The following is from a free preview of the novel Book of Katherine and the Chinese Maze.
“How’s it going everyone?” I ask of my group in China.
I had greeted my husband by crawling into bed with him when he woke up. I told you, it’s a good day. I was able to actually get out of bed and move down there. Just because he’s my link, doesn’t mean we don’t do our best to live like we did before: husband and wife.
And he looked good. Naked, of course. And he’d just done what he always does when he first wakes up- only this time I got to see it instead of just hear it: a glorious thrust of the velour blankets off of his entire body. *Whhhip!!!* And I? I was lucky enough to be able to see the stunning results of that throw, because I was having a good day.
“Ohhhh, baby! You look sooo good!” I say, as I crawl towards him from my bed. He’s stretching, of course, which just kills me. He looks like a freaking model. We’re both on this ketogenic diet my doctor put me on, and my husband was good enough to do it with me. Now, we’re part of the small minority of the people in America who aren’t obese. We were obese – 300-pounds each – but we’re not anymore.
My breasts kind of hang, which both Mr. X and my husband like (I’ll tell you about Mr. X later. Now that’s a different story!) but I fit into glorious outfits from the thrift shop that are ten times nicer than anything I used to fit into when I had money.
But my husband? My husband just looks boss. His body is incredible. When we go dancing- or even when I meet his work friends- I can tell they’re jealous. Heck, even when he was heavier, the old ladies were pulling him in for kisses on the lips. I seriously can’t blame them. He was a nerd with nasty tennis shoes when I got him, and I made him over into a stud.
He’s still a nerd – he’s waiting for me to finish typing this morning’s story so he can finish up his first software release of his very first product he built, from the ground up – but he’s a sexy nerd. I love him. So much.
So he’s stretching, and I feel that-
Oh! Tas the Cat has made himself known! “Yes, Tazzy?” Tasmanian the Cat is always nearby. He thinks our bedroom is really his bedroom and my husband and I are just random visitors.
“Just relaxing Mommy.” Uh huh. Right in between Mommy and Daddy. Smart cat. So I gave him some pets. Then off he ran.
Ah ha. Yes. I can talk to my cats too. Gustaf taught us how. He spoke to them first when they were just babies. Tas (short for Tasmanian Devil, because he bounced off so many walls like a tornado) only said, “food-food-food-food-food,” which isn’t all that different from the Tasmanian Cat of today, when I think about it. He sure does hound us for whatever food we’re eating – especially chicken.
Just try and get through a meal of chicken (or ham! Oh! He’s the ham fiend!) without sharp claws from a paw of his managing to snatch some. It just doesn’t happen. My husband feeds him string cheese when he begs. Drives me nuts. But now the cheese is gone.
Hence the great body. So back to it.
As I see my husband laying out before me, I’m thinking and feeling three things:
- Enjoy this while I can. I’m healthy enough to touch him without pain.
- You don’t have much time. He has to program (aka write code), and this about to be ruined because I’m going to talk to everyone and have reality smack me in the face, and…!
- I feel a deep, tearing pain in my heart.
The pain is there every time I get to touch my husband, because that’s what I die to do every day, but instead, I’m having some episode or seizure, and he’s rushing to get some medicine or massaging a joint out while I scream. I literally scream. That’s not a figure of speech. But it’s necessary. And no– it’s not sexy, causing your wife more pain to prevent the even worse pain that we both know is coming in the future.
But today there is still pain because – yes –even though I can touch him today – it’s only happening due to this very rare and good day today. I’m not healed. Not by a long shot. Which means I can only touch him minimally, not as much as I want to.
And then he stretches. “Ohhh!!!” I cry out with an agonizing smile, “Are you doing that on purpose Daddy?” I call him Daddy because of the cats. He just smiles, with a giggle. He’s not. He’s not doing it on purpose. I know that. He always stretches after throwing the blanket— but he loves that I’m appreciating the view.
So I crawled in under the covers and we did our version of snuggling. We’ve perfected the technique over years of trial and error. Have you heard that saying about porcupines making love? Very, very carefully. Well, that’s us just trying to hug. But we’ve learned.
I crawled in on all fours, wide, like a crab. I sat in a position that hurt the least – today it was at his feet – and hugged his torso gingerly. I sort of tapped his belly button with my cheek. Too much pain. So I just stayed there kneeling, covers only around my ankles, and told him how good he looked. I made an attempt to touch again and kissed his (oh so amazing and warm) chest. Touch is good.
Until you can’t touch anyone or almost anything, really, except sheets and cats – you don’t realize how essential touch is. Seriously.
