cloud drops front

CLOUD  DROPS

1

NIGHT-FLIGHT



…and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
                          — EZEKIEL  1:20

    Slowing to 50,000 miles per hour, the UFO enters the upper stratosphere with the circle of its 18 fiery bluish-white lights appearing to blink. But it is only an illusion created as the huge disc, passing through the mists and vapors at supersonic speeds, arcs towards the Earth and begins its descent.
      From the Earth far below it might appear as an enormous shooting star. Passing through the NORAD electronic defense shield, it will not appear on any radar screens. The beams of radar simply pass right through rather than being reflected back.
    Each of the 18 lights is actually a separate entity, a creature of electromagnetic energy which, when traveling, takes the form of a fiery wheel. And each of these revolving wheels is linked to the other 17 in a perfect circle measuring 54 feet across.
     There is no thunder of jet engines or mechanical parts, just a quiet humming as they move across the sky, the fires of their souls waxing and waning from a brilliant whitish-blue to deep orangish-red with energies exerted or withheld. The humming is their soft, communal singing as they methodically go about their business.
     An air force jet plying the night skies whose pilot might catch a brief glimpse will see a brightly illuminated disc of some kind of shiny, grayish metal. Again it is only illusion, created by the refracted light of the 18 revolving wheels and the pilot’s own mind and eyes which are trained to see lights moving through the sky as attached to some mechanized flying machine. Actually, there is no metal, only Living Beings. And the linking of the wheels is in fact a “joining of hands” of each of them.
     In a flash the glowing “disc” is gone, for it eludes all Earthling aircraft in an endless game of hide-and-seek. And unaffected by G-forces as the Beings of the “spacecraft” are, it eludes even America’s high performance F-15 jet fighters quite easily, there one moment and gone the next, capable of making radical directional changes even at tens of thousands of miles per hour. For example it can be zipping along at 75,000 miles per hour and simply stop in a cloud. Or, traveling along horizontally, in the blink of an eye it can change to a vertical course in an impossible square-turn maneuver, gaining miles of altitude in fractions of a second.
      Of course sometimes they merely dematerialize, although this is the least favored choice of the Beings because it involves a dis-linking and scattering, which induces a mild apprehension. They like to remain together as one. And so dematerializing is only employed in emergency situations when their presence might cause a startled airline pilot, for instance, to engage a radical collision-avoidance maneuver which could result in injury to passengers, or even a tragic accident.
     In this situation the unsuspecting pilot never even has a chance to flinch before the “spacecraft” is gone, his own aircraft experiencing a slight bumping as it passes through the lingering magnetic field of the expanded, “de-atomized” bodies of the Beings. Seconds later the pilot can only shake his head and wonder, had he really seen anything at all? By then the 18 creatures are pulling themselves together, regrouping hundreds of miles away.
     These 18 are only one of many squadrons, an elite force that returns to Earth most often on rescue missions. And although the imprint and image of each of their personalities is as distinctive and recognizable as a thumbprint, in their present form of electromagnetic energy and light there is no discernible difference between the men and women. These are sexless creatures, unequipped with sexual organs. They do not procreate. They do not marry. Although childlike in their behavior, given as they are to pranks and children’s games, they carry within them the wisdom of the ages. These are eternal creatures. Timeless. Ageless. Forever young.
     Incapable of perversion, they tend to be quite open and uninhibited about their affections, expressing it verbally with a boldness one sees only in young children. Holding hands is also quite common. Thus, these go about carefree and happy, and as often as not break into song with the latest rhyme someone among them has made up, as if they didn’t have a care in the world. And generally they don’t, for they answer to no one except their King, and he’s usually quite warm and easygoing with these, his “adopted” children.
    Over northern Minnesota the disc, its 18 bluish-white lights revolving, goes into a wide, sweeping banked turn, still descending as it changes to a southwesterly course and heads straight for Houston, Texas. Far below, the pinwheels of twinkling lights that mark out the urban centers of the Midwest come into view, reminding the travelers of distant galaxies in deep space and giving them a mild jolt of homesickness. But no one dwells on it or even mentions it. They’ve got a job to do.

