MARCH 20, 2004: SATURDAY - 12:21AM. Eva kneeled on the ground in front of the shrine she had creatively decorated with various colorful and exquisite items. The shrine had been erected in the name of the Goddess, a being that Wiccans celebrated as a part of every living thing on the Earth.
Eva intertwined her fingers and took a deep breath. She closed her eyes and tried to envision the Goddess in front of her, comforting her with her warm glow. Eva wanted answers and though Wicca stressed finding answers within oneself, Eva could not help but to beseech the higher powers she believed existed in this universe.
Where are they now, though?
Eva sighed and under her breath, she whispered a prayer, an act she hardly committed in her lifetime: "Goddess, I know you're listening. This whole meteor thing . . . They haven't found a way to stop it, yet and time is running out. Everyone's going to die. I still can't comprehend all this. It's too much." She started to sob. Why do I cry so much? I'm pathetic, aren't I? "Please, Goddess, just help me find hope."
Eva crawled miserably into her bed and turned on her CD player before she turned off her bedroom light. She put the song on repeat. It was Sarah McLachlan's "Prayer of Saint Francis". It wasn't until the middle of the song that Eva had finally cried herself to sleep, exhausting her mind from her rampant thoughts about what was left of the future she had been promised as a child. Sarah's voice sang hauntingly the words of a beautiful prayer: ". . . Where there is despair, hope. / Where there is darkness, light. / And where there is sadness, joy . . ."
"You're it!" Ami shouted, her brunette hair unfurling as she ran from Eva.
Eva paused, uncertain of what to do next. In her mind, she remembered this silly game she had delighted in as a child. Now, for some reason, she couldn't remember how to play the game.
"Eva? Aren't you going to come with me?" Cyrus asked her softly, his profound brown eyes shimmering underneath the sunlight. He lent out his hand to her and Eva, though she hesitated at first, placed her hand in his.
She could swear she felt the touch of his smooth skin. Cyrus walked with her past the swings and the monkey bars. "Where are we going?" she said in askance.
Cyrus glanced at his side, over at her, and with a twinkle in his eyes and a cute smile, he told her solidly, "Trust me." He guided her past the playground and past a weeping willow tree that had grown into the size of a redwood. Eva remembered this place. She used to play here as a child. She looked back at the playground and saw Ami and her as seven-year-olds, teetering and tottering together. "Be careful, Eva. You'll step on the butterfly," Cyrus warned her. They halted and Cyrus lowered his strong body and when he rose, a vibrant orange butterfly was perched on the pad of his fingertip. It fluttered its wings almost in a show of power, but did not leave his hand.
"She looks like fire," Eva commented.
"She is fire," Cyrus amended.
As if on cue, Eva's eyes shot up to the blue topaz sky just in time to see a colossal fireball scorching through the air towards her.
Everyone was screaming . . . but no one could be heard. Silent echoes perpetuated in the fiery abyss. A mother trying to grasp her newborn infant close to her chest. A little boy searching for his baby sister. Two grandparents sitting side-by-side on rocking chairs. A man on his knees. Reality was warped and Eva could barely make sense of things. The images dashed past her eyes in flashing hues. Then she was standing alone, in front of a bright flame. The whole world was burning and Eva was merely inside of it. Her eyes stung with the intensity of the blaze. Suddenly, from the blaze emerged a white silhouette that took on the form of a breathtaking gorgeous woman for which no words in any tongue could describe her. The color of her eyes were indefinable, but they were pure, her skin was milky-white and long, flowing locks of gold hair cascaded from her head. She radiated the light Eva had been searching for during the last two days. The word "goddess" flashed in her mind so quickly that she nearly missed grasping it.
"Do not be afraid, Eva," she spoke, her words echoing lightly. "Life does not have to end here. Where one door closes, another shall always open." Then her voice turned into a divine song and she sang, "And it's in dying that we are born . . ."
MARCH 20, SATURDAY: 12:22AM. Eva's eyes opened gently. Her mind desperately clutched on the remnants of her dream, which was already starting to dissolve into space. She sat up straight and looked into the darkness. She still felt the presence of the Goddess, if that was indeed who the woman was and not just a figment of Eva's restless imagination. Eva's attention turned to the song still playing and to Sarah McLachlan's touching voice, as she sang the final words that finished the Goddess's last statement before Eva's awakening: " . . . to eternal life. Amen."