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3 Acts - A Story of Fallen-ness and Redemption
by Boyd Lillard
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A Story of Fallen-ness and Redemption


He plays the song, that song
The song that he's played through the ages
I hear it from inside, playing out in the streets of excitement, glamour, sensuality, uninhibited abandon, pleasure...
Nothing new, but re-arranged, re-mixed for a new day
And I love the song, the world around me loves the song
It's good to love the new song, however ancient it really is
It's easy to love the new song

So I turn the lock of that place deep inside
And walk through the doorway of that which is home
I want that song for myself, and to "hang" with the composer of that so desirable melody
And so I invite him to come "chill" with me at that place so deep
He's so eager to accept and check out that place in which I dwell

The pictures on the wall; signs of where I come from
The family that loves me, friends who love me
He looks them over, "uh-huh," he says with pursed red lips
And he says nothing more
He sits and plays another song, but this is different
And somehow, this song knows me , it's about me, and at worst...is me
But it feels so good, the intoxicating beat, the deceptively sweet chorus
My mind erases the pictures on the wall...and I briefly wonder if anything hung there in the first place

Soon the door is let open, as the music maker has...friends
A hunched-over, squirelly, "beaty-eyed" short man flies through the doorway, brushes past me, and takes whatever drink adorns the cupboard
I am told, by the music maker, "Selfish" is his name
Next, a tall, lanky pale man enters and immediately sits down, slouching
The music maker tells me "Sloth" is his name
A frazzle-haired older man loudly enters, carrying his travel sack
His sack swings around as he walks through the room, banging the walls of my "space"
"Fear, what took so long," the music maker asks smiling suspiciously

I ask about these abstract names, and the music maker tells me they do have longer, "proper" names
But these are the names by which they are best known

He then smiles...a bright ominous grin
But he's not smiling at me, but through me
"Pride," he says
And pride is awesome, electrifying, dressed in the Coat of Names; a coat with the names of all who have fallen into pride's snare
I see names I recognize; politicians, musicians, artists, kings, diplomats, and people I knew or knew of
The names glow against the black of the coat
With the different luster of light, Pride alternates, as if changling, between female, male, or serpent - the shape most pleasing to its conquest
It's fantastic, addictive to look upon
It walks up to me, it's eyes hypnotic
"I've been waiting to meet you for a very, very, very long time," it says with a distinctly calm, even voice

The music maker goes to his instruments and begins to play violently, serving as a catalyst for these "friends" to begin to dance
Fear drags Sloth to his feet, while Selfish moves abrasively around the room, knocking over whatever is in his path
Sloth and Fear play game of servant and master, as Fear screams "do it now, boy"
And they move in pseudo-sexual fashion

I sit watching this very strange dance, but dismiss any sense of strange, proper or improper for the beat of the music and assurance that this party is for me

Pride in its most allluring form slithers around me seductively, making me feel as a god...as God; celebrating all I say or do
It applauds my scornful words of others, assures me that I never needed or will need another soul in my existence, that they only keep me from the truth of my perfection
It tells me that I am everything

Its takes my hand and leads me to another room
Oh, Pride is striking, hypnotic, leading me further down the corridor worshipping me...and seducing me
Its kisses me with the bitter taste of vinegar and hyssop, and I kiss It back
I pull it into me, and we both lay down together, entwined in eachother, locked in complete, selfish ecstasy
The room spins and I fade away

I return to some cognition, surrounded by Fear, Selfish, and Sloth - and the Feast placed around
I eat from the plate of Selfish, drink from the cup of Fear, and smoke the weed of Sloth
The music maker smoothly glides around the room, playing that familiar song...and I sense something different
The room spins again...and I fade away

I wake to find myself dizzy, unable to move...and in pain
I cry out for the "Feast-givers" to stop the pain, but they hold me down and force more of the feast on me
I scream for them to stop and cry out for the music maker to save me
He only stares at me, fire in his eyes, and laughs a ridiculing, mocking laugh
I am left, helpless....in that someplace deep inside


So I lay still; the feast dribbling out of a mouth so stuffed
It's the feast that I no longer have the apetite for
The feast that will kill me if I take another bite; the feast that aches in me

The "feast-givers" begin to stir as I begin to move
I move slowly from my back and rock myself onto my hands and knees
I cannot see, but I sense the "feast-givers" beginning to stir more quickly

As I begin to to pull myself to my feet, I see a large shadow on the floor that my head is hung to; a shadow almost darkening the entire room
Looking down at the floor, I know someone or something is towering over me
The gravity surrounding this "thing" makes it difficult for me to raise my head
I struggle but find a way to lift my head up and face what it is towering over me

