His Voice from the Cross #3

MOTHER TO SON TO MOTHER
by J. Quisumbing

For the prisoner, it seemed like days that he had been hanging on the cross. In actuality, it’s been 3 hours since he was nailed to this cross. He had lost all feelings on his hands but his shoulders felt like they were out of their sockets. As to his feet, it was more a dull numbing ache until he shifts, of which, shooting pain would throb up to his knees. But it was his ripped up back that caused him the sharpest pain. For every breath, he had to push down on to his legs, making his torn back scrape against the rough splintered wood.

The hot afternoon sun was beating down on his brow, drying up the blood over his eyes, encrusting them shut. His hearing was picking up the sounds of the nearby guards and the occassional mocking insults from among the spectators.

Then, he heard an echoing female voice, like the way you would hear in a tunnel saying, “My son, my son…”

At first, it sounded distant. Then…

“My son, my son… what have they done to thee?” the voice said weepingly.

The prisoner recognized the voice right away and it was a lot closer. He cracked open one eye and had to wait for the blurring to clear. As it cleared, he saw that the guards allowed some women and a man to come very close. Amongst them was his mother.

Seeing her brought back a flood of memories.

He remembered seeing her smile as she held out her arms to catch him as he took his first steps. He recalled the many stories she told him of how the Lord’s angel came to her to declare of his coming and of how shepherds of Bethlehem came to see him newly born laying in a manger told to do so by the same angel. More memories came, but one in particular pushed forward.

It was at the time of his ‘bar mitzvah’, when his mother and step father took him for the first time to the great city to partake in the Passover. After the week long celebration was over, he seperated from his family as they ventured home, lost in his desire to seek more knowledge of his heavenly father by holding deep discussions with the religious teachers of the great Temple. They were astounded by this young boy’s questions and understanding of Scriptures. After three days, his mother and step father arrived looking for him. When they approached him, he remembered the look of worry and anguish on his mother’s face. His step father later explained about his mother’s anguish look to him that when he was a babe of 40 days, they brought him to the Temple for his dedication. They were met by an old man who was promised by God that before he died, he would see God’s salvation. He prophesied to his mother of the prisoner’s ultimate destiny which would be like a sword piercing her soul.

As the first-born, he determined to keep her safe especially after he was physically gone. His step father had passed away when he was a young man. His sisters were all married and would not be able to take care of her in her old age. His brothers… he knew with certainty… would die, one by one, by martyrdom. His mother should be spared from being alone. But who?

His eyes shifted to the man who accompanied his mother and the other women. He knew him so well and his heart lightened because he is here. He is trying to be brave but he could tell by the dampness of his cheeks, he is breaking inside. Oh, how the prisonner loved this man. He remembered when this young man first came to him. Once he was a follower of the Baptist, but after the Baptist identified the prisoner’s true identity, he eagerly sought out the prisoner. For three years, the young man followed him in his ministry through every village and every city, preaching the Good News. He became one of the chosen Twelve. From them, he was the one most beloved. And more importantly, because he alone from among the Twelve is here risking his life, he alone will not die by martyrdom. He will be perfect.

The prisoner braced his legs then pushed his torn back up against the cross to breathe. He looked at his mother and said…

Woman, behold thy son...

Then he looks at the one he loved and said…

Behold thy mother.

John 19:26–27


Author’s Note:

I really hope we can have a conversation. Please contact me here at Facebook MESSENGER by audio. Scheduled small group chats can also be organized as well. Or send me a message HERE.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #7

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

Chapter 3

The lagoon in twilight reminded Admiral Harris about another lagoon in Florida. Except for the two superstructures, Oceanus’ lagoon was surrounded by foliage, the tallests of which were a grouping of coconut trees which is a feat considering they were successfully grown in trash. The admiral was amazed by the ingenuity of the Bajau Laut to enclose each root of the coconut trees with a honeycomb-like-cage stuffed with the plastic sand which is produced by the project’s recycling plant. It was said that the roots had so entwined itselves that the trees are impervious to extreme gusts of winds.

The zodiac with it’s quiet electric motor was approaching the residential island. The island had a mound on it that rose about 30 feet over the water. On it were more of the mangroves inbetween which were dome houses with warm lights glowing through the windows. Jutting out is a floating pier with a couple of zodiacs tied off it. The admiral thought they were heading for it but then the boat veered off to the right. Anchored between the two islands were three boat houses attached together with suspension bridges.

“Hey Jona… Mae… are you setting me up in those?”

“It’s a big surprise for you, Admiral,” said Mae. “I think you’ll love it.”

The zodiac sidled up to the port side of one of the houseboats. The admiral estimated it to be about a 50 footer. Most houseboats were motorized but these were just white rectanglar floating barges. He boarded through a side entryport and was pleased to find a comfortable open design with a plush lounge set, dinette for four and a modern equipped kitchen galley. At the front was a tall floor to ceiling window and glass sliding doors that open up to an open observation deck with no sidings.

As he looked around, he was surprised to find a little Filipino woman just quietly standing in the galley.

“Ah, Merlie,” Jona said as he came in. This is Senator Reese Harris.”

