One of the ways that I encourage myself when I’m down in the dumps, is I review my heroes. I have a mental hall of them, and I like to stroll through it from time to time to remind myself that I am; not alone in how I’m feeling, not alone in my failures, not alone in my journey, and definitely not alone in my times of doubt. Today, I discovered a sub-wing of the hero hall labelled “Imaginary Heroes” and with my writer’s curiosity peaked ( I mean who knows what secrets I keep from myself) I slipped inside. Here is what happened, when I did.
“He Stoops!” Sandfly greeted me, and threw an arm companionably around my shoulders. I laughed in delight.
“He does indeed” I grinned into his dear features, so different from my own. He winked and led me further into the room. Apparently there was a meal going on, or a party. The place was crowded with forms, and I could hear the indistinct murmur of conversations, the chuckle of fellows and the merry giggles of ladies. Around a corner was a thick sectional couch and several youths lounged on it. One of them had his boots on the back and his head down where his feet should be. I gave a yelp of joy, and held out my hands. He flip-tumbled backwards off the cushions, righted himself and dusted off his regal outfit.
“Never Alone” he reminded me as he came over, taking both sets of fingers and giving them a smart shake”You’re Never Alone.”
Sandfly stepped back and folded his arms over his chest, his eyes bright.
I jerked the youth forward crushing him to myself, hugging him hard enough to make him grunt.
” Girl cooties, and also ribs, my ribs are not designed for this” he protested. I fought back tears.
“Oh Aidan, those words have helped me so often.” He flushed berry red, and scraffed the back of his hair, sheepish, as I let him go.
“Don’t I get a hullo?” murmured the youth who had been sitting beside him, right-way up. I stared at him. Dark hair, freckles, a face that was both youthful and kingly.
“Edmund?” I whispered and the corner of his mouth hitched.
“King Edmund, the Just” he nodded as he closed the distance between us and folded me against himself for a long minute.”Remember, traitors become sons and daughters because of Him” he reminded me, and touched his forehead against mine. I nodded, my throat too full of my heart to speak.
“Leave it to the humans to be monopolizing her” came a smooth, small voice near my ankles. I blinked and looked down, wiping the tears off my cheeks.
“Oh, Windgate” I dropped down to a crouch and held out trembling fingers. “Windgate! Oh, I want to be like you when I grow up” I whispered as the twitching velvet of his nose chased away the salt on my fingertips. “So strong and fearless, ready to do anything for the Lord.”
“Please, his ego is hard enough to manage,”
I sat down hard, as the great silver wolf padded over, a look of amusement on his features. “Seriously, you have no idea how hard it is to keep him from thinking he’s the main character of the story.” Aramus said, and then pricked his fine, handsome ears towards me.
“Hi” I whispered, staring into the silver mirror of his gaze. He swung his tail gently.
“Hi,” he returned “Remember, always, strength comes for the battle. Always, the Light Bringer strengthens us to stand against the darkness.” I nodded. There were so many others in the room, too many to name or see all at once. But I could hear their truths, their encouragements, ringing around and making the room full of His presence.
My favorite paper heroes, carrying the Truth. Reminding me of it. Of Him.
“You know” said Windgate, hopping up onto the couch. “You can come and visit as often as you like. I mean, we’ll always be here. As long as there are noms.” Aramus rolled his eyes and shook his great ruffed throat.
“Leave it to the rabbit to bring up the question of food .” He padded away. I got up and dusted myself off, and then offered a hand to Sandfly and to Edmund. Each took the hand offered.
“I’d like to stay a little longer.” Both grinned.
“We’d like that too.” Edmund squeezed my digits. “Stay a while, and let us remind you of what you all ready know, of the goodness of the King.”
Characters are (if you didn’t recognize them) in order of appearance:
Sandfly from A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz
Aidan Thomas from The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson
Edmund Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Windgate and Aramus from A Wolf Story by James Byron Higgs