Chamber of Horrors,
Part Two

 

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The figure walked along grass, feet making a temporary indentation in the ground that vanished almost as soon as it was created. The world was dark and the person could see nothing of what was around him. However the wind that had started off as a pleasant whisper was growing into a great roar and, away to the left, a grand crashing of waves could be heard. If the individual walked too close in that direction, a gentle spray of water could be felt that mingled with the tears that were now found to be rolling down the cheeks in streams. On into the darkness walked the form, unable to see or be seen, able only to hear, feel and experience emotion. Finally the storm that had been building high overhead broke and, at the same instant, the figure stumbled and fell…

Lying on the ground, struggling to regain breath and repress emotion, the figure looked up as the first flash of lightening illuminated the sky. Another one stood next to the first, eyes shining out of the darkness and reflecting the flashes of light that were blinding. The second figure held out hands to help the first to their feet and finally the two stood, face to face. After a time that could have been a few moments or a few centuries, the two began to walk, continuing in the direction that the first had been travelling. Neither spoke, although there was a lot to be said. Neither cried, although there was a lot to be felt. Finally they stopped, their feet on the edge of the cliff that led down to the water, an infinite distance below them. Spray came from the crashing waves below and gently dampened their faces, allowing their hair to shine in the lightening.

The storm gradually began to die away in the indeterminable time; the flashes of lightening become less frequent and less brilliant, the thunder becoming softer and less angry. Finally, all was still and dark. The two faced one another again, unable to see but still knowing that the other was there. As they stood, a single beam of light broke through the thick band of clouds and shone onto the waves of the ocean below them. In that beam was a single boat, badly battered by the storm, its sail hanging in rags, its mast broken but still floating on the waves that had been so brutal but were becoming gradually more gentle and caring.

“What is it?”

“That is Hope.”

“And what is Hope?”

“Hope is what you cling to when there is nothing left.”

“Does Hope always exist?”

“Hope always exists.”

In the dim light of Hope, the two could see each other. Defects and lines were washed away by the faintness of the glow, leaving only the pure and innocent, the young and untainted. The second figure smiled and, as it happened, the clouds broke apart again and the moon sent her own beam down on to the two figures standing there.

“And what is this?”

“This is Love.”

“Love is stronger than Hope?”

“Yes.”

“And does Love always exist?”

“Love, like Hope, always exists, even if you can’t see it at first.”

“And what is the darkness?”

“The darkness is Pain. It contains both Hope and Love that help to assuage the problems caused by Pain.”

“And what are the clouds?”

“The clouds are Despair. They block out Love and Hope.”

“And who are you?”

“I am Courage.”

“What is Courage?”

“Courage is that which will lead you through Pain and Despair to find Love and Hope.”

“Are you always here?”

“I am here when you ask for me. When you need Courage, I will help you find the other things that you seek.”

“Did I ask for you now?”

“Your heart did.”

“And what is my heart?”

“Your heart is Determination. Determination when combined with Courage can do anything and can take you anywhere.”

“Can Determination help me to escape my past?”

“No. Determination will help you face your past. That is what it is for. When you face your past, then and only then can you really be free."

In the darkness of the room, the figure stretched on the bed, the mind still caught up in the vision that had been created there. Outside, the trees bent under the gentle breeze that seemed to whisper great secrets. The sky was clear and black, stretching on for miles and miles. The world was still and unmoving, as though awed by what existed in itself. The moon shone in through the window, revealing the figure as it lay, arms wrapped around itself, comforting and holding itself. Time passed slowly and the figure remained unmoving, its face peaceful at rest for the first time in so long. It lay, face wearing no expression, until, slowly, a smile began curling its lips…

End of Episode
Chamber of Horrors

To all those who suffered under the Nazi regime, the author hesitantly dedicates this work in the hopes that it will not offend…

* * * * * * * * *

1My cry goes up to you, O Lord, my Rock; do not keep back your answer from me, so that I may not become like those who go down into the underworld.
2Give ear to the voice of my prayer, when I am crying to you, when my hands are lifted up to your holy place.
3Do not take me away with the sinners and the workers of evil, who say words of peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts.
4Give them the right reward of their acts, and of their evil doings: give them punishment for the works of their hands, let them have their full reward.
5Because they have no respect for the works of the Lord, or for the things which his hands have made, they will be broken down and not lifted up by him.
6May the Lord be praised, because he has given ear to the voice of my prayer.

Psalms 28:1-6

 
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