Cloud  Drops

 
2

UNSEEN  FRIENDS

And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing  a voice, but seeing no man.
                             —ACTS  9:7

    It was happening again. That strange urging, as if something were beckoning, calling him out to the backyard. Curious, a little frightened, six-year-old Ledyard Patterson dropped the Nintendo GameBoy he was playing with and went to the playroom window. It was dusk. A huge Texas sun the color of warm blood was poised on the horizon beyond the rolling green carpet of golf course that bordered his family’s private, two-acre compound, built in the midst of the 6,000-acre Christian Condensed Ministry’s campus, founded by his televangelist father, Pat Patterson.
    He had never been on the golf course before. In fact he was hardly allowed out in the yard alone. His parents were paranoid that some deranged person disgruntled with his famous father’s rather dogmatic fundamentalist theology might slither from the urban slime of nearby Houston and attack or kidnap the boy. Still, what was it? Ledyard peered around the room. It was so strange, this weird feeling suddenly upon him.
    The room was cool. He could feel the coolness, but he was warm. Tingling warm. And that strange urging. Something was outside and it was calling to him and suddenly he wanted to be there. Had to be there. He wanted to know. What?
     The little boy crept to the door, eased it open, stuck his head out and looked up and down the hall. His parents were out for the evening. He was glad of that. Otherwise, the thought crossed his mind, he’d never make it outside. Like the last time.…
    Elly, the maid, was down in the living room reading. It would be easy to sneak out the backdoor. Wearing his one-piece baby-blue pajamas with the feet in them and a zipper up the front, Ledyard tiptoed down the hall, down the stairs, and with his back against the wall, slipped into the kitchen and stopped at the backdoor. Determined that before being discovered he would at least make it to the decorative split-rail fence that separated their yard from the golf course, the little blond, blue-eyed six-year-old reached up, twisted the doorknob and slipped out, gently closing the door behind him.
     It was cool and shadowy, the rush of the wind rising and falling as it rustled the leaves of the towering oaks that graced their meticulously landscaped estate. The huge red sun was half-sunken into the Earth now. Underfoot the grass was soft, cool and damp, immediately soaking through the feet of his pajamas.
    Driven by one simple urge, to find out what was out there in the gathering gloom that seemed to be calling to him, Ledyard glanced back at the kitchen door once, then scampered across the huge expanse of rolling lawn to the rear of the yard.
     He ran to the left, down a slight slope, and stopped at the split-rail fence. He stood for a long moment, staring, feeling, his arms held away from his sides as if he were trying to touch the very air around him. The fiery red orb of the sun was slipping. Soon it would be gone and he’d be left alone in the dark.
    The boy slowly lowered his arms, every sense alive, electric, his hearing, smell, and taste sharp, his eyes searching. It wasn’t here, but it was close, whatever it was, for he could clearly feel it.
    Almost catlike, he lifted each foot very high and took one broad, carefully placed step after the other, as if he were some prehistoric hunter stalking prey. Making his way along the fence and up the slope without a sound, the little boy suddenly froze in mid-stride and looked up, his right foot held high. Slowly, unconsciously, the foot came down and he stood firmly, feet apart, the slightest hint of a smile playing on his face as he gazed up at the walnut tree he had stopped beneath.
     And then that “glow” was upon him again, like up in the playroom when the air had felt so cool and he so warm, with his entire being engulfed in a tingling sensation. Gradually his breathing became shallow and steady as if he were falling asleep. Total calm. Total contentment. Yet his mind was alert. At last he spoke softly. “Hello? Is anyone there?”
    Now, if someone had been hiding nearby listening and watching they would have seen and heard a silly little boy talking to a tree. When the tears began rolling down his cheeks they would have thought him disturbed or severely depressed, not knowing, of course, that his were tears of joy. And it would be through no fault of their own, as well, when they failed to hear the tree talking back to the child, for everyone knows that trees don’t talk.


