Sacred Mission

Glad you could join us for the next scintillating episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot S
Photo credit: Nailia Schwarz

“And how,” Elliot began, “might we be of service to you?” Out of the corner of his mouth, he whispered to Cassandra, “Get ready to run!”

The stranger bowed his head. “My young friends — my Children — may I call you that? I am just a Stranger on a Sacred Mission. I have been personally appointed by the Great Spirit Man’Tis, our most esteemed and mysterious Granter of Prayers, to build a Holy Mansion where his Devotees can gather to offer their Thanks and receive his Instruction.” He paused, “We are seeking Donations to help us fulfill our our Divine Purpose. Might I count on you to contribute in some small way?”

“I’m terribly sorry,” Elliot apologized, “but I don’t have any cash.”

“Oh, we don’t need cash. We’re more interested in building materials and volunteerism.”

Elliot and Cassandra waited, poised to flee.

“Look,” cajoled the personally appointed Contractor of the Great Spirit, “I can see you have Pure Hearts and want to do the Right Thing, but you have Doubts. Allow me to show you the Future Site of the Holy Mansion, and perhaps I can set your Minds at ease. It isn’t far.”

Exchanging looks of cautious interest, Elliot and Cassandra nodded.

The stranger led them around a fungus-covered rotten stump into a sheltered bay nestled between several slabs of granite.

“Here we are!” The Stranger spread his arms wide to present the Site of the soon-to-be Holy Mansion.

Cassandra left Elliot’s side to take a closer look.

Nonplussed, Elliot said, “I don’t understand. What exactly do you want from us?”

The Stranger fixed his bulgy eyes on Elliot. His smile was not comforting.

To be continued…

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

Today’s twofer from April 24, 2016:

Sonograms and Spoilers

One moment, I was certain. I could feel it. I was having a boy.

The next, I’d ask myself:

“How would I know? I’ve never been pregnant before.” Me awash with common sense. And hormones.

Besides, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know ahead of time.

24 days before my due date (16 days before I gave birth, as it happened), I was having my first and only sonogram. To prepare, I’d done some reading. In other words, I knew what to look for, if my baby was brazen enough, to determine what its gender was. I knew what the little line of three dots between the legs meant if it was there.

But I still wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

Lying on the padded, papered table, I listened to the young technician, who may or may not have won a Miss Congeniality Award at some local beauty pageant, jabber away about size and heart rate and I-don’t-know-what-else, while I tried to convince myself that jelly stuff hadn’t really just come out of the freezer.

Then she got my attention.

“Do you want to know the baby’s sex?” Young Sonogram Tech
“No.” Me
“Oh, look — it’s a girl!” Her

WTF? The white paper crinkling beneath me as I craned to see the screen, I said:


She heard me for the first time. “Why?” she asked, “Do think it’s a boy?”

I was looking at the dots. The three little white dots lined up straight as could be, almost glowing in the bouncing sound waves, standing vertical between two obvious legs in what would have been a mortifying crotch shot if that’s when the tech had taken the picture. Unless she had another monitor and I had a second uterus I was unaware of, we were looking at the same image. Was she even newer to this than I was?

It would have been rude to question her competence out loud, so I just said:

“Well, I’ve always thought it was a boy.” Me. Absolutely certain now I was having a son.

And she, blithely oblivious, said:

“Oh, well then it probably is. I’ve found the mothers are usually right.”

Sweet kid, just not one to instill a lot of confidence.

Fortunately, my boy had the decency to roll over and give the camera a profile head shot. He wasn’t going to parade his dots, but, personally, this photo pretty much convinced me I was having a bouncing baby boy alien.

Look — the little alien is waving!

Why don’t parents want to be surprised anymore?

#AtoZChallenge A-to-Z Fictioneers: Interested in original fiction? Here’s a list of writers who are writing stories for the 2017 A to Z Challenge. The author’s link will take you to their “A” post. If you know of any other story writers I can share, please drop the link in the comments!

Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

26 thoughts on “Sacred Mission”

  1. Hm “building materials” sounds dubious, and I’m quite concerned about Elliot and Cassandra’s shells.

    I know many parents who want to be surprised still! I’m not one of them, because I hate surprises :p In your case though, you expressed you specifically did NOT want to know and that technician didn’t respect your wishes, which is irritating to say the least. And she was wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eminent domain can be just plain cruel.

      I enjoy Nature’s unpredictability, and I try to be conscious of the right we each have to control ourselves but not each other. From that perspective, I can shake my head at the absurdity of the interaction she and I had, and even relish the additional uncertainty she added, but it was a WTF moment. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Elliot….you need to take Cassandra and run…I’m not getting a good vibe about this so-called Reverend…
    I knew I was having boys both times, actually…just a feeling. I never even considered any girls’ names and the sonograms were just confirmation lol! 👶👶

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does seem this might be the false piety Cassandra’s mother warned her about…

      Looks like that tech was right about one thing — the mothers are usually right! lol Did you have any dreams about whether they were boys or girls before they were born?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I didn’t buy any clothes until a week before he was born, when it finally sunk in that he would need something to wear home from the hospital. And the next day, and the next… But I bought neutral, unisex colors. Just in case. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well it’s better to be practical, but I was 100% certain..good job really! (I must confess now I’m older, I look at these pretty girly frilly dresses and think “Ahh! How sweet! Maybe I could persuade one of the cats…!”

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Well I’m pretty nervous, but I’m glad Elliot and Cassandra are prepared to run if necessary. I couldn’t help but laugh at that the somewhat dubious stranger is a personal appointee of Great Spirit Man’Tis. Nice touch!

    And speaking of laughing, your “bouncing baby boy alien” story and photo are hilarious. Life does like to throw curves on occasion doesn’t it. But sometimes they’re marked with dots. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Deborah! I love that you experience a combination of being on the edge and laughing. I think a touch of absurdity always helps. 🙂

      “Hilarious”? You’ve made me very happy. So did that little alien when he curved my life in a completely unexpected direction — off the predictable dotted line, and into the Great Unknown.


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