It's the Little Things...

by Lorraine Anderson

Sam stood in the middle of the bright light and looked around. As usual, he couldn't see a thing, but that didn't alarm him. In fact, he felt like he was being wrapped in a warm blanket that smelled of cinamon.

No, Sam admitted finally, I really don't want to go home. I like helping people.

Are you sure? said the concerned voice.

You promised, said Sam slowly, that you would not press me beyond my limits... yes, I am sure... You know my mind. I cannot lie here.

Ah, but, my son, said the voice, you may not lie to me... but you can still lie to yourself.

Ah, said Sam. But I wish the Leaps weren't so hard.

The hard Leaps are what I need you most on, said the voice. Still, perhaps you can help me on some simple ones...

#

"He ran his tongue over the nape of her neck as she struggled to fend him off long enough to get the lacy nightgown off. That accomplished, she threw herself into his strong arms, and they fell into the satin sheets... and slid off the bed onto the floor... "

Huh?

Sam found himself staring intently at a computer screen. Mathematics, he hoped? No such luck. It looked like the final throes of a novel... and a sexy one, if somewhat off-center, if this page was right. This page... 150, single spaced. He sighed, then paged up to the beginning of the novel.

Or was this what he was supposed to be doing? He looked around for a schedule book or any piece of paper that would indicate an appointment. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He looked around the room. Manly, rather. Sort of a hunting lodge atmosphere, with an ancient deer head mounted on a rough paneling. A smell of wood smoke. Hardwood floor andrag rugs. Rather at odds with the novel.

He saw a mirror on the wall, so he got up to look at himself. He smiled. It wasn't often he had the luxury of stretching, of relaxing, of looking in a mirror... Maybe there was something wrong with him. Tentatively, he crept up on the mirror from the side and looked.

Then sighed. He was normal. Scruffy, with a two day old blond beard, but normal. At least, in body. He shivered.

The phone rang, and Sam jumped back two feet, then sighed. What was wrong with him? Just because there was no apparent sign of trouble didn't mean he had to manufacture some.

He picked up the phone.. a cordless, he noted. "Hello?"

A woman laughed in his ear. "You sound so frightened. Did you forget I was going to call?"

"Oh. No. No!"

She snorted. "Yes, you did." She was quiet a moment. "I'm sorry. Did I interrupt you in the middle of a big scene?"

He thought back to the computer. "Not really. I was... stuck."

"Why don't you read me back your last page?"

Sam hesitated. "Oh, I don't know..."

"C'mon, read Mama Patty your story!"

"Well..." He walked the telephone over to the computer, paged back two pages and started reading. He was delighted to find it was a spy satire.

"What do you think?"

"I think it's wonderful... except..."

"Except what?"

"Except Bernard should trip when he goes in the door, twisting his ankle."

"Why?"

"If he twists his ankle, he's going to have one heck of a time seducing Charlene... but he can't show that he's hurt, or else that would blow his cover as a suave spy."

Sam thought of the possibilities. "Yeah. yeah!"

"Of course, yeah. Now write it down before you forget it. I know you."

He typed it at the end of the file, saved it, and exited the program.

"Done?"

"Done."

"Good. Now get that novel done and come back to me."

"Yes, ma'am!"

"Kisses. Love ya!"

"Love ya too!"

Sam hung up... and Leapt.

#

That was it? Sam asked

That was the change, the voice said patiently. That change made the novel a bestseller. When Patty called, John refused to read those two pages back to her, therefore she never had a chance to comment on the story.

But it was so easy!

Sometimes that's all that's needed, the voice said. Note this next Leap...

#

Sam found himself behind the wheel of a car, driving down a street. He looked in his rear view mirror. Nobody following him, and he was alone in the car. From the look of his eyes, he looked fairly young. He looked at his speedometer... geez, he was going 45 in a residential area!

He slowed down, drove two blocks... and Leapt.

#

Sam shook his head. What did I do?

You slowed the car down.

Sam smiled. And...

And when a child ran in front of the car, Tommy Beldon was able to stop in time. It scared him that he might have killed a child at his previous speed, and it scared the child into staying away from the street. Previously, however, Tommy killed the child, ruining both young lives.

I see.

Do you? The amused voice said.

#

Sam found himself at a dining room table, a half-eaten meal in front of him. He was wearing a frilly shirt, and...oh, damn, a bra. Oh, well.

He looked around. Two children were at the table... a boy about seven, with circles under his eyes, was picking at his food. A girl, about ten, with a rebellious look on her face, was sitting back with her arms crossed. A man, clean cut with a tie, was cutting his pork chops in short strokes.

"Pass the salt," the man muttered, without looking up.

Sam looked at the children. Neither of them made a move, although the salt was in front of the girl. The man looked up, annoyance on his face, and Sam picked up the salt and handed it across the table. The man glared at Sam, started to say something...

#

Sam looked around. Why did you pull me out?

Your task was finished.

By passing the salt?

By passing the salt, you transferred John Davis' anger from his daughter to his wife. If you had not done this, John would have hit his daughter, causing her to fall against a side table and breaking her neck. Instead, he hits his wife, which gives her the strength to finally leave him. She remarries, the children have had wonderful lives... and John Davis gets counseling and is happily remarried.

But I could have prevented that first blow!

In this case... no. Sandra Davis had to find the strength within herself, and not an outside force, or else she would have continued to go back to him.

I thought you were against...

...divorce? These two were joined by man, not God. But we patch where we can. And there were two direct benefits of this union.

The children... Oh. I think I see. But this Leap was so easy!

Not all of your Leaps require direct intervention. Not all of your Leaps will be that hard. You won't be pushed beyond your strength, said the voice kindly.

Thank God, muttered Sam, then he looked up and blushed.

No, thank you, my son, said the amused voice.

End