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It was a picture perfect moment ... but then again ... something was just notquite right. The setting sun; the placid, lakeside home, the pines tall and broadunder the faint stars ... It was like the book Aure had been reading, a story oflove and laughter. But this scene had an ominous feel about it. It just wasn'tright.
Finally she realized. It hit her what was missing. Sound! There wasnot a single sound echoing through the mountains. Not a twig breaking, not a birdchirping, not a single breath of wind through the trees. It began to haunt her.Why was there no sound?
Aure spun around in panic and fell off the porch.She cried out for help but not a word escaped her lips. What was happening? Wasthe world coming to an end? What kind of force would be so cruel to take thevoice away from the earth? What kind of monster?!?
Aure clawed her wayback to a standing position and turned to look up at the darkening sky. The moonlaughed at her as if to say "You fool! You can't survive! You don't knowhow! A single sense taken away and your mind soon follows." Was that themoon or her mind talking? She didn't know anymore. The stars began to prance ...mocking her.
She ran down the path past the garden, overgrown with vines,down to the lake. Never hearing a single footstep, she began to cry. It makes nosense. She thought to herself. I could hear yesterday. Why is thishappening?
Aure couldn't take it anymore. Her mind was in distress and shealmost couldn't breathe. She knelt by the water and began tocry.
"She can't handle it. We have to help her."
"Oh ... and what are we going to tell her? Like we wouldn't help confirm the factthat she's going insane! Do you honestly think that us showing up wouldhelp?"
"She's only a girl!"
"And that makes itall the more effective, my dear."
"I don't understand what thisproves."
"Survival ... It proves that a little obstacle doesn'tstop the strong. Humans are a race who long to survive ... and learn toadapt."
"She can't do it, I'm telling you."
Aurelooked up and pleaded toward the heavens. Please ... please help me. What'shappening? Her brown hair was matted with sweat. She was shaking from head totoe, though the temperature was perfectly comfortable.
Something movedacross the lake. Aure's eyes locked on it. It moved slowly toward her. A boat!Someone who could help explain the mysterious silence that had overtaken theworld. The boat stopped in front of her. A girl stepped out.
"What'sthis? Are you actually trying to tell me that this is you're way of helping her?Let me guess ... another obstacle!"
"Brilliant, isn't it? Shehas the intelligence to do it. Don't be so pessimistic."
"Ascared child! For heavens sake! She is only a child. I still think this provesnothing."
The girl looked at Aure, puzzled. Her lips moved but not asingle word came out. Aure looked into her eyes. The deep brown eyes twinkledwith tears. They were her tears! They were Aure's eyes! She was staring atherself. She saw the pain ... the hurt. She confronted the girl ... herself ... and touched her hand. A flash of memory overwhelmed her. The car accident ... the shattered glass ... the sound of metal on metal ... It was all so clearnow! She saw the car hitting her window and sending metal and glass flying intoher head. She remembered hearing horns and squealing brakes ... then nothing.She heard nothing as the ambulance came and nothing as her mother tried tocomfort her in the hospital. Nothing!
The girl smiled at Aure as if shehad found a new friend ... a new realization that things were okay. Aure lookedback at her with dry eyes and returned the smile. Her eyes shut and when sheopened them the boat was gone ... the girl had vanished. Aure smiled. Thingswere going to be all right. She could handle anything now. She closed her eyesagain and listened to the silence.
"I told you she could do it,didn't I?"
"Okay, so you were right. I guess she's stronger thenI thought. I hate to admit I'm wrong."
"So, I'll see you againtomorrow?"
"Right. But let's have a more pleasingdiscussion."
"What did you have in mind?"
"Iwas thinking we could contemplate that burning question we always seem to askourselves."
"What might that be?"
"Exactly howwe came to be Guardian Angels ..."