… of the Beginning
Slowly he became aware of his surroundings, or more precisely the lack of them. He was…floating? The experience was as alien as the way the soft green light that enveloped him provided a sense of warmth that was not at all physical. In fact nothing was physical. He keenly perceived that he could not “feel” anything.
Zhill? Was that him? It wasn’t his voice that he had heard, although he didn’t understand how he could be so sure. It was so…comforting; he wanted to stay right where he was forever and never leave the satisfaction that he felt in this sea of green with the voice calling his name.
“Zhill, do you know how you arrived here?”
The voice resonated in a manner that challenged his every sense to understand its nature yet was conveyed with absolute clarity. While there was a sensation of memory, he could recall nothing. He couldn’t remember who he was or even how he had come to be where he now was.
“You have come to us from very far away, and you have helped us as we have helped you.” The voice was soft and reassuring without any hint of deception.
He curiously pondered whether that was the reason he couldn’t remember anything.
“In order to preserve your soul, what was left of your mind had to be sacrificed.”
He was strangely aware that such thoughts should have bothered him, yet the didn’t. He struggled to think of anything other than the comfort of the presence that surrounded him.
“You may remain here with me if you desire.”
Her voice pleasantly urged him to remain. Yet he felt something else. A deep stirring as though there were something inside that could not yet rest. Like a man rousing from slumber, a blur of thoughts slowly came to him. He had once…lived. In some way that was different than he existed now.
“Your body came to rest at my roots.” While her words were beyond his understanding, her meaning pressed into his thoughts. “Your physical shell deteriorated and I fed on its nutrients. This allowed me to absorb your soul, although that was an unforseen consequence. I give life to my children who grow and live in the world around them. Their thoughts and experiences aid those who have not yet been born just as the energies that brought you to us have.”
Zhill could sense that there was nothing more he could do. Whatever he had held him together had been absorbed and dispersed by this benevolent entity to the lifeforms it created. Again the stirrings resonated in his thoughts.
“You may find that you have something yet to offer to us and our world. It is a choice that is yours alone.”
The thought of some other life intrigued him as much as it puzzled him. The stirrings urged him to seek out that part which was missing in spite of the calming influence that surrounded him. The only thing he did know is that he was not finished. Yet he wondered what he might become.
“Your identity will remain, and I will make for you a shell that will match the strength of your soul. But I can not protect you once you are born into the world. I can not prevent the pain and suffering that you must endure. You have sacrificed much in coming to us and if you wish to stay you may remain and rest here with me.”
Zhill knew he that must go on. If there would be a time for his soul to rest, it would not come now. He would always yearn to seek out … something. As pleasant and comforting as his existence currently was, it could not provide what he felt was missing.
“Rest now. When you awake, you will not remember your time with me, yet I will leave you with a trace of my presence. You will never be the same as those around you, nor will you be able to rest until you have brought your own soul to peace. And though none will be able to show you your path, you will never be alone.”
As the light around him grew dim, Zhill’s mind settled into a slumber, blanketed by the assurance that there were many things yet to come.