top of page

WolfSinger Publications

Don't Write What You Know;

Write What You Care About -- Passionately!

God's Gift
- Dana Bell

Major  Larry Henry had never expected to hear those words spoken by an alien  race. Let alone one with sharp claws and fangs they used for hunting and  from their colony, Larry and the rescue party made the astonishing  discovery they weren’t alone on Galilahi.

Yet Kal had hinted there were secrets being kept from the colonists.  Both his friend’s sister and Susanna’s husband had been killed in hover  accidents. The civilian and military leaders made a show of agreeing in  public while Larry knew about the conflicts between them. Susanna had  made discoveries about the dark fates of earlier colonies. Not to  mention a jump in technology which should have taken centuries of  evolution not just a few decades.

Now stranded on Galilahi with no way to relocate or return to Earth,  Larry found himself wondering if the human colonists could co-exist with  the feline natives or if human history would repeat itself.

Or did the God Larry believed in and trusted, have another plan none of them knew about?


Purchase Directly from WolfSinger Publications
(Trade Paperbacks ship from Amazon)

Trade Paperback

Retail Price $12.95 WolfSinger Price $12.00


Retail Price $4.95


Additional Purchase Links

Trade Paperback


Various eBook Retailers


Chapter 1

Why does it always rain at funerals like on the holos? Lawrence wondered as he watched the dark cherry casket slowly lowered  into the rain soaked ground. Lightning flashed overhead followed by  crackling deafening thunder. He saw his sister flinch at the noise and  he reached over to gently touch her shoulder. Susanna gave him a  grateful smile as tears ran down her pale face.

Not  for the first time, he wondered how God could have been so cruel and  taken away the only man who had understood his brilliant sister. Gary  Gates had loved her and been willing to marry her despite all the  traveling her career demanded. Unfortunately, the two had met while  she’d been working in London and the rest of the family had not gotten a  chance to get to know him very well.

Water  dripped over the edge of the black umbrella he held. Larry shook it  glad, because of the damp chill, he’d insisted on wearing his woolen  uniform rather than the rented dark suit his mother had tried to  convince him was better.

“Do not mourn as unbelievers do,” the pastor began.

At  least this preacher didn’t do the usual ‘ashes to ashes, dust to dust’  speech. Larry guessed the man must be from a list provided by the  funeral home since he didn’t know him from their regular church.

“Rather remember that we have hope, while others do not,”

Interesting interpretation of Thessalonians,  Larry thought. Lightning flashed again, thankfully not overhead as  before. The rain began to fall harder and boiling thunder rolled over  them echoing against the mountains.

The  preacher raised his voice to be heard over the rumbling. “Know that we  will not go before the dead. Instead, when Christ returns, we who are  still alive will be changed and those buried transformed. Forever will  we be with the Lord.” He closed his Bible. “Comfort each other with  these words.”

He’d  left out many important details in the verses, yet got the gist  correct. In all honesty, Larry couldn’t fault the man. Maybe he’d  hurried the grave side services because of the downpour.

There  was a brief moment before everyone began drifting away from the soon to  be covered grave. Susanna knelt down tossing a bit of thick mud on the  casket. She held out her hand and allowed the rain to wash it clean.

The  other guests hurried across the wet grass and crawled into their round  domed hovers. Their faces reflected their relief to get out of the  storm.

He envied them. His was coming.

“Thank  you, for being here, Larry,” Susanna said. She looked washed out in  black. The color did not compliment her fair complexion.

“You know I’ll always be here.”

“All I have to do is ask.” She kissed his cheek. “I haven’t forgotten.”

He’d  made her that promise when they’d been children. He was her older  brother and felt it was his duty to protect her. It had been one of the  many reasons he’d joined the Air Force.

A faint rumble, different from the thunder, shook the ground under their feet, followed by a sharp crack. He frowned.

“It’s  getting worse,” Susanna commented before joining their parents at the  old fashioned black limo. The wipers were working furiously to keep the  front window clear.

Worse?  He shuddered. At first, the tremors had been confined to only Wyoming.  Now they were spreading. The faint quake they’d just felt confirmed what  he’d only been hearing rumors of for weeks in Cheyenne mountain.

“How long do we have, Lord?” he asked, trudging through the soaked grass to join his family.