The figure is black, onyx black, faceless except for crystal eyes
It towers eight feet and stands at the only way out of the room
I notice something is written on its breast, but , in the shiny black onyx of its figure, cannot tell what it is
I hang my head, again, falling backward on the floor

From somewhere in the room, there is a reflection of light, enabling me to read what is on the onyx figure's breast
"S...H...A...," is what I can barely make out
The onyx figure turns slightly, responding to a command from the music maker
And as I see the remaining letters, "M...E.."
Wide-eyed, I whisper to myself, "Shame"

In that minute, its crystal eyes open wider, and I see my life in its worse moments; all the things done that shouldn't have, all the things said that shouldn't have been said
I watch it all; a lifetime in a matter of minutes
Convinced of my guilt, blanketed in self-loathing, worthlessness, I fall almost to my back, where Pride catches me...and I'm fed another bite and the drink dribbles from my lips
And I lay there....almost catatonic

"Maybe this is where I belong," I wonder
"How come nobody has come for me?!"
And my mind flexes to the bitter thought, "No one has come because they don't care, no one has ever cared"
And as if the bitter proclamation quickens my mind, I see every instance, intentional or not, where I can justify such wrath

This time, in my anger, I grab for the feast with my bare hands and take the cup, drinking and drinking as it dribbles down my chin

Pride moves upon me, so seductively, still worshipping me...and seducing me
I kiss those bitter lips again and we lay down together...again
The music maker composes a another song, with the same familiar tone
Fear and Sloth resume the same dance of slave and master
And the room spins again, and I fade from consciousness...again
As the onyx one towers over this orgy of delusion, denial, indulgence, escape, and deceit

I awake; pale, lifeless...and as always...in pain
I wonder what I've done...again
Still feeling trapped...nowhere to move
Pride wraps itself around me, sensing I am beginning to think
"Love, how about you come away with us," it says with a caress and bitter kiss
I ask if I can return to see the others that I know
"NO!...NEVER," it roars, baring the teeth of a your nightmares and eyes fire-red
"I mean," as it reduces such as feverish pitch, "you've been places that have taken you to a plane of understanding and existence, where you cannot possibly relate to these...people; they couldn't accept you...ever"
And Pride caresses me again and turns to the music maker as he nods 'well done'

"Besides, child, they will only reject you and leave you lonely...no one is meant to be alone," Fear interjects
"And you really don't want them to see you like...this," says Pride as it points to my lifeless complexion and torn garments
"It's easier this way, man," adds Sloth as he drags from his pipe and exhales a silvery to deathly red smoke

"Of course, you cannot come like this," says Pride
I look around to see if there is anything I can dress myself in
"Oh no...I don't mean your clothes...or what's left of them", it says the latter in a putrid tone
"We mean your state," says Fear
My look tells them that I do not get their meaning

"Touch my breast, dear," commands Pride
I move forward, touch the its breast, but my hand moves right through its vaporous body
I pull it back through and try to recall laying with any kind of aparition
It appears a cruel joke, so I push my hand through Selfish, Fear, and Sloth as well
I move toward the figure with Shame inscribed upon its breast, but I back away as it takes an aggressive stance

I ask how I can go away with them
Selfish grabs the bottle of the feast drink, smashes it to make a sharp cutting piece, and hands it to me
I look upon them all; Shame, Selfish, Fear, Sloth, Pride, and the music maker in the background, composing his next song
"It's the only way," says Fear
"Why live rejected by those with an inferior understanding?," says Pride, wrapping its arms around you, stroking your hair
I pull away, walk the room, while they all giggle as if in on a little joke
The shard of glass, grippped tightly in my hand, begins to break skin, leaving droplets of blood in my hand...and on the floor...


So there I stand, looking down at a hand dripping with blood - my face reflected in the broken shard of glass
And it's as if I've fallen deaf, looking around the room and seeing everyone laughing, but mute to my senses
Laughing and dancing I see but cannot hear
While I exist in torment, trying to think myself out of this
With Shakespeare's eternal question of existence ringing in my mind
Nowhere to turn, nowhere to run, as the onyx one's presence reminds me

And as if I've known the way out the whole time, I do the simplest of things...I cry
My eyes squench closed as I feel the salt of my tear running down my cheek
From amidst the chaos of laughing and dancing, the music maker pushes through; noticing the tear
And in what appears to be slow motion in this surreal place, he charges toward me as if racing to catch the tear falling from my face
The floor pounds like a sledge hammer striking the floor as he charges closer

