Whish! The first sensation I feel is falling. The faster the descent, the darker it becomes. I am being sucked into a black ibis that never seems to end. I must be having a nightmare. The last thing I remember is that truck pulling out in front of me. NO!
As I float above the scene , I see someone trying to pull me free of my mangled car. A woman is screaming and I hear the wailing of ambulances.
Wait. I am going down through the road, what’s happening?
I feel alone – so very alone in this black darkness. Somehow I know the time for choices is over. Wherever I am, I seem to know it is permanent – like forever permanent. The black darkness engulfs me and I see fiery, hate filled eyes dancing and taunting me.
“This is not where I intended to go. Wait! There’s been some awful mistake! Stop! I’m a member of the First Church! Look it up! I signed up over a year ago! There’s been a mistake, I tell you.”
“It’s so dark here, except for the flickering of fire in the distance. I feel the oppressive heat. Where are the angels sitting on the clouds? I thought that sounded boring, but it would sure beat this place.”
A grotesque looking monster with scales and blazing eyes swipes at Jessie with long, twisted claws, striking his arm.
“Oooow. The pain -- the pain is excruciating.”
With a growl and evil laughter that shoots fear and panic into him the monster swipes again with the other claw. Jessie is knocked into a little room. He slides through something putrid smelling and hits a rock wall. The cell door is slammed shut.
“No, no, this can’t be happening to me. Jesus, Jesus, help me!”
He struggles to stand to his feet, but the slime will not support him. Whatever is all over the floor completely engulfs the little room. There is nothing and no one to help.
In the cage next to him, comes another taunting voice drenched with hatred.
“Shut up, you creep; you deserve to be here just like I do.”
It’s all too much for Jessie’s mind to handle. Lying in the corner of the cell, he begins to weep as if his insides will explode.
“The other voice yells, “Yeah, yeah, blubber all you want. It won’t get you nothin’.”
Jessie finally finds his voice again.
“But you don’t understand. I signed up to go to church. I didn’t go much, but my name is on the rolls – they can check.”
Looking down at his wounds, the face of his grandmother comes to mind.
“Grandma -- she would be so disappointed in me. She loves me. She tried to tell me that I needed to accept Jesus, but I didn’t want to then. I wanted to have fun first. I decided that I would live my life as one big party and accept Him on my death bed.”
“Well, how’d that work out for ya?”
Another wave of regret finds its way up through Jessie, shaking him to the core.
“I . . . I didn’t know I’d die so young. I saw that truck and the next thing I knew, I was here.”
“Yeah, that ‘putting it off’ stuff is a risky business and a real bad mistake. It’s one that’ll cost you forever. Some of my relatives are playing with God just waiting to see if they can get into heaven by the skin of their teeth. I wish I could go back and tell ‘em that dog won’t hunt. It’s a real dangerous game. Look where we are.
“My wife told me she was praying for me. She gave me a tract about Jesus, but I threw it away, I was too busy for Him. I remember her telling me that Jesus wasn’t too busy for me, but I wouldn’t listen. I’m not too busy now, but it’s too late. I took the risk and lost. Now I’ll pay my own debt for my sins when all along Jesus did it for me. I’m so sorry I wouldn’t listen.”
The monster returns, his sharp teeth glistening in the flicker of the fire with drool running down his grotesque face. They hear screaming and begging. In his mouth is another soul who tried to be his own God.
A clanging cell door slams loud, mingled with the sound of convulsions as the man realizes his destination.
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