A Great and Dreadful Day, Part V: Blood Atonement

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_Bob Bobberson
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Re: A Great and Dreadful Day, Part V: Blood Atonement

Post by _Bob Bobberson »

- FORTY-SEVEN -


It was past midnight when Sam, Christian, and Don finally reached the cabin outside of Ely. They could smell sagebrush in the air when they climbed out of the close confinement of the car, and the patches of snow on the ground were crunchy and frozen underfoot. They made their way up the walkway, and Cathy met them at the door.

“Good grief,” she said, shaking her head, with tears in her eyes. “Good grief.”


On the drive over, Christian had debriefed Sam on what had happened. Apparently, one of the group’s members had tried to get in touch with Gary following their meeting that same night, but there was no answer. This member—his name was Evan—had forgotten his glasses, or something to that effect, and he wanted to come by and get them, but Gary wasn’t answering his phone:


So Evan goes by to try and get the glasses, and he sees that all the lights are on in the house, but no one comes to answer the door. No one responds to him ringing the doorbell. At this point he’s getting a little worried. What if something happened to him? It’s not like he’s especially old or anything, but it’s not unheard of for a man his age to suffer a heart attack or a stroke. So Evan tries the front door, but it’s locked. Next he starts to work his way around the perimeter of Gary’s house, looking into the windows to see if he can maybe see him collapsed on the ground, or anything like that, but there’s nothing. He goes through the gate at the side of the house and heads around back, and he finds that the French doors have been left open. They’re just wide open to the cold, and the logs in the fireplace are still orange and glowing. Gary is just damned gone. Like he up and walked off.

At this point, Evan is getting freaked out, so he high-tails it out of there. As he’s leaving, he remembers something, which is that, driving up—like, driving up on the street that turns onto Gary’s street—he’d seen these two guys stopped at the stop sign, and they look just like Church people. Like missionaries, you know? Or Church Security agents.

So the question is: Did they do something to Gary? I’d put my money on “Yes” being the answer.



In the wake of this, a decision was made to clear out of Reno. Bennett had decided that it wasn’t safe to stay there any longer, hence why Sam had been summoned over to the Eldorado, though what had happened in the time between the call and Sam’s arrival was unclear. Apparently, Bennett had decided that it was too risky to wait, and had found another way out.



Sam, Christian, and Don went into the cabin and huddled around the table, drinking the hot cocoa that Cathy had made. They all asked about Bennett, but Cathy would only shrug her shoulders.

“I talked to him,” she said, “but I can’t say where he is.” It wasn’t clear whether she wouldn’t say because she didn’t know, or because she was unwilling to reveal the answer.

As they sat there, she told them the news about DeWitt Kelly. They didn’t have all the details yet, but based on what she’d been able to learn, DeWitt had committed suicide sometime early that morning.

“There is literally no way,” said Don. “No way in hell. It’s not in his constitution.”

“I don’t believe it either,” said Cathy.

“You think he was murdered?” said Sam.

“I didn’t want to be the one to say it,” she replied.

He frowned. “Why, though?”

“It makes perfect sense,” said Christian. “This is the Church lashing out, getting revenge for the bombing.”

“But I thought we had nothing to do with that? Isn’t that what Bennett said?”

Christian and Cathy looked at each other, and Cathy rose abruptly to get something from the kitchen.

“It doesn’t make any difference,” said Christian. “These guys in the Church think they’re Judges over Israel, and they have the power and the wherewithal to mete out justice however they see fit. And if they had singled out Gary and DeWitt as major apostate players, then it makes sense that they would go after them.”

Sam stood up. He felt as if he couldn’t sit still. He felt exhausted and paranoid, too, and like he wanted to put his fist through the wall. “What’s our next move?” he asked.

“For now we lay low. None of us has all the facts—I mean, we barely have any of the facts, so we need to just sit tight and wait for Bennett.”

“Yeah, speaking of which: where the “F” is Bennett? That sack of crap hung me out to dry up in the Eldorado, for “F”’s sake. I had some smooth-faced, crew-cutted Mormon bastard breathing down my neck, looking to put a bullet into me—”

“Take it easy, Sam,” said Christian. The three of them looked at each other for a few moments, and then Christian went on: “You’re free to believe whatever you want. You can leave whenever you want to.”

“Jesus Christ. What’s next? A lecture on free agency?”

