How can he share the message he has been given when he does not know how to communicate?
|God did not come to Danny in the storm that flattened the forest near his home. Nor in the earthquake that cracked the mountains nearby and destroyed his atheist neighbor's house. It was lying in his bed after a hard day laying bricks that he heard the whisper. It told him what to do and what to say and he woke up sweating in the fear and awe of what he had heard.
For days he told no one about it. His mind and soul exploding with the images downloaded into his life. He waited for the sheer volume and power of it to start to make some sense in his heart and mind. It was as if he had been a blank piece of paper and God had just written a book on it. It was a story he had to tell but it was written in strange symbols, each of which blew his mind. Somehow he understood each and every word. He had no idea how to translate what he had been given into anything that anyone would understand.
His wife Laura had been the one good with words. She had done all the talking for him. For a time she had seemed to read his mind translating what he was thinking for him to the neighbors, her friends, and even his own family. She had left him after only a year though 'bored with the silence.' He was a giant of a man with massive hands but could not speak well. He built houses, did electrics, laid pipes in fact just about anything that required manual skills. He could read and write but only did so reluctantly. People mocked him when he tried to write stuff down. They said he had a child's handwriting. When he had tried to speak it had come out wrong, at least with his wife. He loved her still but saying that had always been something else.
Danny went to talk to the Pastor of his local church which he attended every Sunday, even now that he was separated from his wife. The path to the Vicarage door smelt of Lavender. He noticed a weed and removed it from the flower bed putting it in his pocket. He knocked, at exactly the time agreed, still removing the dirt from his hand.
"Danny, you are right on time, please come in." The Pastor pointed him to a big wooden chair opposite his oaken desk and sat down himself behind the desk. "I was sorry to hear about you and Laura, is that why you are here?"
Danny shook his head wondering how to say what he had to say.
"God spoke, gimme a message. Got to write it down. But you know me..."
There was an awkward silence. Danny realized that the Pastor was still waiting for him to say more. "I'm done," he said.
"Ah OK, I see... Danny, please tell me have you got anyone new in your life since Laura left?"
Danny shook his head.
"Nah, she's my only..."
"How are things at work?"
"OK, and what did He say?"
"Not to say, must write, special like, published."
"In a book?"
"A N.O.V.E.L," Danny spelled out the word in his head unsure of how to pronounce it.
"A novel, I see," said the Pastor.
Danny thought to himself, yes that makes sense, that is how the word should be said. and he nodded.
"Do you write at all?"
"Nah, people make fun. Better..." Danny waved his fingers between his face and the Pastors. "Fingers too big for phone buttons." Danny held up his big calloused hands to make his point.
The Pastor paused to think a moment.
"You know I belong to a writer's site on the Internet. The church has just been donated an old Desktop with a big old keyboard attached which can work with the Internet. The church already has enough computers so I will give you this computer. I think it is an excellent idea that you join a writer's site and learn how to write down what you think and feel. I have a man in the church who can help get you set up, you will need an internet connection."
"I got Alexa. Alarm clocks and weather on the net." Danny had set up the router connection for his wife, who had used the wifi with her smartphone and laptop.
"Well that's great, then I recommend you join Writing.com. They are one of the better sites and they take writers at every level. Join in the contests, write a few stories, get feedback from the judges about how to improve your style, and then when you are a good enough writer you can tell your real story and get your book published."
"How will I know when?" said Danny. He looked awkwardly at the Pastor.
"Well as I say they do contests. In the beginning, you will probably score really low and get a lot of criticism. But just take that as the stuff you can learn from and use it to improve your style. Don't take it personally. Bring me some of your stories and we can talk about them if you like. When you start regularly winning contests then you are just about ready to start writing your real story. But that might take a few years. You know I wish I had thought of this when you were with Laura. If you had learned to write down what you felt about her it might have helped. She's not remarried you know and is in a bad way. Maybe you could win her back if you could learn to communicate your feelings in words."
