By Michael Chrobak
Read Chapter 1 here, Chapter 2 here, and Chapter 3 here.
Okay. So now things were getting weird. An Arbitrator leaving The Graveyard didn’t seem that strange to me. I had always assumed there was somewhere they spent their time when not in the theater, I just had never dreamed one would join in on an assignment. Either this mission was far more important than I considered, or there was something else going on; something I may never know or understand. Either way, I had my orders, and it would soon be time to leave.
There were only two ways a Muse could leave the Graveyard: one was to be transported into a story, the other was to exit through the Golden Door. It was not only extremely rare to be granted access through the golden doorway, it was also considered dangerous, at least by those who had never gone. As far as we knew, to go through the Golden Door meant one thing – you didn’t come back. Over thousands of generations of Muse, only one Muse was rumored to have returned—Muse Ten-thirty-six—though no Muse now living could verify this as it had happened so long ago.
Before being dismissed by The Prime, I was given two tasks. The first was to choose one other Muse to join myself and Steve; and the second was to retrieve a package from a location deep within the oldest part of the Graveyard, a package which The Prime would not even hint as to the contents or description. He only stated that I would know what it was when I arrived at the point where it could be found.
After a brief moment to collect my thoughts, I knew exactly who I would invite: Muse Four-eight-three-three-two. She was not just the most creative Muse I had worked with, but also incredibly attractive, with raven-black hair, grey-green eyes, and skin of alabaster-white. She also had the cutest pixie nose and two of the deepest dimples I had ever seen. Okay, so I was a bit smitten, but still, as I said, she was highly creative. For some reason, that seemed to be something I would need. The Prime immediately agreed, stating he would send for her and that she would meet me at the Golden Door.
I was then transported back to the Graveyard via the same somewhat painful process I had entered the theater, finding myself in the same holding room as before. This time, when I exited the doorway into the hall, I had no intention of returning. In fact, I wondered if I would ever see a holding room, or the Graveyard, again. After a short walk to the hyper-lifts, I boarded a lift, commanding it to take me to the closest position to where this mysterious package was to be found. During the ride, which took perhaps twenty-seconds, my thoughts returned to Muse Ten-thirty-six, the one rumored to have passed through the Golden Door, and returned.
The legends that had grown from that rumor were as creative as the stories we found ourselves in, and were often the subject of conversations in one of the many lounges where Muse could interact when not on assignment. As the legends passed through my thoughts, I periodically checked the display on my arm-band, ensuring I was still heading in the right direction. Finally, I reached my destination, deep within the bowels of the complex, a section that appeared to have missed several decades of maintenance. Apprehensively, I approached the door, raising my hand to signal any occupants inside of my arrival.
The door slid open, revealing an elder-looking Muse whom I didn’t recognize, but somehow knew that I already knew.
“Hello Muse One-nine-four-three-eight,” he said, his voice whispery and thin with age. “I understand I am to be your guide on a mission of great importance.”
“That is what I was told,” I replied. “Might I learn your name?”
“My name,” the elder Muse responded, “is Muse Ten-thirty-six.”
The Graveyard: Chapter 5
Banner Photo by runnyrem on Unsplash.
Meet the Author:
So, who am I? Well, that’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a long, long time. And I’m not talking about labels, like; husband, father, brother, son, neighbor, friend, etc. Yeah, even ‘author’ is a label. None of those define me, they only define my relationship to this world.
Maybe that’s why I write. The more stories I tell, the more ‘me’ I find. There’s a little piece of me inside every character and adventure I create. The struggles I’ve had, the wonders I’ve seen, the beauty I’ve encountered, and the sorrow I’ve felt.
I’ve been writing since I was young; I just never had the courage before to let the world read any of it. But what good is creating something if no one sees it but you? Besides, I think the only way we can truly know someone is to find the memories they leave behind. I wonder what my memories will be…
Connect with Michael Chrobak:
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Don’t forget to check out The Paladin of Panama, Book 2 in the Brother Thomas and the Guardians of Zion series
Brother Thomas and the Guardians of Zion is a Christian YA Fantasy series that asks the question, “What if the Fruits of the Holy Spirit manifested as superpowers?” Faith, Patience, Chastity, Charity, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Modesty and Self-Control as superpowers? Why not? Jesus said our faith can move mountains, right?
Book One, Foundations of Faith (the fruit of Faith) begins the saga, as young Thomas, a typical teen with serious doubts about his faith, faces several significant trials as he begins to discover the true depth of his faith. He is visited in a dream by one of the Saints who gives him a quest – to find the Guardians of Zion, young people, much like himself, who have been gifted with special powers. The first of these is Theresa, who calls herself The Endlessly Dying Girl.
Book Two, The Paladin of Panama (the fruit of Chastity) finds Thomas deep in the jungle during a mission project to help build a school when he is once more challenged by The Darkness, aka: the Devil. This time, not only is his life in jeopardy, but so, too, are the lives of his friends, one of which is destined to become The Paladin and will wear the Armor of God.
Book Three, The Guardians Crest (the fruit of Patience) is currently in progress and is scheduled to be released before the end of the year. Who will the next teenage superhero be? And what spiritual superpower will they control? All will be revealed….soon.
You can find out more about the author, his books, and information regarding discounts for schools, churches, youth programs and book clubs on his website at https://michaelchrobakauthor.com or on Amazon by clicking here.
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