There was a stone soldier watching me. Something in his eyes made me shiver. Somehow, those eyes seemed to be alive, not because they seemed to follow my moves, but because when I looked at them, I had the feeling there was someone looking back at me.
The stone soldier was holding the entrance to that dusty and crystal temple. It wasn’t a happy place, it wasn’t a beautiful place either. But the presence of the soldier and its grandiosity overwhelmed me with a sense of peace and warmth. I slightly bowed my head when passing by the Watcher and decided to take the handle between my hands. I felt a spark jump into my hand and move under my skin; all of a sudden my fears, my ever-present existential fears, had gone away. The door opened while I felt a gentle push.
I wasn’t prepared for what I discovered inside.
It was deserted, completely empty. I had imagined there would be plenty of empty rooms and crystal-cut sculptures, but there was nothing like that. Only six walls, all of them of crystal, yes, but melted in shapes that could only suggest a waterfall coming from the ceiling, from the blue sky and the sunlight that poured in and heated the interior of the palace. At the very core of the room, a figure stood tall in golden fire. It had the shape of a woman, but not that of any woman. No matter who would look at her, they would know her name. It was the Goddess; all the elements in the universe, every tiny bit of life and death were beating inside her. She was the mother, the lover, the daughter, the warrior, the priestess, the queen…
And at the bottom of her long hair, under her feet, a block of marble read:
From piles of broken bones, dried rivers of blood and rotting flesh, the fire was born to burn itself to death. Whoever claims that life isn’t fair, that they are miserable, will fall back into the source. Whoever claims to have the truth, will fall back into the source. Whoever claims to live without looking for the answers, will fall back into the source. Whoever claims that this is all there is, will fall back into the source. Whoever believes in life, whoever believes in the meaning of existence, whoever believes in himself, whoever believes in choosing his path, whoever rejects the source itself… they all will fall back into the source.
Trust me, if my time is over, so is yours. And follow my advice.
Walk, run and jump, but do not be scared of falling. You will. Smile and laugh, and do not fear, it will happen. Do not wonder about the pain, it will be there. Do not worry about fear, courage will be there too.
Just let it happen, let the fire consume you. Let your bones break, your blood dry and your flesh rot. Let it happen so that when you fall back, nothing remains.
I turn around, and leave, unmoved by words that I’ve heard before. Their echo is everywhere. I look at the Watcher before setting away; a realisation comes to me.
It is not made of stone. It’s made of rotten flesh that has been hardened, his wrinkles are dark red, his armour, yellow fractured bone.
On his chest, yet another scripture tells the deceived visitor: Sacrifices need to be made and hearts need to be saved.