Gloria Geist awoke from the dream overwhelmed by a feeling of dread. It was that same dream again and it left her feeling vulnerable, afraid and pregnant…very pregnant. She did not want to have a baby. Not now, not at this stage of her life. She was 46 years old. She had a married daughter who was expecting her first child. She had come to terms with being a grandmother before she was ready. She didn’t think she could come to terms with being a pregnant grandmother. Besides, her husband and daughter would be horrified. This couldn’t be happening, but she was pretty sure it was.
Despite her worries about how Jared and Melanie would react, the question that caused her the most distress would surely be the hardest to answer. Does this pregnancy really have something to do with that dream? Could I possibly be the girl in the dream?
For the past few months, Gloria had been plagued by a recurring nightmare; a nightmare so real and so graphic that she had begun to wonder if she had tapped into a past life. Each time she had the dream she felt more connected to it. But the realization that she was actually pregnant with a baby that could not be Jared’s shocked her into believing that she was truly linked in some mysterious way to the girl in the dream.
I call myself Earth Girl because I chose to live on earth, even though my celestial life was one of peace and beauty. I didn’t know what to expect when I came back to life on earth, but it surely wasn’t this.
After all those years drifting in the world of light and air, I wanted a sense of place. I wanted to be anchored to a body that lived in a certain place and a certain time. I didn’t realize when I volunteered to go back that I should have chosen the place and the time. I imagined the earth would be as it appears from the heavens, a place of bright beauty and abundant energy. But, the earth I returned to is a dying land, where green and blue have been replaced by brown and grey; where life itself seems to be painful and difficult; where cruelty is part of survival and only the fittest survive. Yet, once I took my earthly body, this desolate land became home, and as all human beings do, I became attached to it and I wanted to stay.
I knew that they wanted me to take my baby before it was born. They said I was too young and would not survive giving birth. There were already too many war orphans to be cared for. They didn’t have milk and food for all the babies and children whose parents had died. I wondered if they were right. I didn’t want to be a mother and I hated the man who raped me. I even hated myself for being raped. I wondered if I would end up hating the baby too. Would she be as evil as her father? The worst thing was that I wanted to tell my mother. I wanted her to comfort me, but she was dead, and now that I was safe, I could not get the image of her murder out of my mind.
Gloria, don’t be afraid. It’s me. You remember me, don’t you, Gloria? Don’t be afraid. You don’t have to die. You gave life to my baby.
That’s what I needed you to do. You don’t have to die just because I did.
Gloria, my baby needs you to take care of her. She needs you to love her because I couldn’t. Don’t die, Gloria. Don’t give up. I need you to stay alive for her. I want her to see the ocean an
d the trees and the earth before it starts to die. You must take care of her and listen to her. Gloria, please, please listen to her. I am sending her with a message for you.
A visit to an ophthalmologic specialist resulted in a visit to a neurologist, a neuropsychologist and, eventually, an invitation to appear on Oprah. Ella was considered medically blind by everyone who examined her. Yet they all had to admit that she could see. Numerous examinations of her eyes failed to detect a pupil, a developed retina or a normal iris. Two of the many eye exams detected light projecting from her eyes but other repeat exams failed to produce this effect. The neurological exams showed that vision processing centers of her brain were fully developed.
“My eyes feel like they are going to see so many sad things. My eyes are sad.”
Back to split screen. Oprah looked visibly surprised. Ella closed her eyes. Oprah hesitated before speaking.
“Did you close your eyes just now so that you don’t have to see sad things?”
“I can still see. I already told my mommy I don’t have to open my eyes to see.”
“That’s something most of us can’t do,” said Oprah looking out to the audience. “This little girl may have something to teach us all about sight.”
Ella stood beside Jared, looking at the TV screen. When the image of a large fireball burning in the ocean appeared on the TV screen Ella looked at the screen intently and then she began to cry.
“All the fish will die. Lots of animals too. The gardens won’t grow and the people will starve.”
Jared and the people around him looked at her in amazement. Ella’s eyes were glowing intensely. They illuminated her tears before they fell from her eyes onto her cheeks. Jared picked Ella up and hugged her tightly.
I Call Myself Earth Girl by Jan Krause Greene
All Gloria ever wanted was a normal life. Instead she is having recurring dreams about Earth Girl, who recounts the story of her abduction and rape. When Gloria discovers that she is pregnant, despite her husband's long absence, she begins to question her sanity. Could she really be carrying Earth Girl's baby?
Can she save her marriage while unraveling the mystery that ties her to the past and future and to a love that endures beyond time?
"Jan Krause Greene's debut novel is one of those books you just can't put down. The story is compelling and the characters keep you wanting more. Most readers will be inextricably drawn into Gloria's dilemma quickly. The plot twists and turns its way to an unexpected , but satisfying, finale. The moral heart of this intriguing tale centers on difficult issues that don't have simple answers. Greene's characters don't find the answers, but they make you hope that someone will. After you are done, you will keep thinking about it for a long, long time." Julie Mancini, Founding Director of Literary Arts Portland
Jan Krause Greene lives in suburban Boston. A former high school teacher and newspaper columnist, she uses fiction and poetry to examine life's big questions from the perspective of characters both young and old.
ISBN: 978-1-78279-049-5 | $18.95 | £10.99 | 8.5x5.5 inches | 216x140 mm | 273PP
EISBN: 978-1-78279-048-8 | $5.99 | £3.99
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