At the point where he can almost touch me, the tear drops from my face and falls to the floor
A terror-stricken look, one that I have never seen appear, rips across the music maker's face
"NO!", he roars
And suddenly, the floor quakes violently, causing the music maker to be thrown back from me, and almost causing me to fall
And I am no longer deaf to the room
And the next thing I see is the onyx figure of shame fall forward and shatter into pieces
I see, in the midst of the sudden quake and everything else; a way out
And as I stand in my someplace deep, a thought occurs to me - it will never be as it once was - none of it
The floors begins to separate, the walls begin to crack, every "thing" in the room begins to scurry; confounded, looking for the order of the music maker
I run for the exit, but Fear, revealing his true horrific visage, knocks me backward with its serpent-like claw, and I fall dazed...and bury my face from Fear's true form
But from somewhere in and beyond me, I hear a voice, 'You are not alone'
While still shaken by Fear's lethal blow, I begin to rise
But I see Pride across from me, appearing wounded, weak, and sublimely beautiful
I run in staggered fashion, as the floor behind me falls apart, to come to its side
It stretches out its hand, as if needing my help
I come to its side to raise the face buried in its coat
It jerks its head upward and is the most putrid sight I have ever seen
"You fool, you could've had everything, I could have made you perfect! You never had to know shame, wrong, fallibility!", it screams at me.
Suddenly Selfish, Sloth, and Fear come behind me and wrap me in chains
I struggle, but the restraints are too tight
"Open the portal!", barks the music maker
Selfish pulls a large round piece, which could be a door, and slams it to one of the remaining standing walls
"Quickly, this place is collapsing!", shouts the music maker.
"We're headed to the abyss," shouts Fear. "It's the choice this one has left us!"
Selfish rips open the door and I see the most fantastic and horrific site; a firey red and poisonous green glow.
As I look closer, I see thousands, maybe millions of people, chained, scourged bodies, being whipped into submission for any horrific act a guard may wish to do.
I feel a heat and sense a glow behind me; it's Pride's Coat of Names and it glows as each person is abused in any way possible.
"You are going to know pain, oh yes, you will know pain," Pride growls in my ear
The portal wall begins to separate more rapidly and the music maker flies in first
Selfish jumps in next
I feel my will to not suffer, to not be hurt swell within me...and I feel my body swell and my chains begin to break
Fear notices and barks to Sloth, "Get it, it's going to get away!"
Sloth moves to restrain me, but the chain breaks in a long link...and I wrap it around its neck and sling it into the portal
'I am with you', comes to me and my will grows more and more
Fear charges me from behind and knocks me to my back
We struggle as another piece of floor separates behind us and he tries to restrain my hands
He is on top of me moving me closer to the portal door
As we struggle hand to hand, I break one of his claws and thrust it into his breast
He lets out a blood-curdling, serpent like scream, and I grab him and let him know, "You will not take me!", and hurl him over me and through the portal door
He grabs the swung open door as the pull of the abyss begins to take him and the portal wall is next to nothing
"I will never go away! As long as you choose your pointless life, I will be back!"
And the pull of the abyss sucks him through
I struggle to my feet to grab my chain and slam the portal shut when Pride slams me to what's left of a cracking wall
"WHY, WHY, WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY!", it screams as it holds a dagger over me
"DAMN YOU!!!, it screams again
"NO... DAMN, YOU!!!!!", I scream back as I reach for the dagger and cut the Coat of Names from around its neck and drive it toward to portal door
"NOT ANYMORE!", I scream as I push it through the portal door and slam it shut
Standing with one hand holding the torn Coat of Names and the other holding the chain, I strike the portal door, and it begins to shatter on the still collapsing wall when a bright blinding light rushes forth and I lose consciousness

I wake later; I'm not sure how late
I'm laying in the field that sits on the way to my deep place
The grass is perfect green and the flowers glow in the beautiful sun
I walk up the trail to where my deep place sits
I see some different things on the way; I see new trees, an ice blue pond, and as I get closer, a trickling stream that flows from a tall waterfall a good distance away
I turn the corner on my trail, I know I will see the desolation that I have allowed to happen; a place leveled, with no one to blame but myself
I take a couple more steps and cannot believe what I see
I see a beautiful place, basking in the beautiful sun and sitting high upon a hill
'It can't be mine', I think
But I see the other places around me still here, where my old place was - so it must be mine
I run up to the porch where friends and family stretch out their arms welcoming me in
I walk inside where I smell a favorite meal cooking in the oven
People are laughing, sharing, playing
And everyone is saying..."Welcome home, welcome home"
In my someplace deep

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