Have you ever felt completely disoriented? Here is one of the short stories I wrote during the “Story a Day in May” challenge. Let me know what you think. It may end up being a part of a longer manuscript. Hope you like it and will share it with your friends.
IN THE PRESENCE OF A KING
Standing in my black power suit and heels amidst soldiers in ancient armor; in a room with at least twenty-foot ceilings and folds of gold and purple fabric covering the walls, I felt small. The power suit had lost its power when the soldiers lifted me by the arms off the cobblestone street in the middle of some ancient marketplace. How did I get here? In this time and in this place? And where is here?
A large winged creature with beautiful sea-blue eyes hovered in front of a jeweled throne facing me, blocking my full view. There were no windows in this room, yet light filled the room. The stones embedded in the gold throne shimmered and sent their colors like a rainbow out from it. All around me, I saw throngs of people wearing gleaming white robes held together by a red sash and sitting on white carved stone benches that rose like stadium seats. Red hoods covered their heads and shoulders. I couldn’t tell if they were male or female.
All at once, I was on my knees. The soldiers and the crowd had fallen to their knees as well. Only the winged creature remained erect. Then he folded his wings and sank to the ground on one knee in front of me. His blue eyes held mine until he pivoted and lay prostrate on the floor facing the throne. That’s when I saw the source of light came not from the jewels, but from the brilliant figure of a man seated on the throne. It was impossible to see his face. The light burned my eyes like the sun at noon on a cloudless day.
I lowered my head, unable to look into the light. Instead, I looked at the ragged edges of my black skirt, the tattered jacket and once crisp white blouse now a dingy gray-like so many washings in tainted water. Unbeckoned, tears filled my eyes and my throat tightened. I clutched my aching chest. Emotion overwhelmed my resolve to remain strong. I closed my eyes against all the light. I felt exposed. I tried to pull my tattered jacket around me and tore a seam down the back. Wet with perspiration, the dingy white blouse became transparent. I felt naked and ashamed. Sobbing in front of the throne. When the figure stood, I fell flat on my face to the cold marble floor. I wanted the ground to absorb me.
Once my tears were spent and my shame revealed, I sensed a quiet peace. The crowd collectively breathed a sigh, and I lifted my chin from the floor. The figure on the throne now stood before me, His feet covered in old brown leather sandals. Each foot bore scars the size of a quarter. I followed the muscled legs to the hem of a brilliant white robe tied with a purple sash. He wore a purple hood that draped his head and shoulders. I couldn’t make out his face. The light too bright. But when his strong, lean hands reached to lift me up, I saw scars like those on his feet marked his palms and I knew who He was. Before He gently pulled me to my feet, I knew Him. I knew where I stood, and who I stood before.