Chapter 10 – Precipice

When I Woke Up This Morning Chapter 14 - Confrontation

When I Woke Up This Morning Chapter 10 – Precipice

Chapter 10 – Precipice. John noticed Maria was smiling at him. John can’t help the way he feels about Maria; he is in love for the first time. Maria stood and made her way over to the fireplace, and extended a hand to Andrea in friendship.

When I Woke Up This Morning Chapter 10 - Precipice
When I Woke Up This Morning Chapter 10 – Precipice

“Hi Andrea,” Maria said, “Welcome.” Maria sat down and held Andrea’s hands for a moment, giving her the courage to push back the tears. After a moment of silence, Andrea squeezed Maria’s hand in return. “Hi Maria,” Andrea said.

Kris made her way over as well. Maria was distraught over the situation. Kris sat down next to Maria and put her arm around her. “I don’t know what God has planned for us, Andrea,” Kris said. “I’m thrilled John saved us, though.”

“I seem to be the odd person out; everyone seems to have a purpose except me. I don’t have a purpose, Kris, and I’m scared. My last memory was leaving my work Christmas party; in the back of a limo alone, I’m always alone”.

“Tell me about Andrea,” Maria said.

“There’s not much to tell Maria. I’m a divorced mother; I poured my life into my son Craig. All Craig wanted to do was get away from me as soon as he could, just like his father.”

“I’m a bitch to everyone I know; it’s a defense mechanism to keep people from rejecting me. When people get too close, bad things start to happen. It’s been that way since I’ve been a child. I push everyone away for their benefit; I’m cursed;” Andrea said.

“I’m not scared of you, Andrea,” Maria said. “God has joined us together for a reason. What’s going down in Minneapolis with John will be written in the history books, Andrea. We’re glad you’re here with us.”

“What going on in Minneapolis John,” Andrea said?

“I’m going to announce to the world during our Christmas worship that we’re doing it wrong,” John said. “Christ came into this world to set us free from religion, not to invite us into another one.”

Chapter 10 – Precipice – He wants a personal relationship with all of us. He doesn’t wish to have pew warmers. He wants us to love Him, the way He loves us.”

“Wow, I thought I was the most unpopular person around,” Andrea said. “Not by a long shot, Andrea,” John said. “By this time on Monday, I predict everyone will hate me. People don’t like change Andrea, and we’re talking traditions here, beliefs that have been passed down from fathers to sons, from mothers to daughters over thousands of years.”

“People are going to be pissed,” Maria said. “Try explaining to people they’ve been sold out by King James and his interpretation of the Greek word Ekklesia. King James ordered the Greek word Ekklesia to translate to Church; instead of its original intent, an assembly, a calling out of believers to gather together.

“This makes a lot of sense,” Andrea said. I’ve never felt welcome at Church, I don’t belong, and it sounds like I’m not alone.”

A solitary tear ran down Andrea’s face, so much pain over the years, released in just a few minutes. John, Maria, and Kris got down on their knees and asked Andrea to join them. “We’re not into group prayer; it’s a personal thing between God and us,” Maria said.

“And you’re not alone, Andrea, most people feel like failures to some extent. We project this façade that our lives are great; that we’re always having a great time, and that life is easy. I have a secret for you; everyone feels like a failure at some point in their life. And everyone is scared.”

Chapter 10 – Precipice – Everyone joined hands and bowed their heads. Everyone talked personally with God. They prayed like Jesus taught everyone to pray, for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, not for their wants and needs.

John was disturbed by something stirring outside as he finished his prayer. He opened his eyes; the smile on Andrea’s face brought peace to John and Maria.

John and Maria’s eyes locked. “I love you;” Maria didn’t say it out loud, her lips silently forming the words to John. “I love you, Maria,” John answered the same way.

