The Vision
The Vision
A World War II Soldier's Quest to Discover the Meaning of His Dreams and the Power of His Destiny
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Jared Matthews is embarking on a journey which started with a well-deserved furlough from his duties as a foreign war correspondent and pilot during World War II. Everything changes for him after experiencing a vision which seems to portray parallels of the Nazi regime he had witnessed in the 1930s, to what is yet to come in the 21st century. At the outset, he meets a beautiful girl the night he has the vision, but they part ways, possibly never to see each other again. Will he find this woman he felt so drawn to? He also seeks the help of his war buddies, and a priest who offers insightful counsel and warnings about his vision. He returns to Europe and the war, while continuing to experience more dreams and visions, along with the devastation of battle. His destiny seems certain: to warn others of what is yet to come after the war is over. The future? Another dictator, but one of pandemic and prophetic proportions.

Jared Matthews had walked the rain-soaked streets of New York City that late September night of 1943 until he felt he could go no more. As the sky continued to pour, he ached for a place to gather his thoughts. His first furlough in several months as a foreign correspondent ought to have been a fun or relaxing five days before having to head across the country for a new assignment. Instead, waking up soaked in sweat, inhaling the stale air of a cheap hotel room, fresh flashes of some sort of horrific vision still disconnecting him from this life left him feeling completely drained. He needed to find someone he could talk to, a person who could interpret all that he saw, felt, and experienced in this dream that seemed so chillingly real. His thoughts were interrupted by a light coming from a restaurant just below street level. Though it was 11:30, it still appeared open. Jared ran toward the lighted haven, ducking into the stairwell as a crashing thunder rumbled above his head. As he slipped into the doorway he was greeted by a smoke-filled, cozy café with checker board table cloths, drippy candles, and several people milling about eating, laughing, and listening to the guitar-playing entertainer sing a romantic tune. He spotted a secluded-looking booth toward the back of the restaurant and hustled his muscular frame to the red vinyl padded seat, away from the buzz of activity going on. Jared placed his face in his hands, trying to ground his thoughts, but the vision was still too real—it rattled him to his very core. Without warning a voice interrupted his thoughts.
“Welcome to Romano's Cafe!”
He lifted his face from his hands to see a perky, cute waitress in a black satin dress and white apron carrying a tray of dirty dishes.
“What ya need, sir?” she asked in a slight New York accent.
Trying to regain composure, Jared replied, “Just some black coffee, please.”
“Are you sure that’s all, sir? We’ve got the best spaghetti in town!” Her face broke into a huge smile.
“No, uh, thanks anyway. The coffee will do for now,” said Jared, giving a forced smile and trying to sound as normal as possible.
As she walked away, Jared was attempting to make sense of it all in his head. He remembered heading to bed after docking in New York Harbor and hanging out with his buddies McGee and Ryan. Though he had been on the ship a couple of weeks, he found his mind still drowning in the war stories he covered in London. He was told to report back to the United States for more orders concerning writing some stories on the home front, along with developing the copy for a couple of Newsreel broadcasts aimed at ‘letting the folks at home know what was going on overseas.’
Jared had made friends with several soldiers through his military career, especially burly, red-headed Clyde McGee and lanky, soft-spoken John Ryan, both of whom he got to know in primary, basic, and advanced training at Sampson Air Force Base in New York. They all trained as pilots, but Jared sought to be a journalist. Then the War broke out. They wound up in the same squadron initially, but Jared’s coupled duties as a foreign war correspondent and missions pilot took him other directions. Eventually, though, they all ended up on the same ship headed home, a pleasant opening to his short leave from a nineteen-month tour in Europe. This was a rarity, getting to return home for a fulough, as most soldiers were not afforded this luxury, but were only given a couple of days here and there around London, never a passage back to the U.S.. The journey was a great reunion: the three of them enjoyed playing pranks on other shipmates and being known by all to be some of the best card players in the Navy. Their gambling may never have won them money, but the exaggerated stories, corny jokes, and new-found celebrity were priceless.
When their ship arrived in New York Harbor, he went with Clyde and John to a local restaurant close to the docks. Afterward, he remembered heading to a designated hotel supplied for military men on furlough. He actually had a room to himself. What a luxury, he had reflected, after sleeping in a suspended hammock along side the other shipmates on board, or in muddy trenches on war-torn battlefields.
After parting ways with the guys, both of whom gave him a hard time for not wanting to hit the town with them to enjoy the sites and scenes of New York City, he headed straight to the hotel to go to bed. Jared was especially tired for some reason and didn’t know why. Upon arriving at the hotel, he signed in with the crotchety old desk clerk and ascended the scuffed and splintered mahogany staircase he was sure was once beautiful in this previously stately home. A dwelling to service men and some civilians, it was now a 20-room hotel. Going down a long corridor draped in soiled crimson and gold tapestry carpet, he supposed was cleaned twice daily by dedicated servants from yester-year, he found his room: number 207. Turning his key into the lock, he entered a simple but cozy room. It had an old antique wash basin, a small brass and iron bed, and a nightstand with a small lamp already lit. A large quilted blanket spread smoothly across the small soft mattress and crisp white pillows lined the headboard. Jared didn’t even bother to wash up, brush his teeth, or even change his clothes. He simply threw his duffel bag into a corner, turned off the lamp, and lay across the bed.
“Why was he so tired?” he wondered to himself. A neon light from a storefront sign outside his window intermittently flashed a green glow into his room, casting light and shadows on the wall across from his bed. He was so sleepy he simply rolled over onto his stomach, buried his head into his pillow to shield himself from the brightness of the blinking green, and immediately fell into a deep slumber. At some point, Jared was awakened by a deafening crash—it must have been an explosion. Bolting up in bed, he looked at the wall across from him. A perceived sensation of heat generated off the wall like the explosion had happened right in front of his face, as he shielded his eyes to the blast, drops of perspiration beaded-up on his forehead from the stress of whatever seemed to have just happened.
Jared was trying to gather his senses. Being in combat for too long could stir many a soldier from a restful night's sleep. Realizing he was not in combat, and not on an air or battlefield, but still in a hotel room, he saw no signs of fire. He continued to stare aimlessly at the wall, as the flashing green light on the wall shifted into a scene before his eyes, almost as if he were watching a movie—yet he felt a part of it.

ROBERT BLAKE is a compelling writer, specializing in fictional historical thrillers with prophetic implications. Though his background has included many years in the corporate world, his heart is for God, and his passion is that of a storyteller.

A picturesque novel filled with sweet romance and prophetic intrigue
Jenny Schappaugh 

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