She approached and extended her hand to him and said, “Hallo, Senator Harris. I am honored to be serving you at last.”

“Merlie here… when she found out that you were coming, she volunteered… no… she insisted that you’ll need her as a cook and houseservant.”

The admiral shook her hand and replied, “Thank you, Merlie. Please call me Admiral.”

Nodding her head, she said, “Senator Admiral.”

“No, no, no… just Admiral.”

“Okey dokey… sir Admiral.”

The admiral almost laughed. “Merlie? Where did you learn ‘okey dokey’ from?”

“Oh, Ms. Bree,” she gave a toothy smile. “I hear her say that all the time. Can I serve you now, sir Admiral?”

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #6

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 2 continued…

“Jona, you’re one month late,” Mae chided while giving him a welcome home hug. Then she turned to the Admiral, shaking his hand. She said jokingly, “Of course, Senator Harris, I blame you for keeping him away from me.”

Laughing out loud, the Admiral joked back, “Well, Mae… how else can I keep you apart, so that I can steal you away?” He gave her a bear hug.

Then she looked at Tony Hallbright who came over and was vigorously shaking her hand. “Hello, Dr. Quimby… I’m Tony Hallbright… department of marine biology, University of Texas, class of 2023. I am so glad to be closely working with you…” He was still shaking her hand when she slightly shifted her gaze to Jona with a glint in her eye that told him that there will be words later.

A heavy hand patted his shoulder. “I sure don’t want to be in your shoes later,” Maj. Roque chuckled softly.

“Hello Alicia… welcome to Oceanus.”

“Hello Robby,” said Alicia.

“I’m here to set you and your production crew up in your quarters and work stations.”

Robby Ramiscal looked leaner than she remembered and his hair was much shorter. She recalled running her hand through those locks. And he seems more serious, not like those wild college days.

“Jona has assigned me to give you all the assistance you’ll need,” as an after thought, he added, “…except during my usual duty routines.”

“Now, if you all follow me, your apartments are in this superstructure.” He started to lead them toward a wide entryway on the side of the hull. “

“Ah Ms. Buenaventura… I mean Alicia,” called Jona. “Please join us for supper at the residential island. There’ll be a zodiac waiting for you.”

“Ok, I’ll be there tonight. Thank you,” she said. She waved at them, then jogged after Robby and her crew who already disappeared into the superstructure.

Alicia caught up with them on the second level. As Robby climbed up the steps, she gestured for her crew to hang back a ways so she can converse with Robby.

“So Robby, you are married now.”

“Yup. Seven years now.”

“Do I know her… maybe from school?”

“Nope. I met her in Ohio.”

“Jona said you have kids.”

“Twins, to be exact… about 6 years old.”

Alicia was a little miffed at him because all he offered so far were short quips. Robby paused on deck #3, waiting for the rest of her crew to catch up.

“Ok, here in deck #3 is our sick bay,” explained Robby. “We have 2 doctors and 7 nurses on staff. Since, you are going to be with us for several months, you’ll be joining our people in mandatory first aid training.”

“What!?” exclaimed Alicia. “Wait a minute! We’re here to shoot video!”

“Ms. Buenaventura, I suggest you check your contract.”

Alicia turned to her crew and said, “Can you go ahead up to the next level?” As soon as they were out of sight. “Ok, Robby. What is with this Ms. Buenaventura crap?”

“I prefer that any interaction between you and me, we keep it professional.”

“Why are you being so distant? Once upon a time, you and I were… very close,” she purred as she reached out to stroke his face, but he took a step back.

“Alicia, you have not changed,” he said shaking his head. “When I heard you were leading the NG group, my gut told me you would be trouble. Let me reiterate something. There is no more ‘you and I’. “

He then sidestepped her and went up the steps to catch up with her crew. Alicia stood there. She was not angry, she was smiling to herself.

“Are you trouble?”

Alicia was startled to find Hallbright, the marine biologist, a few steps down the strairwell with his bulky dufflebag over his shoulder.

“I tell ya, Ms. Alicia…,” he said as he walked up the last few steps to her, “it was like I was watching some kind of soap opera.” He chuckled. “And I thought I was going to be bored here.”

“Well, Tony Hallbright… a girl needs to have some kind of fun.” She smiled demurely.

“Ho ho ho… you are a bad girl!” He chortled. He picked up her bag and they both went up to look for their quarters.

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #5

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 2 continued…

“How many people now?” asked the Admiral.

“The last count was 248. Well… it’ll soon be 249. One of our Bajau Laut ladies… ah… Mrs. Espinada… is due to give birth anytime now.”

Alicia turned the camera on Jona. “Jona, excuse me for eavedropping, but may I ask, how many of those sea gypsies did you get to join your project?” Seeing his frown, she quickly added, “No, I am not prejudice. I did a story on them some years back. The impression I got was that they were very much set in their ways.”

“Well, most are, but even among such a tight knit community, there are those that feel they need to spread their wings a lot more, so to speak. To answer your question, we have about 22 families that joined us.”

“How ever did you get them to join you?”

