At 11pm she realized she wasn’t ready to sleep. It had been a long day but she felt no hint of tiredness in her body or mind. Regular Wednesdays meant an early start; it was billing day at work so she was usually in the office for 6am to get ahead on the paperwork. On this particular Wednesday she’d worked overtime at the end of the day, and hadn’t had time to stop for lunch. It was OK, she reasoned; she did what she had to.
11:30 came and went, then midnight appeared on the clock on the laptop. Her husband was asleep in the bed and she was sitting under a blanket on the sofa to keep warm. Their studio flat had no heating and not a lot of space, but it was full of charm and felt like home.
As the country entered the witching hour she realized she wanted to go for a walk. Sitting in front of the television just wasn’t stimulating enough, and online chatting wasn’t holding her attention. She reasoned with herself; a walk to the park opposite would be fine. The town was a sleepy, semi-country place and the crime rates were low. All she wanted to do was wander down to the river, enjoy a smoke and the peace of a quiet space all to herself.
She threw on a coat over her pyjamas, slipped her feet into her walking shoes and picked up her keys and smokes from the shelf next to the door. A gentle push saw the door click quietly into place and she headed down the hallway and onto the street. It was a chilly February night; the kind with clear skies above and frost underfoot. Peaceful and serene, she felt her mind clear as though the cold air she breathed in was blowing away the muddled thoughts. Feeling so alive and energised she made the short walk to the park opposite her flat.
Taking a seat on the bench by the river, she lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply. The smooth taste filled her mouth and lungs, and she exhaled a cloud of smoke that wreathed around her head. She looked at the river; its calm surface denied the currents beneath and reflected the stars in the sky. Wondering what it would be like to take a paddle as she did as a child she began to remove her shoes, imagining that taking a step into the water would be like taking flight to the skies.
As she dipped her toes into the icy cool river, she felt a shock run up her entire body and settle in her mind; the essence of the universe manifest in her head. A piercing tone filled the air around her and she listened keenly for a source; after a few moments she realised that the tone was musical, melodic. It was beautiful to hear and as she listened it started to form words in her mind.
WAKE UP EVE. WELCOME TO YOUR NEW WORLD.
The words danced in her head with the melody of tones. She had never felt so invigorated. Instinctively she knew where the sound was coming from. By stepping into the cosmos in the river she had made a connection with the stars above.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU. WE ARE HERE TO HELP THE WORLD.
She smiled. These words gave her comfort.
WE HAVE MADE A CONNECTION WITH YOU. YOU ARE OUR AMBASSADOR ON EARTH.
How wonderful to be chosen. She didn’t doubt the words from the universe; her heart told her they were the truth. The water flowing over her feet and legs was no longer as cold as the winter day around her. No concept of time existed in her world. It was her and the universe connected on a soul-level.
YOU WILL NOT LOSE OUR PRESENCE WHEN YOU LEAVE THE RIVER, EVE.
She smiled and nodded. Happy to have the comfort of knowing she didn’t have to come back to the river to hear them again, she stepped up onto the river bank, slipped her shoes back on and headed for home.