The Strength

The Strength

A Story by Kumala

Criticism and advice welcome.

Soothing music echoing around her. The warmth and light fading.  Opening her eyes to study her surroundings she was sure she was dead. She must be, how could she possibly be alive, be breathing, be here. Where is here?  Where had the light taken her body which she was sure was a lifeless corpse.
She felt a cold chill from behind her.  As she turned the big wooden door closed behind her. Looking around there was no one in sight but she didn't feel alone.  She wasn't scared.  Should she be? Looking down below her still bare feet as she had done once before, this time the floor was wooden as dark as an old oak tree but shiny, clean. She stepped forward looking up she could see a ceiling. Beams as high as the sky spreading along giving the roof strong support.  Windows, such beautiful glass windows. Stained with bright colours, so many patterns. They seemed to tell a story but of what she didn't know.  
Dragging her eyes, away, back into the room she walked, her hand sliding along rows of pews. She could smell the varnish in which they were coated. Shimmering candles lined the room, dancing up the walls.  As she reached the end of the aisle of pews her eyes gazed upon a man.  He was high in the air, attached to a huge wooden cross. His arms spread wide and nailed through the palms. His feet side by side, legs straight were also nailed to the smooth wood. His body so thin and pale, even more so than her own. He wore only a cloth around his pelvic area. Long brown hair held a crown of thorns, His head bowed eyes closed. A long shaggy beard buried into his lifeless chest.  She was in awe by the sight of this man.  A silent tear fell from her eye for a reason she couldn't fathom. She bowed her own head as more tears started to escape from her water logged eyes. She dropped to her knees, exhausted.
Suddenly a door quietly opened from the side of the room. She shot a look over to find a short, old man walking toward her. He had grey hair which was very thin on top, almost bald and he wore the roundest glasses she had ever seen.  He was a plump man, clearly ate well.  He wore a fully black suit, black shiny laced up shoes, a black shirt but around the collar was no tie or bow, instead a white choker. In his hand he grasped a book. It seemed to have no pretty cover, no picture, no patterns.  So plain.  As he reached her side he smiled down at her.  She felt warmth from the man. "Why so sad my child?" How was she to answer, how could she explain? It all seemed like a bad dream, a nightmare now as she remembered back.  She stared up at him unable to give this stranger an answer.  She glanced back to the man on the cross. The questioning man followed her gaze and smiled.
"That is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is there to remind us of the suffering he endured. He died so our sins can be forgiven. We believe that our God sent his only son Jesus to the earth to wash us clean of our sins, so that when we die we may enter the kingdom of Heaven to be at His side.  He was born to a virgin, Mary, after she was visited by an angel who told her that she would bear Gods son.  He was a humble man, a friend to the poor and the needy.  He spent his life teaching us the way to live according to Gods word, but he was hated by wicked and ungodly men. They sentenced him to die, he was made to carry that cross through the streets and then they nailed him to it leaving him to suffer.  Despite his pain, the Lord asked his Father to forgive the men, as he knew that his sacrifice would allow his people to enter Heaven. In the Holy Bible the prophet John says ; "For Gods so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
He looked back down onto her, his smile turning to a frown. "You seem in such despair my child. If you pray to God he will forgive your sins." She looked down. How could she be forgiven, the horrible things she had seen could not be forgotten. They played over in her mind like a carousel of twisted evil taunts. The man placed a hand on her shoulder as if to try and reassure her. It didn't give her any hope.  He gave a gentle sigh and removed his hand.  He stepped away almost silently back through the door in which he had arrived.  She sat there, not moving just quietly breathing. Her mind reliving the memories she continued to play of that dark place.  The room that wasn't a room.  The reflection which wasn't her but it was. The pain that agonising pain her body endured.  Those wounds the wounds her arms will forever bare. The constant reminder of the battle she had with the reflection.  What God would allow such pain to come upon a person? What God would allow someone to suffer so? She shot her head up to the man on the cross, Jesus Christ, Son of God.
"How could you let this happen?" She showed her arms, where the fresh wounds lay upon her pale skin gaping, bruised and bloody. Tears pouring down her cheeks, releasing the pain and anger she had built up inside. "Is this what you wanted?" She shook her arms vigorously begging him to look.  "Why? Why would you do this? Why would you allow this to happen?" She dropped her arms onto her legs. She looked down and watched the tears run into the gaping flesh wounds. It stung but she relished in the pain.  She dragged her head back up to the cross expecting to be stared back at but his head still hung bowed. She let out a deep sigh and wiped away her tears with the back of her blood stained hand. "You forgive so easily but how am I suppose to find the strength to forgive you? What am I being punished for? I don't understand? Is this a game to you? Is this some sort of test? What am I suppose to be learning?" She sobbed and allowed her head to drop to her chest. "Please tell me. Please just make this aching stop. I cant take it anymore. Its not fair."
Defeated and exhausted she sat there. She had no more words, no more tears. The room so silent and still, the only sound was her heavy breaths.
After what seemed like an eternity but could have easily been moments, she rose to her feet, keeping her head bowed she refused to look at the man on the cross.  She turned and as she did a cold breeze blew towards her making her gasp and her body shiver. Goosebumps forming on her skin, her white, blood soaked night dress giving her no comfort or warmth. A light mist formed around the room, covering the empty pews. She stood there, unable to move. 
As the mist slowly faded, one by one the pews came back into view. She blinked her eyes, unsure what she was seeing could be real. She glanced at every seat as they reappeared all revealing the same sight. Each one had been filled. Each one occupied. She didn't recognise any of the ghostly faces. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters all seated head bowed. In unison their mouths began to move, chanting, praying.
"May Christ who was crucified for your sake free you from excruciating pain
May Christ who died for you free you from the death that never ends
May Christ the Son of the living God set you in the ever green loneliness of his paradise
and may he, the true Shepherd recognise you as one of his own
May you see your Redeemer face to face and standing in his presence forever,
may you see with joyful eyes
Truth revealed in all its fullness.

