Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Evangeline (Part Twenty Eight)

And that’s the end of the story, at least as far as most people know.

Five years later, Evangeline and Tucker have not been found. After a year-long nationwide manhunt and no legitimate leads, the FBI deemed the file a “cold case.” Michael Kent left the FBI, got married, and travels with his wife around the world doing charity work.

Rumors still circulate about what might have happened to Tucker and Evangeline. Some people think that Sal Vanelli finally caught up with Tucker, and that both Tucker and Evangeline are sitting on the bottom of Powhatan Lake strapped to a 200 pound sack of gravel (the Vanelli’s are in the gravel business).

Some people believe that Tucker escaped to Mexico with Evangeline, and that he probably killed her and buried her in the desert. Rumor has it that Tucker is working as a waiter at one of the big resorts in Cancun.

The best stories involve alien abductions or satanic rituals. After all, how could two people just disappear off of the face of the earth without leaving one shred of evidence?

Like Elvis, there have been Tucker “sightings” on the beach in Miami, at a liquor store in Austin, and at the Emmy Awards in Hollywood. But the FBI has never been able to validate any of the claims.

You may be disappointed that this story doesn’t have a happier ending, or at least an ending that makes sense, which takes me back to the beginning and the reason I’ve been telling you this. Before I go to meet my Maker, I want someone to know what I saw on Christmas Eve five years ago. Call me a crazy old lady, but I know what I saw. You can make up your own mind about whether or not it’s true.

It had snowed that night and the moon was full. My daughter who is a nurse at the hospital called to tell me that Pastor and Mrs. Goodman had just given birth to a 7 lb. 6 oz. healthy baby boy. Not a thing in the world was wrong with him - no Down’s Syndrome, not even an extra finger or toe. He was perfect and it was a miracle. All those doctors had been wrong. Mrs. Goodman cried and said it was Evangeline’s singing that had made the baby well. Maybe having their healthy new son would begin to heal their broken hearts.

Anyway, I was so happy to hear the news about the new baby that I wrapped up in my old wool coat and went out on to the front porch to say a prayer of gratitude. The air was pure and crisp and the sky was jet black and full of stars.

I often look up at the sky when I pray. I feel like God can hear me better that way. I lifted my face and was just about to close my eyes when I felt something gently brush against my cheek like a feather. It was a butterfly, in the dead of winter, a beautiful, rare Panacea Prola butterfly indigenous to the Amazon River Basin. It landed on the back of my hand and slowly opened and closed its silver-blue wings.

I was in shock. What in the world was an Amazonian butterfly doing in Virginia in December? Then I realized that there were more butterflies, hundreds and hundreds of them. They began to swirl around me in a kaleidoscope of color, the light of the moon reflecting in their iridescent wings. It was like being inside a rainbow. My heart overflowed with joy.

Then the butterflies flew like a whispering river towards someone walking down the middle of the street.

That’s when I saw Evangeline, bare-footed, her hair a shining mass of perfect curls. There was a light about her, like the glow of a firefly, and the butterflies were drawn to it.

She stopped right beneath the first street light and turned to look at me. She smiled and raised her hand as if to wave hello, then reached right through the air and parted it like a curtain.

Then she stepped through and was gone. I stood motionless, not believing my very own eyes. The butterflies turned a glistening white, became snow flakes, and softly fell from the sky, covering Evangeline’s footprints.

I walked out on to the street and looked up in to the heavens and realized Evangeline was home at last.

The End

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews, Chapter 13:2


Braeg, said...

I love that you chose butterflies as her sort of spiritual symbol, especially at the end when they turn to snow flakes.

Ok, what's next? I'm ready for a new story.

Deb said...

I loved the story. I looked forward to reading it every day. You are truly talented and gifted...I'm so jealous! :o)

Deb said...

I loved the story and looked forward to reading it every day. I miss it, but have always enjoyed reading all of your blog entries. You truly have a gift.