Lightning Struck

Learning About Life, Death, and Zen

It was nighttime and Billie was asleep. After band practice and everything, he decided to not practice his powers anymore. The rest of the day was normal. Now he dreamt yet again of the cloudy place and he was riding the black and white griffin. He landed and saw Zen. She was reading a book, but making it levitate and using her powers to turn the pages. In her hands she held a black jewel.

She looked up as he walked over to her. The book closed and the jewel fell from her hands.

She stared at him before saying, "What are you staring at?"

"That jewel. That black jewel you were just holding." Billie was transfixed by its flawlessness and there was just something about it that mystified him. It seemed to beckon him and yet he sensed something ill and foreboding about it.

"I wasn't holding anything as far as I was aware of," Zen said slowly, "And neither do I see anything. But maybe I wasn't meant to see it and that is why only you can." Billie ripped his gaze away from the jewel and looked at her. "Well go pick it up. If only you can see it, than it must be for you to have, whether or not you may like it."

Billie eagerly picked up the black jewel. He knew he probably shouldn't be so happy to have it, but it was just irresistible. It could just barely fit on the palm of his hand.

"Some things in life you can't avoid, death being one of them," Zen spoke quietly, "You may have escaped it once, but no matter what you do, it will get you. If Death gets you, I fear something bad will happen to you after death. Something that will last forever. Death doesn't like to be cheated, but I don't think you were ready to go. He was trying to get you too soon. As long as Death doesn't kill you, you should be okay after death, but if he does... I fear he has something bad planned for you."

Billie felt awkward. "Well, who exactly are you? I mean, what do you do?"

"My name is Zen and I keep the balance over everything, mainly Life and Death," Zen explained, "Death is aggressive and is devastating. He always wants more deaths to feed him his power. Life, meanwhile, gets her power by giving away new life. Both have their special attributes and I have both of their attributes and more. Besides being the balance of Life and Death, I also am the balance of everything else. I mainly observe and sometimes give a gentle push or pull on something when it starts going too far."

"The reason why you are here right now," Zen continued, "is because I am going to teach you some of what you can do now with your powers. I know you have already tried and mastered levitating and started mastering accomplishing things with thought and will. Right now I am going to show you how you can use the elements, another thing I have control over." Zen sat down and put her right foot on top of her left thigh and vice-versa. She rested her hands on her knees and sat up straight. "Sit like I am. First we need a calm mind so the elements don't get out of control."

Billie obeyed and sat down. He was more flexible than he thought he was and could easily manage the position. He couldn't help but ask, "Is this yoga or something?"

"Yes," Zen replied.

"Don't you like put your thumb and middle finger together and hum or something when you do this?"

"The hand symbols mean certain things and the humming vibrates through your body. Neither are necessary. For now we are just breathing slowly and deeply, letting go of any emotions. Close your eyes if you need to"

Billie Joe found it hard to do, even with his eyes closed. He was feeling very stressed at the moment. Everything was happening too fast. But somehow, after breathing slowly and deeply, he was able to feel calm.

"Are you ready to learn how to deal with water?" Zen asked.

Billie took another breath in... And then out. "Yes, I am."