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Under the Same Sky

Under the Same Sky

Description : Under the Same Sky
From This World to the Next

Chapter 1

A Dubious Gift

He has always been there. That fact is as important to me as my own heartbeat.

I first saw him when we were children: a young boy with eyes as dark as rain-soaked mud, staring at me from under a mane of chestnut hair. I kept him secret, invisible to everyone but me. He should have been invisible to me as well, because he was never really there, on the same windblown land, under the same sky. We never stood together, never touched as other people did. Our eyes met, and our thoughts, but our bodies were like opposite banks of a river.

When I was little, I thought of him as just another child. One with a slow smile and gentle thoughts that soothed me, as if he held my hand. When he didn’t fade with my childhood years, I began to wonder if he were a spirit,municating through my dreams. In my heart, I knew he was more. His world was the same as mine. He was as human as I.

I was born in the year of Our Lord 1730 on a patch of grassland in South Carolina. Our pine-walled house, dried to an ashy gray, stood alone, like an island in a sea of grass. Its only neighbours were a couple of rocky hills that spilled mud down their sides when it rained. They stood about a five-minute run from our house, just close enough to remind us they were there. The house barely stayed upright during the mildest of storms, and we had no neighbours to whom we might run if it ever collapsed. When winter struck, the wind sought out gaps in the walls, shrieking around bits of cloth we stuffed into the holes. The cold pierced our skin as it had the walls, and we wrapped our bodies in dried pelts that reeked of tanned leather. Our barn offered even weaker shelter to one aged horse and a few poorly feathered chickens who, fortunately, were good layers. My father owned a rifle,...

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