All content is (c) copyright 2006 Caryn LeMur

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THE LAST DAYS
OF A MAN
NAMED FIGHTER

A Chronicle
Of FadingEarth


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28.  OMAN

Fighter looked about.  To every side of him were
walls with living flames moving about.  

Fighter stood still and then looked down.  Beneath
his feet, living stones were cushioning and
balancing his every step.

Fighter blinked, and looked ahead -- before him
was the Lion sitting next to a large throne.

He was within the throne room of the Lion.

“Lion…?” he began to say.

“Welcome,” replied the Lion, “to the beginning of
the eighth mountain!”

“But…” began Fighter.

“Good Fighter,” replied the Lion.  “The throne
room has always been the entrance to the eighth
mountain.”

And both were silent for a moment.

And then the Lion called out, “Are you willing to be
called by the name of the fourth tribe, good
Fighter?”

“I am,” replied Fighter.  “Though I apologize for
my near-nakedness.  It would appear in my
foolishness I have discarded my wrist guard and
my breast-plate.”

“I never created the copper wrist guard – those of
the fourth tribe never need such things,” replied
the Lion.  “And the weight of truth that you carried
on your breast-plate is no more needed as well ….  
Look!  Look within the mirror!  And see yourself as
you truly are!”

Fighter walked forward.  There, to the right of the
throne had appeared a large oval mirror having a
black ebony surface.  He walked until he came
before it, and stared deeply into it.  Suddenly, his
reflection appeared – warped, disfigured, scarred,
with fingers missing on both hands and dirt-filth
covered bandages on almost all his skin.

“I confess,” said Fighter hanging his head in
shame, “that this is me….”

“Look again,” replied the Lion softly.

And Fighter raised his head, and suddenly the
reflection changed!  He saw himself, and more
than himself!  Here was a reflection of a man in
white robes, glistening like the sun on pure white
snow!  A man of great stature and power – the
muscles of the man’s legs and arms were obvious
even under the robes!  And the face!  The face of
the man radiated confidence and power and
empathy and hope!  And the face was Fighter’s
own face!

“Lion!” called out Fighter, “What wonder is this?”

“It is no ‘wonder’, good Fighter,” replied the Lion.  
“It is the heated steel and the salve of the mirror.  
You must see both reflections, since both are true.”

Fighter turned towards the Lion to speak, but as
he turned, suddenly he was clothed with the very
robes that he had seen in the mirror.

“You are clothed with my forgiveness and mercy –
this is the custom of the those of the fourth tribe.  
They forever wear forgiveness and show such
clothing to all that meet them.”

“But what of truth?” asked Fighter, “What of that
breast-plate of truth that I labored with so many
years?”

“Ah, you-who-are-about-to-be-renamed,” replied
the Lion.  “you will no longer ‘wear’ the truth, but
you shall live it.”  The Lion looked towards the
mirror, and out of its reflective surface flew the
breast-plate that Fighter had worn, but suddenly,
it shone like silver and gold, with jewels of truth
embedded and glistening – and it hovered before
the Lion.

“I write these now upon your heart!” spoke the
Lion.  And the brilliant breast-plate rippled in the
air, and its very substance became white-energy,
and burst into light, and then it flowed into the
chest of Fighter.

“And I shall also give to you,” said the Lion, “your
prayer-sword as it was always meant to be….”  
And at those words, the dusty hilt of Fighter’s
prayer-sword with blade appeared, and then it
raced through the air towards Fighter, towards his
head, towards his mouth, and suddenly, it
stopped!  And then gently touched his lips – and
vanished.

“No more shall prayer be an occasion to battle,”
said the Lion, “but it shall reside upon your lips as a
normal part of your life, your breath, and your
thoughts!  For I have spoken it.”

“Come before the throne!” demanded the Lion.  
And Fighter complied.

A being shaped like a man, but having six wings,
stepped forward through a portal.  In his arms he
carried six disfigured wings wrapped in a golden
chain.

“Deputy of the Rock!” roared the Lion, “Place the
just payment upon the altar!”  And, as the Lion
spoke, an altar appeared before the Deputy.

