Lula and Bruno trailed behind Zula. “Do you think Shamshael’s going to hurt my dad?“
Zula slowed and turned towards them as they walked. “Lula, honestly, your story made my heart hurt so much and ache for you. I’m sure Bruno felt the same.” Bruno nodded, wiping away a quickly resurfacing tear.
“When you tell your troubles to an angel, you have to remember that they’re different from us. They see the world differently, they operate on a higher dimensional plane. Shamshael doesn’t require the same mechanics that we do to enter this world. He can travel back-and-forth between Anwyn and Cronus with a thought. He can be anywhere in either universe at any time. And he is an instrument of Urthona’s justice. Whatever Urthona’s law requires, he executes.“
“But why would I need to tell him? Doesn’t he know everything?”
“Angels aren’t the same as your Urthona. There are aspects of the divine power, not the totality.”
“So Urthona is omniscient. Is Urizen omniscient?”
“Urizen was given powers by Urthona at the beginning. After Urizen fell, he took control of Cronus. He enmeshed himself so well in your home universe that Urthona would’ve had to destroy everything in order to take it back. Urizen has many more powers and far greater vision and knowledge then Shamshael, because Urizen had the highest rank among the angels before he was cast out. Urizen also acquired many powers on your planet. But he doesn’t understand friendship, he doesn’t understand love, and he doesn’t understand people working together to help each other. And that’s why Urthona will always win.”
They reached the foot of the hill and stood on the bridge leading into Arcadia. The music of strings rang through the air around them, as well as the chatter of people’s voices. They quieted as the three entered into the city. Zula led them down the center lane, towards the temple at the city’s center reaching towards the heavens. Bruno and Lula looked at the faces of those surrounding them. They were happy. They were smiling. It was as if they had been waiting for the three of them to arrive and now the celebration could begin.
They arrived at the temple. They followed Zula into the entranceway, torches lighting either side. The first floor was vast, and seemed far larger than the exterior. A red and white checkerboard pattern crisscrossed At the center was a burning fire, the smoke rising through the room toward a chimney. The sun shone on the floor through a multitude of stained glass windows. Bruno observed the windows, which each told stories like medieval tapestries. The great wars, the suffering saints, and the rejoicing people.
Zula brought them to a small staircase at the rear of the temple sanctuary. They descended the stairs, and entered a cold room dimly lit by torchlight. A marble table occupied center of the room, and behind it was a large black door gateway without a door. Zula pointed to the table and instructed Bruno: “I want you to take off your robe and lay on that table, Bruno. Try and fall asleep if you can.”
Without a thought, he dropped his robe and was nude before the two women again. He was becoming increasingly comfortable in the nude, like he was at swim practice and showering. He ascended the stone stairs adjacent to the table and stretched out on top it, extending his long arms and legs. It was no great feat for Bruno to fall asleep; his whole body felt like lead.
Zula gestured toward a small furnace and told Lula: “Make a small fire, with the charcoal and the matches. I’m going to get some herbs together.” Lula quickly had the furnace smoking as Zula sorted through herbs from a bin at the base of the table.
“What are we doing?“ Asked Lula.
“Bruno has been laboring under the curse of his life. It’s good that he’s sleeping.” Zula began feeding the herbs into flames. “Bruno needs to his etheric heart purified if he will save these people.”
“What is the ‘etheric heart’?”
“It’s where Bruno‘s memories and hurt and pain and joy live. You could call it his unconscious. It’s a place where we can interact with his spirit.”
Fragrance and smoke filled the room. Lula thought of roses and wine and dance. She watched Zula, and soon her vision was completely clouded by the smoke. And then everything went black, except for glowing white light from the gateway. She felt Zula’s hand grasp hers in the darkness. She followed her through the doorway. Her vision filled with light, and she stepped through.
Lula looked around. They were on a sidewalk in a small town. In front of them was a theater. Zula smiled. She pointed to the marquee. “It looks like they’re ready for us in there.“ The marquee read “Welcome Zula and Lula!