This story is by Anna P.Wright and was part of our 2021 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
The guest bed faces the wall that gives a full view of the door. Having a lazy lie-in, my gaze becomes fixed on its hinges.
“You are like a door hinge.” The still small voice inside my head tells me as I stare at the hinge with intense observation.
“Oooh I wonder what that means. Why am I like a hinge? I’m going to look up door hinges in the Bible.”
Only one reference of four possibilities fits. It’s not the splendour of
1 Kings 7:50 describing… the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner room … the doors of the main hall of the temple,
but Proverbs 26:14 telling me with the sharp edge of truth that…
As a door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man on his bed….
I am unhinged at the thought that it’s not possible to make that up. I’m not that clever. So therein lies a minute glimpse of the supernatural nonfiction life I lead. I’m often in the unseen realm of speculative mystery. It sounds exhausting, and I negotiate with myself if I can ever take a time-out for a cup of tea and a lie-down.
31 MAY 2020: PENTECOST SUNDAY, AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND
Between 6:30am-7:05am I had a vivid dream that I am recalling as a speculative short story. Supernatural nonfiction is the genre I have chosen to write my point of view. What do I see? The dream splits into seven scenes. I record the interpretation as it unfolds.
The opening scene of my dream: I’m standing on a sports field in front of my temporary accommodation. It’s a white farm house flanked by the Naenae hills (Māori translation: mosquito or sandfly). They are lying north of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. I have stored two large cardboard boxes with the host family. Both containers house all my worldly possessions.
In the second scene I’m walking along a footpath. I come to the front of a white wooden cottage. It has a large glass sliding door with a good sized window to the right of it. Opposite this porch area is a lattice wall covered in a fragrant, blossoming, floral vine.
It reminds me of Song of Solomon 2,
The third scene, a busy shopping mall where an evangelical team of friends are being rounded up by police. Kirk Cameron gets arrested for witnessing to people in public. I’m on the fringes of the crowd. I catch the attention of a tall intimidating policeman.
“What are you holding? Is that a Bible?”
He ignores me and turns his head back to the riot. I need to get my two boxes, and escape from here. Meanwhile, Kirk’s arms are behind his back and handcuffed. He’s shoved into the back of a police car. Wherever the Gospel is preached, trials and tribulations are a promised consequence. I am relieved that I have avoided persecutory actions this time.
The fourth scene lands me in the middle of suburbia. I’m walking around a street until I come to a white painted wooden house with a white SUV parked in the carport. I go down the driveway and I’m trying to find a home church. I’m not sure what I’m looking for exactly but I sense that I’ll know it when I see it. I make my way down a spiral staircase with many empty rooms on either side and the further down I go I’m still seeing them.
In a flash I am in scene five which takes me by surprise because it is so exquisite. From the outer edges I can see deep inside a massive cave with beautiful ambience. The curved walls reflecting a golden glow. At the top left of my vision, I see galaxies and stars swirling in a blackened sky backdrop.
I say aloud “How marvellous.”
In awe, my gaze fixates towards the centre front of the cave. I see a huge building made of sandstone. It has five pillars crumbling from the base upwards. I’m puzzled by this and I look at the pediment above the disintegrating columns. Decorated with carved symbols that look like Egyptian hieroglyphics, one illuminated menorah shines. The representation is of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity. I’m seeing the spiritual demise of the five churches of the book of Revelation who face the rebukes of THE WORD. They are a part of the lampstand housing seven lamps. The two churches not represented: the persecuted Church, and the faithful missionary Church. Smyrna and Philadelphia.
THE WORD shouts out to me,
“Do not be deceived.”
“My sheep hear My voice.”
It is instant. I am groundless. I try to claw at the walls that are crumbling so I don’t fall but I must leap forward and lunge to safety. I barely make it. Out of nowhere a white painted wooden ladder appears. It has woven red wool down through the centre of the rungs. I reach out and grab it as the entire cave falls away to the black hole of a bottomless pit beneath me.
Scene six is peaceful and welcoming. I recoil after the harrowing shock of almost getting swallowed up and buried alive. I’m standing on a grey rug placed over the black and white checkered tiled floor of a master bedroom. The bed linen is white. It feels weird to be inside someone’s house. I prepare to explain myself when I’m caught standing there. A woman sees me and instincts reveal we’re allies.
“Please don’t get alarmed, I’m here on friendly terms. I am trying to find a home Church and this is where I’ve arrived to.”
She gives me the nod of approval and again, I am relieved that I can still sense the welcoming peace.
“Can you help me please? I need to get my two boxes.”
“Where are you staying?”
“I’m with the Cairns family. It’s the farm house not far from here. Do you know the one near the Naenae hills? I can show you where we need to go.”
I get in her white SUV and she drives across town.
The seventh and last scene of the dream: I’m standing on a parking lot rooftop. It’s the country’s largest shopping centre, Silvia Park, in Auckland. I see pale yellow, green, pink, orange, and blue pastel painted buildings. It’s like Disneyland and the Gold Coast’s Movie World, with facades of movie props and sets.
I stare in disbelief. What am I doing here? I realise it’s all fake, and I need to come out of Babylon because nothing is real. This is not the way to the farm house. I didn’t ask to be here. Why did she bring me here?
My last thought before waking, I tell her:
“I’m never going to get my two boxes.”
INTERPRETATION OF THE DREAM
Each scene represents a part of my life that requires inventory from my past, to my present, and to my future. The consequences of my actions will have an impact on eternity. I cannot change my past or my heritage, but I can study it to understand. In the present I need to choose a deeper life with THE WORD. He has led me to this reference from the Bible:
Song of Solomon 2:9b-12a “
…Behold He stands behind our wall. He is looking through the windows, gazing through the lattice. My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come”….
The Lord is calling me to abide in Him. To have spiritual intimacy and eternal assurance. Both now and in the future it is fruitless to seek fame for myself. The future will be hard to navigate unless I am diligent to guard against deception. I must discern lying signs and wonders. I will need TRUTH amidst the minefield of false teachers and false prophets. The last warning and reminder of the inevitable future is, to prepare as much as possible. The book of Revelation is referred to again and spoken by THE WORD…
“Come out of Babylon My people”….
My decisions today impact where I will spend eternity. And where I am going, I cannot take my two boxes with me.
Only I can choose L I F E. The fate worse than death for me is ETERNAL DAMNATION.
I know Who TRUTH is.
He is the only WAY.
I need L I F E.
I’m accountable on judgement day. I don’t want to weep and gnash my teeth, or become deceived.
THE WORD is constant.
While laying down on my bed I look across the room, and see unobtrusive door hinges. I remember the guest bedroom where I once stayed to have a lazy lie-in. Then I remember the slothful reference in Proverbs 26:14.…
And once again, I am unhinged.