Authors: Melissa Lummis
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Book One of
The Love and Light Series
Copyright © 2012 by Melissa Lummis
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
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Table of Contents
To my grandmother, Katie Irene.
I miss you more than I ever thought possible.
I’m always watching for the butterflies, Nan
Mahatma Gandhi once said "there is orderliness in the universe, there is an unalterable law governing everything and every being that exists or lives . . . I do dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing, ever dying there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and recreates. "
In our lives, things happen we can’t explain and other things fall into place exactly when we need them. Have you experienced this? Have you ever been in trouble and the right person came along at the right moment? Have the answers fallen in your lap after a long moment of faltering? Have you been thinking something and a friend says it out loud? This serendipity only happens when you have your mind right, as a friend once jubilantly told me. Do you have your mind right, my friend? If not, I challenge you to start seeing your life as the adventure it is and you will find that “the universe conspires to help an adventurer” as Paulo Coelho wrote.
As you read this adventure of love and light, my friend, open your heart to the unknowable and your mind to the possibility that all is as it should be. Even and especially when the truth seems shroud-ed and the light is dim. If you don’t like being in the dark or what you see when the lights are on, then “be the change you want to see in the world,” as Gandhi said. I hope you recognize that you are a “mahatma”—a great soul, just like Gandhi, and that you, too, are a soldier of peace, if you choose to be.
A warm night in May, 1959
Clark College, Lewiston, Virginia
The basement room reeked of mildew and old books. A great, crumbling tome rested on a heavy wooden table that harkened back to the days of the Salem witch trials. Candles burned in a ring around a chalked-pentagram on the cement floor, while a pony-tailed blonde set the last one down carefully, completing the circle of protection.
“That’s not right, Katie,” a flat-topped young man teased as he pushed her playfully out of the way. She giggled and fell to her side, slapping at the hand nudging the candle a hair to the right.
“Smart-ass.” She laughed, tapping his knee with her saddle-shoe. He turned and their eyes held for a moment.
“Come on, Joe, time’s a-flying, and we’ve got a metaphysics final tomorrow. I’d like to pass.” A fellow in gray trousers tapped his wrist watch.
“Don’t flip your wig, Patrick, we’re ready.” Joe grinned over his shoulder. Katie shifted her blue blameless eyes to Patrick’s face, the warm glow as steady and true on him as it had been for Joe. The corners of Patrick’s mouth curled up.
“Then let’s begin,” he said in a mocking, ominous voice. Patrick offered both hands to Katie, who tilted her head and winked. She grabbed them, and he took his time pulling her to her feet. When Joe turned toward the pair, Patrick dropped her hands, and she dusted off her green pedal-pushers.
“I’ll never get these clean again. Mom will kill me,” she fussed.
The three college co-eds marched around the circle, mumbling a protection incantation under their breath. After three turns around, they stepped into the circle and knelt, facing each other. Joining hands, they struggled to maintain serious faces as repressed smiles twitched their lips. They repeated the incantation over and over:
“Asato ma sadgamaya.
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya.
Mrtyorma amrtam gamaya”
Katie’s soft, schoolgirl voice balanced out the men’s coming-of-age gruffness. The candle flames flickered as the energy they conjured coalesced around them, blowing in a gust around the circle. The wind grew more robust until Katie’s ponytail danced behind her like blonde streamers on the end of a girl’s bicycle handle. They raised their voices over the roaring pitch, changing the incantation.