It was getting brighter outside. John walked to the cabin door and looked out; it was Mike, stoking the campfire. Mike motioned for John to join him outside. Mike looked tired; John hurried and grabbed his cold gear.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” John said. “Mike’s back,” John stepped outside, closing the door behind him. Andrea’s smile faded quickly after her prayer. She was looking frantically around the cabin, trying to locate the voice speaking to her.

“What’s wrong, Andrea,” Maria said?

“I hear whispers, Maria; coming from different locations, do you hear it? It’s just a word; wacko, repeating over and over, and faster with more variations. It sounds like ten different people whispering to me at the same time.”

“Did you say, wacko,” Maria said? “Do you have any idea what it means, Andrea?”

“This is how I hear important things from the spiritual world, sometimes Maria,” Kris said. “When the Watchers are trying to get my attention for something significant, it happens just this way.”

“Let’s go outside and join the men, just to be safe,” Maria said.

“I agree,” Kris said. Kris and Maria gathered all of the coats and cold weather gear, staging them by the door.

“I don’t have a good feeling about this, Maria,” Kris said. Let’s gather the equipment as well. “Come with me, Kris,” Maria said. Andrea was holding her hands over her ears, trying to quiet the voices; she didn’t understand what they were trying to say.

Chapter 10 – Precipice – Maria and Kris carried several large bags of items from the bedroom. Maria opened several expandable carryalls and grabbed all of the warm clothes, the dried food, and the computer equipment and staged them by the cabin door as well.

Mike and John noticed the hasty activity and went inside to find Maria and Kris staging most of the belongings by the door. Andrea was covering her ears mumbling wacko. John knew right away; this wasn’t good.

“Everyone outside,” John said. “Take the goods and move them now to the clearing on the opposite side of the fire.”

“Why John,” Maria said?

“Just trust me, Maria,” John said. John’s world went into slow motion, just like the bicycle accident a couple of days earlier.

The human brain knows when we’re in trouble; when we have passed the point of no return in a dangerous situation. Our mind begins taking in large amounts of information to store away for later. We’ll learn from this experience, so we know exactly how to react the next time something like this happens, it’s a defense mechanism and a part of the flight or fight reflex. But it comes with a price tag, an ominous feeling that we are entirely out of control. John watched as everyone grabbed the gear and ran outside. He was powerless to help, only an observer.

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His eyes focused on Andrea, who was still in the cabin, still holding her ears. John could understand what she was saying now. Andrea wasn’t saying wacko; she was saying Waco. After a moment John regained control, his mind moving at an average speed again, John ran up to the porch to Andrea.

“Are you saying Waco, like Waco Texas,” John said? Andrea’s eyes lit up; “That’s it, John; it’s Waco. “Take cover,” John said. “Everyone runs for the clearing, on the far side of the camp.”

Chapter 10 – Precipice – Maria and Kris yelled at Andrea, who was still at the cabin door. “Run, Andrea, hurry and get out of there. Mike stood up and went to Andrea’s rescue. But he was too late. The cabin exploded with a force that sent Mike flying backward in the air, landing on his back in the snow.

Andrea is dead.

The cabin explosion was deafening, and the percussions rippled through everything. “Mike,” Maria screamed. The fireball mushroomed into the sky forty feet. Maria tried running for Mike, but she couldn’t get close. Mike wasn’t moving, and the heat from the fire was unbearable for a human.

John and Kris were too close when the cabin exploded; they were knocked unconscious for a few seconds.

Maria stepped back and unrolled the blanket out of her backpack on the ground. She grabbed a gallon of water from the case of supplies and poured it over the blanket while debris rained down everywhere throughout the camp. Maria wrapped the blanket over her head and then wrapped it around her body.

Chapter 10 – Precipice – John and Kris both tried getting up from the ground after regaining consciousness. Kris witnessed Maria’s daring dash to rescue Mike. Maria got close enough and grabbed Mike’s legs. She pulled with everything she had. The fire burned Maria right through the wet blanket. The heat is so intense it produced steam from the water in the quilt.