The  four rode in silence back to the Victorian house. His parents lived in  what had once been an upscale neighborhood in Colorado Springs. Theirs  wasn’t rundown like many had become nor overrun with drifters looking  for temporary work as they headed south and hopefully, safer location.

Downtown  had become much like Denver. The Springs now had high rise towers  filled with not just condos, but shops, hospitals, parks, schools, and  anything else a person could want. Many living there never saw anything  but artificial light. They were born, raised, lived in, died and were  cremated without ever stepping outside. Their pretend ‘safe lives’  saddened Larry.

Of  course, some of those living in the mountain weren’t any better. Larry  wondered when the idea of isolated lives had become popular and the  norm. Some of his college profs, many whose classes he’d taken via the  Web, speculated it had started with the advent of personal computers,  cell phones, the Internet, and the many inventions complimenting them.

“Larry,” his mother’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “Coming?”

He  nodded and crawled out of the limo, making the brief dash from the  street to the protective porch overhang. His youngest sister, Jeanine,  gave him a smile as he entered the house. She’d stayed home to greet  anyone coming by to offer their condolences or drop off food.

“Glad I didn’t go,” she commented as the house shook from the storm’s fury.

“You never did like to get wet.”

“Nope.” Her brown eyes lit up as she grinned. “Too much like a cat.”

“Speaking of which, where is Leopaldi?”

“Leli is probably hiding under the bed. That’s what he usually does.”

Leli  was his sister’s pet name for the orange tabby who had just ‘moved in’  with his parents. The bedraggled feline had shown up on their front  porch and his mother hadn’t had the heart to take him to the animal  shelter.

“Anyone leave anything good?” Larry carefully removed his uniform jacket and hung it up in the coat closet.

“Always thinkin’ with your stomach.” Jeanine headed through the archway to the kitchen.

“Why not,” he replied as he followed. “Why do you think I joined the Guard?”

“Oh,  I don’t know.” She wrinkled her pug nose at him. “Because you thought  the Air Force would be a great place to convert souls.”

“Don’t  tease him, Jeanie,” Susanna said as she entered the room. Her eyes  scanned the many covered dishes. “At least there’s some fruit salad.”

“Let me get you a bowl,” Jeanine offered, pulling a rose patterned dish from the antique cupboard. “Want a plate, Larry?”

“Sure. Thanks.”

The  three siblings filled their bowls or plates, grabbed drinks, and  retired to the red rose wall-papered dining room. Their parents soon  followed and they ate in near silence. Not something they usually did,  as Larry recalled.

“What are you going to do now, Susanna?” he asked to break the quiet.

“I’ve had an offer,” his sister answered, pushing aside her partially eaten salad.

“From  whom?” Deep in his gut Larry feared it might be somewhere that would  take her far, far from home. He reached over trying to tell her silently  she needed to stay close to family right now.

She covered his hand with hers. “Classified.”

“Always  the problem,” their father, Lige, spoke up from his normal place at the  head of the table. He looked older today, his wrinkles more pronounced,  accented by thinning gray hair.

“That’s the way it is, Dad.” She frowned. “I thought I’d explained that.”

“Explained, yes.” Their father scowled. “Still ain’t right.”

“No such word as ain’t,” Jeanie chimed in.

“You mind your manners, girl.”

Their  mother, Callie, interrupted before their father went off on the  familiar rant about the ill-mannered youth nowadays. “Do you want to  take the offer?” Her brown eyes reflected her concern. No doubt she was  as worried as Larry was about Susanna leaving her family, just when she  really needed them.

“I don’t know. They were going to let me take Gary.” She caught her breath and rapidly blinked her eyes.

He’d  been right about the very far away part. When Susanna had spent a year  in Germany, the company who had contracted her had allowed her to take  her husband along. Another European company had paid either for her  flight or Gary’s back and forth to New York every two weeks.

“Do you want to take it?” Larry held his breath afraid of her answer.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” she replied, shakily picking up her glass of water and taking a sip.

“You need your family right now,” their father said.

“Dad,”  Larry wanted to stop the tirade he knew was coming. “We can’t stop  Susanna from living her life.” Much as he hated to he added, “If this is  a wonderful opportunity, we have no right to stop her.”

Susanna gave him a grateful smile while their mother nodded her agreement.

“Always ganging up on me,” their father grumped.

“You live in the really olden days, Dad,” Jeanine piped up with an impish grin.

“They were better.”

