I stood looking at the pale form standing before me, the dark hollow eyes and the gaunt skin stretched across bone and muscle. I wanted to look away but I was transfixed. I saw a dark and twisted version of myself staring back at me. The hatred masked the fear I could see just below the surface. I turned to the lord as he slowly nodded he knew what I was going to ask even before the words had begun to form in my mind.
“I don’t understand… ” I couldn’t begin to understand what I was seeing.
“The Jackal was you. The jackal is you. What you see now is the what your fears and own mind have done to you. Your past and how you view the world around you have created what you see before you. Instead of moving forward and leaving behind what once was you carried it around with you. You let it define you, it has changed you and drained your very soul of the light and life that I had given you.”
He looked at me with a deep sadness, not a sadness born of disappointment but one born of pain. At that moment I knew it wasnt meant to be that way. The pain and fear were not meant to last as long as I had let it. I didn’t have anything to say. I simply watched the wretch of a soul that stood before me an wondered what was going to happen next. The trip home so far had taken me down a path I had never before encountered one I felt was far from over.
“I need you now to watch… Simply look at what is about to happen next. But remember always trust in me.” The Lord’s words seemed to drive a sense of unease deep within me. I knew it was coming from me and not him. I tried to ease my mind and focus. I watched as the wretched version of myself twisted and turned as if he was searching for something. The panic in his eyes increased as he frantically circled around and around searching for something. It took only moments before I could hear the caws of crows. The sky filled with the black wings of hundreds of crows. They settled around him as he relished their presence. They feed him scraps of rancid and rotten meat. I turned my head as the bile in my stomach rose. I was watching myself being feed by crows rancid and maggot infested meat. I turned to the lord.
“I don’t understand…” I was being honest.
“The crows are your very thoughts, the negative and deceitful thoughts. They feed you meat but it is rancid and vile. These are the thoughts you thrived on. They would drive you to do and say things you would otherwise never say or do.” He looked at me and reached out to me. His hands rested on my ears and covered over them. I heard muffled voices all speaking at once. He removed his hands and I heard the voices all in unison.
“I know its my fault… no matter what I do it ends this way”
“I’m not worth anything.. its better if I simply fade away”
“Why would anyone love me.. I have nothing to offer, nothing worth anything in me”
“They hate me and so in turn I hate them”
“I don’t deserve happiness or love”
“I know they are lying to me why would they not.. it’s just a matter time before they have no use for me”
“I am merely a means to an end for them”
“They are the same as the others”
The voices continued louder and more frantic. Each statement getting worse then first. I was ashamed of what I heard. The distrust, anger, fear, paranoia all rising and feeding the wretched soul with each sentence. I noticed then that each crow was speaking the words their cawing was mocking as if each word they spoke was on purpose.
“Now you see that the lies and thoughts you have listened to for so long have literally fed the hell you now walk in” The lords whisper silenced the crows as he spoke. I heard his voice but I was mesmerized by the crows. I had heard these voices for so long I was once again feeling their effects. I could see the lord speaking but I could no longer hear him. He frowned and looked at the murder of crows swarming around us. He opened his mouth and a boom of thunder exploded around us. The crows took flight and scattered. The wretched soul screamed out in agony as the crows left and I fell to my knees.
“Silence…be still and know that I am”
His words whispered into my soul. And I closed my eyes, I was exhausted and I wanted nothing more than to simply sleep. He sat next to me and remained silent, but i could feel his presence around me and emanating through me.
“We have much to do and you have much to learn… but for now simply know I am here.”
I closed my eyes and I heard the flapping wings of the crows grow ever distant as each moment passed.