And the Deputy placed the wings upon the altar
that appeared among the living stones – it shone
as if made of brass.  And fire– hot and searing
finality – descended from the cloud that was upon
the top of the throne, and the wings upon the altar
were quickly reduced to ashes.

The Deputy looked at the Lion, and then said,
“Justice is done.”

As the smoke cleared from the altar, on the top of
the altar stood the Healer!  He smiled and reached
down into the ashes, and pulled out a small piece
of carved wood – wood that had somehow
survived the fire and that was somehow carved in
the shape of a dream-dove.

The Healer jumped down from the altar and raced
his child-like body over to Fighter, and then held
out the carving for him to take.  Fighter smiled and
took the carving.  Healer clapped his chubby hands
and laughed.  

Fighter sighed within himself, for though he was
thrilled at all he had so quickly experienced  -- he
had hoped somehow, some way, to one day again
have a living dream-dove.  Perhaps, he thought, he
might even have his own living dreams again.  And
as he looked at the carving, it blinked its eyes.

“It lives!?” called out Fighter.

“Indeed it does!” replied the Lion.  “It is a dream-
dove carved from the heart-wood of the living
tree, and from the lives of those that did not
survive Dry Places.  And that heart-wood has a
name; it is called ‘Reconciliation’.  For if that is your
dream, you shall never lose your hope or treasure
again.”

“And the disfigured wings that were burned…?”
asked Fighter.

“I have often chosen that out of the tragedy of a
few should come the reconciliation of many,”
replied the Lion.  And the Deputy of the Rock,
standing to one side, nodded his head knowingly
and, finally, smiled.

Fighter hugged the living-wood dream-dove to his
chest.  And all within the room were silent.

Finally, Fighter spoke, his blue eyes almost
glistening with tears, “Thank you… thank you
Lion!  Thank you Healer!  And thank you, Deputy!  
Thank you, O Father that dwells above the throne!  
May this one, named Fighter, never forget this
day!”

But everyone was silent.  The Deputy smiled.  The
Healer covered his child-like lips with one chubby
hand and giggled.  Then the Lion turned and
spoke, “...'Fighter'?  I know no one in this room by
that name?  Perhaps you, the one with the dove,
should touch your own forehead.…”

And slowly, hesitatingly, the one-who-was-called-
Fighter reached up with one hand, and felt his
forehead.  A mark had appeared.  A raised mark of
two lines – one vertical and one horizontal crossing
over the first.

“Tell me,” said the Lion, “how does it feel to have
the mark of the fourth tribe, my good
BridgeMaker?”

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29.  S~12

The days that followed were simple in structure –
each morning, BridgeMaker left his simple home in
DwellingStreet, and came to the throne room.  He
would spend most of the day with the Lion.  But yet
each day was also complex, as the Lion taught him
new concepts – the Laws of the Bridge.

One day, following the lesson, the Lion said,
“Beware of the Serpent – for it hates the
BridgeMakers more than any other tribesmen.”

“But the Serpent is dead!” replied BridgeMaker.  “I
saw it myself, as if in a dream -- yet clearly, when
you shouted that war-cry and crushed his skull.”

The Lion shook his golden main.  “The flies you saw
leave the crushed skull, they are the spirit of the
Serpent.  They will reform into another shape – yet
another Serpent.  In this plane, I crush for but a
time; in other planes I have crushed him for all
eternity.”

BridgeMaker paused.  “ ‘Other planes’?  How your
words go beyond me, Lion.  I simply do not
understand.”

“It is all right to not understand,” replied the Lion.  
“Indeed, the man who thinks he knows all is but a
fool, and the man that admits he does not
understand, is close to learning.”

BridgeMaker’s face took on another look, as a new
thought crossed his mind.  “Tell me,” said
BridgeMaker, “that war-cry… ‘Gol…go…tha’.  
What does that mean?”

“It is the war-cry of gateway that you saw – the
one with the burned arch,” replied the Lion.  “In
that plane, the Serpent stuck me with death.”

“The Lion cannot die!” said BridgeMaker.

“That is true,” said the Lion.  “But I can accept
death on behalf of another.”  The Lion paused and
then continued, “BridgeMaker, you will too one day
understand the depth of love that I have.  And as I
recorded in my book of ForeverPromises, 'Greater
love has no man than this that he lay down his life
for another.' ”

“Listen, my BridgeMaker,” continued the Lion,
shaking his golden mane.  “You know that the Nons
wear their marking near their belly, for though
they are part of FadingEarth and their names are
carved in the Final Stone, their god is always their
belly.”

