The Clearing

Cold and gray, the day wears on as I make my way toward the forest.

“What was I thinking?  I’m not going to find it there, yet they told me it’s the only way.”  Talking ut loud is the only way to keep from turning back and into the warmth of my home.

Icy cold, the winds’ breath comes sweeping around my neck, sending shivers down my spine.  I quicken my steps.

Finally, it stands before me like a towering city, dark and foreboding.  Beams of light cast their willowy arms through the canopy urging me in.

I take a deep breath and make my way through the maze of black soldiers with arms outstretched toward heaven, as if they themselves beg for warmth.

“How much farther is it!”  I ask.  “This is insane!  If it’s not here I’ll see to it there’s hell to pay!”  I press on.

After a while, ahead in the clearing, it’s like seeing a whole new world, the kind you only hear about in stories told to children to excite their imaginations.

It is glorious and sparkling like diamonds.  My eyes pain at the sight, but Oh!  It is heaven!

With winter soon on its way, I wonder why this is not so here.  Stepping into the clearing, warmth penetrates my face.  An inner peace seeps into my soul.

Finding a spot dead center, I sit and lift my face toward the warmth radiating from above.  I close my eyes and breathe in the life that fills this place.  Then something odd happens.  Dizziness, with a faint pain deep within, begins to intensify.  As if someone stabs me, the pain is excruciating, unbearable.

My eyes fly open, yet I see nothing.  The pain increases and I scream out, but no words come forth.  Panic gluts my throat, I try to leave but can’t.

“God help me!  It’s evil here, I don’t want to die!”

I faint…

Opening my eyes I find myself in a room, white and sterile.  Everything looks hazy.  “Where am I?”  I ask.

“Well, good afternoon, Katrina,” the doctor says.  “You gave us a terrible fright.  We almost lost you!”  He smiles warmly.  “I think we got all the caner.  Rest easy now.  You’ve been through quite an ordeal.”

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