Stevie gulped for air, but there was none. Only water to fill his nostrils, throat, lungs. He twisted left and right, pushed his arms out in search of the surface, where the sun’s caress would ease life’s breath back into his aching chest. The sun fell further away and the water became dark, black, silent. There was nothing.
Or was there?
A flicker. A quick blink at first, then the light grew, expanded and exploded in noiseless grandeur. Stevie was in the light, he was the light.
He blinked three times, because the first two don’t count when you’re seeing things.
'Who are you?'
You know who I am, who am I Steven?
The old man came into focus now, his long white beard billowing in the breeze.
'You look like Santa.'
He smiled as though pleased with this comparison.
That’s how your mind chooses to see me. My image is your doing, but I assure you, I’m real and I have an important task for you.
'I can make you look however I want?'
That’s correct. Listen now Steven, you’ll be returning. There’s something very important you must do. The people down there need your guidance, otherwise—
The beard dissolved, a Stetson formed on his head and a black mask over his eyes. The flowing white robe became a fitted grey shirt with dark trim.
—There’s going to be a flood. A great flood. A flood to wipe the earth clean. Unless—
'Say hi ho Silver!'
Stevie chuckled and pointed a finger at the image. 'You look like The Lone Ranger.'
Oh. Alright Steven, pay attention. This flood will come, but there is one way to avoid it. In your little town you must have the locals build a temple. Your family, friends and neighbours will think you are crazy Steven, they’ll… wait… The old man flicked his red arrowed tail and tentatively touched the curved horns on his head. That’s not funny Steven.
'Sorry.' Stevie looked down at his feet to appear shameful, but really he was hiding a grin.
You can save mankind from their own sins. Save them from the flood. You. One small boy from Warracknabeal can be their saviour. You want to be their saviour don’t you Steven?
Stevie looked up and nodded. Of course he did, he’d be just like… he blinked away the image of Superman before him. God wouldn’t like that. Problem was, thinking of the man of steel then got him to thinking…
Convince the people of your town to build a temple. It must be the grandest and largest temple ever built. It must rival the pyramids, the great wall. People will come from all over the world. They will pray and they’ll be… Steven?
Tears streamed down Stevie’s cheeks, down past his jaw clenched tight.
God furrowed his arched brows and turned his face down to take in his blue, red and gold fitted costume barely constraining his ample bust. He held up the golden lasso questioningly.
'Wonder Woman.' Stevie spluttered the words then broke into sobs of laughter.
God’s hands rested on his curved hips. His pretty face grew red with fury.
Stevie quickly turned him back into The Lone Ranger.
'Stevie…' God was his mother?
'Stevie… Oh dear Lord, you’re alive!' She pulled him up to sitting and hugged the soaking wet boy, then covered his cheeks with smears of her cherry lipstick. Once he was well enough to squirm from her embrace she released him and helped him to his feet.
The sun warmed his bare back.
'Oh Stevie, are you okay? I should take you straight to Doctor Henderson.'
'Aww Mum, I’m fine.'
As they made their way up the cleared path leading from the waterhole, back to the house, Stevie relayed his experience. 'I met The Lone Ranger!'
His mother laughed with relief. 'Yes? Please do tell me, what did he have to say?'
Stevie shrugged. 'It’s gonna rain.'
* * *
This story is part of the Write Edit Publish blog hop, each month you can complete and publish a story to their prompts. This month's prompt was... Through the eyes of a child. Now I'm off to read some of the great stories submitted!