She dragged Mike’s body far enough away from the fire; then collapsed on the ground next to him. Kris tried to help John up, but he didn’t have the strength to stand. The whine of a small turboprop drone was barely noticeable. The aircraft flew slowly over the camp, surveying the devastation it just caused.

John was speechless from the trauma. Kris noticed the confused look in John’s eyes. She grabbed him by the hand and sat down next to John. “You’re in shock, John,” Kris said. “Set down here for just a moment while I help Mike and Maria.”

John lay down on the snow; it didn’t even feel cold. Kris shoved a backpack under his legs to get the blood pumping to his organs again.

Kris checked Mike’s pulse; “Mike’s alive, John.” Kris moved next to Maria; and checked her pulse; it was good, but Maria seemed out of it. Maria swung at Kris, barely missing. “Where am I and who are you, get away from me,” Maria said. She looked around and tried to stand up and walk, staggering a few yards before fainting and falling next to John.

Kris knew what to do; she sprang into action removing the steaming blanket from Maria and unzipping her coat. Maria’s was burning up; her temperature was dangerously close to the critical 104 degrees Fahrenheit limit. Kris packed snow around Maria’s body to quickly cool her down.

“Maria has a dangerous combination of heatstroke John from the heat and the exertion,” Kris said. “She’ll be brain dead in a few minutes if we can’t drop her body temperature. I need your help, John, please get up.”

Chapter 10 – Precipice – At that moment, Kris closed her eyes and lifted her hands into the air, “Please help us, God; please, I beg of you. I know you didn’t save us just so I could watch everyone die, I’m sure of it. Please help,” Kris said.

Hearing Kris’s prayer helped John regain his strength enough to set up. He kneeled forward on his knees and bowed his head. “Are you OK, John? That’s not the best position for you right now.”

Kris was interrupted by the returning drone flying back towards them. The fire died down enough that the handlers could now target them. “John, it’s now or never,” Kris said.

Kris’s eyes grew huge; she watched John as he transformed into Michael; standing up, he towered over Kris, almost seven feet tall. “Don’t be afraid, my child,” Michael said. He drew his sword as the drone flew towards the clearing, “all glory to Yahweh,” Michael said, raising his sword to the heavens.

Michael wound back like a pitcher, targeting the drone. He threw the sword with precision. The sword flew up, breaking the propeller of the aircraft in two. The drone crashed somewhere behind the remains of the cabin.

Michael knelt next to Maria and held both of her hands. He bowed his head, transforming back into John. Maria turned briefly into Michael and then back to herself. Maria healed immediately.

Chapter 10 – Precipice – When John morphed back into Michael, his sword was available again. The sound of an incoming chopper got everyone’s attention. “Let’s go, everyone,” Maria said. Michael picked up Mike and placed him on his shoulder in a fireman’s carry.

Maria grabbed her firearm and holster from her backpack. She grabbed Kris by the hand and took off running towards the clearing. Michael was following closely behind carrying Mike.

The helicopter wasn’t searching for them; it was looking for the drone. The aircraft fired a small missile that erased all of the evidence of the campsite and the drone. A secondary explosion rocked the entire area; the woods lit up brightly for a few moments.

Maria led the run up the hill towards the cave. When they reached the property line, Maria pointed towards the entrance where the fire was. It was smoking, and Jerry’s whereabouts were unknown. Maria led everyone a couple of hundred more feet to the east, towards the entrance of the cave.

Maria moved the camouflage to the side that hid the cave entrance; everyone followed her into the cave. The dim light emanating from the cave was a crank type emergency light that looked like an old lantern. She picked up the lamp, turning the crank twenty times, the light became much brighter.

Chapter 10 – Precipice – The winds were still howling outside. Maria checked the new propane heaters; they were working nicely. Michael knelt silently on the cave floor; He bowed his head, transforming back into John. Maria turned to find John just a few inches from her face, staring into her eyes. “I thought I lost you,” John said.

“This is amazing,” Kris said. “The Bible says there is a war going on since the beginning of time. I never believed it was physical, though; I thought it was just spiritual.”