“Just listen.” He held up his hand. “All of this, everything that’s been going down—all of it—it has its basis in Church history and doctrine. They’re doing this because it’s all laid out in D&C 123. They think they’ve got a scriptural mandate to spy on people, and, if necessary, to take them out. That’s what they believe. It’s written into the doctrine.”

“Lilburn Boggs all over again?” said Cathy.

“No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. But there is a precedent for all of this. It definitely happened in the early days, and during the time of Brigham Young. All of that is documented historical fact. There’s generally been no need for that sort of thing here in the 20th Century, though. The Church has adopted other means of dealing with problem people. But the more important point is that it always could happen. Like I said, this is woven into the doctrine and the culture of the Church itself. You get the right things falling into place, and sure: it’s possible. You seem to forget what you were like as a believer.”

“I never would have believed any of this crap when I was still a full-fledged member,” said Sam. “I would have told you that you were an anti-Mormon dipshit.”

“But you believed that the Brethren were men called of God, right? That they were literally Prophets, Seers, and Revelators, did you not?”

Sam shrugged.

“Of course you believed that. And they believe it too. It’s entrenched. All of those old bastards are so sutured in to the culture of the Church. They’ve been embedded into it for all of their adult lives, and with their whole seniority/hierarchy thing, nothing is ever going to change. That’s how it works. The guys in the First Presidency are old buzzards who pass on their views to the next generation of old buzzards and all the old beliefs and ideas are preserved in perpetuity. But what I’m getting at is the sheer arrogance of it. The presumptuousness. Can you see yourself as being, literally, a prophet? Absolute power corrupts, and there is no more powerful position—at least in the person’s own mind—than the power of being the sole holder of all of the keys to the priesthood. So these guys will do whatever they goddamn please. Just think about the Laffertys, for example. This is dangerous stuff.”

Sam sat down on the back of the sofa, with his hands resting in his lap. He looked down at the floor. By now Cathy had returned to her old spot at the table.

“What do you think of all this?” Sam asked her.

She shrugged. “Chris has a point,” she said. “The arrogance of the leaders is pretty much undeniable. Some are worse than others. Pitt, for example.”

“But do you buy into all this conspiracy stuff? Do you really buy that the Brethren would actually sign off on murder?”

She shrugged again. “The Church operates in a culture of secrecy. It’s impossible to know anything with much certainty. Anything’s possible, I guess. And if what they said was true, about President Baylor being incapacitated, and with Pitt taking the reins. I don’t think he’s the kind of man who would wait for approval from the rest of the Brethren.”

There was quiet in the room again. Then Don spoke up: “Still no word from Bennett?” he said to Cathy.

“Maybe later tonight,” she said.

Sam hadn’t moved from his spot on the back of the sofa. He was thinking about what had happened back at the Eldorado. Had the man really been chasing him, and had he been an agent of the Church? It certainly felt that way. He still couldn’t shake the feeling, the terror he’d felt as he fled down the stairwell. But these days he was unsure about trusting his feelings and intuitions. It seemed a bit too much like what he’d been told to do as a loyal Mormon.

“There’s one thing I still don’t understand,” he said. “Why wasn’t anyone there at the Eldorado?”

“Well, I thought I already explained to you that it was probably because Bennett got spooked and took off before you got there,” Christian said.

“That’s exactly it,” said Cathy.

Sam remembered something: “You know, there was this strange message on the mirror.” He closed his eyes, so as to recall it: “It said, ‘My life is threatened by a little dough-head.’ What in the “F” does that mean? Do you know?”

Cathy looked to Christian for explanation. He was frowning. He looked at Cathy, and then back at Sam. “Apparently, Bennett wanted to deliver a message to you,” he said. “That phrase turns up in the journals of Joseph Smith, but Bennett’s version is leaving something out. The actual sentence reads, ‘My life is threatened by a Brutus and a little dough-head.’”

“So, then, what does that mean?”

“Well, I guess it means that Bennett smells a rat. That we’ve got a traitor on our hands.”



That night, Sam slept fitfully on a cot in what was apparently the home office of the cabin. The room had a bookcase with shelves that were lined with books on Mormonism—The Miracle of Forgiveness; McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine; works by B.H. Roberts, and others. Some were critical books that had been written by counter-cult ministries. There was an old Commodore on the desk, and a Remington typewriter nestled in the corner of the room.

