...And the Angels Wept

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Tired, dirty, and thirsty, Charlotte and Nigel finally arrive at the famed city, Psevdaisthisis where they are met by the Beautiful Lady Happiness.

Chapter 4 (v.1) - Thirsty

Submitted: December 31, 2014

Reads: 59

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Submitted: December 31, 2014

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~THIRSTY~
The sun moved steadily across the sky as the city became easier to see in the distance. It had been hours since the pair had set out on their journey. Charlotte glanced over her shoulder back at her home.
“So far away,” she whispered.
“What?” snapped Nigel.
“Nothing,” she said quickly and looked back ahead.
Nigel and been slightly irritable ever since they had last rested. He had neglected to bring anything to eat or drink on the way and seemed to think it was suitable to blame Charlotte, which made absolutely no sense considering she was a last minute installment to his progress. So they proceeded with empty bellies and parched tongues. And which was more painfully forward in the mind was hard to say, but for Charlotte, all she wanted was a long drink of water. Their steady walk through the afternoon and now into the early evening had left her tired, sweaty, and unbelievably thirsty. It did not serve as any sort of encouragement the distance between them and their City, either. How far it seemed from them, yet how much farther was Alitheia. There was no choice but to continue in the direction they had been heading. Yet with every step, the excitement she had set out with grew smaller and smaller into a knot in her gut of excruciating fear of what she might be walking into.
Night had almost entirely enveloped them in darkness when they came to the gate. The city was like a strong hold, its gate hinged between an impenetrable wall of stone and the mountain. Tall and wide was the gate, so starkly different to that of the city Charlotte came from. It was high and barred them from brilliant light that was too dazzling to look into for very long. They came to it and stood not a moment before they were seen.
“Halloh!” yelled a voice from the tower beside the gate.
“Ah…yes! Hello! We uh-” began Nigel.
“Sorry! Can’t hear you!” yelled the voice again.
“Ah…” sighed Nigel. “Right.” He looked at Charlotte, set his suitcases down, and shrugged. “I’d been warned of this, but the lady who was expecting me would be here to-”
“Greetings, my friends!” sang a voice from just inside the gate.
A portion of the gate opened up like a small door in which was framed the figure of a very beautiful woman. Clothed in white with golden hair rippling over her shoulders and down her back, she smiled at them and bid them enter, her red lips inviting, her piercing blue eyes dazzling. Nigel was immediately taken.
“My Lady!” Nigel whispered. She extended her smooth, white hand and Nigel kissed it gently, then lifted his unwavering gaze to meet hers.
Charlotte stood there enamored by this woman’s beauty. She wore no shoes on her feet, in fact, she wore hardly anything. The fabric that gracefully fell on her naked body failed to hide even the slightest detail, yet the light that seemed to emanate from her was so bright, it seemed as if, despite the thin material, she was still well-clothed in radiance. Everything about her was exactly what Charlotte wanted to look like, if only she could. And suddenly she became very conscious of her deficiencies. Her dirty feet from the dusty road they had trod, her calloused hands from carrying heavy suitcases, her tangled hair that had been blown in the breeze. She was sweaty, tired, and certainly not as clean and alluring as this beautiful woman who seemed to possess all the finest attributes every woman would want. She shrank in her light.
Suddenly she looked at Charlotte. The Lady’s eyes became soft and her scarlet lips parted to reveal a perfect smile. She realized Nigel had disappeared into the city and I remained at the gate.
“And who are you, my dear?” she asked sweetly.
“I-” she paused, trying to control her heart. “My name is Charlotte.”
“What a beautiful name,” she smiled.
Her voice was like velvet, like water, like silk. Water. Charlotte moved her tongue around in her mouth. Oh, how dry it was.
“I gather you were Nigel’s companion on this journey? I’m sure you are exhausted, please come and I will find you satisfaction.”
“Satisfaction?” she thought. What a queer way of putting it. “What do you mean,” Charlotte asked out loud. “by satisfaction?”
She laughed a golden and silver laugh, her eyes closing, and her head thrown back. “Oh, Charlotte,” how lovely her name sounded on this woman’s silver tongue. “Sweet, beautiful Charlotte,” the Lady took Charlottes hands in her own. “You stand in the greatest city in the world, the city where you will find anything and everything to satisfy your heart. It’s our little way of saying things around here. And indeed, I will find you satisfaction.” She straightened the ends of Charlotte’s untethered hair. “What would you like, my love?”
Charlotte paused. She felt strange about this place, like she didn’t belong here, that she must run and never come back.
“You can’t go back now! It’s too far, too dark, and besides! You haven’t found your answer yet!” frantically whispered the voice in her mind.
“But everything about this place is unreal! This woman is unreal! Just look at her chest, her smile, her hands…listen to the way she speaks!” Charlotte thought.
“Don’t you want to look like her? Dress like her? Be like her?” questioned the voice slyly.
“Well…” faltered Charlotte in her mind. “Yes.”
“Would that satisfy you?”
“I think so.”
“This woman says she will find you satisfaction. And at the very least, food, clothing, a shower,” the voice paused, “and water.”
Charlotte rolled her tongue in her mouth again.
“Water,” she finally said.
“What?” asked The Lady.
“I am very, very thirsty, and if all I get is a glass of water, I will be satisfied.”
“My dear, you will have more than just a glass of water,” smiled the Lady. “Come, follow me. There are great beads, luxurious baths, and a table fit for a king decked out with the finest things one could eat. I take you to my home. There, you will find rest for your weary head.”
They walked down streets of beautifully manicured lawns and homes. The people who came to their front porches to greet The Lady were all dressed immaculately. The men who stood about and engaged one another in conversation would stop and remove their hats, waving to her as she walked by. This woman commanded the highest respect in this city from all she came in contact with. Charlotte looked at the sky, a beautiful, perfect blue, with white clouds perfectly situated. Sunlight fell and danced off of windows and street lamps, glasses and glimmering white teeth. Sunlight. Blue sky. Charlotte glanced back to the gate to see back out to the plain they had crossed only minute before. Last she recalled, it was dark outside. Alas, the gate was made of mirrors and there was no seeing over the wall. Charlotte looked ahead and saw a great canopy above them. The trees were tall and strong, a glorious green foliage spreading in the air. The air was sweet and filled with delicious smells of spring and summer, or homemade goods floating on the breeze from dainty homes we passed. It was all so perfect and fell utterly short of the descriptions that she had heard from those travelers.
“What a goose I was, being afraid,” she laughed to herself. “There is nothing to fear here. Only perfection. I love it!”
They rounded a corner and came upon a street lined with large houses. They were all constructed with the finest materials, extravagance clearly knew no bounds. Pillars and gates, towers and great glass windows were common on this street.
“This is the street I live on,” smiled my escort. “And that is my house.”
The biggest house on the street by far she gestured to. Charlotte was overwhelmed by its enormity. She had never laid eyes on the like in her entire life. Nothing such of this could be found in her home town. Comparatively, the place she had grown up in seemed such a poor, brown, ugly village residing in the shadow of this beautiful, crystal city of light. Charlotte couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
“Come inside, my love,” crooned the woman. “You haven’t even begun to taste what I have in store for you.”


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