They were all gone.
In their wake they'd left parts of themselves.
The parts they blamed the traveler for destroying.
Hearts, broken Hearts
the most prominent.
Minds Unstable and Love Destroyed were left.
Love Destroyed was the most awful of them.
He had heard of Love his whole life, never known exactly what it was.
Now that he was looking at Love Destroyed
it was all he could do to keep from regurgitating.
Love Destroyed was a dreadful thing to behold.
Love Destroyed were small golden spheres the size of small green peas.
There was an audible gasp from them,
then no more sounds were heard.
The golden spheres morphed into such a lovely child,
a child of no particular sex,
but a Child of Innocence,
a Child desirous of guidance,
someone to attach itself to and grow into Love Personified.
It was not to be,
because the lovely Child's skin began to peel from its body,
and as it did its eyes stared straight into the traveler's.
When the eyes spoke, they said,
I never had a chance to grow into my potential, and it was because of you.
It turned into a caricature of an old hag,
the kind you see in fairy tales;
and melted back down to the pea size it used to be,
sprouted roots and bloomed into Hate Intensified.
The traveler had to turn away,
the horrible stench and penetrating stare was too much for him.
He stumbled on down the road,
half walking; stumbling.
An intense bright light blinded him,
caused him to lurch sideways and finally collapse onto the sandy road.
Before he passed out
moans, shrieks and screams of all the Broken Hearts,
Minds Unstable, Wounded Psyches and Mountains of Betrayal
lanced his heart
so passionately and sadly that dying to escape would be a blessing.
His eyes opened to the loveliest woman he had ever seen.
She had been wiping his forehead with a cool, moist rag.
She smiled and the world smiled and he was happy.
The traveler was in bed.
Not his bed.
She poured a sparkling glass of water,
touched it to his feverish lips.
Before he supped from it
he knew it would be the best tasting water he had ever tasted.
She sat the glass on the small table and stood to leave.
“Oh, please,” the traveler said, “don't go. Where am I? What is your name?”
The world smiled again.
You are here. My name is Gentle.
With that she turned and left him alone.
The traveler sensed another presence.
How do you feel?
The voice, like the girl's, saturated him with breathtaking sensations.
A rich baritone voice full of wonderful . . . ambiance.
“Tell me what I am doing here, please.”
My name is Go, the voice answered. you are being prepared.
“Why, am I—“
Yes. You are dying, traveler. You are in the hospital room in the city where you reside. We have been preparing you for the transition.
Fear not, we will treat you kindly.
“But the road, and oh, all those people and all the—“
That is part of the transition, an unkind part to be sure, traveler, but necessary.
“Why? To show me my past sins?”
Oh no. Everybody thinks that. It is a cleansing. It is not for everyone because everyone has not been such a man as yourself, a genuine good person, but one who hurt many along the way.
“The attacks? The Broken Hearts, the—“
It was done to make you understand.
Although you were sinful in your life,
you were not responsible for other people's heartaches in the end.
You were not attacked on that road for that reason.
although you made awful mistakes,
you weren't alone in doing so.
Those within your sphere must walk the same road you have just walked;
we are, after all, accountable for what we do and what we allow others to do to us.
Yes, you are dead now. My companion and I will assist you the rest of the way.
The young woman appeared beside the bed.
Take her hand, now mine.
The traveler saw the voice standing beside the woman.
He was as beautiful as she and they both wore long, flowing white robes.
He took their hands,
not surprised he had his arms back.
Then as he gripped their hands
he understood the significance of their names.
©February 26, 2017 / Jerry Pat Bolton
~ If they give you ruled paper, write sideways. ~