Then he asked about my pain, and it was right on cue. The shakes had already begun. An episode had begun because I dared to move out of my bed. And without speaking, we both begin to adjust. He starts to lift up into a better position and I start to turn around on all fours, opening up my back to his elbows. He tries to massage the new point in my spine we discovered yesterday, and I end up hugging his right leg, while he sat up, kneading my ribs and spine…
And in seconds, I’m talking to Claire.
My morning medical exam.
It may be strange to you, a wife and a husband, clutching naked in a bed, while talking to Claire Danes, who informs me her micro-bots are moving from my toes to the point in my spine where they are now needed to check on what could be the source of the greatest pain to discover what’s going on there – and I’ll admit, it’s strange to me, every time.
It happens every day. Today is no different. I’m naked, holding my husband’s leg, where I was just kissing, in a conversation with a woman who values robot life over human life (yesterday I learned she’d built a new house for the crew with rooms that turned into blenders, ‘should they get possessed.’ She’s always trying to kill them. I nixed the nuke she attached to the new house. And the automatic portal that threw the house into another dimension.)
But this morning she was giving me a health report. Even Claire can’t figure out my body. The other side had heard I was coming. And they took their best shots, many, many, many times over, before I entered the job.
Then the pain reached a height that meant our separation, and out the meds came. I was due for my next round anyway.
And then the craziness began.
I had only learned of Stephen Baldwin’s conversion that morning. I don’t really keep up on that stuff. I haven’t been to church in decades. I now understand why we left – they turned into cults. Pastors expected you in the seat every Sunday, whether you had a job on the weekends or not, they expected you to have kids, and gave you a hard time if you didn’t, and they spent their time looking outward instead of in. It wasn’t about following Jesus, or learning to trust him, but about ‘looking’ like you were whatever Christian cut out poster each church pastor decided was ‘right.’
The worst part about the church was how they treated non-Christians. As if any of us had a choice in the matter. Think back to your moment, if you’ve got His power in you, and remember if you really had a choice. But we do choose our behaviors. Making fun of evil, or those caught in it, or being abused by it, is the opposite of Christ. He went into bars. Hung out with Zacchaeus, the equivalent of a banker today, when no one else would.
He loved. He fought. Churches don’t do either today. They hate.
So I don’t watch their stuff. If you read the tenets of the Luciferian church, they aren’t all that different from the tenets of the money gospel, the pagan-based liturgy of the biggest Christian preachers today. “Pray to God, tithe (give 10% before taxes to your church) and you’ll get money,” they preach. No wonder we’ve lost freedoms in our country. No one fights for freedom anymore. No one. Especially not the church that used to shed blood over it.
Today, picking up a sword is the worst thing you could do as a Christian. Stephen Baldwin exemplifies this in his testimony.
“Where’s the crazy Christian stuff?” asked Baldwin, as he went to his first Christian bookstore. He was an adrenaline junkie, who did air jumps on motorcycles, etc. Tsk tsk. They sent him to a section with Toby Mac. Toby Mac! A musician with hip hop albums. Woo hoo.
“For who I was and where I came from, that wasn’t enough,” I watched Baldwin tell the audience. He was a millionaire actor from Hollywood. He reminded me of those on my team. I can’t imagine placing them in the church of today. They’d all leave.
“So I went to the Lord,” said Baldwin, “and said, ‘Hey! What’s the deal with, like, no cool, crazy, Christian stuff? Like, what’s up with that?’”
And the Lord said, “What are you going to do about it?”
That was twenty years ago. Now Baldwin tells people going fast is stupid. That’s the work of today’s church. My guys? Well, let’s just say Will Smith conquered his greatest fear – heights – and drop jumped himself over the Grand Canyon for his 50th birthday.
Baldwin would say, “That’s stupid.” I said, “Smith! That’s amazing!” And we had a mini-party.
But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I see a video of a celebrity noticing the huge gaping hole in the Christian literature section for ‘cool, crazy stuff’ on the morning I begin writing this book. There are no coincidences in my world.
I’d just finished telling my group that no one would read this. They would think I’m insane. Helen, the most powerful manager in Hollywood said, “No!!! I think this is perfect!” Then I thought she was a little insane.
Until I saw this clip.
I wonder what Stephen Baldwin will think of my morning meeting today? I thought. If he wanted extreme, cool and crazy Christian stuff, this is it. Can’t find more extreme than us. Maybe he’ll regret asking. Let’s see. (In the meantime, it might be time to recruit Mr. Baldwin. I’ll have to ask the Big Guy. I’ve never recruited a believer before – not a celebrity one. They usually fall in love with Him after I teach them to talk to Him. Hm. We’ll see. If so, I’ll tell you how it goes.)
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Be sure to catch the beginning of the Book of Katherine saga! It’s been made into a movie starring Amy Adams and Chris Pratt. See Book of Katherine and the Enchanted Necklace in theaters Summer 2022! Visit bookofkatherinemovie.com for theaters and premiere dates!