Kaitlin's Message

Kaitlin's Message

by Arthur Telling


Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Literature & Fiction/Metaphysical, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

Master or apocalyptic zealot?

Our story begins at the “Med”, a vintage Berkeley café hangout for college kids and old-timers. On a fine Saturday morning first date, the atmosphere soon changes as two young lovers, Robert and Kaitlin, clash in an angry spat over their contrary religious beliefs: Kaitlin Christian, Robert an atheist.

Torn by his love for Kaitlin and disdain for her dogmatic religious views, Robert sets his mind on cracking the ancient riddle of the Crucifixion, and is led into uncharted territories and an astounding revelation.

Sample Chapter

“This place always gives me the creeps,” Kaitlin said as she parked her car along Dwight Way at Telegraph. An eerie feeling came over Robert. He was remembering the final remnants of a dream he had experienced that morning, an image of Kaitlin hanging from a Cross, crucified upside down. He had gazed at it, running his eyes across and down, and was seeing it once again, here in his imagination; her slender legs spread wide apart, arms stretched tight down below her head, golden blond hair dangling from head to hands below, despair and ecstasy upon her face, eyes pleading – let me live, let me feel. “Yeah, creepy,” Robert whispered, lowering his eyes down toward the floor of Kaitlin’s car, wondering if this strange morning vision was indicative of his private imagination.

The two young students stepped out from Kaitlin’s car and looked at the grassy city-block sized area that lay before them, Peoples’ Park, made famous by a Nixon-era battle between locals and Governor Ronald Reagan’s National Guard. Center and foremost is the park’s grassy field, cleanly mowed and well maintained, at front a rudimentary stage made from wood planking, colorfully painted by the Berkeley natives who populated the park, a ‘60’s hippies peace and love era homemade look, there for use by Berkeley’s aspiring rock musicians and by the occasional professional rock or blues group, and by the many angry speakers and orators voicing some particular cause. Somebody had actually died there back when; Berkeleyans had taken over the University owned vacant lot and created the park, a “peoples’ park,” where anyone could run on the grass, plant flowers, use drugs, or crash out for the night. Now it was something of an historical monument, preserved as a park forever, with the grass, flowers, drugs, and drifters.

Kaitlin looked about, nervously fidgeting her hands, and this troubled Robert; for Kaitlin rarely visited Berkeley’s quirky South side and she wasn’t usually in the habit of stepping over people using the sidewalk for a pillow. Yet regulars had not yet arrived and the street was nearly deserted, a lone street-bum laying on the grass near to the car, leaves and small twigs woven into his long and unkempt hair, a dirty brown jacket serving as his blanket, asleep, oblivious to what was happening around him. Robert and Kaitlin walked down the quarter block and turned toward the shops, careful to avoid a shattered beer bottle on the sidewalk.

A shop-owner was sweeping the sidewalk next door. “Mornin’,” he said in a deep voice with a hearty Black-American accent.

“Morning,” Robert said, a jubilant feeling welling up within him.

“It’s going to be a fine day today, fine day,” the man said, pushing his broom out toward the street.

“Yeah,” Robert said, and the pair walked on. The sun was well over the horizon, and the stores along the street cast sharp, jagged shadows on the sidewalk. Kaitlin’s high-heels made a clicking sound as the two walked on, birds chirping in the trees overhead. Robert loved the peaceful feeling of the quiet waking morning, and was hoping Kaitlin was feeling it too. He sensed a oneness developing between himself and her and wondered if it was love. They stood together for a moment watching as street vendors were arriving and setting up tables along a six-block long area on Telegraph Avenue where later they would sell homemade beads, t-shirts, bumper stickers, paintings, and whatever else could be imagined.

“Let’s go to the Med,” Robert said, breaking the quietude and quaint morning spell. The Mediterraneum is a large coffee shop on the Avenue with a Greek restaurant at the back. Like Peoples’ Park, it has its own history, dating back to the 1960s film The Graduate in the scene where actor Dustin Hoffman follows after Elaine when she runs from the restaurant and jumps on a bus to Oakland. But Kaitlin was not running from Robert on this late early-morning.

“Okay,” Kaitlin said, hesitating, her response dry, their warm moment fading.

Robert led Kaitlin into the restaurant, its bottom floor large and spacious, a high ceiling twice that of usual, round tables down the main isle, large enough to seat four, square ones of equal size along the side next to the wall, all with solid marble tops showing cracks about the edges and corners, revealing a vintage history, spaced far apart, providing patrons ample room to mill about and not brush against the seated customers, as is historic with this restaurant where reputable longstanding street vendors sometimes sell poetry and other things inside the cafe. Adorned on the walls were large but simple paintings from Greek mythology, the Cyclops most prominent, an evocative mood emanating from the four walls and from the prominent one-foot square black and white tile checkered floor below.

Robert and Kaitlin walked to the counter and stared at the coffee menu on the wall. Just about any kind of European coffee could be bought here. Robert ordered the café Negro. Kaitlin ordered a latte.

“A bianco is coffee with cream,” Robert explained to Kaitlin, but she didn’t seem to care. Robert was handed his coffee, a white ceramic cup with a wide rim and a saucer. They sat down at a small table near the back.

A fine radiant feeling came upon Robert, but Kaitlin still was nervous, fidgeting her hands and looking about. This was the place where Robert did his reading, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Hume; the great philosophers. He liked it, the casual atmosphere, the familiar returnees and frequent new faces. Regulars here had survived the problems of the peace and love generation, grown old, and accumulated at these tables. Some had been famous: Poet Alan Ginsberg had sipped coffee here, as had San Francisco newspaper heiress and kidnap victim Patty Hearst, or so the café’s advertising brochure read. But Kaitlin was not quite so much the Berkeley type, more comfortable at the mall, shopping at JC Penney’s, or sitting at McDonald’s sipping a coke. But there aren’t any malls in Berkeley. It is an old city with no place to grow, and its historically radical city hall had largely prevented the big chains from moving in.

Kaitlin’s latte appeared at the counter in a tall clear glass. Robert jumped from his chair and fetched it. Kaitlin looked more comfortable now, stirring her drink, yet Robert’s mind drew a blank, he had nothing to say. To just sit and enjoy the ambiance of Kaitlin’s company would have suited him fine, but Kaitlin was of a different mindset. They were supposed to be talking, maybe about school or sports or some peculiar thing that happened last weekend. Will Cal’ win the ballgame? Who cares? The two sat for a while in an uneasy peace, saying nothing, Robert scanning an increasing line of people waiting at the counter, observing the patrons carefully, watching their eyes, their mannerisms, wondering what each of them was thinking. Gazing about the room, his eyes wandered upon the Cyclops painted on the wall of the Med, and his one great moment of opportunity opened.


Excerpted from "Kaitlin's Message" by Arthur Telling. Copyright © 2014 by Arthur Telling. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Arthur Telling

Arthur Telling

Arthur Telling has written numerous stories and articles on religion, philosophy, and metaphysics, and has authored several books. His articles are regularly appearing in online magazine including August 2016-B issue “’Son of Man’ May Not Have Been Jesus”. His article, “A Different Jesus Message” was published in the Nov. 2011 AMORC online Rosicrucian Digest. His Article answering the question "How are the mind and brain related?" appeared in January/February 2008 edition of British Journal Philosophy Now. His website is:

View full Profile of Arthur Telling

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