I was left alone after that moment. My father had vanished, my subconscious as well, from my vision. I felt an unease crept upon me. I felt someone breathing on my neck. It startled me, but I dare not move. Instead I listen to the voice,
"Matthew...are you okay?" I heard the bodiless voice. I recognized the voice.
"Suzanne?" I ask and she stands before me. It was as if she was there the whole time but I was not permitted to see her. Or maybe she was.
"Yes. It's me..." She replies with a sadness in her voice. It was like she didn't want it to be her. She wanted to be in someone else's body. She didn't want to be herself...not anymore.
"Why is he doing this? Why does he want us to feel guilty?" I say out loud rather than in my head.
"Maybe he thinks we deserve pain"
"Where did he develop this idea of inflicting so much pain... It is as if he is a master at the skill "
Suzanne remained quiet for a moment.
"Maybe he learned it from our father" she replies and I wince at her remark. Children learn from their parents...possibly too much. We are all easily influenced.
"Matthew, what do you think ...he, or should I say you? …meant when he said that you needed to start from the beginning?"
"I don't know. I feel as if I am missing something. I was never told the original story. My whole theory was based on the idea that the forest had always been that way...I never thought of the cause" I reply and I feel a sudden shame and stupidity. Why didn't I look into this more?
Catching us by surprise a door appeared in front of us. Suzanne and I stood up to analyze the sudden figure in front of us. It was not connected to anything and was black all over. It was old, wooden, and chipped.
"What do you think this is?" She asks me
"A portal. It'll take us somewhere...but I don't know where"
"Should we open it?"
"We should ..there's no way of escaping the inevitable"
I place my hand on the door knob and I prepare for almost anything. I had no idea what would show before me. I was curious and frightened all at once.
When I opened the door I was placed in front of a prison cell. Suzanne followed behind. There was a man sitting on the bed reading a book. The Bible. He was around the age it seemed of about 30 years old. He was Caucasian, had short, black hair, and from his frame he seemed very large and tall like a tower.
I glanced over at Suzanne who didn't look as if she understood why we were here.
"Do you know this man?" She asks me
"No. I've never seen him before, have you?"
I tried to figure out what was being presented before me. Why was this man in jail and why is he important?
Suzanne tripped over some unknown object on the ground and stumbled back against the wall. The man did not move even though there was a loud bang.
"Are we in another flashback? He doesn't seem to be able to hear us" she says curiously
I was going to respond until I saw a women standing on the other end of the hall. She was wearing a long blue dress. She had her hair in tangles and all over her face was a black substance that resembled tar. Her blue dress has red stains all over it. It looked as if she had been drug through the mud. She walks toward us.
I don't know whether or not to run or stay.
Suzanne started to notice my sudden alertness toward the mysterious women. She stares at her. It felt like both of us could not keep our eyes away from her. It was as if a force was controlling our eyes.
"I'm glad you chose to open the door. You choose wisely" the women tells us and I become confused.
"What - who are you?" Suzanne asks
"That'll be explained in time. I can show you better than I can tell you" the women responds.
"Why should we trust you?" I asked even though something inside me compelled me to listen to her every word.
"Because if you don't follow me...Sammy will die" she says harshly and I feel there is no other option but to listen to her.
"The man before you will help you solve the puzzle" she says and gestures toward the man in the cell, "William".
I noted the name. William. Soon it may have some significance to me.
"Follow me" she says and we follow behind her.
She pushes open a door reading "Exit". It appeared to be another door to another location. My house.
It was strange however. The house was different. It did not have the darkened look that it possessed when I was there. It was as if we had never lived here. It looked pure in a sense. It looked untouched and inviting.
We follow her inside and there's some sort of gathering going on. Of course no one knowledges us. We walk right past them. They are in the living room sitting in chairs in the form of a circle. The man named William sat in the middle. He still possessed what he had held in his prison cell, the Bible.
It appeared to be a prayer circle. I noticed the women we were following behind sat in a chair before us like the others. She was wearing the same blue dress only she was not as wrecked and she looked younger. Was this a flashback from her mind? What happened her? Why should I care? How does this affect my brother?
They all held hands and listened to William speak.
" If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" he says and keeps particular eye on the women. It was as if he was speaking directly toward her. How has she sinned?
He goes on, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, the times of refreshing may come from the lord"
The women opened her eyes as if she could feel his stare upon her. They met eyes and he scowled at her.
" Admit what you have done or you cannot be forgiven" he says and leans toward her and whispers something only she can hear that creates fear upon her face.
"You can't run from your wrong doings. Christ can see you and so can I"