“Maria, your burn marks are all gone,” Kris said. It’s like you were never burned at all when you pulled Mike from the fire. It’s a miracle,” Kris said.

Everyone huddled together in the cave, waiting for the sound of the helicopter to go away. After a few minutes, it was quiet; the blizzard winds were oddly soothing.

Chapter 10 – Precipice – Mike opened his eyes and looked around. His eyes told the story of confusion, “what happened,” Mike said? Mike was weak and spoke quietly. “The last thing I remember is Andrea freaking out at the cabin, and then a flash before everything went dark.”

“It’s all gone, Mike; Andrea died when a drone dropped something on the camp. You were too close when the explosion hit and you were knocked unconscious. Michael saved us,” Maria said.

“That’s terrible about Andrea,” Mike said.

“Save your strength, Mike,” Maria said. “We thought we lost you for a moment.”

“I’m so glad you’re alive, I thought we lost you too,” John said.

“God works in mysterious ways, Mike, “Maria said. She gave her life back to God right before she died. I’ve noticed this pattern over the last several years. I believe God takes his children out of this world as soon as possible, when needed, for their spiritual safety. So they don’t have a chance to fall away again.”

“I’m surprised any of us are alive. What in the heck happened back at the campsite with you and John,” Kris said?

Chapter 11 – Arrival

“We’re just vessels,” Maria said. Angels have used people like us throughout history; for whatever reason, they choose people who are RH- Negative.”

“I’m RH- Negative,” Kris said.

“It’s the same way the powers of darkness can use anyone who does not have God’s hedge of protection around them, Kris.

“How did you get here, Kris,” Maria said?

“It’s a bizarre story, Maria.”

“We have a few minutes, Mike said.

“I woke up early, at two o’clock in the morning, which is very unusual for me. I’m a great sleeper. I fought the rest of the night to get back to sleep; sometime before daybreak, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen,” Kris said.

“I felt moved to take some pictures of the sunrise, not being able to get to sleep. I packed my camera equipment and headed for the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado.”

“I’ve been there before,” Maria said. “That is one of the most beautiful places on earth.”

“Isn’t it,” Kris said? So, I’m driving through the mountains on the curvy highway in total darkness; I remember because I had lost the suction cup to my GPS. The GPS was sitting on the dash of the rental car. As I turned, it slid across the dashboard out of reach, as I rounded the next corner, it slid back and bounced off of the dash and onto the floor.”

“I’m not sure why, but this enraged me, but my reaction was to start cussing. I’m human, and like everyone else, I make mistakes. But I flew into this rage Maria. I had turned from a reasonable human being into a raving lunatic.”

“I used to worship Satan,” Maria said. “Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

“Wow, Maria, I want to hear more about that later. So anyway, I arrive at the park and set up my tripod and camera and get everything ready for the best light of the day. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a car parked behind me several hundred feet.”

“I didn’t think much about it; I was pissed to be sharing this breathtaking experience with a stranger. The morning filled with juxtapositions.”

“With the sun in the perfect position, I took about a hundred photos in rapid succession. The view was awesome. Being a part of something so beautiful was awesome. Even though I was tired, I was feeling fantastic.”

“So, I’m packing up my equipment when I notice movement from the car. I was alone, and normally I would never have approached that car, it seemed to call out to me. I packed my camera and equipment in my rental car, and I see the driver. It looks like he has blood on his face. At first, I thought he probably got too drunk and got into a fight, or fell down a hill in the dark. He looked like he needed help, and was having trouble sitting up, so I went to help.”

“As I walked closer, I noticed a note on the dash. Did this guy piss off his girlfriend and she left him out here? I didn’t focus on the note; my attention focused on his face. It looked like he was trying to say something. His face was bloodier than I imagined. His head kept bobbing back and forth like he was falling asleep and waking back up; I didn’t know what to think.”

