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The Definitive Gray
By Talon Xavier Thomas
AuthorHouse LLCCopyright © 2014 Talon Xavier Thomas
All rights reserved.
Which is more intolerable, to be blinded by what you've been taught or to acquire a truth that no one else comprehends?
Northeastern Ohio. September 2, 1974. My family had been invited by my cousin Mary Jane's new boyfriend Danny to go boating on Lake Erie. His goal was to impress her extended family and win her love. Her affections for this redheaded, freckled-faced young man were not obvious. Summer was nearly over and the fall clouds were moving in rapidly. Everyone in my family was excited about spending some time on his yacht that we had all heard so much about.
It was Labor Day, a time to forget about what needed to be done just to earn a living. We were all grateful to finally be together as a family. My father was never able to spend much time with us because he always seemed to be working. Supporting a family of five was difficult and money was in short supply. This was a long-awaited break for him and a chance for us to bond. It was about a forty-minute ride from our house to the boat docks. My brother Teddy, who is five years older than I, was relentless as usual with his name calling and badgering.
We arrived at the docks at one o'clock in the afternoon. The weather for the Cleveland area was comfortable at sixty-eight degrees with overcast skies and periods of sunshine. Winds were out of the south at 6.8 miles per hour.
It was a perfect day to go out on Lake Erie. We parked the car and walked through the gravel parking lot towards one of the long piers where numerous boats were moored.
There were rows of individual docks; most were occupied on this beautiful Labor Day. I could see other families like ours heading to their boats.
As we got closer, my cousin, with Danny in tow, rushed over to meet us.
"Bonnie, Ted, hi, kids," Mary Jane yelled out. "I'm so glad you could make it."
Danny walked over and said, "Hi, Ted, Hi, Bonnie," and then said to us, "Teddy, Jeanie, and Ronny, right? Welcome!"
I thought to myself, "If my cousin doesn't marry this guy I'm going to force my sister Jeanie to marry him. This guy seems really nice and his boat is really cool!"
"Come on, Tomaso family. Follow me!" Danny said. "Be careful, everyone, the walkways are a bit mossy this time of year."
I noticed right away that there were slimy patches of moss on the outside edges of the walkways. We walked about thirty feet or so to the ladder of the boat, which sat high in the water.
One at a time, we all climbed up to take a look at what was going to give us our luxury cruise. Once aboard we headed out for about an hour joy ride on Lake Erie. It was fun and exciting. Upon our return, everyone was starving.
"How about we all grab a bite to eat?" Danny asked. "Your mother's going to use my seldom used galley below. Then we can all start chowing down on your mom's fantastic cooking."
"Kids," my mom said, "let the adults set up. You guys stay on deck until we call you."
I thought it was a bit odd that we three kids would be left all alone on deck, but no way was I going to complain. Besides, what could go wrong? I mean, we were all well-mannered, well behaved, kids, right?
"I'm so hungry," my sister said as her stomach growled.
"I just want to walk around and explore the docks," I told Teddy.
"Mom said we should stay on deck, Ronny. Don't get crazy."
"Teddy, you're so goofy. I think she just wants us out of her hair."
"Hey Ronny, where you going?" asked Teddy as he followed me over the side of the boat. "You're going to get us in trouble. Mom is going to be really mad because we're not staying on the boat."
"Look how dark the water is. It's creepy."
"You just don't like it because you can't swim."
"Maybe, but I just don't like it."
"Teddy, you and Ron stay close because we're eating soon."
"We're just doing an inspection of the boat. We promise not to go very far."
"Fine, just be careful. I hope Mom calls us sooner than later, I'm hungry," said Jeanie.
"Just be careful, she says. I'm with Kid Chaos. There is no being careful."
"Teddy, where's your sense of adventure?"
"How about I throw you into the water and call that an adventure?"
"What's wrong with you? That's not funny! I would die."
"Listen, you two, can't you go where I can't hear you fight? Ugh! Teddy, stop scaring him."
Gnawing on the side of a Styrofoam cup Jeanie yelled out, "I can't wait any longer. I'm going to eat this cup if we don't get called in soon."
Jeanie was always a little more anxious about eating than Teddy and me.
"Kids, it's ready. Come on down below," my mother called out.