When he woke up, a crack of daylight was showing at the edges of the curtains. He cleared the crust out of the corners of his eyes and sat up and looked dazedly at the room. Where am I? And what am I doing here? He stretched his arms straight out overhead and felt the muscles loosen along his spine. He wondered, for whatever reason, what Emily and Kaylee were doing. It had been weeks since he’d seen either of them. Probably Emily was still looking into the prospect of filing divorce papers. Don Smith had offered at one point to hook him up with a good divorce lawyer, but Sam had demurred—he didn’t see the point in it. The lawyer would focus on dealing with Emily, when in reality this was the fault of the Church. It was the Church that had convinced Emily that her eternal salvation was more important than keeping the marriage together. Sam’s story was just a drop in the bucket: during his time with Bennett’s group, Sam had heard story after story of people’s families being torn to shreds in the wake of some person’s doubts or all-out apostasy. He wondered what the point of it all was. Was loyalty to the Church really worth it for these people, if it wreaked this much havoc on their families? Obviously, on some level, it was. For them, the promise of salvation offered the best means of dealing with the pain of being alive.

He had to squeeze his eyes tightly shut for a moment in order to clear the thoughts from his head. Thinking about it was causing his blood pressure to rise. Above all he felt helpless; unable to do anything in response. He climbed out of bed and stood up and wandered out into the kitchen. Christian was still asleep on the sofa, but Cathy was stirring about near the stove.

“Making hotcakes,” she whispered. “Don went out to get a few things. And Bennett should be here any minute.”

Sam nodded and sat down and drank a cup of coffee. Eventually, Christian stirred and got up and Cathy went about cooking and flipping the canpakes and serving everybody. Christian mumbled a few more things about the supposed turncoat, though he refused to single out anyone by name. Sam half-wondered if Christian considered him to be a suspect. Then, as they were finishing up, the door opened, and in walked Don and Bennett. Bennett’s suit was slightly rumpled, but apart from that he looked as vital and unflappable as ever. There was no sign of redness in his eyes, nor any stubble on his cheeks.

He smiled his strangely white smile and nodded to everyone: “It’s good to see you’re all safe and sound. But we can’t stay here. Gather up your things and let’s move out.”


...Next Time: Elder Steele's conscience....
_bcuzbcuz
_Emeritus
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Re: A Great and Dreadful Day, Part V: Blood Atonement

Post by _bcuzbcuz »

Wait. Is Bennett's "strangely white smile" connected to the stranger in
Kreditor's room, who offered a handshake while displaying, "his teeth impossibly straight and white"?
And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love...you make. PMcC
_Bob Bobberson
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:39 pm

Re: A Great and Dreadful Day, Part V: Blood Atonement

Post by _Bob Bobberson »

- FORTY-EIGHT -

“My friend, you’ve just shaken the hand of the man who shook the hand of the man who shook the hand of the man who shook the hand of the Prophet Joseph Smith.” Elder Steele gave the man a wink and patted him on the shoulder. He’d been given the task of interviewing this man—Wyatt Ackerman was his name—for an assistant professorship in history at BYU. Since the General Authorities were on the Board of Trustees, potential candidates were always vetted by one of the Brethren.

Ackerman looked at him strangely, as if he couldn’t quite tell whether Steele was joking or not.

“Well, Dr. Ackerman, I thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I’m certain that we’d be delighted to welcome you to the faculty of the Lord’s University. There are the usual i’s to be dotted and the t’s to be crossed, of course, but I’m confident that you’ll make a fine addition to the school.”

“Oh, thank you, Elder Steele,” said Ackerman.

They had been talking in one of the meeting rooms in the Church Administration Building. Ackerman nodded and bowed a bit towards Steele, who ushered him over to the door. They bid their final adieus, and Steele noticed that Grant Toynbee was loitering out in the hall, a folder in his hand.

“Well, well,” said Steele. “Look what the cat dragged in. Here—we can talk in here.”

Toynbee went through the door and Steele shut it behind him. They moved over to the edge of the room, over near the big windows, where the last of the afternoon sunlight filtered through the translucent curtains, making them seem as if they were glowing.

Grant Toynbee licked his lips and fiddled with his tie for a moment. “Something is clearly going on,” he said. “I don’t know what, exactly, but I know for certain that a meeting took place in Holladay. I had one of my boys keep an eye on LeGrand Mortenson, and he followed him out to some empty house out there.” He passed the folder to Steele.

“Who was at the meeting?” he asked as he opened the file.

“President Pitt, for sure. Another General Authority, too.”

