To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.


The king shall joy in Thy strength, O LORD; and in Thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.

For Thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: Thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.

He asked life of Thee, and Thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.

His glory is great in Thy salvation: honour and majesty hast Thou laid upon him.

For Thou hast made him most blessed for ever: Thou hast made him exceeding glad with Thy countenance.

For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.

Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.

Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

Their fruit shalt Thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.

For they intended evil against Thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.

Therefore shalt Thou make them turn their back, when Thou shalt make ready Thine arrows upon Thy strings against the face of them.

Be Thou exalted, LORD, in Thine own strength: so will we sing and praise Thy power.


Nocturne’s Reaping® : Prelude


Chapter 8


The questions were pointless; Lark didn’t know the answers. Yet, for some reason they were inclined to believe in her guilt anyway.

“This is good,” Lark thought. There was no point in both she and Celeste ending up in prison. It was the fault of that guy Celeste talked about and Lark’s fault for being a burden. Besides, Lark was just a child, and Celeste was an adult. Surely Lark’s punishment would be less severe than Celeste’s.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well with the judge. Since Lark was not forthcoming with the location of the diamond broach, she was deemed unrepentant. Apparently, throughout Lark’s life she hadn’t been told how seriously theft, especially of high cost items, was considered by the government of this colony. Why would she have been made aware? Her parents had been capable of providing for her needs, and she was told stealing was wrong. Then, there was the fact that Lark had never even had access to anything as valuable as the diamond broach.

Panic began to set in as the judge pronounced the sentence. Lark would, in fact, be sent to Prison Colony Beta — an adult prison colony. There were audible gasps in the gallery, but an example was to be made. Lark’s generation had to be sent a message; she was going to pay.

Prison Colony Beta was another thing Lark wasn’t familiar with. Yet, the bright girl was quick enough to put it together based upon the reaction of those around her; Lark’s life was over. She would never leave Prison Colony Beta alive. As Lark was led away in cuffs, she looked around the gallery. Though there were many sympathetic faces, there was no one there for Lark. No one would intervene on her behalf.

Lark’s public defender had managed to obtain permission for Lark to take a few of her shoebox treasures with her — the ones deemed harmless.




Officer Twelve had left the blinds open, so the sun streamed into her room as it rose. She noted how much she missed the sunlight when she was in space.

“The light is truly beautiful,” she thought.

“Well, Cinnamon, I may as well get ready.” she spoke aloud. “I have to get those supplies before we leave here. Who knows when that will be.”

Officer Twelve climbed out of bed and proceeded to change out of her white nightshirt and into her uniform. After she locked up her room, she mixed in with the other crew members, who had come back on board the night before but were departing again.

One of the things Officer Twelve appreciated about the members of her crew was that they were used to her uniform. The same couldn’t be said about other people. Much to her dismay, every time she went somewhere new there would be stares. Still, somehow it didn’t seem as though they were staring at her.

Officer Twelve decided to put in the order for the supplies at a local store. They could assemble the order, and she could pick it up later. She figured it would be less awkward than maneuvering through a crowd of shoppers in her uniform.

“Now what?” Officer Twelve wondered as she stepped out of the store and into the sun.

Perhaps a walk would take up some of the time. Officer Twelve walked a familiar path down some streets, in front of some houses, and by a church. Unfortunately, any feelings Officer Twelve had about these places were buried so deep that she couldn’t feel them — or at least wouldn’t allow herself to feel them. It probably didn’t help that life had moved on without her. Officer Twelve sighed. It was about time to pick up the supplies. That is, after all, what she set out to do when she woke up that morning. Then, she’d head back to her ship.

When Officer Twelve had time off, she usually spent it reading reports and star maps. The research had proven quite useful over the years. She also liked to learn about places she might see one day. After the atmospheric regulators had been deemed reliable, new colonies were constantly being set up. It amazed Officer Twelve how every colony always had a distinctive feel. Even if the buildings and layout were the same, the people were different. Things always go a different way from the way you’d expect when people are involved. Such was the way with Colony 9. If a place got in your blood, then it became more important than it would be otherwise. Maybe there was somewhere else that Officer Twelve could attach to, somewhere without the memories. Well, at least she had her ship.