BridgeMaker smiled at the thought --  he had never
fully realized that the placement of the marking
had meaning.

“And the Elfin,” continued the Lion, “wear their
marking near their heart, for all too often their
emotions are their god.  Thus, when they accept
the name of Elfin, the Healer properly places the
mark.”

BridgeMaker smiled softly.  “And I suppose,” he
said, “that Fighters wear their marking on their
right forearm because of a significance?”

“Indeed,” laughed the Lion.  “The Fighters accept
my calling, and the Healer places the mark upon
their forearm, for they know that they have been
called to battle for me.”   Then the Lion added,
“But unfortunately, some then begin to worship
their muscle, their strength, and even their armor
-- these things often become their gods.”

“Some,” said the Lion, “abandon mercy for their
own selves, and drive their own self into a life of
discipline that is unneeded.  And then, they often
deny mercy to others.”

“But you, good BridgeMaker,” continued the Lion,
“have the marking of two lines upon your
forehead.  The horizontal line stands for the
bridge; and the vertical line stands for the Maker of
it.  Over time, the old tattoo upon your right
forearm will fade away, and the new become more
and more glorious.  Indeed, even those that are
not of my city, will notice the essence of the
marking as you become to your fellow men as a
light becomes to distant ships.”

“And,” said the Lion, looking in love at
BridgeMaker, “only I shall be your god.  And hope
will be your deep well, and faith and love will be
drawn from it.  The marking has been placed upon
your forehead to remind you that you are more
fragile than ever -- for now you cannot exist
without abiding in me even as your body cannot
exist without the head.”

The Lion paused.

BridgeMaker sat quietly, taking in all the teachings.

“But what,” asked BridgeMaker, “of the woman
that I saw so long ago?”

“She was also of the tribe of BridgeMakers.”
Replied the Lion.  “And I have sent her to a people
to which she will show more mercy than many
fighters could ever show.  It is the BridgeMakers,
not the Fighters, that do much for my kingdom.”

“Yes,” replied BridgeMaker touching the raised
mark on his own forehead, “I am beginning to
understand.”

“And BridgeMaker,” concluded the Lion, “now you
will have more power in my presence than a prince
would have in the court of his father, the king.”

“Come,” said the Lion, “it is time for you to pass
into an archway.”  At that the Lion rose and
walked to the base of the throne.

The Lion turned about, and faced BridgeMaker.  
And then, the Lion said, “Is your heart undivided?”

BridgeMaker stood before the Lion in his robe of
white and replied, “Yes.  My heart is undivided.”

“And have you filled your mind with things of good
report?” asked the Lion.

“Yes.  I have done that,” replied BridgeMaker.

“Are your tears and laughter available for my
suffering and joy?”

At that question, BridgeMaker paused.  “Lion,” he
replied, “I have seldom cried or laughed.”

“Trust me, good BridgeMaker,” replied the Lion,
“you will do that and much more.”  The Lion
paused and seemed to smile, and then he said,
“For now, that is enough questions.  Later, I will
teach you to show mercy even to lepers.  For now,
I only ask the questions that will strengthen your
heart.”

And out of the mouth of the Lion came fire, and the
fire fell upon BridgeMaker.

BridgeMaker’s clothing began to glow.  It glistened,
and then turned white.  His face began to become
radiant like the glow that surrounds the full moon
in the mists of early spring.  His eyes transformed:  
the blue eyes became red and orange dancing
flames.  His skin began to glow burnished red, like
the hot bronze of the furnace fire, and the throne
room filled with power.  

Raw power -- power like one senses from the
shaking of the ground when Leviathan
approaches; power like one hears from the
screaming of the wind caused by the demon called
Tornado; power like a mother holding her first
born son.  Raw power – yet covered by love.

The Lion turned his head and looked towards the
side of the throne room – an archway then
appeared.  “Come with me, good BridgeMaker!”
roared the Lion.  “For this is the archway that I
have chosen for you!  This is where you will apply
the Laws of the Bridge!”

