The din of incessant shouting echoes in my throbbing head. The cold floor on which I sit and shiver grows harder with every hour I spend in this dismal lair. Curled up, with my head between my knees, I try to block out the unending curses and taunts.
“To think you could be forgiven!”
A sinister cackle echoes through the desolate corridors.
“ Look at your family. They don’t even want to know you, after your past conduct! What is your life worth to them, or anyone now?”
Insults bounce off all four walls, eventually pelting me, and penetrating through my skin, wounding to the very depths of my heart.
“Ha! Looks like it’s a life sentence for you, prisoner. Play the tape again, Damien.”
Not the tape. I can’t bear to set eyes on it again. Just as I grow accustomed to the grim darkness, a sulphurous light stabs my eyes. Once more, images of often regretted memories are projected onto the dusty screen. My mother crying, as I slam the door behind me. My hand reaching slowly into my brother’s wallet, pulling out a wad of green notes. Sniffing that destructive white powder for the first time, as the lads spurred me on. I try to turn away, restrained by the chains which bind me to the damp, slimy wall. All I can do is sit and shiver and sob. The film finally stops. I am left alone, strangely comforted by the obscurity which absorbs my cell.
Suddenly a chink of light appears - a warm and pleasant light, which I feel I could bask in forever.
“Psssstt…” A whisper, barely audible startles me. I examine the usually boarded up window, to find the source of the light. A terrified face appears through a tiny, cut-away hole. A finger beckons me closer. I move my body, as close as possible, pulling against the chains.
“Quiet. He doesn’t know I’m here. His servants have tried to divert me, but finally I’ve made it.”
“Who are you?” I am almost afraid to whisper.
“I come to bring you good news. I know how you can be released.”
A wave of hope envelops me, only to be quelled by a flicker of doubt, then shattered, by a plummet into disbelief.
“Whatever your plan, it would never work.” I moan.. “ Don’t you know who he is? He is the ruler. He has full power over Sinnerville. And he says he has thrown my key away anyway. Even if I were to escape, he would track me down, and chain me up in this pitiful place again.”
“Oh, your ruler is well known to us. Only, our folk call him the father of all lies. To prove my point, hasn’t he ever mentioned The Greater One?”
“You mean -” I pause, deep in thought. “There is one greater than my tormentor?”
“Yes. He is Lord over all the universe.” A gentle smile beams from my messenger’s face. “It is he who holds the master key to unlock the prisoner’s cell.”
I plea excitedly. This is my only chance. “What must I do to merit my release?”
“Simply call on him, and he will liberate you.”
Desperately, I cry out, “Lord of all, have mercy on me! Unlock the door, and remove these heavy chains, that I may praise and thank you.”
Bright, warm light floods the tiny cell. The door announces my freedom, with an ascending creak, as it swings open. A clinking sound resonates, as the chains once fastened, tumble to the ground. Realizing my burden has been severed, I breath a now effortless sigh.. I rub my eyes. Could I be dreaming? Slowly, I stumble towards the open door. As I cross the threshold into liberation, I faintly hear the beautiful chords of an angel choir.
“They’re celebrating already!” chuckles my precious messenger.
“How can I ever repay you?” I inquire, as I throw my arms around him.
“It’s a gift.” He replies. “Though the Master might appreciate a thank you. Now lets go and commemorate this happy occasion.”
We walk out into the open air together, grinning like reunited brothers as we cross the undisturbed pathway - a pathway of second chances.
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