"Man, that was quick," I said. "You two go. I'll be there in just a second."
"Oh no, you don't! Ronny, come on! Get over here now!
"Okay, okay I'm coming. Just go and replace all those brain cells that are obviously starving. I'll be right behind ya, I swear."
"Whatever, just hurry up."
I felt it really odd that after a few minutes had passed nobody noticed that I didn't show up to eat. They should have been asking, where is the ten year old?
I had an idea! I could turn this time alone into a great opportunity to be funny.
I wanted to make everyone feel as though they were on rough water so I started rocking the boat back and forth. After a minute of rocking the boat I was getting tired. Nobody seemed to notice anything.
I looked down at my waterproof watch that my parents had just bought me and thought if I don't hear anyone within another minute I am just going to give up and go eat.
At 2:14 p.m., I pushed really hard and the boat did in fact start to sway from side to side. I started to giggle then laugh to myself. I was thinking they have to notice now that they're being rocked back and forth. But they must have been too busy eating because no one made a sound. I decided to give one last big shove.
Suddenly, I felt very strange; the sounds around me began to moderate in pitch and tone. Everything seemed as if it were slowing down. "This can't be good." I said to myself. Just then my feet slipped on the dock and my hands slid down the side of the boat. I started falling head first into the water. I plummeted deep into the water before I was able to right myself.
I started to panic. I can't swim! I tried to think how to save myself. I quickly surveyed my surroundings and to my amazement I saw what I thought was a naked woman moving towards me but then she just vanished.
What happened? Was I hallucinating? I couldn't kick my feet or move my arms. I was suddenly motionless, immobile in the middle of the river inlet between the boat's underside and the river's bottom. I was incapable of moving in any direction. My fear was gut-wrenching.
I was holding my breath trying to calm myself. Everything was murky green, although still clear enough so that I could see both the underside of the dock and the bottom of the yacht with its worn hull and propeller blade.
I could see the harbor floor, littered with bricks, cement blocks, a tire and a rusty metal pole. It seemed like the rest of the floor was sandy.
I was cognizant of my situation. I said to myself, "Today, I am going to die."
I remember thinking, "My parents are going to be very sad over my death and Jeanie will miss me."
It was getting difficult to hold my breath. I did not want to die slowly and painfully so I felt it would be best to just take as much water as I could into my lungs and hope for a quick death.
At that very moment, I heard a calming female voice say, "Child, do not fret. I am with you."
I thought to myself, "Am I going crazy?" I couldn't hold my breath any longer.
The voice gently encouraged, "Child, just breathe as you would on land."
I thought to myself, "What is that? Is this some sort of trick?"
"No tricks, young one. I am here to protect you. A friend needs to speak with you and this is a good place to do so."
"This is not a good time for me to die," I thought to myself. "I love you, Mom; I love you, Dad; this sucks so bad." I conceded to death and blew out all the air within my lungs and took in a deep breath of what I felt surely would be water. It was not. I actually took in a breath of air, but how?
"You won't die because I am here. You can also speak as if you were on the surface or we can keep passing thoughts to and fro; your choice. Today is not your day to die. There is much you need to learn."
I looked around quickly, shocked, stunned and confused. From what I could surmise, I was surrounded by some type of bubble. Time seemed as if it were moving very slowly. I was by nature a nervous kid but I now found myself strangely at peace.
At that moment, a female face abruptly appeared just inches from mine and exclaimed "Boo!"
I was startled and I twisted from side to side trying to get away but where was I to go? I thought, "Is she an Angel?"
"There is no need for insults, young man; I'm more than an Angel. I am Lilith, leader of the Femora. You must bridle your thoughts, especially while I'm keeping you alive!" Then she chuckled. "It is I who have been secretly keeping you safe your entire life."
"Is this what you call keeping me safe? I thought Angels are supposed to be helpful. I have never heard of the Femora."
"You have much to learn about heavenly distinctions. You have much to learn about everything."
Just then, I heard another voice within my mind. It was a male voice. He said, "Now, Lilith, you must not confuse the boy. Thank you for protecting Anariun's surrogate host. Please release him to my care. I need to tell him what future lies ahead and the reason for this impromptu consultation."
