towards the front door of her apartment. “My past lives might not have been pointless, but that doesn’t change the fact that my nightmares have gotten worse since I went to see that old woman. I don’t want to risk them getting even worse!”

“That’s entirely your choice, my lady. It is your life—your journey—and only you can make that decision.”


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Jacky