Cloud  Drops

  3

OTHER  WORLD

And he said unto them, whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me…
                                  LUKE  9:48

     Even among the Elite no one was anxious to walk the Earth again, for to do so involved donning an “Earth Unit” of flesh and blood. To tread the heavens above the clouds and occasionally pressurize the air to distract a criminal, or chase off a gang of “Other Ones” trying to stir up trouble for some unfortunate soul, well that was one thing. But once returned to an Earth Unit—to the flesh—there was only one way out again and that was to die, being, as it were, the only way to shed the vessel of flesh and blood and return to the sky.
     Even for someone secure in the knowledge of the outcome, even for someone who has once before experienced “death,” it was still a traumatic and frightening thing to contemplate. Such is the great force which is the will to survive, an integral part of the flesh that knowledge alone cannot overcome, not to mention leaving loved ones and the bliss of heaven to return to the cold, hungry, sometimes brutal struggle for survival on Earth. In fact returning to the flesh was rarely done and required of no one.
    And so when Cambian landed upon the front lawn of the King’s personal dwelling in response to a request for a volunteer, a code-six voucher attached indicating a return to terra firma via the flesh, the King was well pleased.
   Cambian straightened his gray cotton shorts, which had twisted around a bit upon landing, started across the grass, scampered up three stone steps, crossed a huge expanse of front porch with four marble columns, and stopped before the tall oak doors. Hesitantly lifting the brass knocker, he let it fall once with a heavy bang.
    Expecting to be greeted by the housekeeper of the day, when the double doors swung aside and the King himself stood there smiling, Cambian froze, mouth agape. When the realization of who stood before him sunk in, Cambian muttered, “Forgive me, Lord,” and quickly dropped to his knees and bowed his head to the floor.
    For a moment all was quiet, then the King’s head fell back with a hearty laugh. At the laughter Cambian chanced a peek, tilting his head slightly to catch a glimpse with his left eye.
     Still chuckling, the golden-tousled curls of his head shining light like a gold crown even in the cool shadow of the porch, Jesus said mildly, “My, my, Cambian, aren’t we being formal today!” Then he stooped, gathered the youth into his muscular arms and tossed him high into the air, caught him and smiled broadly at Cambian’s happy laughter. Kissing the boy once, he swung him up on his shoulders and carried him into the house, kicking one side of the double doors closed with the heel of his foot. Naturally the other door followed suit, swinging shut with a sound click.
    Striding through the elegantly appointed mansion with Cambian atop his shoulders, Jesus said, “I’m glad you responded, Cambian, because my need for a volunteer is linked to a project you’re already involved in. Shall we have lunch and discuss it?”
     Cambian, a nickname he had acquired as a popular descendant of the Cambodian people, gulped, stammering, “W-Why yes, of course, sir.” He hadn’t expected a lunch invitation. To dine with the Lord was considered a great honor.
     “To the bath, then!” the Lord exclaimed, for it was customary to wash before meals. It might be added, to these creatures eating was only a pleasant pastime. They had no need of food, their bodies merely burning off whatever was consumed without the necessity of it going through any gastric process. To break bread with someone was also a formal means of demonstrating friendship. Furthermore, washing was not merely a hands-cleansing chore but a communal recreational amusement that everyone enjoyed, as the washing facilities would attest to.
      Out back was a tropical garden, the centerpiece a natural, two-acre pool. There, Jesus set Cambian down. Crystal clear warm-water springs gushed up from craggy rock formations near the rear, feeding the pool in three splashing waterfalls. At the far end the water spilled over the top, carried away in a sandy creek sparkling in the sun as it twisted and turned through a distant valley lush with emerald-green forest.
    With the laughter of a child Cambian whipped off his shorts and kicked them high into the air with one foot, watched as they plopped onto a nearby marble bench, then ran up the winding path to the pool and dived in, shouting, “Come on, Lord!”
     Grinning, Jesus slipped out of his gleaming white, gold-embroidered robe, neatly draped it over the bench beside Cambian’s shorts, sprinted up the path and dived into the pool.