Larry  shook his head. His father had grown up on a farm in the middle of  Kansas, safe from all the violence of first, the Race Riots caused by  the rise of Oriental and Hispanic populations producing an abundance of  willing low wage workers. The educated working class had rebelled,  rioting in the streets and burning government buildings, which had been  quelled by force and unfulfilled promises.

The  outcome later spawned the Class Wars because the privileged wealthy had  no intention of giving up what they thought they were ‘entitled’ to.  Companies had continued to produce only low wage, dead end jobs.  Resentful workers had again rioted, storming mansions and killing entire  families.

It  had taken the election of President Malcolm Smith, a strong, principled  Christian leader to stop the violence. Instead of calling out the  National Guard, he had forced through legislation, with much opposition  from Congress, forcing employers to adhere to what they considered  ‘archaic’ ideas on how to treat workers. The result had been a sudden  booming economy and happy, productive workers.

Smith  had been called both a visionary and a nut case, yet none could argue  with the outcome. He’d been the first of many Christian leaders, pulling  the country back to the foundation on which it had been founded and  dedicated.

After  Smith’s re-election, Lige Henry had moved his family from the farming  community in Kansas to Colorado Springs. Larry’s life had been made  easier by what had happened in DC and he was very grateful to their  leaders.

What threatened everything which had been accomplished were the quakes creeping farther

and  farther south and the impending blast from the Yellowstone super  volcano. Estimations from the nation’s scientists kept changing, but all  agreed it could be within just a few years.

And that made Larry wonder how much his sister really knew about the threat hanging over them all.

“I’m going to go lie down,” Susanna announced, pushing back her chair and getting up.

“I  put you in your old bedroom,” their mother told her. A smile touched  the older woman’s lips and for just a second, Larry got the image of  what Susanna might look like at the same age, with white hair and laugh  wrinkles around her mouth and eyes.

“Thanks, Mom,” she said. Larry knew Susanna had arrived very early from her latest assignment and probably hadn’t had any sleep.

“Has been a long day,” Larry agreed, gathering up his dishes and grabbing his sister’s as well.

“Learned some things in the military, have ya?” Jeanine teased.

He  grimaced remembering his younger days when he’d left all the ‘household  duties’ to the women of the family. “Could say that,” he mumbled, going  back into the kitchen. He set the dishes in the washer, making a mental  note to help his father repaint the room over the weekend, and ambled  upstairs to change out of his uniform. Meticulously he put them back on  the hanger reminding himself to retrieve the jacket downstairs. Grabbing  sweats he threw them on and tucked his feet into an old pair of  slippers his mother kept trying to find and throw out.

“You decent?” Susanna called as she knocked.

“Thought you were going to lie down?” He opened the door and leaned on the jamb.

“I  am.” Nervously she bit her lip. “I have a question for you.” He nodded  for her continue. She took a deep breath. “You have security clearance  right?”

“Mid-level.” He wondered why she was asking. “Have to, in order to prepare meals for the brass. That your question?”

His  sister gave him a half smile. “No. What I’d like to know,” she paused.  “If you had your choice of assignments, where would it be?”

“Susanna, I’m lucky to have what I do. Puts me close to my family and my church.”

“That wasn’t my question.”

“Why ask?”

“I’ve got my reasons.”

“I’m perfectly happy with how things worked out.”

Her golden brown eyes met his dirt tinged ones. “But if it were possible?”

“God  made the decision for me.” He’d asked for what he’d really wanted and  had been assigned to Cheyenne Mountain instead. Larry had been  disappointed at first, yet after being there for awhile and being close  to his folks and younger sister, he’d decided God knew best.

“Sometimes, and you taught me this, God makes us wait for what we want.”

“I’m fine with how things worked out.” He leaned over and kissed Susanna’s forehead. “Go lie down, sis. You’ve had a long day.”

She  nodded, giving him a curious look before ducking into her old room. He  shook his head wondering what she had been talking about. No doubt it  had to do with whatever her new offer was, or maybe not. Susanna did at  times go off on tangents that were hard to follow—came with the  territory of her high IQ.

He  closed his bedroom door and grabbed his Bible. The storm rattled  overhead and he could hear the rain plopping against his bedroom window.  Larry dropped down on his bed and opened to Psalms. He couldn’t  concentrate on the words. The day’s funeral played through his mind and  although he hadn’t known Gary well, he mourned for his sister’s loss.

Dear Father, why?

bottom of page