Check out the first three sections of this Short Story titled “The Choice”, “Reflections”, and “Rest” before you read this one! Here’s the next section:
Birds sang and hopped from branch to branch, then followed each other from tree to tree as I continued my journey. High overhead, large fluffy white clouds danced on the light breeze. This isn’t so bad. I told myself. It’s a long walk, but it’s not that hard or anything…I closed my eyes to enjoy the warmth of the sun on my skin as I kept walking forward. I sensed that it had suddenly gotten colder and a shadow crossed my face. I looked up to the sky and, to my surprise saw dark clouds rolling overhead. It was sunny just seconds ago. I thought, confused. Large droplets of water dripped on me and moistened the dirt path. Great, I thought as a plodded along. In the distance, I could see something blocking the path. I could only hope that it was a refuge from the rain that was starting to pour harder. I quickened my steps. The building looked large and cold and dark. The whole structure was brown and it scared me a little. But there was no way around it, and the storm was getting fierce. Lightening cracked and thunder roared as I timidly cracked open the door. I walked inside and carefully shut the door behind me. I soon regretted that decision, though, because it was quite dark and creepy inside. I turned to open the door again. I twisted the door handle, but it didn’t turn and open like it was supposed to. It just kept turning! There was no way back, so I was forced to face whatever lay in this building. Again, I found myself in a hallway. The carpet in this building was not beautiful like it was in the hall of Mirrors. This carpet was stained and dirty. It was brown. I could see every footprint that I left behind. There were no lights except for the torches that lined the hallway. It gave off an eerie sort of light and cast shadows on the cold, stone walls. Fear gripped my heart and my legs started to shake as I walked down this hallway. I wasn’t sure what to expect in this place, but I had a feeling it would be quite different than the previous building that I had gone through.
“Emily,” His voice was a welcome sound to my ears. The way he said my name almost made the fear disappear. Almost.
I looked around, expecting to see the King standing beside me or behind me or in front of me. I couldn’t see anyone.
“Keep walking, child.” The voice prodded me onwards. I obeyed. The hallway seemed to take forever, but I eventually came to another small wooden door. “Open the door.” This time the voice came from my right. I jerked my head to the side and saw the King standing there. He motioned to the door.
Taking a deep breath, I reached out my hand and touched the door handle. I was afraid of what I would find there, but the King’s presence gave me enough confidence to push the door open. As I entered, I breathed a sigh of relief. I smiled. This room looked very cheery and happy. Sunlight streamed in through large bay windows. A girl who looked very much like me sat on the floor surrounded by notebooks and colorful pens in the sun from the windows with a guitar in her lap, a pick in her left hand, and a pen in her right. She was fiercely scribbling in a notebook. Then, she picked up her guitar again and strummed for a while, trying to figure out the next words. I recognized that song. It was one of mine. I couldn’t explain what was happening next. Suddenly the room whirled around and, when I could finally see everything again, the scenery had completely changed! The King and I, for he was still standing beside me, found ourselves in the woods next to a waterfall. I saw the same girl again. I was sure that it was me. This time there was a guy next to her. He looked familiar as well. They were laughing and talking next to the waterfall. The boy sat down on the cool rocks. The girl joined him and he gently placed his arm around her. I could see the girl’s smile from where I stood. They both looked happy as they talked about their childhood. I glanced at the King.
“What does this mean?” I whispered, hoping the couple wouldn’t hear me.
“They can’t hear you,” The King spoke to what I hadn’t said. “These are your happy memories from the past.”
“That’s why everything looks so familiar…” I said quietly. “Why are you showing me this?”
“You will know why when the time is right, Dear One.”
I pouted. All of these secrets were getting annoying! Why can’t he just tell me now?! I turned my attention back to the boy and girl sitting by the waterfall. Before long, the guy wrapped the girl in his strong arms and hugged her for a few moments. The girl seemed to relax in his arms and she rested her head on his shoulder. The place whirled around again and I grabbed the King’s hand to steady myself as the setting changed again.
This time I found myself staring a girl who was sitting in a lounge surrounding by people that I recognized. That was me. Surrounded by my friends that I had made in college. People that loved me. I remember that day. We were having a birthday party. We had the best pillow fight I had ever been a part of! I smiled and laughed at the memory of it. I watched the pillow fight happening, then the silly pictures, then everyone interacting and talking and laughing and having fun. I grinned as I glanced at the King. He looked at me and smiled and nodded as if to say, take one last look because this won’t last much longer… I glanced around and my friends and I sitting around eating cake and laughing before everything disappeared. All I saw was blackness and darkness. Slowly, everything began appearing again. I saw that we were in a restaurant. The girl that looked like me was sitting in a chair across from two girls who looked like my best friends. I could not catch everything that they were saying, but I knew that they were sharing everything that was on their hearts. The girl who represented me looked sad, but when they had finished eating, she smiled and thanked her friends for letting her vent to them and for talking with her. The other girls smiled and, when they all stood up, they both gave her a hug. The King and I followed them out of the door. As soon as we stepped outside, I found myself with the three girls who were in the restaurant at someone’s house. The girls were sitting on the tan carpet in one of the girls’ bedrooms, propped up with pillows. Each of the girls had a Bible, another book, a notebook, and highlighters and colored pens surrounding her. I smiled, remembering our Bible studies together and spilling my heart out to them.
The room whirled around again. I steadied myself this time. When the fog cleared, I could see that we were in the first room again. The girl was still sitting on the floor, playing her guitar and breaking in every now and then to fix what she had written in her notebook.
“Come,” The King spoke into my ear. “There is more to see.”
“I like this place, though.” I looked at him.
“All things, my dear, even the good ones, have to come to an end.” He spoke, and then walked toward the door that we had entered not long before. He stopped short of the door and waited for me to open it. He followed me through the door and firmly shut it behind us. We were again in the long, dark, eerie hallway. I couldn’t remember which way we had come from.
“Which way?” I whispered.
“Right,” The King spoke. I bravely turned to the right and marched down the hallway.