………….“Pay them no mind and walk on.” said the Ancient One.
Wale thought the man had gone mad; there was not an inch of free ground to walk on. The man held him in a way that brooked no argument and they walked onto the open space, treading on the serpents and scorpions and all became so still that they could do them no harm.
With eyes wider than saucers, the young man could not believe what was happening.
On the other side, the Ancient One gave him scrolls he called “the map of life” and turned back. Wale walked on further, lost in the sacred pages as he went on. The path was now darker and vultures perched on leaveless trees. Bleached bones littered the paths and from way off, he heard the cackling of hyena-like laughter.
Goose pimples covered his skin and cold fingers caressed his spine. The bile of fear rushed into his mouth and he felt like going back. However, retreating would be short-changing his destiny he knew. Though he had no light, with every step he took, brilliant light guided his steps.
He finally reached the peak of the mountain and before him stood massive gates that stretched farther than the eyes could see. They were exceedingly old, darker than the thick clouds of the darkness that billowed everywhere and decorated with hanging skulls. In some areas, wide swathes of fresh blood coated the doors. Heavy sulphuric fumes belched out of black gourds and choked the atmosphere.
With a look of defiance, the young man braced himself and shouted but the words came out as a whimper surprising him. He cleared his throat and shouted again as he had been instructed.
“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.”
He felt something stirring, a rumbling that gave feverish tremors to the earth on which he stood.
“Who is this King of glory?” a voice filled with derision and malevolence inquired.
Emerging from the smoke, the fiend of hell was a horrific blend of man and different beasts. There were horns, tongues and claws everywhere. It had a soulless serpentine stare, empty and vacant, goblets brimming with the wine of hate. It was an image that was worst than anything the man could possibly imagine even in his most terrible nightmare. The thing held a staff that morphed from wood to a living snake randomly. It was mesmerizingly evil.
“The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” Wale replied aggressively, courage awakening with him, surprising him.
The beast looked at him in rage and ambled forward, wrath clouding its face. He could not believe the effrontery of the puny being that confronted him. Wale stood his ground. His will, like roots reaching deep into the grounds of this cursed place. A location which he knew was connected to his destiny. He would prevail or die trying!
He repeated his previous words, “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle!!!!!”
There was suddenly a drum roll, a musical mix of different heralding instruments. The beast turned around in confusion. Strange things were happening. The only sound heard here were those of confounded individuals as their essence was snuffed out of them. Music was banished here. It was a land of weeping where destinies were stolen, killed or destroyed.
An infusion of dazzling light exploded, blinding the fiend used to endless days of darkness. The lamb appeared in the midst of the light, and then turned into a lion, majestic, flaming and fierce. His roar echoed and reverberated, rattling everything in its wake, dislodging stones, uprooting trees. Thunder and lightning clashed like gigantic cymbals. It was a fearful thing to hear. Then the Lion bounded furiously towards the beast and knocked it down with aggressive momentum. The next roar was one of triumph. It had dismembered the beast into unseen bits. With a toss of its mane covered head, it gestured to Wale to go forward.
The gates groaned in protest. Hinges that had not been turned since the foundations of time creaked and whined. They gradually opened to blazing light that burnt away every trace of darkness.
To the man’s amazement, the gates were widely opened. The treasures that confronted him with his name stamped on them were behind human comprehension….
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah…..
©2017 Ekpo Ezechinyere
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