A light flashed, and soon the Rainmaker found himself somewhere he had never seen before. He sat up, noting the lush green trees and breathed in the freshest air he’d ever known. The mask that was once on his face was gone, and when he looked down at his hands he saw that his gloves were gone. His hands were normal, no longer wrinkled and bloated with water. As he stood up, he looked down at his body to discover he no longer looked like Luke Everton. He looked just like….
“Zenapharr!” A familiar girl’s voice called. With elation, he saw Alice was running towards him, looking the brightest she’d ever been. He could not suppress the huge smile that spread across his face as he opened his arms and snatched her up into a tight embrace.
“Oh my…Alice, I thought I’d never see you.”
His shoulders heaved as he cried in utter joy. The warm tears rolled down their faces as they held on to each other, never intending on letting go. It took them a while before they could let go, so overcome with emotion that they hadn’t considered Alice’s next thought.
“Where are we?”
“I don’t know….but wherever it is, I like it.”
“Me too. It just feels so…peaceful.”
Zenapharr nodded, and she ran her hand across his face.
“You’re you again. Not that other face I saw, or Luke Everton.”
“Yes. I suppose I’m back to normal now.”
“What do you remember before this?”
“I was Luke and…”
The memory of his last moments flashed into his mind. Water filled him completely, and next he remembered the roof caving in, followed by sand. Before long, the sand mixed in with the rising water and he was covered in quicksand. Even at full strength, he doubted if he could have pulled himself out. With very little left, he succumbed to the quicksland’s mucky grip . Soon, his lungs were filled and his breathing slowed. His last thought was of Alice and of Sade. Then, his body and mind relaxed before…
“We’re dead…” Zenapharr said, fully realizing it for the first time. He looked over to Alice. “I know where we are now.”
He wandered about, admiring the sheer beauty of the trees and the sky, which was the bluest he’d ever laid eyes on. Alice walked alongside him in silence, wanting to ask him of their whereabouts. Yet each time she thought about talking, she was too awestruck by the beauty all around her. They walked about the forestry scene, and noticed after a while that every type of fruit and vegetable was presented. It seemed this forest area was more of some sort of garden.
They walked through it they knew not how long. All they knew was they felt that all was right with the world for once.
“Wow, look at this one!” Zenapharr ran over, and Alice was soon at his heels. All the trees were most splendid, but there was something special about this one that he had spotted. The green of the trees leaves were a bit greener, the red of the apples glinting hotly in the sunlight. It was completely unphased, though they’d seen many a squirrel bustling through the area.
“Look!” Alice pointed to one lonely apple that looked to have fallen. Upon closer inspection, Alice saw there wwere approximately two bite marks in it. A strange look came over her then as if she was in a trance. She began slowly opening her mouth, but Zenapharr swatted the apple from her hand. A look of swift anger danced in her eyes.
“What did you do THAT for?!”
“Because I know for sure where we are now. You are not to mess with this tree under any circumstances.”
“I need you to trust me on this. Just don’t do it.” Alice’s tight jaw loosened a bit. “Okay?”
After thinking on it, she silently nodded and Zenapharr kissed her forehead.
“So…what do you want to do now?”
“Actually…you know…I saw a pond as we were walking around. I’d really like to go swimming.”
“Why? It’s not even hot here.”
“Well..I’ve never been swimming before. Maybe you could teach me how?”
“Yeah, that’d be great.”
Beaming, they walked through the garden with Alice at the lead. Suddenly, a feminine voice called to them.
Both turned to see a woman approaching from afar. Zenapharr’s eyes strained, as he no longer had the superhuman eyesight he once had.
As she approached, Zenapharr came to a striking realization and a wave of glee overcame him. Alice took note of his expression.
“Who is she?”
Zenapharr paused to compose himself, then smiled.
“Someone I’ve waited a long time to see.”