I awoke in that dark forest, wounded...
My bow broken and bound at my wrists...
My thoughts and memories as hazy as the shadows around me
A soft mist settled around the trees...no breeze
Then I heard it:
Nachash...moving in the tree above me
I could only see the dark light shining off his scales
Imbalanced scales and skewed perspectives
A forked tongue
Dropping from the tree before me, Nachash reared up
I was surprised to find his face mangled, as though crushed
The bruise on my heel surged forth a memory
We stared at one another for some time - his hatred heavier than the mist
I don't know what my expression held for him...disdain? Contempt?
I felt no fear, and perhaps that frustrated the fallen form before me
"You have nowhere to run...nowhere to go, little king...you are bound"
I could not remember where I was or how I got here; how was I bound?
I couldn't see; not even beyond the trees - the dark and mist too thick
He saw me scanning
"Into the dark, child of God?" he spat
"Yes, run blind...I will not stop you"
I sat motionless, trying to remember...
Running? No. I'm not here to run.
"You are alone in this...everyone has gone, leaving you..."
"Where is your great love, child of God?"
I was missing something, but his words did not feel right...
I was not abandoned. No. A sacrifice was made, and the Light did shine at that.
Something about the Light...
"No more arrows, child, no more love...what awaits you outside this forest?"
He shifted closer, yellow eyes locking on to mine
"Nothing," he whispered, "nothing awaits you. Just a world that has passed you by."
The Light brought peace. I had peace.
"Why don't you speak, favored one, do your gifts fail you?"
The Light brought courage. I was not afraid.
"Where is your gifted mind, earthbound wanderer?"
The Light brought clarity. My hands...
They were not bound! I had bound them with my own belief - a lie.
I stood quickly. The serpent spun backward and hissed
"Who told you that you were free?!"
I spoke, finally, "The Light brings truth: that I am the enemy that allows your lies to persist...to bind me. No more, Nachash. I am loved and I am free."
I scanned the tree line again, believing...
The path was there, easily discernible - directly behind Nachash.
I moved around him quickly, heading for the path.
"All there is for you, maggot, is an uncertain future - in a world full of my influence!" I turned to face him.
His broken visage seemed worried...scared even.
My voice was as strong as my cleared mind, "My future is in God's hands, and there are no weapons - no words - that you can fashion to come against me. I belong to God as does my future."
I turned to go, but paused and looked back
"Your future is in God's hands too, Nachash...and in all the greatness with which you were designed, I pity you and the future you've brought upon yourself."
Further into the dark forest I strode, invigorated. I did not look back.