Officer Twelve boarded the ship about an hour later. As the night began to descend, Officer Twelve was surprised by how bright the streetlights had become. Not long afterward, crowds began to mill around. Officer Twelve went to the window and sat in the chair next to it. It occurred to her then that some kind of street festival was going on. They had strung multicolored party lights between the streetlamps. Cinnamon came up and jumped in Officer Twelve’s lap. Officer Twelve petted her as she watched the people go by.

It was then that she saw her. A flash of recognition caused a jolt of emotion in Officer Twelve. This emotion created an impulse to stand. She carefully set Cinnamon down upon the ground. She then ran from the room and out of the star cruiser. When Officer Twelve got out into the festival, the woman she had seen seemed to be gone. Officer Twelve looked around her for a moment. Then, she decided to head off in the direction that she last saw the figure going.

It wasn’t easy making it through the crowd, but eventually she caught sight of the tall, well-dressed blonde woman. Could it be she? But how? Had she been capable of turning her life around this well? Many a night Officer Twelve had feared what had become of her. She convinced herself that the woman would be all right somehow. Still, Officer Twelve never expected this much of a turnaround in the woman’s circumstances. Maybe things could work out. Certainly, she’d never seen the woman in such beautiful clothes before. Yet, Officer Twelve reminded herself that she had always hoped the woman’s life would turn out well. And Officer Twelve had purposefully stayed away, so that it would. She hadn’t wanted to mar the woman’s potential happiness with the realization of what had become of the girl. Why remind the woman if she had put it from her mind? Still, as she stood there, Officer Twelve couldn’t help but want to talk to the woman again. So, despite her intentions not to approach the woman, Officer Twelve began to mouth the woman’s name with the excitement of a child.

But then, Officer Twelve froze before the words could come out. The woman had turned to her left and smiled. A man came up to the woman, and she latched on to his arm. The woman then tipped her head against the man’s arm and walked with him that way. Officer Twelve had thought a lot about this man — the one who had been to blame for it all. If it hadn’t been for him, none of it would have happened. That’s why Officer Twelve had worked to piece together information on his identity. She knew there was a blood relationship between the theft victim and this man. It wasn’t hard to find his name and eventually his picture.

But she was with him — seemingly in love with him. How could she? Officer Twelve’s eyes began to water. How could she reconcile with him after what he did to her? Of course, there was the possibility that he didn’t do anything against the woman at all. The woman stopped and looked back just as Officer Twelve placed her hands upon her eyes and crashed upon her knees.

Officer Twelve sobbed there among the many strangers for what seemed like a long time. Eventually, she could hear those around her pondering whether or not they should ask her what was wrong. Officer Twelve stifled a sob then pulled herself up slowly. She couldn’t go back to the ship — not like this. There was only one place she could think to go — the church from her youth. Officer Twelve stumbled along the streets. The wind began to pick up by the time she reached the door to the church. Tiny drops of water — like daggers — plowed into her face. She just couldn’t breathe. She struggled with the knob.

“Help.” she mumbled.

Suddenly, the door opened.

“What’s wrong? Are you all right?”

Officer Twelve looked up pleadingly at the woman who answered the door.

“Lark? Lark Tampy, is that you?”


Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2015

Nocturne’s Reaping® : Prelude


“The Life After”

Chapter 7


“Something on your mind?” the leader asked.

The girl looked at him.

“This place.” she stated.

“Oh, yes. This was the place you came from.”

“As if you didn’t know …”

“Yeah, well, that has nothing to do with why we’re here.”

“That’s good.” the girl replied. “I don’t want it to be the reason.”

The girl looked down.

“I do think it’s important for you to meet with this new captain right away.” the leader added.

The girl was silent.

“I consider you my best commander, Officer Twelve. That’s why I’ve given you the best: the best ship and the best pilot.”

The girl looked at him fixedly from the side, yet still said nothing. She knew he was exaggerating. Leader Monrage always kept the best for himself. Not that it mattered to her. Still, his desire for her to be grateful was annoying.

“By the way, I already met the pilot, remember?” Officer Twelve pointed out.

“Have you spoken to him?”

“No, what difference does that make?”

“Well, you’re going to have to talk to him eventually.”