As she was departing, Lilith said, "This is Jebix; do not be frightened by his hideous features. In time you will learn to appreciate them as I have. Jebix is the finest of the Cherub warriors. You can trust in him as you would your own father. Listen to all he has to say; your life and those who listen to you depend upon it. Goodbye for now."
She shot to the surface and was gone. Even though I had never seen her before or this one she called Jebix, somehow I trusted them both. The male voice continued. "Child, since your birth, you have had much to do in saving a life. Without being consciously aware you have been protecting and healing someone who resides within you. You have a responsibility and an honor greater than you can imagine."
"Where are you?" I asked.
"I am with you ... here."
I looked into the water just below me and I could see the emergence of a shadowy figure over six feet tall in the semblance of a gargoyle. He had a dragon-like, scaly face with giant bat-like wings. He was dressed in battle armor, carrying a unique blade of fire that had on its hilt a symbol of a circle with a triangle in its center. His face had shades of black and gray with piercing red eyes, yellow pupils and crimson teeth.
I was startled by his bizarre appearance but said, "Yes, I see you."
"It is good that you are not afraid."
"I wish I could say I'm not but I'm still not convinced I'm not dead, so that may be part of it."
"As Lilith has told you, I am Jebix. I am your guardian. Lilith is a close friend of him whose Cultra you carry within. She is your protector whenever I am away."
I was confused and said, "I thought you were God and she an Angel or mermaid or something. How is it that you can make time stand still? You must be very powerful."
"I am not God and Lilith is most definitely not an Angel. I gave you a gift before you were born and as we speak it resides within you. He is one with you and you will become one with him. It is you who are now powerful. You have made time slow because of he who resides within you."
"What is inside me?"
"We do not have the time to discuss all that has happened since before water flowed upon your earth or what will affect mankind in your future. Nor can you consciously comprehend such vast amounts of information at this point in your life.
"I will place in your subconscious mind all that is needed for now. I will also give you a way to slowly access this knowledge of he who resides within you."
"Mr. Jebix, what is in me?"
"Child, his name is Prince Ni-Anariun which means The Uninhibited One. Your Cultra and his have been bonded together."
"My name is Ron. I have never heard of Anariun before today. How is this all possible?"
"I will help you comprehend all the history and information as to who you are at your own pace," Jebix said. He took his long talons and placed them upon the top of my head. They began to glow and became as fire burning under water.
My mind became flooded with information spanning human and spirit history. Copious amounts of information were sent into my subconscious at a very high rate. I cried out because it felt as if his hands were burning right into my brain.
When the information stopped flowing I was exhausted and dizzy. Jebix said, "You must go back to the surface now, for we have both grown weary. At this time of day I cannot sustain this form and hold your life force under water for much longer."
"Jebix, if you know me, you know I can't swim. How will I get to the surface?"
"Lift up your arms. I will place you at the dock's edge. Until we meet again, Ron, learn from what I have placed inside your mind. It is imperative that you do not tell anyone what has happened to you this day. Humans are under the Alpha/Omega's Veil that blinds them to the truth. They will be unable to understand until you create a written path to enlighten them. My hope is that you can."
I was lifted to the surface at the edge of the dock with just my upper body out of the water. I suddenly realized I was wet and I began to feel cold but I was not frightened.
I looked around and noticed that no one realized I had fallen into the water except for a man who looked as if he had been decelerated while running in my direction. Glancing at my watch, it had been fifteen minutes since I fell into the water. It was 2:29 p.m.
I yelled out, "Dad! Dad! Help me!" Instantly the man who seemed frozen re-animated. Calling out for help was a good way to trivialize my mischievous prank and the precarious position that my father was soon to find me in. I needed to act as if I was in fear for what would be perceived as me almost losing my life. I did not want to be punished for a prank that ruined everyone's day.
The man who was coming to my aid and my father converged on my location at the same time. My father reached down and pulled me from the water.
"What the hell happened? Are you okay?" he asked.
The man began to speak quickly, breathlessly. "Your son ... fell into the water! I headed over to help him. In the blink of an eye he went from falling to holding onto the side of the dock. Something very strange happened."
Excerpted from The Definitive Gray by Talon Xavier Thomas. Copyright © 2014 Talon Xavier Thomas. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse LLC.
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