Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FEAST (07/12/18)
TITLE: Home for Supper
By Tracy Nunes
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Around them, in countless shapes and stances, were more. Some limbless, having made it through but not without leaving something behind. Others, blind from shrapnel or the intentional blades of their adversary, held onto the shoulders of their companions.
Babies, children, and adolescents, many parentless, blended into the crowd, sheltered in this embrace or that. The feeble, faint and disfigured helped the orphaned.
Yet, a few showed no visible scars at all; seemingly void of any sign of war. Of these, some had wounds too deep to see. A rare one here or there had somehow transited the battlefield with scarce injuries at all.
A strange half-light encircled them. Only enough to see a step or two in front. Depending on the angle, the light seemed to either shine down on them or emanate from them in a peculiar dance of faint illumination that spread throughout the countless millions that stood waiting at the enormous door.
A subtle breeze stirred and swirled around them, so gently that it caressed their skin. Grateful sighs emanated from the crowd. A scent akin to roses accompanied the breeze as it steadily picked up the pace until even the hairs on their heads fluttered behind them.
Before long, they gripped each other as the breeze turned into a fierce gale. Voices cried out. Babies wailed. Hearts fainted for fear of what was to come.
The wind took shape. Rose-scented particles formed into mountain-sized fingers reaching into the crevices of the closed door. It shuddered and groaned, as blood seeped from the cracks and clefts of the ancient wood. Loud creaking and popping halted the voices of the crowd as they starred horrified at the door. The shuddering turned to massive quaking until the wood at last shattered into a million tiny particles of dust.
And there was silence.
The beleaguered crowd dare not move or speak…or even look around. So still, they scarcely noticed the fine wood dust floating down on them, onto their hair, their clothes, their skin; each particle instantly changing whatsoever it touched until each one was wholly transformed.
Their clothes, now glowing pure and white. Their skin, flawless. Their limbs, restored. Their sight now more perfect than any perfect they’d ever known. Able to see their brethren for miles around them, they could, at last, perceive how un-alone in the battle they’d always been.
A sound started in low, but it started to grow. Joy reverberated in their hearts until it flowed out of their chests, touching and blending with those around them. A mighty, mighty song rose from the ashes of the door. And yet, there was more.
“What’s that, Mama?”
A young child sniffed at the air, a look of wonder filling her tiny face. Her sweet voice spoke for the multitudes as they stepped in curious unison toward the enormous hole where the door had been.
As they passed the threshold, a sight awaited them that they had yearned for longed for unceasingly.
Tables, upon tables, upon tables - too many to count – filled the room that wasn’t really a room. More like an expanse, it spread far beyond the horizon.
Each table held wonders that no human had ever seen or felt or tasted. Loaded high and filled to the edge, a rainbow of food defied gravity.
They flowed into the room, each being drawn to a chair that bore their name. It was perfectly shaped for them as if the hand of the carpenter knew their exact dimensions. As they approached the chair, it astonishingly pulled back and beckoned them to sit. So, sit they did.
The joy of the crowd grew and grew as the expanse grew brighter and the aroma of the feast filled all their senses, even some senses they didn’t know they had.
Suddenly, everything paused. A hush fell over the crowd. Each one’s heart fluttered within their chest as excitement they’d never known bubbled up within them.
A wave of pure love burst from the head of the expanse as all eyes turned in unison to behold the Master of the banquet. Happy tears flowed when they heard the Master say,
“Let the Feast begin!”
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