Welcome to Brighton Bits, short short stories about the people, places and things in and around the fictional village of Brighton, New Hampshire.
Geologists say that energy vortices crisscross the earth. Rumor has it that those swirling centers of energy lead to healing or even to enlightenment. You’ve no doubt heard of places like Sedona, Stonehenge and Easter Island. But there also exists hundreds of lesser-known sites.
Brighton happens to sit on an intersection of ley lines that make it seem alive with energy. Visitors leave not quite knowing why they felt so good in Brighton. A fact that, of course, Regina Buchanan, Brighton’s fearless advocate, uses to her advantage to make Brighton a thriving tourism center.
Legend has it an angel appeared to the Earl of Candlewick one Christmas Eve and offered grace to a sinner who felt he deserved none.
Some people say the church is situated on that Brightonian energy vortex and that’s why the healing transformation took place.
The truth is that on that fateful Christmas Eve, the church was locked and the Reverend Father Bright was asleep in his bed in the small house across the street. So, the Earl laid down on a granite slab beside the church, exposing himself to the brutal cold of the night. There, he awaited his fate, a fate he felt he deserved for failing to act as a steward for the people who died in a fire in a mill he owned.
And that’s where the angel appeared to him on that clear night as the Earl stared at the star-studded sky with true repentance in his heart.
“When you wake on the morrow,” the angel said, bright light spilling from his being, filling the clearing as if it were midday, “the lost souls will reappear.As long as your heart remains true, the star will shine every Christmas Eve for a full day and these souls will live.”
“One year for every soul you took.”
“One hundred,” the Earl said, his heart aching.
“Should the light not glow on Christmas Eve, you will know you have failed. You will die…and take all the souls of Brighton with you.”
The Earl scrambled to his knees and, hands intertwined at his heart, he begged, “No, please. It’s too much responsibility. I can’t go through this again.”
“Should you make it to a hundred years, your debt will be repaid, and the lost souls of Brighton will live on.”
A vortex of light spun, making a noise like none the Earl had ever heard. And then, as quickly as it had come, the vortex receded into the stone. In front of him lay a multi-faceted glass star as big as a carriage wheel. Its heart pulsed with a golden light, making the glass alive with unimaginable colors.
The Earl, weak with hunger and cold, gathered the precious star in his arms, and vowed, “I swear on all that is holy, I will do good by these people. I will earn back their souls.”