“It’s fuzzy, but that looks like Elder Brotherton,” said Steele. He flipped through the photos. “And that’s Rulon Cook.”

“Odell Swift was there, too.”

“What in the devil are they up to?”

“I don’t know, Elder Steele. Based on what we were able to piece together, there were twelve men invited to this meeting. They arrived separately for the most part, and it was pretty clear that they were trying to keep a low profile. But just the backgrounds on them—FBI, CIA, Church Security.” He let out a long sigh. “Well, Elder Steele, I know it’s not my place to steady the ark or voice criticism of the Brethren, but...”

Steele was still frowning at the photos. “Twelve men, you said? Is he forming a quorum?”

“I wondered the same thing.”

“But what might they be doing?”

“I’ve got a few people keeping tabs on things, and I’ll be sure to let you know if I learn anything more.

“Okay, Grant,” said Elder Steele. “Be vigilant.” He shut the folder and handed it back to Toynbee. “Put that away some place safe,” he said. “Under lock and key.”

“I will.”

“Let me know immediately if you get any leads.”

“Yes sir, absolutely,” he said, and he bowed slightly and turned and left.

Steele wondered how much Toynbee would be able to figure out based on his observations alone. As far as Steele knew, Elder Pitt had been keeping things close to the chest, and so it was unclear how many people knew about President Baylor’s revelation. Would he have told these twelve men, though? And if he had told them, what chance was there that they would dare to question his authority? The prophet’s vision had called for the gathering up of the “tares,” but Steele was unsure how to interpret this.

He could feel a darkness growing in his heart, and so he returned to his office and had his secretary push his appointments back by an hour. He spent the next 15 minutes on his knees, praying fervently for direction. He asked Heavenly Father to give him the wisdom to puzzle out what was happening, and he prayed desperately for the power of discernment. At the end of all this, two things happened: he was filled with the old, familiar warmth in his breast, which reassured him that God had heard his prayers. This was accompanied, though, with a very clear sense of dread. There in the quietude of his office in the Church Administration Building, with only the dull sussurus of the heating vent to stir the air in the room, he very clearly heard the still, delicate voice of the Holy Ghost: For water will not do.

Steele looked up and rested his hands on his thighs. Again, he was filled with doubts. It was the Lord’s way with him: to offer reassurance and to immediately balance that with doubt and fear. Insecurity. It was his own personal burden to bear—his own specially crafted test. He climbed somewhat stiffly and creakily to his feet, and he placed the pillow he’d been kneeling upon back on the settee.

He knew that decisiveness was needed and yet he felt paralyzed to make a decision. The only thing he felt certain of was the fact that Elder Pitt needed to be stopped. Pitt, as Steele knew, believed that a war was raging: a war between the world and the Church, between apostates and the Church, between anti-Mormons and the Church. There was, Steele felt, some wound in Pitt, some deep and horrible resentment that the man refused to articulate or reckon with, and now he was too old and powerful for anything to be done about it. In the past, Pitt had been inclined to temper his bellicosity thanks to the influence of the other Brethren—especially President Baylor, who had taken Pitt under his wing in much the same way that Pitt was currently courting the favor of Elder Brotherton. Now, though, there was nothing to keep him in check.

But something had to be done. The Church was a force for good in the world. It had to be, or else all would be lost. He would be damned if C. Rigdon Pitt were allowed to do anything to harm that basic fact. Bearing that in mind, Steele returned to his desk and set about making a series of phone calls.


...Next Time: the final chapter in Part V.... A stolen object reappears....
_Bob Bobberson
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Re: A Great and Dreadful Day, Part V: Blood Atonement

Post by _Bob Bobberson »

- FORTY-NINE -

For some weeks after the accident, he worried that they’d find him. He feared that someone had seen him, and that they’d report him to the RPD. Either that, or the surveillance cameras embedded in the casino had recorded him stooping down to collect the object as it rolled over to his foot. But it turned out his fears were unfounded, and eventually he got over them. Indeed, after a certain point, he began to brag about the whole affair.

Really, it was kismet. There he was, standing at the entrance near Virginia Street, having just lost his last five dollars at the blackjack tables, when it began raining glass and bodies. There had definitely been two men, despite what the news said. He hadn’t drunk anywhere near enough beer to be wrong on that point. In fact, he’d seen the object roll out of the pocket of the second man before he got up and disappeared into the crowd. It had rolled right over to him, and he stopped it with his toe before he stooped over and picked it up and slipped it into his own pocket, real casual-like, glancing around to make sure no one noticed. And they didn’t, obviously. There were more pertinent things to be concerned about.

