Heaven’s Shine, Chapter 19

July 18, 2011

Shine pushed ineffectually against Roni’s chest with one hand while she redialed Gabe with the other.  The call immediately went to voice mail.  She dialed again and continued to push on the big dog.  “Roni, move,” she whispered.

Just as she managed to get one of Roni’s paws off her ribcage, the big dog sat on her stomach.  “Oof!” Shine grunted.  “Roni, I totally can’t breathe.”

Roni stared at the passenger window over Shine’s head.  A deep growl swelled up from his chest and he snarled.

Shine shut the phone and squirmed out from under the dog.  She was under the dashboard at that point, fenced in by Roni’s body and kneeling in his urine.  She reached out to touch his back.  “Roni?”

The Dogo sprang forward in a flash.  With his front paws on the seat he gnashed at the window in a flurry of teeth and saliva.

Screaming, Shine crawled past him until she was under the steering wheel.   She raised her head cautiously and peeked out.

The group of people who had been watching the car were closed around it, peering in at her from every window.  Shine screamed again.  Their eyes gave them away:  Orange or yellow, silver or completely black, they were not human eyes.

Shine climbed into the driver’s seat and laid on the horn with the heels of both hands.  “Help me!” she cried, “Someone, help me!”  She blasted the horn over and over again.

Someone will help, she told herself.  Between Roni’s savage barking and the blasts of the horns, someone would come over to help her or at least they’d call the police.

“We’ll help you, Shanyáo,” a black-eyed woman outside the driver’s side window promised.  Her smile made Shine’s blood run cold.  “That’s why we’re here.  We’re here to help you.”

Shine saw Roni pivot on his massive haunches and ducked out of the way as he darted across the car to attack the glass separating Shine from the woman.  She knelt in the floorboard again and continued honking the horn.

The car began to bounce on its tired shocks and Shine pictured the group of Dark Ones outside, pushing on the hood and trunk. “Go away!” she screamed.  “Go away, go away, go away!”  She let go of the horn and tried calling Gabe again.

“Come with us, Shanyáo,” a man said sweetly.  “We’ll take you to Gabe.”

Another voice broke in, gibbering and wet, “I’ll get you a pony, Shanyáo!  You always wanted a pony.”  The voice dissolved into a cackling laugh.

“We can take you to your parents,” someone else promised.  “You can all be happy together like you were before the angel stole you.  We want to help you, Shanyáo.”

“Your parents cry for you, Shanyáo.  They’ve been searching for you.”

“We’ll take you to them, Shanyáo.”

Shine dropped the phone and clapped both hands over her ears.  “Stop saying my name!” she screamed.

Roni jumped over the front seat and attacked the rear windows where more faces were pressed against the glass.  His saliva was foamy and flecked with blood.

“That dog will kill you, Shanyáo,” the woman with the black eyes said.  “Look at him.  He’s gone mad.   Get out of the car before he turns on you.”

“He’s got rabies, Shanyáo.  He’ll tear your throat out.”

Shine slumped into a fetal position in the floorboard, weeping helplessly.  “Gabe, Gabe, why don’t you come?” she sobbed.  “Gabe!  Gabe!”

“Gabe!” the group outside chanted, mocking her.  “Gabe!  Gabe! Gabe!”

“Gabe doesn’t care about you.  He’s got the woman now.  He doesn’t want you anymore.”

Shine pressed her hands more tightly against her ears.  “’ Ye are of your father the devil,’”, she recited.  “’He abides not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.’  You are all liars!  Liars!  Liars!”

The car rocked sickeningly.  “Liar, liar, pants on fire!”  The rhyme was caught up by the group and they sang it with the malicious glee of wild, malevolent children, banging in time on every surface of the car.  “Liar, liar, pants on fire!  Liar, liar, pants on fire!”

Roni dashed from front to back in a frenzy.  Shine crawled as far away from him as possible, knowing that he could easy snap her arm off if she got between him and the monsters outside.  With blood and foam all over his muzzle, he really did look rabid.

Finally, driven mad with frustration, Roni grabbed the back of the passenger seat in his mouth and tore half of the cushion away with one twist of his powerful jaws.

Shine screamed in terror.  “Oh my god, help me!”

The silence was as instant as it was unexpected.  The bouncing of the car slowed until it was completely still again, as if the Taurus had rocked itself to sleep.  With fabric and padding and blood and saliva hanging from his mouth, Roni suddenly stopped and looked around in calm surprise.

From her position on the floor, Shine stared up at the windows.  No more faces pressed against the glass.  She climbed cautiously up from under the steering wheel and glanced around.

A few people – normal people – made their way to or from cars in the parking lot, oblivious to the little girl and the huge white dog staring out at them.

It was as if nothing had happened.

Roni bounced over the front seat again, this time whining happily and pawing at the window.

Shine stared at the man who walked over and leaned his face down to the level of the window.  He was darkly golden, with long black curls of hair and kind, amber eyes.  He smiled at her.

“Shine,” he said softly.  “Open the door.”

Shine shook her head.

The man sighed patiently.  “Shine, it’s time to come with me.”

Shine watched in shock as the passenger window rolled down on its own.

Roni leaned out of the car, covering the man’s face with kisses.  The man chuckled softly and embraced the big dog’s head.  “Yes, my friend,” he crooned to the dog, “I’m happy to see you again, too.”  He turned back to Shine.  “It’s over, Shine.  It’s time to end this.”  He held out his hand.

“I’m supposed to wait right here for Gabe,” she said.

The man nodded.  “I know. But that isn’t what is going to happen.  You’re going to come with me.  Shine,”  He paused for emphasis. “if you love Gabriel – as I love Gabriel – you will come with me.  Then Gabriel will come to us.”  He smiled again as she reached for the door handle.

Shine climbed out of the car and went around to join the man, staring up at him in awe.  He seemed to glow with his own golden light.

Michael took her hand in his and gave it a gentle, reassuring squeeze.


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