Dream Denied

The Emerald Princess laid in repose dressed in a long hunter green colored robe on a golden altar. Her brilliant illumination was gone, but her fragrant scent lingered all around. Breonas wept as he vowed to keep watch and guard her outside the tent. The herbalists tended to Vadiim and noted that the infection from the crystalized minerals remained only where he was struck. Ordinarily, even the slightest scratch would cause a Celestial to instantly and entirely turn to stone. They marveled Vadiim was still alive, though he could not be roused.
Vadiim laid in a catatonic state for days. He awoke to find himself sitting on a white sanded beach surrounded by an endless ocean of the bluest water he had ever seen. A small chubby ebony-skinned boy with silvery coiled hair and piercing emerald eyes approached him. The boy seemed to be familiar with Vadiim. He stood over Vadiim with a half-smile and an intense glare before leaning in to press their foreheads together. After a brief pause, the boy grasped Vadiim’s face into his tiny palms.
“That is alright, Papa; we can tell everyone that you caught all the fish in my net,” the boy said tenderly.
This startled Vadiim, but the boy’s embrace melted his heart. Then the boy eagerly grabbed Vadiim’s hands, and urgently tugged for him to stand. They both ran to the shoreline to retrieve the batch of fish caught in the boy’s net. The boy struggled to pull the net out of the water. Vadiim placed him on his shoulders and dragged the net out to carry with ease. The boy gleefully laughed and clapped his hands.
“Shall we go?” Vadiim asked.
The boy nodded, and they made their way towards a town. Vadiim seemed to instinctively know where they were headed, though the town was unfamiliar. Before long, the duo came upon a modest cottage with a lush petunia garden. The boy requested to be placed on the ground and then enthusiastically bolted through the front door. The house was quaint, with simple antique furniture, decorative trinkets on the walls and shelves, and a cozy fire blazing in the fireplace.
As Vadiim entered the kitchen area with the fishnet, he noticed a beautiful smaller girl sitting in a highchair. She whimsically played with her doll and hummed along. Her resemblance to the boy was uncanny. Vadiim nearly lost his breath when he saw Keinah standing at the stove, stirring a large black metal pot. The boy clung to the hem of her dress to gain her attention. She turned around with an annoyed sigh. When her eyes met with Vadiim’s, her face relaxed with a smile. Their trance was broken after she fixed her eyes on the fishnet.
“It seems that Papa lost his net and replaced it with yours,” she chuckled.
The boy bashfully placed a finger over his mouth to signal for Vadiim to remain quiet. “Come on, Papa, let’s show them all the fish you caught,” he exclaimed.
As the boy helped Vadiim dump the fish on the kitchen table, Keinah removed her apron. Vadiim nearly doubled over at the sight of her swollen belly. She walked over to him and waved her hand directly in front of his face as he stood in a daze.
“Hello? Is there anyone home?” she jested.
This scenario amused the little girl, and her jolly laughter caused Keinah and the boy to laugh as well. Vadiim, still half-dazed, slowly laughed with them. He hugged Keinah, then placed his hand on her stomach.
Celestial beings often slept but never dreamt. No Celestial dared to desire to become a human. Vadiim took stock of the unfolded events and realized all that could be gained if he were human. He also thought of everything Keinah was denied in both life and death.
Meanwhile, Breonas and the rest of the camp fell into a deep sleep. A presence draped in a luxurious, silky blue hooded cloak crept into Keinah’s chambers. It hovered over her until she slowly opened her eyes. She did not speak or move.
“Arise, my child,” It commanded her in a thunderous voice.
“Who are you?” she asked in a fit of terror.
The presence removed the hood of its robe to reveal a glowing, angelic face.
“I am an angel from the Heavenly realm. I am called Mikleua,” It declared.
Keinah took a breath and sat up straight on the altar.
“Why have you come here?” she inquired in a trembling voice.
It chuckled for a moment; then its eyes turned to a crimson fire. Earnestly, it asserted, “When The Reaper did not successfully deliver you to the Blessed Heavenly realm, your grandmother sent me to look for you. My search seemed endless and futile until this very moment that I have found you.”
This news struck Keinah to her core as she sprung herself off the altar.
“Grandmother has been looking for me all this while?” she asked in astonishment.
Mikleua quickly and firmly grabbed her by the hands.
“All is well, but we mustn’t tarry any longer,” It said and removed her robe.
As she stood naked, the Emerald clan insignia that was tattooed beneath her breast glowed as it was revealed.
Mikleua withdrew in disgust and furiously rebuked her.
“My child, what has become of you?” It asked.
Keinah felt insulted by this response.
“I am the daughter of the Emerald Queen. I dwell here with my husband and kinsman. No doubt, I have become who I was always meant to be,” she replied indignantly.
Mikleua crossly grabbed Keinah by the shoulders.
“Do you not understand? You cannot ever enter the Heavenly realm, for your soul has been corrupted,” It scowled.
Keinah defiantly snatched away from the angel.
“Then, so be it. Whatever my appointment in Heaven was, I am certain that it is being fulfilled in this realm. Grandmother taught me to pray for others more than I pray for myself. My new kinfolks are in danger of becoming extinct if there is no divine intervention. I am most needed here. This domain is where I choose to remain,” she said.
Mikleua relaxed and soothingly changed tone.
“You have spoken the truth. Your devotion to those you care about is overwhelming. To think that one such as you who held a lowly status in life would forgo all the riches in the Heavenly realm to protect your newly claimed kindred is remarkable. You truly walk in your calling. Everything that you are now is everything that you were meant to become,” It marveled.
Mikleua removed his cloak and spread majestic, massive pearly wings that spanned throughout the entire space of the room. This time, Keinah warmly accepted their embrace.
She looked up at him with teary eyes and said, “Tell my grandmother that I miss her and I love her. Please assure her that all is well with my soul.”
Mikleua gently kissed her on the forehead and said, “As you have said, so shall it be!” The angel’s massive wings folded around her, and the room was lit as bright as the sun.

The Far Side of Hereafter, Ch. 22


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