With all his worldly possessions in one small bag and his religious book in his hand, the seeker travels along the path not knowing what he is looking for but feeling that when he finds it, he will know it as surely as he knows that the sky is blue. He is filled with questions, excitement, longing, and wonder. So much so that he doesn’t notice the gate that he passes through until he arrives at what looks like an extensive black wall stretching across his path.
He turns to look back the way he’d come and sees sunshine and pastel colors behind him. He faces the wall again and tentatively reaches out his hand towards it. He finds it to be heavy and thick emanating a low thrum of power that sets his teeth on edge. Nervously he stretches further and finds that his hand passes through it with ease. Realizing that it’s not solid, he takes a look around him. Should he stay on the path that others have made or walk into the unknown?
He steps into the void and is embraced by it for several steps leaving him completely blind and unable to hear or feel anything but the low thrum coursing through him. He stretches out his arms and slowly steps forward. After what seems like an eternity, he emerges and blinks in the strange light that illuminates the sky and his new surroundings. He had been holding his bag and his holy book but now he holds nothing. He turns to go back but the wall is solid and he cannot return the way he came. He would have to leave everything he knew behind.
Before him stands a stone gate with four colored circles in green, yellow, red, and blue. Upon these circles are shapes he doesn’t recognize. A giant man with long pointed ears, sharp teeth, and deep set black eyes paces before the gate. The giant’s face looks like a demon’s skull, blood and flesh mixing like mashed potatoes and gravy barely covering his bony face. The seeker is petrified, afraid that at any moment the giant will see him. After several moments pass, his breathing steadies as the giant continues his pacing oblivious to the seeker’s presence. Regaining his composure, the seeker looks around him. He notices that there are four keys that appear to match the colors and shapes on the gate hanging from a belt around the giant’s waist. He realizes that these keys must open the gate.
He watches for a time wondering how to proceed. Knowing he can’t go back, he looks around for something to use to get the keys but sees nothing. Looking at the giant the seeker knows he doesn’t want to anger him and he’s not sure diplomacy would work but neither is he sure that grabbing the keys by stealth would be an option. Deciding that he would be better suited to attempt diplomacy, he clears his throat and musters his confidence taking a step forward.
“Please sir, could you open the gate, i can’t go back the way i came and without your help i cannot go forward.”
Surprised by the seeker’s appearance, the giant reaches down and plucks him up by the back of his robe. He doesn’t flinch, though he is terrified. He politely repeats his request. The giant squints at the seeker and pulls him up close to his nostrils and takes a deep breath. With a soft grunt, the giant places the seeker gently back on the ground and removes the keys from his belt and opens the gate.
The seeker breathes a sigh of relief as the locks grate open. As the seeker steps past him, he notices that the giant now appears to be a very tall congenial man in flowing black robes. He smiles reassuringly down at the seeker and makes a slight bow. Once on the other side the giant locks the gate and begins to pace looking as terrifying as before.
The seeker turns his attention away from the gate and sees only the plains and gently rolling hills laying on the path before him offering no respite from the weather. The bright sky and darkly luminescent sun overhead along with the gentle breeze make him feel excited to be alive. He is on an adventure and looks forward to what his travels will teach him. Before long he hears the babbling of water rushing over rocks. Looking off to his left he can see water flowing over rocks not too far from the path. He realizes that he’s thirsty and quickly rushes towards it. As he gets to the edge of the stream, he sees a dolphin and is struck by the oddity of its appearance in fresh water. The dolphin chitters a greeting and quickly shifts into the shape of a merman. He waves at the seeker and calls to him, “this water tastes delicious. Come and drink your fill.” The seeker doesn’t need any additional encouragement and immediately drinks his fill. Afterwards, he sits down near the waters edge and talks to the merman. They spend several hours in conversation. The merman makes the seeker laugh and cry as the merman speaks of his experiences. The seeker then talks of his own experiences becoming angry and compassionate in turns. They talk about sorrows and joys and of loves won and lost. After they had spent a good portion of the day talking like old friends, the seeker decides that he must get up and continue on his journey. They bid each other a fond farewell and the seeker returns to the path. He sets his face towards the sun in the late afternoon sky and continues onwards. As he walks along, the seeker yawns and stretches. Noticing that the sun is now setting, he realizes that he must soon find shelter for the night. Ahead of him is a copse of trees leading towards a densely wooded forest. He walks into the copse and sits down heavily upon a large rock. Not only is he feeling tired, he is also feeling very hungry. He wishes he had his pack and some food. After a time he hears the fluttering of wings and looks up as a large owl with saucer like yellow eyes perches on a branch above his head. Next to the owl are a bunch of red fruits. He can’t believe his luck, he was sitting below an Apple tree. The owl hopped down onto a rock just behind the seeker and then fluttered back up onto his original perch. The owl gave a loud hoot and flew away. The seeker looked at the rock, then at the tree. It was just the right height for him to reach the fruit. He climbs up on the rock and picks several large apples. He returns to his seat and gratefully eats the apples. Afterwards he stretches out on the ground and is soon fast asleep.
He is awakened by a snarl as something furry landed on his chest knocking the wind out of him. He is startled when he opens his eyes to find himself staring into the blood red eyes of a large black wolf with bared teeth. The wolf seemed to communicate that the seeker should remain still, once satisfied that the seeker wouldn’t move, the wolf leapt off of him and he could hear the sounds of two animals fighting. When silence reigned once more, the wolf padded back over to the seeker and lay down nearby head on his paws facing the forest. The seeker fell back asleep shortly after and upon waking found himself alone once more.
—By, Seraphina Batya, Copyright 2016. Please do not reproduce without permission.
Part Two coming soon!!!