Sudden silence. She stood there, here eyes sprinting from face to face. Then slowly they raised their heads. All eyes on her. The outsider. The one who didn't belong there. Emotionless faces giving her chills down her spine. She shuddered.  Their eyes so hollow, so dark, so empty. No souls lived inside them. She waited, but for what she didn't know.
An almighty gust flew into the room, blowing out each candle in turn making the room dim and dull as the big wooden door she had entered from swung open. The pews now vacated, unoccupied. 
Hesitantly she tiptoed back down the aisle she had only recently walked upon. Heading for the door, unsure of what lay ahead. Her eyes fixed on the darkness that was before her beyond those doors. She felt hypnotised, not in control of her own body. Why was she going back through the door? She knew what lay beyond them. She glanced now just as she was about to take a step through into the darkness, something shimmering from the last pew caught her eye. She gazed back up to the door. It was taunting her, expecting her to embrace its darkness, back to where she belonged. She stopped. Stood for a minute, fighting with her feet, trying not to give in to the darkness. She blinked hard. Dragged her head to the side to look at what was shimmering on the pew. She found the strength to step toward it, squinting her eyes trying to get a better view of what it could be. Her eyes seemed so blurry so unfocused. Then it came in to sight. It was beautiful so captivating. She reached for it, she was scared to blink so sure if she did it would disappear. Her hand so close she could almost feel it. She began to shake. So close, just a little further. Her breath quickened, chest tightened. "Please" she begged aloud. 
She felt it beneath her hand which was now flat on the seat of the pew. It was warm. She closed her fingers around it, lifted her hand. Slowly she opened her fingers, one by one, releasing them from the tight grasp she had around the warm object. She blinked hard a few times trying to clear her vision more. She could make out the shape, the colour. Such beauty she held in her ice cold hand. She gazed upon it, a delicate shy smile spreading on her porcelain face. Her eyes now clear, her breath steady, shaking ceased. She lifted part of the magnificent item with her other hand and raised it up. Sliding it gracefully over the head and down onto her bony neck until it hung there on her beating chest.  She felt the heat burning her icy skin. The sensation was strangely wonderful, no pain. She stood proud for the first time. She felt strong, undefeated. Her eyes glistening, she put her hand to her chest and clutched her new strength. She turned, smiled at the man on the cross, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Our Lord. "Thank you" she whispered.  No movement.  She didn't expect any. She knew he was listening. She faced back to the wide open door stared into the darkness ahead of her. She stepped through and disappeared back into the place she had once been. This time she felt powerful, in control, ready to fight. Not scared of what obstacles could be ahead. The scars on her arms would always be a reminder of her battle. But now she found her strength she could be happy. Its all she ever wanted and now it was hers finally. No one was going to take that away. Not even the reflection.

© 2017 Kumala

My Review

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The story moves at a nice pace and the themes are crisp and well presented, you could possibly make the font a little bigger though as I found myself getting lost in a sea of words. Other than that though I quite enjoyed this, you have a nice voice.

Posted 4 Years Ago


4 Years Ago

Thank you for taking the time to read. :)

4 Years Ago

It was a pleasure, no problem at all!
Perhaps it's a good idea to leave more space between paragraphs. A big block of text is a bit intimidating. It's also missing a few commas, but nothing that takes away from the story too much.

Posted 4 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


4 Years Ago

Yeah grammar isn't my strong point when my little head gets going ha.

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2 Reviews
Added on January 21, 2017
Last Updated on January 21, 2017



Glasgow, United Kingdom

Looking for constructive criticism and advice. I am new to writing so reviews would be amazing. Thank you. more..

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