“Well, seven years ago, I was scuba diving off Palawan when I met this guy named Ito Ito about 20 feet underwater. I was so focused to take a picture of this nudibranch when suddenly this bamboo spear swoosh right by me and hit a very large moray eel. Apparently, this eel was going to take a big bite of my leg. I turned around to see this small skinny guy with no scuba gear except for goggles, a wooden flipper on one foot, a makeshift speargun and get this… white underwear with red hearts all over it.” There was laughter all around including Hallbright who was listening also.

Jona continued on, “Anyway, we got to talking in the dive boat I was staying in. He told me about how he used to belong with a sea gypsy clan in the Sulu Sea until they exiled him because of religious differences. So, he and his family have been living a nomadic life. He was such an expert of survivinging entirely off the sea that I told him that I wished I had about a hundred like him for my project. When we parted, I thought I’d never sea him again. Two years later, when we launched the rings into the water, about thirty bancas with multicolored sails appeared into San Miguel Bay. It was Ito Ito, his family and 21 other exiled families like him. It took him about a year to seek them out and assemble them together. Then, they took a year to sail their fleet of boats to reach us.”

“Attention everybody,” piped-in the Pilot, “…we are about to land. Please buckle up.”

The chopper descended on the heliport which was situated right next to the stern superstructure. It didn’t take too long for them to land and as soon as the whirring of the engines decreased, the crew chief went past them to open the rear cargo hatch.

Jona was off his seat as soon as the crew chief gave the clearance. First, he helped Alicia with her bags then got his own and he led them off the chopper. Waiting for them was his wife, Mae and Robby Ramiscal. Also there waiting were Bryce and Bree Grover, a brother and sister team incharge of the multiple agri and aquacultural projects.

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.

OCEANUS ADVENTURE #4

A Fictional Series by J Quisumbing

CHAPTER 2

“Oceanus… a Titan from Greek mythology,” Hallbright said.

“Yes,” said Jona. “He was the Titan god of the river Okeanos, which was believed to encircle the world and connect the earth to the heavens and the underworld. Anyway, Oceanus is an artificial floating atoll and it is all floating on… trash!”

“Trash! Incredible!” said an excited Hallbright, “I recalled watching videos of a floating island made of thousands of recycled plastic bottles in the Caribbean coast of Mexico… built by… ah… Reishee Sowa.”

“In fact, his designs and experiences were a large factor into the workings of the Oceanus Project,” explained Jona. “Of course, our floating creation is a lot more extensive than Mr. Sowa’s little island.”

“To what end?” asked Alicia who had her camera on him.

“The Oceanus Project is not just a floating city. She is our answer to the Great Pacific garbage patch. Now, before you ask any questions, the pilot is going to orbit Oceanus twice and then we will land. Enjoy the view.”

As Alicia turn the camera on Oceanus, she zooms in for a better look. Jona called it a floating atoll. By definition, an atoll is a ring-shaped reef that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. This is definately ring-shaped and it brought to mind another man-made atoll in Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah; except that this one floats. As they orbited closer, she saw that there were actually two rings; the outer ring of which is narrower than the inner. Both rings had foliage. As they came closer, she recognized that the foliage on the outer ring were mangroves. The inner ring seem to have more variety of foliage including the recognizable palm and coconut trees.

‘How in heaven did they get mangrove and coconut trees to grow on floating trash?’ she thought. ‘A definate question to ask later.’

By the look of it, the diameter of Oceanus is about twice the length of one of those supertankers, about 4000 feet or so. The rings, however, did not form a complete circle, however. In actuality, the atoll is made up of two arcs, their ends of which were attached to two superstructures, one of which seem to be the bow of a freighter which was cut in half.

On the other end was another superstructure but a lot more different from the bow. As the chopper flew by it, she saw that this superstructure was about nine stories high above sea level. The structure itself is built up on twin catamaran hulls, but by the look of the darker colored waters underneath there seem to be more underwater. The opening between the hulls is the gateway into the lagoon. By the look of it, a sailboat can go through it with space to spare. Now, the chopper was giving them a better view of the lagoon.

“I see that you expanded the inner side of the ring,” it was the Admiral’s voice.

Alicia saw that from the inner side of the ring, the floating land roughly extended out. On it were about twenty or so dome huts.

“Well, the villagers needed more ground space for their cottage industries,” Jona said. “They’re quite enterprising. Did you know that the women figured out how to convert seaweed into toilet paper? We are slowly and surely becoming less reliant to outside supplies.”

“What’s that big island?”

“That’s the staff’s residence island. That’s where we will be staying.”

Alicia panned the camera to the big island mound near the bow. On it were six dome structures encircling a larger double decked structure also with a dome roof.

“The smaller island is still under construction,” said Jona. “That will be eventually fused with the residence island.”

To be continued…

PREV


Note from the author:
Oceanus Adventure is a fun effort on my part to enter the wonderful world of creative writing. It’s a story of a group of people who launched themselves into the Pacific Ocean on an artificial island to solve the Great Pacific garbage patch. My hopes is that this will end up into a TV series.

Comments and idea suggestions will be most welcomed. I hope you enjoy.