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Mahalia's Children

by Christine L. Reed

Mahalia flew through the thickets of stars around the moon, spinning webs of silvery halos around the larger pearls which would become beacons to her children, Lailyn and Madelyn. The children had been lost since the dawn of the new moon. Mahalia was frantic. She had only left them for a moment to tie together two souls that were in danger of ripping away from each other.

First, she thought she might find them on the black side where they liked to count the constellations, sisters laying on their backs, giggling, as they invented new ones - but they were not there.

Mahalia's father told her they had gone to tie souls, like their mother and all mothers before her, but she thought them too young. There was more and more desperate need for this to be done and never enough hands to do it. Paired souls were tearing apart at an accelerated rate and the children had commented on how tired their mother had been, so perhaps that was it. She hated to think of them at this task at such a young age. It took so much strength and could be terribly stressful when the tying didn't hold. So she made the beacons. If she could get her children to come back, perhaps she could persuade them to wait a little longer before they started their work.

Late one evening, Mahalia spotted Lailyn. Behind her ran a stream of gold, fine and strong. She was lashing many souls together, spinning the gold between them in a tangle that surely could never be undone. Mahalia caught up to her and asked what she was doing and where was her sister?

"Mother, we are tying great groups of souls together. Two come undone too quickly, their bonds are too easily broken. When we bring many together they become ensnared in their love and it is too difficult for them to break apart. We have a great deal of work to do, there are many single ones which are very sad and lonely and have no use for their worlds. We will join them with others. We hope they survive until we get to them."

Mahalia, hearing her own determination echoed in her daughter's words, let Lailyn go. "I will spin beacons in the sky, Lailyn. Your single souls may look up to them for hope while they are waiting. Between us, we will let them know they will not be alone forever."

Christine L. Reed is the editor/publisher of Maelstrom, ( , a hard copy literary magazine and the editorial manager of Moondance. She lives in Tranquility, NJ with her three children and large stacks of papers and books. Her work has been published internationally in publications including Kimera, Zuzu's Petals Quarterly, Conspire, Recursive Angel, Niederngasse,Thorny Locust and many others.


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