“So, I knocked on the window, no response. I knocked again; hey buddy are you OK in there I shouted? That’s when the feeling hit me; something was wrong. When I bent down to look into the car his face bobbed back up. There was blood everywhere, Maria; it was dried all over the windshield, the car seat, and his face.”

“Somehow, he managed to turn his head. I’ve never seen anything like it. His face was totally out of place; he had blood still streaming down his face; it was dried all over his clothes and everywhere in the car.”

“That’s when I looked at the note. It was titled to “Whoever finds me,” and the letter read, “I’m sorry for the mess, I am. I just returned from the war in the Middle East. Doing my job has been the cause of much pain and death. I cannot live with myself anymore, so I’m ending it all here at the Garden of the Gods.”

“Oh my God,” Maria said. “What happened then?”

“So, I called 911; when emergency answered, they didn’t believe me at first, “What does it look like they asked?”

“I told them it looked like someone tried to kill themselves, but they missed. The bullet ricocheted off of the skull, ripping the face-off. It was just hanging there, totally not functional. The guy was breathing, but he couldn’t talk. He was very close to death.”

“The operator asked me if I could see the gun anywhere. I looked briefly inside the car and couldn’t see a gun when I told the lady that, she told me to run. Get as far away from the car as you can and wait for the police to arrive.”

“After she asked my location, my phone chirped, and it locked into emergency mode. It was the longest ten minutes of my life, waiting for the police to show up. The things that went through my mind were terrible. The intrusive thoughts were off the hook.”

“When the first responder arrived, he talked with me for a moment; to make sure I didn’t kill the guy, I guess. When my story checked out, he drew his gun and ran up from behind the car, screaming at the guy, where’s the gun, sir, where is it?”

“He had his gun in one hand and his flashlight in the other. Once he located the gun, he relaxed a little, putting his gun away and radioing some information back. That was what he needed to see; I guess the cops get very nervous when a weapon is unaccounted for.”

“I was supposed to work that day, but I never made it in. The police wouldn’t let me leave as they cordoned off the area, and I was the only witness per se.”

“This is where things start to get hazy. The detective is questioning me; and I start feeling hot, next came the dizziness and the ringing in the ears, and to the best of my knowledge I passed out. The next thing I know, I’m standing in the middle of the road in front of your property, freezing my ass off, while John is exorcizing spirits out of a group of people. I didn’t know a Christian could get possessed; I guess I was wrong about that.”

“It was tough seeing Andrea get killed back there, but for some reason, I feel like I’m where I am supposed to be.”

“We’re glad to have you, Kris,” John said.

“And I thought I was having a weird day,” Mike said.

Chapter 10 – Precipice – Mike was sitting up and looked much better. “I’m glad you’re OK, Kris,” Mike said. “I don’t know what happened to Jerry, but I’m glad you’re here with us.”

“So Maria, you were a satanist,” Kris said?

“That’s a story for another time, Kris, but yes, Jesus saved me from that life,” Maria said.

“I’m feeling better,” Mike said. Mike smiled as John and Maria both extended him a hand. Mike closed his eyes to pray, and he prayed out loud for once. “I’m not praying for what I want anymore. I want Your will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, Father,” Mike said. A clap of thunder echoed through the valley.

In the distance, a faint noise approached. The sound gradually grew louder until everyone noticed.

“What in the hell is that sound,” Mike said? Maria stood up and retrieved her rifle and a sidearm for everyone else.

“Do you know how to use these Kris,” Maria said?

“I do,” Kris said.

The sound was like a rhythmic thrust, like a crane pounding a steel beam into the ground.

Chapter 10 – Precipice – Mike sat up and chambered rounds into all of his weapons. “This might be it, folks, let’s get ready,” Mike said.

“Mike put that down,” Maria said. “Gabriel said he would be back for us.”

“I’m not taking any chances,” Mike said. “Get the gear ready, Maria.”

The faint roar of engines broke through. Mike put on some additional winter gear and headed outside the cave. “Go with him, John,” Maria said.” There is no telling what he will do. Kris and I will be right behind you.