The Paradise Given to Lucian of Meres – Chapter 1 – The End

If you asked Lucian what he thought would happen after he died, he would say “I simply don’t know”, however this, like many things he said, wasn’t the whole truth. He suspected that all we had waiting for us at the end was an eternal sleep, and he was content with that. Infinity, in terms of living through it, is not a subject that can be understood in a mere twenty minutes, nor thirty, nor any length of time that could possibly be written down. Every single period of time is negligible compared to the length of time that will take place, and nobody can possibly imagine that, as soon as they do, they must always face the impossible reality that what they have imagined is absolutely negligible in comparison to the eternity to come. Living through that length of time was not a comforting thought to Lucian, who had time to ponder and contemplate in his old age. A nice long sleep was all he ever needed.

In some religions, a heaven sounded like a nice place – but how could it be nice, when you have to enjoy it forever? If the two places did exist, as wretched a thought that was, Lucian, despite being friendly, kind and loving, knew he would have to go to hell. If, for nothing else, but to ensure that he hadn’t been tricked. If God were so monstrous as to create a hell, it would be immoral to live in ignorance of it. And anyway,  murderous places such as hell, could only come from someone so evil, and cunning, that it would be much better to be there than in heaven right next to them.

When the day came, a day which Lucian knew would be coming very soon, he strongly doubted that a beam of light from Ilsoa would come giving him the choice, or rather the threat, to either “Come and live with me in the eternal paradise of heaven or go to hell and suffer forever”, in that case, he would be compelled to choose the third option: “Please let me continue with the rest of my death in peace” It wasn’t that simple though, for in the eyes of Ilsoa, Lucian had done a great many terrible things.

He had left the church of Meres, set sail far away and never looked back. With him was a former prostitute who had lived a life of sin, she was now his wife, and a girl who had been marked by the church as blessed, she was their sex abuse victim, and had been adopted by Lucian and his wife together after escaping. In his former life as a monk of Meres, he had acted as a guard, protecting people from sin, and enforcing stability. The control of the group was strong, and it was only through seeing and enforcing the most brutal and disgusting injustices that he woke up and saw the light. He shuddered at the thought of meeting Ilsoa on the other side, that horrible, disgusting, wretched thing that had taken years away from his life and led him to commit horrible injustices.

The much scarier thought to him, was that those injustices would all have been made good by Ilsoa, while everything in his life he viewed to be good, not. What could a heaven by like if it were anything like Meres, only with the eye of Ilsoa watching even closer?

No, it could not be. Simply impossible.

Days passed by, and Lucian could slowly feel himself growing weaker and weaker. He began sleeping longer, his family all held on to him, scared for the inevitable. Every time he awoke, he felt pitiful, wishing that he had died in his sleep moments before. They listened to him on the bed, always sitting with him regardless. Although he was aware that his babblings were completely incomprehensible, he was very happy to see the eyes of his family watching over him, it brought him a sense of comfort, and a sense of knowing that all he had done in this life had not been in vain.

In his long sleep, life and death merged together, never knowing which was which. One morning, his wife checked his pulse, only to find that it had stopped. His possessions were divided according to his will, and a funeral was arranged. His family mourned and continued living.

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