[Morningstar Rising]: 113.Billy And The Stranger
Stranger, Roller Coaster, Umbrella, Lightening, and Horse. Since then I have rewritten the story and made it a little longer.
Billy And The Stranger
"Wow, look at that roller coaster!" exclaimed Billy in delight. "This sure is something else. Back home, there ain't nothing like it."
Billy was really enchanted with the amusement park because all the rides and games he has never seen before. He is eight years old and has lived all his life in the country, a very rural area where his closest neighbor lives ten miles away. He is up early everyday. By six-thirty a.m., he has fed the pigs and chickens. While he did his morning chores, his dad milked the cows and fed the horses. Billy loved his life and he loved to ride his pure, white horse, Snow, to school. Next to Clipper, his German Shepherd, Snow is his best friend.
"I'm glad you like it Billy," piped cousin Mary, happy the boy was enjoying himself.
"I wish Snow and Clipper were here. They sure would love this," Billy said as he continued to look around. Then he spotted the giant star with its twinkling lights as it turned around and around.
The sky grew dark. There were flashes of lightning, lightening up the sky along with the sound of thunder. The people began to leave the park, because soon the rain would come.
"I have to make a call, Billy. Stay right here. I'll be right back," said cousin Mary.
Billy did not hear her. When he turned and found that she was gone, he got scared. He started searching for her, but could not find her. Now he was lost. He was still in the amusement park, but it looked very strange to him. Then he thought, "Boy, cousin Mary sure is gonna' be mad."
Meanwhile, cousin Mary came back to find him gone. She searched high and low for him. When she found no sign of her little cousin, she contacted a police officer and told him her story. She described what Billy looked like and what he had been wearing. Then she shook her head, wiped her tears and said, "His first time in the big city and look what happens. Oh, Billy, please be safe."
The officer made several calls, then said, "Don't worry. We will find him. I have half-a-dozen men out there searching for him already and more on the way." Then more to himself, "It sure looks like we're going to have some storm. It's funny how all of a sudden the sky grew dark. Could have sworn the weather man said it was going to be a bright, sunny day."
The eight year old found himself on the beach. Ever since he'd left the boardwalk, he knew someone was following him. But, when he turned, the stranger was gone. Just as it started to rain, an umbrella came up over his head and shielded him. Billy caught his breath. It was the stranger. He started to back away, then stopped, when the stranger said in a low soothing voice, "Hello there, young man. You seem to be lost. It is not safe to be out here in this storm alone."
"Who are you, mister?" he inquired, trying to be brave. "You've been following me since I left the boardwalk. What do you want? Mama doesn't like for me to talk to strangers."
"Well that is easy to take care of Billy. My name is Jacob. Now we are not strangers anymore." The stranger shook Billy's hand. "Your mother is right. You should never talk to strangers. She is a smart woman and you should always listen to her."
"Ha! How do you know my name, mister, and how do you know my mama?" asked the young boy.
"That is a long story my young friend. I better get you indoors before you catch a cold. Don't want you getting sick while you are visiting with cousin Mary. Come along. When this storm clears, I will take you home."
Billy did not have much of a choice. The pouring rain and the darkened sky did not let him see more then a few steps in front of him. So he let the stranger take his hand and show him the way. They came to a big, old house lined with flowers and a fence made of stone. Billy couldn't remember seeing it before. He's sure that it had not been there a second ago. Could he trust this stranger? Once again, he felt he had no choice, so he followed the stranger inside of the house. He stood by a big fire place to get warm, wondering where the stranger had disappeared to. Just when he thought the worst, the doors to the large, cozy room opened and in walked the stranger carrying a tray of food. Billy's stomach growled, for he was hungry.
"Serve yourself my young friend." When Billy hesitated, the stranger chuckled. "Well, you did not think I was going to poison you, did you?" He picked up half of a ham sandwich, took a bite and winked at Billy.
They ate in silence for a time. Then Billy looked up at his companion and said, "You know something mister? I like you even though you are a bit strange."
Jacob laughed and said, "I like you too Billy. Now let me tell you a story. Eight years ago a little boy was born to a very nice woman and her good husband. I was assigned to watch over that new born child. I am his own, personal guardian angel. So, you see, that is the reason I am here today, to keep him safe."
Billy eyed Jacob with open curiosity. He thought about the story and asked, "Am I that little boy?"
Jacob smiled at the lad. "Yes, Billy. You are that little boy. I am with you all of the time, even when you cannot see me. I go wherever you go. I watch over you always. If you ever need me, all you have to do is call for me and I will come to you. But remember Billy, only if you really need me."
"How can you do that?"
"That, my boy, is a secret." He leaned toward the boy and whispered in his ear.
Billy 's eyes opened wide. He looked over at the umbrella and then back at Jacob, searching the stranger's face for a hint that he might be pulling his leg. But in his guardian angel's face, the boy only saw truth. He smiled at Jacob, "I promise I won't tell a living soul."
As he sat in the big chair by the fireplace and Jacob sat right across from him, Billy realized he was so tired. He could barely keep his eyes open. Jacob's soothing voice lured him into a deep sleep. The stranger smiled at the boy, who slept with his feet tucked under him and his head resting on the arm of the chair. Jacob arose, gathered the boy in his arms and carried him out the door. The rain had stopped. Billy stirred for a second and he heard Jacob whisper, "Remember Billy, I will always be with you."
Hours later, Billy awoke in his bed at cousin Mary's. He heard the grown-ups talking in hushed voices and knew they were talking about him. He did not tell them about Jacob, 'cause he did not want to break his promise. He just told them that he got lost and a nice man brought him home, but no one believed him. Cousin Mary was very upset with him, and told him she was going to send him home.
Back at home, he settled into his normal routine, happy to be among his best friends. As the days passed and winter came, he wondered if it had all been just a dream. He told Snow and Clipper all about the stranger, and his great adventure to the big city. He was lost in his own thoughts. "Did I really meet my guardian angel? Can he really do all the things he said he could with that umbrella?" He sighed, wishing he could see Jacob one more time. Snow nudged him from behind and Clipper started barking happily, running around him. Then, a familiar voice spoke from behind Billy.
"Beautiful horse you have there Billy and a very fine dog, too."
Billy turned with a giant grin on his face. He ran and hugged Jacob. "You're real! You're real!"
"Yes, I am very real, my young friend," he said, hugging the boy back.
Suddenly, Billy started bombarding him with questions. "Are you really my friend? Where do you come from? Do you have to go soon?"
Jacob smiled at the boy and his eagerness to know everything. "One question at a time, my boy. One question at a time. We have all the time in the world, last one first. I am not leaving, my boy. I am here to stay. Come along now and I will answer all of your questions."
They walked hand in hand across the woods, with Billy asking all kinds of questions. The stranger answered all of them. Snow was right behind them, flipping her tail from side to side, while Clipper raced in front of them, headed straight for the familiar house that the stranger had taken Billy the first time they met.
I would like to thank [Galadriel] who was kind enough to edit the story for me. She reworded some of it here and there, making the story oh so much better. I love you my friend. *BIG HUGS* Shay.