Danny's eyes shone with new purpose. The Pastor showed him his new computer and he experimented with the keyboard. The buttons were bigger here than on the old laptop or the phone and he could type. In fact, he found it easier to type than writing had ever been for him. Yes this could work, he thought to himself.
"Pastor, I really tried this last year, but I got this really bad mark from this reviewer and it has really gotten me down." Danny had brought a printout of his story and the review from someone with the internet name LightTheFire.
"Danny, do you realize how many words you just spoke in a coherent sentence?" said the Pastor.
Danny shrugged and shook his head.
"Well, it is clear you have made a lot of progress this last year."
The Pastor read through the story and then the review and finally with a smile on his face he spoke to Danny,
"Did you read the review?"
"No, I was so upset at the rating I just thought he hated it."
"That is not what this guy said. He said he loved your story but that he could not give you a high mark because of all the mistakes in it. He said you had a story idea that was better than many of the others in the competition in fact. They had just written theirs better. Even a poor story can get a better mark if it is properly presented, he said."
"Oh right, so he liked my story?"
"Yes, and he has given you a list of things you need to work on. Including loading a grammar checker onto your PC."
"OK, OK..." Danny started to read the review nodding as he did so.
The Pastor answered the Vicarage door with a smile on his face.
"Wow, what a difference a couple of years make. Are you two back together, Oh praise God!" said the Pastor. Laura and Danny were holding hands and beaming at him with the widest grins.
"Laura it is so good to see you again, I noticed you are back in church on Sundays also," said the Pastor
"Yes, sorry about my time away. After I left Danny I had a rough time of it and I was a little angry with God though it was really all my fault. Then Danny started writing me poems about eighteen months ago. They were so full of love and they broke my heart with just how sweet he was about me. Anyway I found myself falling in love with him all over again," said Laura. "He is still that big, practical, hulk of a man I fell in love with but now with a planet-sized soul inside him."
The couple grinned at each other and Danny kissed Laura on the cheek.
"How is the book coming Danny?" asked the Pastor.
"Well, I wrote it and I had that reviewer LightTheFire check it out for me. He came up with loads of corrections and suggestions without changing the meaning of it. Now it reads as God gave it to me but in a language that people can understand. He told me that it was the most powerful thing he had ever read but he was unsure that any mainstream publisher would touch it with a barge pole," said Danny.
"Why was that?"
"He said because it blew away the very foundational principles of the way they have been doing business these past thirty years. This was a book that would change everything but bring down so much heat on the man that wrote it that it could cost him his life. Governments would hunt him down for the secrets it revealed, powerful men would be exposed by it, the media and publishing industry would do their best to ignore and marginalize him for it. He told me he thought it was one of the bravest and most authentic pieces of writing he had ever read and he knew that despite the cost it had to be put out there."
"I kind of like this guy, does he have a real name?" The Pastor's eyes shone with a strangely amused expression.
"No, and that is fine, it is the message that counts,"
"So what is your plan now that you are back with Danny," asked the Pastor. He turned to Laura as he spoke.
"Oh, Pastor I am behind Danny all the way. Life without him was not worth living and it was the ambition to write this book that brought us back together. Doing this has taught him to speak and write in the most beautiful ways and I never really understood how much love was in this man before he found writing so we are together 100% through whatever is coming our way over this," replied Laura.
"What suggestions did this LightTheFire have for publication?" the Pastor asked Danny with an enigmatic smile.
"He said we should create our own company to publish the book and get it printed. Then we should prepare a grand big bang distribution of it through the churches. As the churches started reading it then they would be transformed and recommend it to the other churches also. He also showed me how to get set up on Amazon so that I could sell the Kindle version there."
"Sounds like a plan and will you?"
"Already done it Pastor and here is your printed copy. We kept it all top secret till the last moment. Copies were parceled and posted to every major church in the English-speaking world two days ago - we sent 10000 hardcopies from several different depots, news of which has gone viral on Christian networks. We launched it also on Amazon and have had a million downloads in the last five hours. There is no way the powers that be can stop this book getting out there now."
Laura and Danny left the Vicarage. Moments later Danny saw Laura fall as the sound of two shots could be heard.
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