He didn’t take it out of his pocket until he got back to the car, and even then he only looked at it briefly. It was dark, and you couldn’t really see much. When he finally got back home, though, he took it out and studied it intensely.

It was gold, completely round and about the size of a peach, and it was covered in strange writing. There were triangular glass panels on it, and it had some kind of spindle system inside. He wondered if it was some kind of gyroscope, or a compass, maybe. Though it seemed complicated and valuable, it never occurred to him to sell it.

Part of this is perhaps attributable to the changes that his moods underwent. It’s not that he became obsessed with the object per se. Rather, he noticed that it seemed to react to the things he did. Of course he’d heard of mood rings, and as best he could tell, this seemed to be a more sophisticated version of that basic concept.

He first discovered this quality of the object one night after work. He was in a sour mood: lonely and bitter and angry and being kept too late at the plant. Angry at being a divorcee. Angry at living in a shit-hole town. Angry at being poor. Just angry. At a certain point, though, he realized that these feelings weren’t healthy. He could choose to focus on the negatives in his life, or he could choose to let bygones be bygones. In other words, it basically dawned on him that he could control his own level of happiness.

He had been sitting there, clutching the orb while Law & Order droned on in the background, and the spindle mechanism leapt to life. There were pointy, arrow-looking things inside, and they began to twitch, rather like the needles on a compass.

It took him a while to realize that his moods affected the object. After all, he didn’t always have it on hand when his emotions fluctuated. And after that first moment—that first time that the spindle system came to life—he tried to test out different means of getting it to work again. He tried to open it up, but quickly gave up on that out of fear that he might damage or break it. He tried spinning it on the floor like a child’s top, but it didn’t accomplish anything. He tried shaking it, throwing it in the air. He heated it gently in the oven, and submerged it into water, yanking it out quickly once he realized that it might not be water-resistant. (The water didn’t seem to affect it at all.)

This led him to carefully re-trace his steps, as it were, during the night in question—that is, the night that the needles first moved. He tried to recreate the same circumstances, and was frustrated by the fact that it would be several days before Law & Order was on again. At some point, though, he remembered the shift in his internal state, and that’s when he began to focus his testing efforts in a more productive way.

What he was able to discover, after some time, is that it would never work if you were angry. It absolutely would not budge if you were in any way angry, grouchy, sour, mad, or pissed off. It sometimes worked if you laughed, though this was inconsistent. For instance, it twitched once when he laughed at a joke that his friend Larry Butts told him, but it sat stone-still if he laughed at something on The Simpsons. Similarly, it sometimes moved when he was sad or depressed, but sometimes that didn’t seem to affect it. And later, when he began to carry it around in public (he never got comfortable enough to allow anyone else to hold it), he noticed that it gave inconsistent responses during his interactions with the lady-folks. If he thought positive thoughts, though, that almost always seemed to set it in motion—at least temporarily.

Once he realized this, he made a concerted effort to control his way of thinking, and to be more positive. What he didn’t realize is how difficult this would be—how torturous. It involved being conscious of one’s own consciousness, which was an exhausting idea to hold in his head. And it produced inconsistent results. The object reacted with seeming indifference to his efforts, which of course frustrated and angered him and further thwarted his attempts to make the spindles move.

Unsurprisingly, he had come to the conclusion that it was a compass, and that it would ultimately lead him somewhere. The needles were pointing somewhere, even if it was unclear where that place was, and he resolved to get it to work so that he could follow the needles wherever they led. It was a real fascination to him, and it caused him to realize a number of things about himself that he might otherwise never have known.

But there were drawbacks to the object, too. He was weirdly possessive of it, for example—no one was ever allowed to touch it—and he was skittish about answering any questions about its origin. He would only ever say that he believed it was an artifact of some kind. And one time, Solomon Graves jokingly threatened to take it away, so as to ascertain whether or not it was stolen property, and he about hit the roof. He didn’t talk back or sass or anything like that, but he turned beet-red and began sputtering and gesticulating wildly.

Basically, everyone came to view him as a slightly off-kilter individual who was carrying this thing around like it was his protective blanket—like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings books.

