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By Reneé Madden

Lela Iscar, an elderly woman, has set up a bed and breakfast business on the estate on which she lives in Kansas. Running it keeps her busy and she loves welcoming the travelers who come through Wyandotte County on the great voyage. The voyage being to find The Fallen Ones a way back home.  Their presence on Earth is threatening to many. Today, a handsome young man, checks in.

“Hello, and welcome. Are you on the great voyage?” Lela asks as she grabs the key for his room.

“Let’s say I’m on my own personal voyage.”

“Is that right? Well I hope you find what it is you seek. I’m Lela, the owner of this bed and breakfast. And you are?”

“It’s Zeb. Nice to meet you.” Replies the handsome patron, as he follows Lela to his quarters.

“Well, here you are. I’ll be back to check on you when dinner’s ready.” Lela bustles off to prepare the meal for the evening.

The great voyage commenced six months ago after unidentified alien beings arrived on earth.  Since arriving, they have not communicated with humans, however, they have incessantly cried out to Ozias. Almost immediately, a group of humans naming themselves Humanity First developed and have been devising ways for them to return from whence they came. Some have speculated that their home is Providence, where they existed as magnificent celestials with wonderfully colored halos and splendid wings. Their ruler was Ozias, creator of all we know and don’t know. Lela, along with the majority of the population believe they are from an unknown planet. Besides, there is no proof that they are indeed from the mythical Providence.

Unbeknownst to mankind, Cimmyr, their leader, led an uprising and one third of the celestials followed him into battle. After being defeated, Ozias exiled them to earth to live out eternity as earth bound giants; Nephilim.

Humanity First along with other independent humans, fear for planet earth. Often times they have to combat the opposition of the Consortium to Protect Ozias’ Celestials, or CPOC as the media refers to them, who vigorously fight to protect the aliens’ civil rights.

Lela has heard rumors of planned attacks from both humans and the aliens. She hopes violence doesn’t erupt though. She doesn’t like the idea of living out her elderly years in wartime.    

Lela hums as she prepares dinner. Zeb is the only guest as of now, but she always makes extra in case late night visitors show up. She sets the table and places Zeb’s dinner on the table to cool a bit as she goes to let him know dinner is served.

Zeb’s strained, weak voice responds to her knock. “Yes, I’ll be down soon.”

“Is everything alright? You don’t sound well.” There is no response so Lela cracks open the door. “I’m coming in, make sure you’re decent.” Lela is surprised to see Zeb in the fetal position on the bed.

“Oh no, let me call for an ambulance.”

“No, don’t call for one please.” Zeb implores as Lela reaches for her phone.

“But you don’t look well at all, are you sure you don’t need medical help?”

“No but would you just sit here for a while? I’d appreciate that. We can talk while my ailment passes me.”

“Okay, I will sit with you. That way I can at least call for help if needed.”

Lela eases her tall yet delicate thin frame into the recliner in the room and as she watches Zeb moan in pain, she wrings her wrinkled pale hands in her lap. Her brow is furrowed with worry and her cornflower blue eyes never leave him. Zeb finds this endearing but is in too much discomfort to comment on that now.

“Tell me about yourself. Concentrating on something other than myself will help the both of us” He adds, trying to ease her mind.

“Well, I inherited Iscar Trucking many years ago. My sons, I have four, run the business along with my only daughter. I’m sure you’ve heard of it” A slight smile stretches across her face and she gives a short sigh while considering how well her children are doing.

“I have.” Zeb says observing the pride in Lela’s voice and face.

The two continue in what Lela thinks is simply pleasantries to pass the time. Surely this young man isn’t interested in the life of an old woman, she tells herself. But surprisingly, Zeb seems to linger on her every word. He is still curled up but is no longer moaning, which is slightly relieving for Lela.

“Feeling a little better now I see. That’s good.” Lela tucks the strands of silver hair that have fallen around her aged face behind her ear.

“Yes, it won’t be long now.” States Zeb aloud motioning for Lela to come closer.

“What won’t be long?” Lela asks feeling a little confused.

Zeb looks at this nice woman. “Lela, I need you to know something”, says the thirty something year old man as he beckons her closer to his face. His voice is barely above a whisper as he lay on his sick bed.

“Yes. What is it?” Lela suspects the man has a message for his family that he wants her to relay.

“What I have to tell you is important so listen well. First I have to tell you why I’m here. See, a long time ago-” Zeb starts while attempting to sit up.

“Don’t try to sit up.” Lela interjects, not wanting this man to exert any more energy than necessary. He is starting to become delirious and his speech is labored.

“Listen, the other celestials were given bodies… of flesh as punishment for their disobedience…Because I was the ring leader… Ozias felt even flesh was something I don’t deserve to wear… after betraying him… so I have to occupy other bodies after they expire…to exist on earth. Ozias cursed me so that I am not able to remain in one permanently… forcing me to obtain another body. This is one of those times, Lela. I will return but since I have to use a different expired body… you may not recognize me.”

Lela ponders his words. He said the other celestials as if he is one himself. He speaks of Ozias as if he has a personal relationship with him. Obviously this man is delirious. He must be close to expiring now. Lela feels there is no need to call for an ambulance until after her only house guest leaves this life. There is no one else here that will be disturbed and this is what Zeb seems to want. She will grant his wishes and be here for him in his final time of need.

“Lela, this will be hard for you to understand but please try. Just hear me out.”

“Yes I’m listening.” Lela says as she wonders why he just called her by her childhood nickname. How strange.

“My true name is not Zeb… and I am your father. You, Lela are who I have been seeking.”

Lela is now bewildered. He did indeed call her Lela.

“That’s impossible. My father expired before my birth.” She was always told this growing up but nothing more was offered about him. There seemed to be some shame surrounding her conception, so she never pushed for answers. Could this be the reason for all the secrecy? Lela wonders what is going on but continues to listen intently.

“I will return in a different body…but I will make you know who I am. My name is Cimmyr… remember it, and I am here to stop Ozias from completing his plan…you are a vital part of my mission, daughter.”

With that, Zeb slips away from consciousness and into a permanent sleep.

Lela can’t believe what she’s just heard. She calls emergency services for an ambulance to come for Zeb or would he prefer Cimmyr? She feels sympathy for the handsome young man as she puzzles over what she’s heard then mentally tucks it away.  All of this is just a bit much. Besides, everyone knows Ozias is not real and there is no such place as Providence. Hearing the sirens getting close, she starts downstairs so she can usher the paramedics in.

Cimmyr, already at the hospital, searches for a body that is expiring so he can enter it. “Ah, here’s a nice one”, he muses as he takes over the body of an unsuspecting high school teacher, Mr. Fairchild. He has a renewed sense of enthusiasm now that he has found Lela. He had searched a while. There are limitations to Cimmyr’s knowledge now that he is no longer providential essence. Maybe she can help him locate his one and only son. He resolves to go to her and prepare her and her brother, his precious offspring, to finally defeat Ozias and make him pay for his betrayal.

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