Redemption

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He'd lived the wrong life--gave up what he should have kept---gained a curse he couldn't control...

He'd roamed the Boreal Forest for seven years, destroying nearly everything in sight---literally destroying nearly everything he came upon, with his eyesight---evoking flames merely by looking at something when the execration of the curse was upon him...

He'd just arrived at a small village, received an unwelcoming from the people, got full-up with the angry remorse, then the roiling-up of the hate of himself, turning itself into hate of those poor people...

He was looking at a young girl when the hate manifested---watched her hair and dress burst into flame---watched her eyes pop from the heat---watched her limbs and sweet yet twisted-in-horror face bubble and split with the burbling of their cooking, blackening to ash...

Seven years ago---the thought rose like a geyser---I played hide-and-seek with that girl---the memory surging up and cooling his temper then bringing on the other kind of remorse, not full of self-raging but full of self-pity and horror at his deadly magic...

He ran for all he was worth, ran till he fell in a heap of anguish and passed out.

~~~

Seven years ago he was a happy boy. He'd enjoyed his family's travels in their constant circuiting of the Forest---his father's rounds---his Curing Father, a priest of the gods of the constellation Pharoness.

Gods he didn't understand---gods that were strict, made his father sometimes angry, angry enough to strike him for what seemed no reason...

His father's Healings had the same strictures---delivered to his patients as cures:

"You have been filled with the Spirit of Nurellus. I strike you for your own good. Stand still and receive your Healing."

And, the people would stand there and let his father hit them and slap them and chant his Healing words---full of anger at the opposing gods---calling them bad names---screeching his powerful chants; some of the people laughing as he struck them---laughing with praise in their hearts...

~~~

He woke sobbing---remembering the day he ran from his father, ran from his family, ran till he got lost...

He rose from the Forest floor, shuddering.

He ran from the memories, ran till he had no breath, ran out from the Boreal Forest to the Plains of Shiuala; kept running till he fell on the sandy soil, screaming in anguish---being attacked by the wrong remorse, the self-hating---watching the soil begin to bubble, the dirt become a pool of simmering glass flecked with black bits swirling like his horrific feelings...

~~~

He roamed the Plains---wandered in thirst and hunger---phantasies hovering, hallucinations swarming.

On the third day, one of the mirages came to life, walked towards him with arms extended in Greeting.

He was frozen to the spot---full of fear; also, full of hope...

The Living Mirage spoke:

"Have no fear. Be calm in the Grace of the One Who Heals."

There was nowhere to run, nothing left to feel, no thoughts to regret---his sense of self melting into the Love of that Face...

He spoke:

"Which of the gods are you?"

"I am the God of the gods, I am the One who Creates minds that go astray in their creation of warring gods."

"Please, oh please, save me from my agony!"

"Your waywardness was forgiven long before you arrived here; let that Forgiveness ascend."

The Mirage turned to Flame and disappeared...

~~~

He was approaching another Forest---perhaps the fabled Venulas?

He entered the shadows of the towering trees, felt the cooling breath of the ferns...

His wandering turned into nomadic ecstasy---lost in the wonder and cleansing of Redemption.


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