So that was clearly the main drawback of the orb/object-thing: i.e., the way it impacted his social life and his standing in the town. It nearly turned him into a shut-in. Whereas before he was something of a gadfly, often seen tilting back bottles of Miller at the bar, or shooting the breeze with people at high school football games, now he was always peering into his precious gold ball. It became impossible to carry on a conversation with him, because at various points in the discussion, he’d always want to glance down into the orb in order to see what it was doing. People would ask why he was looking at it, and he tended to give evasive answers.

This didn’t affect his self-consciousness, though. He was aware—on whatever level—of the impact this was having. He was aware of the dirty looks he got, the eyerolls, and so on. He became an object of ridicule at work, where the guys suggested that he was using the gold orb as a replacement for his own allegedly disappeared testicles. So he was well aware of his growing status as a pariah, and yet the object had gained a kind of possession over him.

So, it’s not hard to imagine what he did next, which is that he tried to destroy it. He tried smashing it on the ground; he tried burning it on the stove. He tried running over it with his pickup. He took a sledgehammer to it, and he took it out into the salt flats so that he could fire a shotgun at it (repeatedly). He tried sawing it in half. The thing seemed to be indestructible. What was alarming was that after all the abuse he’d heaped on it, it didn’t seem to have a single scratch, dent, or nick. It seemed duller and less shiny, and he was unable to restore its luster, but apart from that it was totally unscathed.

Then one day—it was a winter day—he set it down on his beat-up coffee table, and he lit a cigarette and stared at the sphere. He’d been in possession of it for some five or six years, and he reflected on the amount of time he’d put into examining, holding, testing, and trying to destroy the object. It occurred to him that, more than anything he’d ever known in his life, the orb had stirred in him the widest range of feelings—curiosity, frustration, rage, discovery, happiness, pain, embarrassment, sadness. And in spite of all that, he still didn’t know what the object was, or what it was for.

Later, if you asked him about it—after he’d had a really good, long time to think about everything and put it in perspective, he’d say that what he chose to do next was among the hardest things he ever did in his life. And just think: to have invested that much time and effort into trying to figure something out only to be met with failure at every turn. It’s not hard to understand.

So what he did was put the orb into a box. Then he got into his truck and drove off. He refused to say where he went, and now that he’s dead, nobody’s going to find out. But the main speculation is that he went out into the hills near the dump, over by Sheep Camp, and buried it there.

But just as being the sole owner and possessor of the orb had been its own special sort of burden, so was the state of being the only person who knew where the orb had been buried. He did his best to forget about it, but it gnawed at him. He knew it was out there, singing its silent song, calling out his name across unheard channels. He weighed his options and came to the conclusion that burying the orb was comparable to burying some vital part of his self, of his soul. It was like trying to suppress an instinctual urge.

He debated this over the course of several weeks until finally he caved in and drove back out to Sheep Camp. Of course he still remembered where he’d buried it. He’d memorized all the details of the anonymous landscape: the lay of the dirt; the patterns of the pebbles and rocks. The way that the sagebrush had grown in a chaotic yet orderly pattern. The slopes of the hills. But when he got there, the orb was gone.

It’s not that it had vanished. He often wondered how he would feel if that had been the case. Instead, what he discovered is that somebody had dug up the box and removed the object. There was still a hole where the box should have been, and after looking around for a bit, he did indeed find the box, slightly crumpled but still recognizable (it had once held a clock radio), lodged beneath the lower branches of a sagebrush. It had probably been blown there by the wind.

What’s perhaps surprising is that he wasn’t the least bit upset to find the orb gone. Instead, he felt sense of relief. It was now someone else’s problem. And as time passed, he began to believe in part that the orb had never existed. It began to seem like much more than a distant memory—like something that he’d merely invented for the sake of passing the time. It was as if he needed it—or the idea of it—in order to justify some longing, or some absence, in his life. Now, though, he was more than happy to dismiss its existence entirely, and in general that’s what he tried to do. He was never fully able to find satisfaction in this regard, however, because the other people around town would remind him about it from time to time—they would mention it, or ask him about it, or joke about it, or they would look at him in a way that indicated that they hadn’t forgotten its effect on him.

Clearly, they believed very powerfully in its existence, and it would have been wrong to dismiss their beliefs.



- THE END OF PART V -


Coming next: Some courses of action cannot be reversed in Part VI: The Third Nephite.
_annie
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Re: A Great and Dreadful Day, Part V: Blood Atonement

Post by _annie »

Excellent stuff. I check the board at least once a week for new instalments of your work, Bob. Cheers.
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