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Aug 2014
In the dark of the night
a stranger appears from the shadows,
in his hand
a golden chalice.

The stranger approaches.
I sit alone
under the only lamppost in the park.

I gather my wits.
The stranger draws nearer,
cold breath smoking from his black hood.
He stops in front of me.

I tremble.

The stranger reaches out his bony hand
grasping the golden chalice
and whispers,
"Choose the chalice for life.
Choose not and wish you had."

My mind becomes chaotic.
Thoughts of triumph and regret
flood my consciousness.
My legs are numb.
My feet seem to mold to the ground.
I feel my very existence
begin to slowly fade.

The stranger,
who is he?
From whence does he come?
Why does he choose me?

The lamppost above me begins to flicker.
It casts a shadow over the silhouette of his face.
His face?
My face?
Can it be?

I lift my arm
to reach for the chalice.
My arm is heavy,
my breath short.

The lamppost flickers faster.
The wind howls.
The temperature drops.
My heart races.

My fingertips are just to touch the chalice when
the light stops flickering.

My breath becomes long
and deep.
The breeze,
soft and subtle.
The stranger,
gone.

I sit there
attempting to rationalize.

An old man comes strolling by
humming a jaunty tune.
As he passes,
he stops.
He looks into my eyes.
I feel again unable to move.

The lampposts flickers twice
then goes out.
I jolt up,
fear looming.

Then a flash in front of me.
I look up.
There is the old man
holding a flame atop his lighter.

"The light will always show the way,"
he says.

I stood there
dumbfounded.

And the old man continued to walk down the path
humming the same cheery tune
and holding the lit lighter over his right shoulder
all the way
until he disappeared from sight.
Ronald D Lanor
Written by
Ronald D Lanor
763
   ---, Tryst and Ariel Baptista
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