The butterfly chamber was a blend of the ancient and modern, the mystic and the scientific. Some of the equipment therein were as ancient as time, while others were way ahead of the present. With the similitude of a robot, his neck seemed to whir in every direction at the mindboggling sights and sounds. He had never seen anything like this place, not even in his wildest imagination. Priests and scientists moved around with purposeful determination. It was more than his mind could take. The whole experience was beyond incredible!
He was strapped to a table and the goggles he had on were removed. It had being necessary because sunshine rays passing through the temple panes reflected off the white walls with such brilliance that almost seared the eyes. As he closed his eyes, the Priest brought a piece of cake and some wine in a goblet.
“You will need this for the journey ahead but not before the declaration. To navigate the pathways of the spirit dimension, allegiance would have to be pledged to the King of the Realms,” the Priest told him. A mellifluous voice that soothed his frayed nerve endings.
He recited after the old man.
“Driven and tossed by life’s slipstreams
No foundation can I find for my dreams
Lost, a bream without a mainstream
Now to the King of the Realms I yield
To become one with him, share of his bloodstream.”
Zeb sat up, ate, drank and with astonishing rapidity, fell off the edge of consciousness into an ocean of darkness deeper than that of hades’ abode.
The remodelling started and the flailing of the flesh began. Though he was in the grip of somnolence that was akin to that of the dead, he felt his nerve endings explode with excruciating agony and realized why many would die rather than visit the chamber. The experience was extremely painful.
Then in the black cavern of the unconscious where he dwelt, swords of light started slashing the gloom into ribbons of illumination. The fluttering of wings like a million birds suddenly filled the space. His vision swarmed with doves.
He was then plunged into the X-pool. Submerged in the blood red water, he was hooked to intravenous infusion of blood running from sets on the roof of the chamber. The striping had almost exsanguinated him. With the exchange, he started to come to life. The cocktail of honey and resin from the hills of Gilead mixed into the pool made the healing process almost instantaneous.
Time passed and he stirred to wakefulness, brought out and towelled dry. He felt so alive but when he beheld himself in the mirror, disappointment roiled within his belly. He did not look any different. What was this about??? After all the pain and process, no transformation seemed to have taken place. He shuddered with regret at the waste of time. His expectation was that he would have come out with rippling muscles that would have enabled him run for Mr. Hillander. Winning would have made his detractors eat their words and given him a chance with Miss. Hillander. He had been carrying a torch for her forever but had never deemed himself worthy enough for her attention.
His feelings plummeted even though he admitted to himself that there was some kind of unusual energy that bubbled within him. He felt inexplicably charged.
After leaving the temple, he had decided to go study the wheat kernels to find out what the priest had been alluding to. He realized that he had been missing a step. There was a desiccation process other Hillanders used that he had been ignorant of. The method almost killed the seed but made it bloom furiously in the ground. When he got the secret and saw how profitable it was, he had decided to heed the advice of the temple keeper and use his own life as a seed. Much ado about nothing it has turned out to be, it seemed.
The priest saw his disappointment and quickly intervened.
“It is not about the physical,” he said. “This gives you access to spiritual dimensions uncharted where everything is controlled, worry not.”
Taking the arm of the young man, he led him to a wall after they had passed through numerous corridors.
There was a scanner for a fingerprints. The priest nudged the young man to use his hand. Zeb doubtfully did and the panel thrummed to life, part of the wall silently slid open to a big cavernous hall. It was like a library with various rooms and glass pods. Computers littered everywhere. There was a preponderance of books, all kinds, in the form of scrolls and tomes. The priest pointed out a section that had books yet unwritten.
“Welcome to the hall of heroes. Go in and you will know what to do. If you can conquer in the spirit world, then possession of victory will be yours. It all boils down to your faith and imagination. Use them well. ” the priest urged further.
Zeb was astonished to see that the hall was almost empty.
As if, he could read his thoughts, the priest answered his silent question.
“Young man, the people that make it this far are those consumed with ravenous hunger and desire for transformation. It is not for all and sundry, my boy. For those tired of their here and now, sacrifice is key. Unfortunately, sacrifice is tedious and unpalatable. That is the tragedy! Forget everything and concentrate on your destiny!”
Zeb made his entrance and walked down in awe. Everywhere he looked there were floating holograms of ancient heroes. Very graphic, they sailed like colourful galleons on an imaginary sea. He looked around in wonderment as he beheld the braided locks warrior, the herder, the vestal mother, the fire breathing sprinter, the dreamer, the sun stopper, the Egyptian fugitive, the hammer wielding housewife, the runway queen and a host of others.
Instinctively, he knew he had to connect to one of them to assess the spirit world of wind and fire. He looked on and on a deep level connected with the herder. There was something about the hologram image of the young lad with comely eyes and unruly curls that called out to him. The herder was too young to earn a place in the esteemed pantheon of heroes. So there must be an interesting reason why he was able to get on the roll call. Zeb intended to find out why.
He entered the meditation pod in the booth allocated to the hero whose stories were located within the scrolls that had been documented by Sam the Seer. He settled in and as he touched the scroll, an intangible screen incandescently glowed before him. It was as if the words came alive. He started reading the words scrolling up before him and in minutes, nothing existed for him anymore. All that there was in the universe was the screen and the rapacious hunger to know all it said.
As he read and ruminated deeply, there was a connection between him and the screen. Time and space congealed and light years collapsed. The past, present and future became a bridge and could be accessed at the speed of thought. The aeons opened like a chute and swallowed him up. Neural pathways formed between him and the hero until they became as one. Their senses connected in a spiritual fusion, spirit to spirit, life to life.
As he landed on his feet in a strange yet familiar terrain, the first thing he heard was the roar of a wounded lion and the fetid breath that followed, a storm of rage after explosive thunder and lightning……
TO BE CONTINUED