     After a short intense game of water polo they called it quits at a score of seven to seven. Climbing out of the pool, they showered briefly beneath the warm waters of the falls and returned to the bench where they had left their garments.
    While waiting to dry, the water droplets clinging to their tanned bodies sparkling in the sun, they got into a fast and furious game of slap-hands in which Jesus’ reflexes proved to be somewhat quicker. True, they could have simply vaporized the water droplets in a fraction of a second and dressed immediately, but they were enjoying the warm sunshine. And since they had all the time in eternity there was no rush.
     They lunched on broiled whitefish and lightly buttered steamed rice with fresh sliced mushrooms and pearl onions, taking the meal in the cool shade of the expansive veranda that overlooked the garden with its pool and splashing waterfalls.
     After the food was set before them, their crystal goblets filled with iced papaya juice, and the servant had withdrawn, Jesus spoke quietly, cutting into the tender fish with the side of his fork. “So, I understand you managed to establish contact with young Ledyard Patterson.”
    “Yes sir,” Cambian answered, lifting a forkful of the flaky, delectable fish.
    Jesus swallowed, his fork hovering over the rice dish. “And how did that go?”
    “Good, sir. He was very receptive.”
   “Good,” Jesus answered, “but you do realize it’s his father we want to win to our cause, don’t you?”
    Cambian cleared his throat. “Uh, that is a little confusing to me, sir. I mean, his father’s always talking about you on television.”
    “Using me would be a better way of putting it. And getting rich for his efforts, too. But the most disturbing thing, Cambian, is that he’s generating a massive following and polarizing the people, one religion against the other. The irony, of course, is that just when nations are finally learning to settle their political differences peacefully, this cheap television pop-star and others like him are going to end up splitting nations along religious lines!”
     “Which side are we on, sir?”
    “We’re not on any side, Cambian,” Jesus answered, dipping into the rice dish. Gesturing with his fork he added, “Eat.”
     Cambian took a bite. “And this guy Patterson.…”
   “Has them worshipping the religion instead of the God,” Jesus interjected. “And he’s certainly not proclaiming my teachings, nor those of God. Neither is the Pope or any of the rest of them for that matter. Religion is all about politics, power and money. Always has been and apparently always will be. That’s why I blew-up that time and overturned the money-changers’ tables.”
     “Uh-huh,” Cambian nodded. “I see what you’re getting at. If we get to the boy early enough before he’s brainwashed.…”
    “Right. He’s heir to a powerful religious empire. And one that shows no signs of letting up, I might add. If we can just keep tabs on him and little by little bring him in, well, maybe his father will come around and maybe he won’t, but at least one of our guys will be well-positioned when Patterson retires.”
     Cambian bowed his head, “In your service, my Lord, I pray always keep me.”
     Jesus waved the pleasantries aside, his face growing somber. “This is a long-term project. You’ll be working with the boy over the next ten years or so. And then, if it looks like the right thing to do we’ll probably go for something dramatic like a touch down—in the flesh—thus my request for a volunteer with the code-six voucher attached.”
     Again Cambian bowed his head. “In your service, my Lord.”
    Jesus smiled. “Thank you, Cambian. Then the assignment is yours. That is, if we decide to go through with it. In the meantime just keep coaxing the boy along like you’ve been doing.” As an afterthought he added, “Oh, and plan on maybe setting up an out-of-body experience for him when he’s about ten just to lock him in and get him ready for the big one.” He paused. “Have you ever done one of those before? An out-of-body?”
     “No sir,” Cambian shook his head. “But I’ve got lots of time to get the team together and practice.”
     “Good,” Jesus said conclusively. “Don’t let your food get cold.”
    At the great front door of the Lord’s house Jesus took Cambian in a final embrace, then held him at arm’s length by the shoulders. “Now, tomorrow come by the House of Kings and we’ll make a formal announcement concerning our decision.” Then he said goodbye and sent the youth off with an affectionate clap on the shoulder.

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