“Yes, I would imagine.” the girl stated coolly.

The man and the teenager entered the control room of the star cruiser. It was a small, comfortable cruiser, but Officer Twelve had requested it because of its speed. It was important for her not to feel trapped. Officer Twelve had handpicked all of her crew members save one — the new pilot. She did wonder why her last pilot was transferred. He was dependable, though admittedly not overly skilled. Obviously, Leader Monrage had plans that required a pilot with swifter reflexes.

Officer Twelve looked at the man, this new pilot. He was leaning over the navigator’s shoulder, looking at the monitor. He looked up then, and he and Officer Twelve locked eyes. Officer Twelve then allowed her eyes to drift slowly downward. For some reason, she felt something when she looked at him. This emotion was a bit problematic for Officer Twelve, especially in front of Leader Monrage. Officer Twelve was careful not to show her feelings in front of him.

The pilot named Owen Smithson walked over to them then. Officer Twelve could feel his eyes upon her, but by the time she looked up again he was looking at Leader Monrage. Still, it gave her a chance to really look at him. He was tall, with fine-chiseled features and dark blonde hair.

“I’ll leave you in Officer Twelve’s capable hands.” Leader Monrage said. Then, to Officer Twelve he said, “I’ll be taking the shuttle back over to my cruiser now. After that, I’ll be in my cabin if needed. Give me fifteen minutes to disembark.”

Officer Twelve nodded.

“Jensen, has the shuttle pod left yet?” Officer Twelve asked after the fifteen minutes had expired.

“Yes, Officer.”

“Then, prepare to land on Colony 9.” she directed.

“Yes, Officer.”

“I guess that’s my cue.” Captain Smithson noted.

He headed back to the pilot’s chair. Officer Twelve took the large chair behind him. Her chair was elevated on a platform, and it was designated for the one in charge.

“Put the approach up on the monitor.” Officer Twelve stated.

“Yes, Officer.”

Officer Twelve kept her eyes on the monitor as the small planet became larger and larger. She had seen this scene briefly — only in reverse. That time, the planet had become smaller and dimmer. It was funny that in some ways the planet looked smaller as she was returning to it.


“Let’s have Captain Smithson take us in.”

“Sure.” Captain Smithson acknowledged. “Prepare to fire the thrusters. Hold it steady. There is a small asteroid belt coming up.”

“It’s amazing that from space you have no idea what’s happening on the surface of a planet.” Officer Twelve muttered.

Captain Smithson turned his head slightly toward Officer Twelve for a moment then diverted his gaze back toward the monitor. As it turned out, the entry and landing were smooth and without incident.

“Good job.” Officer Twelve allowed. “All right, everyone is officially on furlough. But keep your radios on since you’re always on call.”

“Yes, Officer Twelve!” the crew chimed in.

Officer Twelve climbed out of her chair and headed into the hall. She was surprised when Captain Smithson caught up with her.

“What should I call you?” Captain Smithson asked.

“Officer Twelve would be fine.” she answered.

“I’ve always wondered about that — why that’s done in your organization. You must have had a name before you joined the leadership.”

Officer Twelve looked at him. Suddenly, she stopped.

“Did I offend you?” he wondered aloud.

“No, this is my room.”

“You’re not going to disembark?”

“No, I’ll be here if you need me.” Officer Twelve responded.

Officer Twelve headed into her room. The navigator, the man called Jensen, then came upon Captain Smithson as he lingered by Officer Twelve’s door.

“Heading out?” the navigator asked Captain Smithson.


The two men headed for the hatch.

“It’ll be great being on firm ground again.” Jensen mentioned.

The hatch opened slowly.

“Yeah, but I prefer the processed air to this smog.” Captain Smithson put forth.

“Yeah, I guess there’s been more industrialization here in recent years.”

“The air from the atmospheric regulators always smells funny to me.” Captain Smithson admitted.

Captain Smithson leaned against the hatch door and watched the drizzle fall around him. Jensen, a short and stocky man, looked up at him.

“Catch you later.” Jensen offered. He pulled up his collar and headed into the drear.

Captain Smithson sighed then headed out as well.




