One hand reached across the sand. Hand with hole in wrist, and I could not resist. Hand to hand to assist; no longer could I persist to insist upon my own demise no matter how much my life I did despise. The disappearance of Bast and sudden appearance of another was quite a surprise, but welcome. No face could I see in my debased estate, but I knew as fresh wind blew that here was one who could offer something anew. I grasped the hand without demand; there was no reprimand but only kind command, “Arise! Be gone with the lies, and claim your prize of life without compromise! It is yours, though you still be oh-so unwise.”
Phantasmal range of change.
Verdant green. Soft bed of grass. Scene of beauty. Lake of crystalline glass.
I opened my eyes to clear, blue skies. Skies above rolling hills to still my heart. Yet stain of remorse; pain of guilt remained, though I strained to forget.
“You need not live with regret,” spoke shadowy figure. “I’ve set your feet again upon the way you may walk; for you this is your new day… Rest here for awhile, but do not stay.” Eyes of soft brown, shimmering crown of thorns. “I do not reprimand; there is no more demand upon your soul, but the hole is for you to fill at will … if you will.” Very still in his presence I offered no resistance, and I seemed to understand, and deemed this One most worthy to heed; this One who even now seemed to fill my need … my need of which I really knew nothing, as the Spirit of Life blew over and through the hillocks.
Reaching. Touching. He bade farewell to fade back into ethereal world somehow more real than reality; the immaterial more potent than the material … and could I comprehend? No. I could only pretend, and that I would not do, but ascend now in my journey again without feign of greatness — I had none — nor courage or wisdom; I’d really only begun. So under bright sun, I made my way to cool, clear pool of water abiding just off the side of celestial lake. Would these be the hills of my restoration, my own mount of transfiguration?
Suddenly I ripped my tattered clothes, stripped naked and like madman ran into the small sea now free of Bastian glee! I plunged myself down into refreshing water as if to drown the plight of previous night. Rolling, turning and churning, I made my way to the bottom and up again into bright light of sun. And I wept, and I kept weeping flood of tears mixed with blood. I plunged again and lunged forward in cleansing font — bathing, purging poison — with nothing to haunt me here; no one to taunt. I was free again to be me … or, at least, to begin to be the me I could now begin to see. And the water felt as if this very element could be daughter of Dyēus.
This time I did not run. This time I swam and shouted, “I Am!”