The rain turned to a mist as the old one scaled the rocky face of the abyss. The sharp rocks that once, cut and sliced the flesh from his fingers became smoother to his touch. The pain that had once racked his body from his head to his feet, he no longer felt, it was if the pain had just melted away.
He climbed the rocky wall quickly with a surefootedness that truthfully surprised him. The darkness did not hinder his progress as it had before, now every handhold, every foothold, was within an easy reach for him. His movements guided by some mysterious and unknown force, and gave him a feeling of security.
An air of confidence had taken hold of him, it was as if divine intervention guided his hands and feet to each toe and hand hold. He scaled the last outcropping of rock; and he pulled himself up onto a wide ledge, and there in the middle of the ledge between him and the face of another sheer wall was a cauldron.
The cauldron was five to six feet across and judging from what he saw he guessed it wasn’t deep as it looked. The cauldron, filled to the rim with a liquid that looked almost silver in color and smelled sweet as clover honey. He crawled over to the cauldron and tried to drink the liquid.
The liquid in the cauldron moved away from the old one as he tried to drink from it, he leaned further into the cauldron to drink. Then without warning, the cauldron erupted ensnaring, his face and head in the silvery sticky liquid. The liquid held him fast and forced its way deep into his mind and heart, and began to suck the hate from his heart. He screamed in agony, collapsing into the pain of the gripping cancer of hate. The liquid; cut, ripped, and vivisected, layer-upon-layer, thread by thread, node after node of the fibrous masses of hate entwining his heart and soul. That web of hate, like that of a spiders’ web, that holds the prey tight, was the same tangled web that held the old one hostage for many years began to disappear, and dissipate into the cauldron’s silvery grip.
The color of the liquid slowly began to turn darker, the sweet taste turned putrid, the cauldron began to boil and convulse, and crashed against the walls that contained it. A red black frothy mass of surging, pulsating foam took the place of the once placid liquid. The cauldron erupted spewing the now black putrid foaming hate filled froth high into the air. The liquid jerked the old one to his feet and the vile hate that once consumed the old one, surged upward from his mouth, making the old one dance like a marionette. The old one screamed in terror as the wretched liquid pulled the last remnants of hate from his body.
The geyser of hate lofted high into the sky above him. It began to dissolve; the foam purged the hate entrained within, freeing it, and venting it to the strong winds that carried it aloft and away. The hate was scattered to the far ends of the earth by the crying winds. He looked into the empty cauldron, it had boiled dry, only a single puff of mist rose from the bottom of the cauldron.
The old one looked within him; he searched here, and searched there, all he found was a tiny bud, a pod of hate waiting to grow into a cancer if allowed to bloom. He could not allow this bud to fester he would have to control it, temper it with something else, some other emotion, what other emotion could he use, maybe he would try, in truth he didn’t know what to try, maybe an emotion the old one hadn’t used in many, many, years, love.
The old one collapsed and slept where he lay, slept as he had done a thousand times before. He was startled awake, he lifted his head, opened one eye. He tried to focus then collapsed back upon the rack. Slowly he began to move his limbs, wiggle his toes, flex his hands, and then he sat up. The old one was dizzy, his mind muddled, he was unsure of what had happened to him.
His thoughts were scattered, his body ached; yet, somehow he felt better. His body didn’t feel any better it still had the same old aches and pains, but his spirit felt better he felt a great emotional weight had disappeared from his soul.
The old one shuffled over to the window, looked out into the bright cold crisp morning, he smiled, and shook his head; he knew it was going to get better with every day that passed.
He didn’t feel now like he did when he was free, but as strange as it may seem, locked behind bars, his freedom gone, he felt better than he had in his whole life. His spirit was brighter he was happy in a clumsy lost way. It did not make any sense to him, how could this happen? How could this be? The old one knew not from whence it came; Nevertheless, he welcomed this change with open arms, Nay, not open arms, but with an open mind and heart The old one said to himself, “I have finally begun to live and I have begun in the damnedest of all places to start living in a prison!”
The old one thought this was good. He began to understand himself a little better every day. The old one felt pleased, this day had been a good day despite where he was. The old one became quiet, he began to write about the dreams and nightmares he was having, and the visions he saw. He remembered the turmoil of his soul, writing about all the things he could remember from the recollections in his memory. However, deep down inside in his heart he knew this feeling; this new feeling about life wouldn’t last.
The old one wrote the details of the dreams and the nightmares he had every night, as accurately as he could in his journal. At times, he did not know the words to describe a particular vivid image. In addition, the words he did use were sometimes inadequate even at best to describe even the simplest vision.
The old one was sure that in the great halls of knowledge, where all the words ever used were recorded and resided, that somewhere among all the words there, were words that could describe any image maybe by the use of one written word or maybe simple phrase. That one word or phrase taking the place of hundreds of other words still the old one wrote, confident the words he was using would convey the meaning to anyone who read them. The old one was not pretentious or vain in the writings that he wrote in his journal.
The old one wrote until it was too dark to see, putting his paper and quill aside, he lay down. He closed his eyes as he had done a thousand times before, and fell asleep. The old one didn’t know if tonight he would dream, the dreams of good, or the nightmares of evil, one thing was for sure he would dream. Were the old one’s dreams beyond good and evil, would he find out soon enough? The voyage the old one had embarked upon could not be stopped, nor could he change the course that was set for him.
He slept a deep restless sleep. The old one’s subconscious mind lurking in the dark recesses of his mind, waiting for the conscience to subside, before it would appear giving way to the nightmares it held within its dark grasp. The nightmares threw evil visions at the mind, just as hoodlums throw bricks at a door or pounds on the wall, demanding recognition or entrance to the inner sanctum where he can do the most damage.
There are not as many evils or nightmares as there once had been, but there were enough remaining in the wings of his mind to cause him great pain. He would have to be victorious over each one of the evils and nightmares and cast them out; or he would surely perish without a trace into the abyss of his own depression