Part of Officer Twelve’s uniform was a cape. She removed it. Next, there were the contact lenses; they made Officer Twelve’s large blue-green eyes look like slits — not unlike a snake’s eyes. She removed them. Finally, makeup that resembled a lightning bolt crisscrossed her face. She wiped it clean. Usually, Officer Twelve would then go straight to bed. But this time Officer Twelve looked at her reflection — at a face she hadn’t really looked at for years. On this occasion, though, it seemed appropriate. It was at that moment that Officer Twelve’s small brown cat came up to her.


Officer Twelve rubbed her cat behind her ears.

“I guess I’ll be spending a lot of time with you in the room. Yet, for some reason, it feels a little stifling today. It’s as though I’m trapped. I don’t know — maybe we can wander the halls together since no one else is here. I probably do have to get you some supplies in town. I don’t want to have to ask someone else to do it. There’d be too many questions. I don’t know.”

Officer Twelve pressed a button to open the window that was facing the street. She could see out, but no one could see in.

“I don’t even know how long we’re going to be here. I may never be back here again. Still, I wasn’t sure I’d want to come back, Cinnamon. I’m not exactly the same person I was. It’s better to let things stay the way they are, right?”

Officer Twelve looked down. She fought back the tears she felt welling.

“Tomorrow.” Officer Twelve said. “Tomorrow I’ll just go in for some supplies.”



Copyright © Jennifer Alice Chandler 2015

Matthew 22


And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

“And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

“Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, ‘Tell them which are bidden, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.” ’

“But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

“And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

“But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

“Then saith he to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

“‘Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.’

“So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

“And he saith unto him, ‘Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.

“Then said the king to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“‘For many are called, but few are chosen.’ ”

Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk.

And they sent out unto Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that Thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest Thou for any man: for Thou regardest not the person of men.

Tell us therefore, What thinkest Thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why tempt ye Me, ye hypocrites?

“Shew Me the tribute money.” And they brought unto Him a penny.

And He saith unto them, “Whose is this image and superscription?”

They say unto Him, Caesar’s. Then saith He unto them, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left Him, and went their way.

The same day came to Him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked Him,

Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:

Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.

And last of all the woman died also.

Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

Jesus answered and said unto them, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.

“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

“But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

“‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at His doctrine.

But when the Pharisees had heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him, and saying,

Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?

“This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like unto it, ‘THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.’

“On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,

Saying, “What think ye of Christ? whose son is He?” They say unto Him, The son of David.

He saith unto them, “How then doth David in Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying,


“If David then call Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?”

And no man was able to answer Him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions (Matthew 22: 1-46).

Matthew 21


And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,

Saying unto them, “Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto Me.

“And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, ‘The Lord hath need of them’; and straightway he will send them.”

All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,


And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,

And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon.

And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: BLESSED IS HE THAT COMETH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest.

And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

And said unto them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED THE HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but ye have made it a DEN OF THIEVES.”

And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple; and He healed them.

And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,

And said unto Him, Hearest Thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, “Yea; have ye never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES AND SUCKLINGS THOU HAST PERFECTED PRAISE’?”

And He left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and He lodged there.

Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered.

And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.” And presently the fig tree withered away.

And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

Jesus answered and said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea’; it shall be done.

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

And when He was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto Him as He was teaching, and said, By what authority doest Thou these things? and who gave Thee this authority?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell Me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.

“The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; He will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And He said unto them, “Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

“But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, ‘Son, go work to day in my vineyard.’

“He answered and said, ‘I will not’: but afterward he repented, and went.

“And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir’: and went not.

“Whether of them twain did the will of his father?” They say unto Him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, “Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

“For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

“Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

“And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

“And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

“Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.

“But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, ‘They will reverence my son.’

“But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.’

“And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

“When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?”

They say unto Him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.


“Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

“And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”

And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard His parables, they perceived that He spake of them.

But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitude, because they took Him for a prophet (Matthew 21: 1-46).


To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.


The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;

Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;

Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.

Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.

We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.

Now know I that the LORD saveth His anointed; He will hear him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

Save, LORD: let the King hear us when we call.


To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.


The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun,

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

The law [Or, doctrine] of the LORD is perfect, converting [Or, restoring] the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Who can understand his errors? cleanse Thou me from secret faults.

Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my Redeemer.