Death’s Demand

Lord Bilal attempted to deflect any blame towards Vadiim by stating, “If anyone, I lay blame on The Reaper! The girl should not have been allowed to drift in a state of limbo for so long in the first place.” He clasped his mighty hands together, loud enough to echo throughout the room. “Great Reaper, why did you not come for her until now?”
The court gasped in excitement at this excellent question.
A fresh wave of fury descended on The Reaper. “How dare you insult my position? I beseech you to take up a role in my station for a millennium to see how you compare. Between all the wars and famine, there are scores of human souls waiting to be guided to the other side. Not to mention, it was the girl’s late grandmother who cast powerful incantations that kept her bound in the living realm. When I came to claim her soul two years ago, I praised her for her efforts.”
Keinah took a deep breath and interjected, “Your laws supposedly protect you from intermingling with humans because you deem us weak. In some instances, we are. At the very least, there is value placed within our brief existence. Love is the most precious element in our lives and has been the driving force that has kept all of mankind in the world. Your kind values nothing and takes as you please without consideration. You change your desires on a whim. You imply Vadiim should not love me. He is my soulmate. You might disagree and even say he cannot be my soulmate because we are not alike. Perhaps he has no soul. It is his actual desire to express love for me that binds us for eternity. There is value in that simple fact. No matter where I go or how far we are separated, he will always love me.”
Queen Ordessa walked over to Keinah, affectionately took her hand, and said, “Keinah has made a valid assessment. Let us remember the Ruby clan. For example, their kinsmen became so apathetic from such a futile existence that their High Chief sent the entire population to the crystal sword to turn them all to stone. That, too, could become the fate of the Emerald clan without care. The plight of the human condition is that they appear fragile—fretful. Fear comes from attachment or the loss thereof. Perhaps the humans are far more courageous for continuously being prone to take risks, even in the event of total failure. Love is risky. There are no guarantees that it will last. This human fell in love with a Celestial being because it was in her nature to do so. She showed him a path that he never imagined to even travel. For that, she is fearless.”
The agreeing murmurs from the courtroom caused The Reaper’s temper rattled through his core. “Enough of this talk of love and bravery. The matter at hand is where I need to deliver this child and must be settled immediately,” he stammered.
Queen Ordessa calmly replied, “What say you, great Reaper?”
The Reaper addressed the courtroom, “The Emerald clan champions and praises this war mongered fiend you call your General. His bloodlust and tenacity for brutality have kept your clan at the top of the chain. It is unjust, but fine by me, if you will discard your own elders’ sacred laws decreed. Because of the offense of your kinsmen, I am permanently bruised. Since you have declared that he mustn’t be punished, I recommend the girl take his place as an example to all.”
“Go on!” Lord Orcel shouted in satisfaction.The Reaper continued, “For the offense, the child mustn’t enter the blessed realm of the heavenlies. She will instead be delivered to Sheol!”
All the attendants of the court gasped in disbelief. Despair caused Keinah to drop to her knees, and Vadiim wept silently. No Emerald clan member had ever seen their kinsmen grief-stricken, so they were stunned at his fallen state.
Queen Ordessa interrupted the hysteria with a regal calmness. Her voice rose above the noise, and she said, “In the spiritual realm, there is no use for natural elements such as food or drink. Keinah’s body had long suffered from starvation. The wee babe was malnourished at the time she met with Vadiim. The articles that she brought with her were merely symbols of her sincerest desires. She was hungry and thirsty, so she brought breadcrumbs and tea. The book of fables represented her desire for affection. The old sleeping mat was her only connection to her lineage. So Vadiim was never bound to her in a physical sense. Though they are lovers, Vadiim never laid touch to her flesh. He never even attempted to pose as an imposter in the human living realm to seduce her. Therefore, no laws have been violated. If she cannot reach the heavenlies due to misconduct, she shall dwell on Sheol’s paradise side, where the ancient Saints resided before the divine prophecy was fulfilled.”
The Reaper scoffed in disgust. “Well, at least she will enter the gates on the eastern side of Sheol, that is the side furthest away from the paradise chambers.”
Lord Bilal cried out, “It shall take her a thousand lifetimes to reach her destination.”
“Exactly,” The Reaper answered as he reached over to Keinah to remove her halo.
The fiery crimson halo burned his boney hands upon contact. The Reaper hollered out in pain. Then he ordered two guards to take her out to the courtyard. They whisked her away and led her to a large emerald stone. The Reaper instructed them to place her head across the stone. Within moments, he raised his large scythe to strike.
This sent Vadiim into a blinding fit of fury. He leaped over a hundred rows of seated attendants inside the courtroom and made his way directly towards The Reaper. A thousand guards held him back as The Reaper struck his scythe to dislocate the halo. Keinah panicked and fainted on the stone. Vadiim broke away from the guards, snatched the scythe away from The Reaper, and shattered it into millions of pieces. The Queen ordered ten thousand guards to hold Vadiim down as The Reaper was swiftly escorted out of the courtyard.

The Far Side of Hereafter, Ch. 11


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