26. Trust Me

“For our newcomers: while Tony & I are on the road, please enjoy his book, ‘Leaving the Trail’ as a weekly series in condensed form. Be sure to go back to the beginning to understand the story! If you can’t stand the suspense, simply order a copy from Amazon or write toinfo@martonpublishing.com.”

The sun was now high overhead as Fisher and Sandy trudged up the trail leading to the place called Bamah. Seth and Samuel, their two captors, ollowed closely behind, crudely fashioned spears in hand. Sandy’s foot slipped on a rock, sending her backward, and with her hands tied behind her was unable to protect herself. Fisher threw himself down beside her, trying to help. The two men watched their struggles with mild interest, but made no move to help. Eventually the couple managed to sit back to back, then pushing against one another raised themselves to their feet. Fisher took a few moments to catch his breath, then said, “This is a great way to build your abs, guys. You ought to try it sometime.”

They said nothing, so Fisher continued talking, hoping to say something which would soften their hearts. “Hey, did you know that you fellows have great names? Yeah, right out of the Bible. I’ll bet you’ve never heard of the Bible, have you? Well, there you are; a generation lost from the Way, but still tied to your roots.”

The men didn’t respond, but seemed to be listening, so Fisher went on. “Seth, now that name goes back a long way. He was the third son of Adam, who, if you don’t know, was the first man ever. In fact, a lot of folks think of him as Adam’s number one, since the first born son ended up killing the second born. Great story. I’d love to tell you about it sometime.”

They walked on in silence, then Samuel could resist it no longer. “What about my name?”

“Oh, I was hoping you’d ask,” said Fisher. “Samuel. Sahm-yu-El. It means ‘His name is God’. He became a prophet. That’s a man who goes around telling people what God wants them to know. He once told the king of Israel right to his face that God was going to judge him for his disobedience. Yes sir, there’s a name worth living up to.” Fisher stopped and turned back to face the two. “We could help you do that, you know. Both of you. God has so much for you. Not like that deceiver up there,” he said with a flick of his chin toward the top of the mountain.

The men stood quietly for a long time. Seth took a deep breath, about to say something, when a rumble of thunder rolled down the mountainside, shaking the loose stones around them. That broke the spell. “Move on!” Seth ordered.

They turned to go, and Sandy said to Fisher, “Say, let me lead for awhile, okay?”

“Sure,” said Fisher, wondering what that was all about. It wasn’t long before he saw what was on her mind, and in her hand. When she had fallen to the ground, she had picked up a stone with one sharp edge, and was working it feverishly across the ropes holding her wrists together. “Good girl,” he thought. “Never give up.”

The ropes were strong, but she seemed to be making progress. But what could she do, against two armed men? With his hands still firmly behind him, Fisher didn’t have much to offer, except maybe to trip them up when they started after her. If at least she could get away, that would be worth the effort, he decided. “You’re going good,” he said out loud, knowing that the double entendre would be missed by Seth and Samuel. “Keep up the pace. I’m right behind you.”

“Do you think you could outrun me?” she said, keeping the mood light and jovial, so as not to raise suspicion.

“Not likely, tied up like this. I’d probably fall flat on my face. Cause a traffic jam. You’d be in the next county by the time we got it sorted out.”

The trail led around the slope of the mountain and down to a narrow canyon. Strung over the canyon was a suspension bridge, standing about fifty feet above a deep running river. On the far side of the bridge, a series of steps went straight up the mountainside, all the way to the peak. At the top, stood a man, or something resembling a man. He had his back to them, and seemed to be wearing a long robe, the train extending all the way to the ground and a high collar coming up past his ears. On his head was a golden helmet, which shone brightly in the afternoon sun. Long feathers of some exotic bird adorned the top of the helmet.

When they reached the bridge, Seth and Samuel stopped and said, “This is as far as we go. You two move on.”

“Are you serious?” asked Fisher. “What makes you think we’d willingly go up there?”

“Because you know that if you don’t start walking, we’ll kill the both of you right here and carry your bodies up there ourselves,” said Samuel.

“Well, I guess I wouldn’t want you to strain yourselves,” said Fisher. “Listen guys, last chance. I’m telling you that thing up there is not your friend. He’s dedicated to the total destruction of you and everyone like you. And he’s a fake. Only God can do what this thing claims to do. Turn away from him now, or face God’s judgment.”

“Just walk,” said Seth, holding his spear up higher.

Fisher looked back at Sandy, who gave him a nod which said, “Let’s go.” They turned together and started across the footbridge, side by side.

“Sandy, I’m sorry for getting you into this.”

“You didn’t get me into anything, except into love with you,” she said. “We’ve both been called, and we both answered.”

“If that’s the Evil Man up there, and I’m pretty sure it is, then he still can’t touch us. We’re God’s children, and under God’s care,” said Fisher.

“I believe that too,” Sandy assured him. “But if he knows that, then he probably has people up there with him who are under his deception. Guys like Seth and Samuel, who will kill us if he tells them to.”

“So what do we do, Babe?”

Babe? Since when did you start calling me ‘Babe’?”

“I don’t know; it just slipped out. Sounded right at the time, I guess.”

“That’s okay,” she smiled. “I kinda like it.”

They were near the center of the bridge now, when Sandy stopped. From behind them Seth called out, “Keep moving!”

Sandy turned and said, “Do you remember the other night, when we were sitting around the fire and telling each other things about ourselves?”

“Yeah, I guess so, but …”

“Trust me,” she said, and with that gave the rope around her wrist a tug, breaking it free. Before Seth or Samuel could react, she placed her hands on the cable forming a handrail on the footbridge and vaulted over the edge.

“Sandy!” Fisher yelled as she disappeared. There was a faint splash far below as she hit the water. Seth was running as fast as he could, followed close behind by Samuel. Trust me, she said, Fisher thought, and threw himself against the cable, pivoting on his stomach for a moment before his momentum carried him over the edge and straight down to the river, his hands still securely tied behind his back.

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