And the transfigured BridgeMaker walked towards
the archway – its stones showing cracks and
fissures, with bent black grasses choking the base
of the stones.  The air of the archway smelled of
dying vegetation – heavy and sweet, yet
repulsive.  

“You will walk through this archway, good
BridgeMaker!” roared the Lion.  “For this archway
shall lead you to the place of my choosing!”

“I shall walk wherever you send me, O Lion!”
replied the mouth of the power-filled BridgeMaker.

“You do not always need to address me as ‘Lion’”
came the reply.  “You may also address me as
BloodFriend!”  And having said that, the Lion spoke
to the walls of the throne room, “Come forth,
seven flames.”  And from the throne flew seven
flames.  

“You are to protect him from the Serpent,” said
the Lion to the flames, “for he is highly esteemed.”  
And the flames arranged themselves about the
man as he had seen them arrange about the
woman many weeks before: one near his head,
one near his heart, and one near his mouth -- and
the other four: one behind, one before, and one to
each side.

“Son of man called BridgeMaker," spoke the Lion,
"do not forget that my words will protect you.  And
you will need that strong protection from the
words of the Snake that lives within the mouth of
the Serpent.  Do not forget, that when you call for
me, I shall be your comforter and your shield.”

BridgeMaker looked hard at the archway, and then
with resolve, through the archway he walked.  The
archway received him, and he vanished through its
portal-powers.

The Lion turned towards the cloud that was above
the throne and spoke, “Oh my Father!  We have
chosen a most difficult place for him!  One of much
pain, yet ‘the foundation must be first repaired or
naught can be built upon it’.”

And a voice replied from the cloud, “'Neither should
the head be separate from the body.'  He should
do well, in time, my son.”

The archway shimmered one last time, and then
vanished.  And all was silent in the throne room.

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30.  :2)~

BridgeMaker looked about.  The seven flames,
though he could sense them, he could not see
them.  His clothing and skin no longer glowed – all
seemed normal.  Indeed, even the white robes had
been replaced by normal clothing.

And there he stood… in a garden… in a rose
garden.

“This is but my own rose garden…” softly
whispered BridgeMaker.

“Husband!” sang out a voice.  And BridgeMaker
turned about, and suddenly was facing his wife.

“I did not hear you come into the garden!” she
sang out, “But it is so good to see you!”

She stood there with her beautiful eyes, smiling at
him.  “You do seem rather distant… husband… is
all well?”

“All is… well, indeed,” replied a confused
BridgeMaker.  The thoughts raced through his
mind:  how can this be?  I should have been sent to
a dark area… but to be sent first home?  Surely
this is a mistake!  To build bridges here?

But then, into the garden flew a dove.

“Look!” said BridgeMaker’s wife.  “It is that rare
dove!  Never have I seen one like it!  Its wings
shine like carved wood!  Do you know that it has
been visiting the garden for several days now?  
Have you ever seen anything like it?”

“Only once before,” replied BridgeMaker.  “Only
once before….”

And the dove of reconciliation looked at
BridgeMaker and blinked its eyes.

BridgeMaker smiled, for then he understood.  
There was no mistake.  

This was indeed the place of the Lion’s choosing.  

He was to build bridges first here – at his own
home, with his own wife, in the city of the Lion
known as DwellingStreet.

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EPILOGUE.


The Lion appeared by the bridge.

BridgeMaker bowed before the Lion.

“Is it done?” asked the Lion.

“Yes,” replied BridgeMaker.  “As you, BloodFriend,
instructed, I wrote many words, and then placed
them within a crystal vase.”

“Did you shatter the vase, so that only reflections
could be understood?” asked the Lion.

And the BridgeMaker pointed to the first
manuscript, now shattered like crystal on the
ground.  

And then, the BridgeMaker pointed to the second
manuscript, which you, dear reader, have just
read.

The Lion smiled.

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For those that do not understand the code of the
titles in each chapter, I think that it is one reflection
that can be explained:

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this
world, but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind.”  (Romans 12:2)

Much love in Christ, always;

Caryn LeMur


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(c) copyright 2006 Caryn LeMur
The Last Days of a Man Named Fighter

Chapters 28 through 30