The Paradise Given to Lucian of Meres – Chapter 2 – Chains

Lucian saw a dark red sky and found that he couldn’t move. His initial thought was not of panic or worry, but confusion. He lied in the ground, only his face was exposed to the elements, while the rest of his body was stuck underground.

This was not heaven. The red sky, and smell of burning proved that. He worked to break the dirt containing him and stood alive in his grave. His burial had been in a remote place as his family couldn’t afford a proper burial, but it was no longer a place he recognised. The town he had once lived in was now much bigger, and had fallen to ruin, and the river passing by which once flowed blue, now flowed red. All the crops from the hill he stood on to the town he lived in had wilted away and perished. Falling from the sky came tiny yellow orbs the size of figs, Lucian wasn’t sure what they were, but he knew they weren’t good.

A sound of a horse could be heard in the distance. Lucian turned to see a mounted skeleton with a flaming sword riding towards him. He knew what he would do, however Lucian for a reason unknown to him didn’t flinch, his gut instinct told him to remain still.

The horseman didn’t need to stop, and sliced off his head in passing, as if no different from doing something ordinarily mundane like picking up a book or lighting a candle. Lucian’s body fell to the floor as the horseman lifted his head and looked at it. Then, contently, he tossed the head aside in a manner just as quick and nonchalant as he took it.

This was the will of God, as described in the apocalypse of Ilsoa’s holy book. All non-believers would meet this fate, as well as believers who weren’t good enough.

This was not the end for Lucian, his gut instinct told him that. He would face rebirth a second time and live to see new things. Now, he found himself in a short line of people who fearfully cried and wept. Lucian knew what the holy book said, and soon realised that he was going to meet the being who he had dedicated his early life to.

Lucian instantly felt fear, but at the same time it felt unusual. He knew where he was going, however didn’t want to do anything that would prevent him from going there. In fact, he felt an urge, a desperation to fight for it, and felt a fear of acceptance, or failure.

He looked at the crowd of people around him, they all looked so terrified and scarred, desperate for approval and to be judged as good so they could live with Ilsoa in heaven. Why they wanted to live with someone who could induce such feelings was something that Lucian couldn’t understand, he just hoped that they would be able to find happiness.

Time seemed to pass so slowly, as the weeping continued, it became infectious, and Lucian couldn’t help but shudder, he saw the tears fall down onto his now young hands, wishing above all else that this experience could be over.

He wasn’t wearing any chains, he could try to escape, but he of course knew this would be futile.

When he reached the front, his entire skin was covered in a cold sweat, and he stood in a pit of urine pitifully. He could see a stage in front of him now, someone was on his knees begging. When he vanished in an orb of light, Lucian knew he was next. Now realising that his hands and feet had been chained, he staggered over to the stage slowly, dreading meeting God.

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