Paradise Side of Hell

The day of judgment arrived far more swiftly for Keinah than she expected. The Queen sent her ladies-in-waiting to bathe and dress her in a thin, light silk green tunic hidden under a golden cloak. Keinah was terrified but refused to cry anymore. She felt tears no longer served a purpose. She held her head high when the guards came to bring her to The Reaper. Upon leaving the courthouse, she observed several thousand construction workers rebuilding all that Vadiim had destroyed in his wrath.
The Reaper was relieved that he could now deliver Keinah to the gates of Sheol. Though her halo had been detached, she still radiated a brilliant light, and her fragrance was evermore sweeter.
The Reaper looked at her with great remorse and said, “Know this child; I take no pleasure in this event. You are the rarest of souls that I have ever retrieved. Surely there was a vast appointment waiting for you in the Heavenly realm. I have done nothing like this and am certain to never repeat this heartbreaking misfortune.”
Queen Ordessa set her plan in place by ordering all the Chiefs and Lords in the entire Emerald region to serve as witnesses. The total was 92,387 that was in attendance. No one could detect Vadiim’s presence, as he shifted into a speck of dust and floated inside the gates after they slowly opened. Once the gates unbolted, the Reaper removed Keinah’s cloak. Along with the tunic, she wore an elegant golden necklace that hung Vadiim’s stone between her heaving bosom.
Vadiim watched as the heat from the flames caused Keinah to faint. The Reaper held her until she regained composure. When she regained consciousness, he gave her an abrupt shove and quickly slammed the gates behind her. She was overwhelmed by the inner grief that caused her to freeze in her tracks. Gut-wrenching moans could be heard all around, and it pained her to dare take a breath. Though darkness and hell flames surrounded the entire vicinity, her light could not be diminished. Her soul did not belong there, and it was clear. She remembered how her grandmother prayed over her when she could hardly be roused from slipping out of her lifeless body.
“Who would think to pray in Sheol? Since I am condemned to reside here, will my prayers even be heard?” she thought to herself.
Keinah knelt to pray for deliverance. Vadiim was moved by her actions and decided it was time to reveal himself.
“Keinah, I am here,” he said.
She could not see him and was still too frightened to move.
Keinah stood and answered with a quiver, “Vadiim, is that you?”
“Yes. I have come to guide you safely to the other side,” he calmly explained.
Vadiim transformed himself into a magnificent giant fiery phoenix as he stood before her. Between the two of them, their illuminations lit the entire area. A long brimstone pathway nestled across a lake of fire appeared. As Keinah began her trek across the path, Vadiim flew above to absorb as much of the sweltering heat.
Sounds of dreadful moaning increased as a hoard of deformed child-like menacing spirits attacked Keinah. The spirits scratched, bit, and pulled her hair. She was blocked from advancing across the path.
Vadiim quickly called out, “Keinah; do not let them despair you to where you are fixed in the same spot! Keep moving forward and not over-exert your strength, for we have a long way to go to the other side.”
Keinah felt her strength falter as her spirit became heavier from grief. She reached a level of exhaustion that was never experienced in the living realm. Each tiny step forward was a struggle. At one point, the spirits pounced on top of her. Their enormous weight made it impossible to move. She screamed in agony and fell back to her knees. Vadiim lamented in frustration, remembering that he could not interfere with her trial. Guilt that her punishment was all of his doing plagued his heart. This sense of helplessness was the harm the Celestial elders warned of. He knew she would be confined for eternity to this hellish prison if she could not persevere.
He called to her again, “Keinah, do not focus on your surroundings. Try to think about your happiest memories. Please remember the times that you felt sheer joy.”
Keinah shuffled through her thoughts. At first, her mind was so frazzled that she could not properly concentrate. Suddenly, an image appeared before her. She recalled the time on the beach that Vadiim told her he was a fisherman, and she laughed wildly. Vadiim could see the image crystal clear for himself as well.
He marveled at the moment and asked, “Why did you laugh back then?”
Keinah pressed her fingers to her mouth to conceal her grin. “I have no way of speculating on how the human mind works. For some strange reason, this peculiar memory displayed to me. I laughed because you claimed to be a fisherman, yet never had a hook or net. I knew you had to be something more. Some things are not as true as they present themselves. It is only up to me to uncover their real purpose and permit how it affects me. My soul was not meant to become a permanent fixture on this path,” she replied.
Keinah found solace in that experience, which gave her the courage to press on forward. The weight that had bound her lessened with each bold step. The spirits were still in assault mode, but Keinah resolved in her heart that she would not remain fixed on the brimstone pathway and fought back. Suddenly, the spirits vanished for a long period.
For 37,000 days, Keinah traveled across the path. Her journey took a drastic turn when she nearly plummeted off a narrow bridge that a swarm of spirits occupied. Vadiim continuously shook the urge to intervene, since he could not catch her when she fell. It was his consistent encouragement that served as a guide through those obstacles.
Eventually, Keinah subdued the spirits, and the path was clear to cross. Within the final stretch, Keinah and Vadiim could see the entryway of a heavenly oasis at the end of the path. Lush palm trees bearing a variety of fruit and a mystical waterfall rested beneath a starry sky. They made haste towards paradise as the spirits no longer could claim hold to Keinah’s soul. Vadiim transformed into his human form. He was both proud and relieved that Keinah endured through her trial. The pair triumphantly entered hand-in-hand to begin their eternity together.

The Far Side of Hereafter, Ch. 12

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