Fist times

A bridge is the only way to get over a river. It is a journey of sorts, in which a soul with no physical appearance will travel across to enter the forest. A river, its ragging life splashing and slapping across the rocks beneath the bridge, is one of the obstacles a soul will go through in order to get to the forest- a sanctuary that will bring hope and love to their worlds. Shapes from above perpetrated the water, coming up in waves as it tumbled in and out. Shaken and frightened, the soul would force themselves to hasten their steps on the wooden plank, holding the thick ropes for their lives as it swung from left to right.

Upon reaching the ground, the soul would scrutinise its surroundings, gawking at the trees that surrounded it in a semicircle. They wouldn't notice it at first, but before them stood a tree with bruises and cuts engraved within its skin. They'd notice, as they approached it that the skin of the tree wasn't damaged, it had names and phrases woven into its bark, old with moss growing around it.

A Hermit, a man that had been within this sanctuary for as long as the forest itself had existed- maybe even created- would watch the soul shiver, feeling his presence. They couldn't see him; he couldn't see them. They knew each other were there and the souls were always the ones to call out to him first, yelling 'I know your there.' Followed by a piercing scream that sent chilling crystals down his spin, he'd lean over the tree peering over the branch, his camouflaged binoculars around his neck and watch as the words toppled out of their auroras - their only way of communicating. Won't you help me?

Brown and green, the main colour scheme of the forest calms the souls and even though the Hermit forbids himself from touching the debris and dirt filled ground, he'd help them find a way out of their misery. It's what he did; it's what he had been created to do. Whether they're suffering from loss or maybe even depression, the souls would evolve with the beauty of the forest- a sanctuary they'd only see once in their life- and move on, taking a small part of energy and send its waves off into a world called Earth.

It was rare to see a cheerful person enter the forest. As if somebody was controlling the place, they'd allow a merrier, more light-hearted soul to enter and bring more happiness to the Hermit's life- not that he ever needed it; his essence was always positive. Laughing, he'd allow them to tell him stories about their families and memories that he had forgotten.

Remembering…. He couldn't do that. The Hermit just knew things about each and every soul that entered the sanctuary. Ask him a question. Who was the first person to step over the bridge? Shaking his head, he'd inform you that he wouldn't have a clue. Trees were his way of getting around the forest and he would never step a millimetre away from them just to get a clue on who was here first.

Who was the first to come to you? He didn't know; The Hermit had no recollection of first times or of the past. He only knew snippets of future souls, it's what God only allowed him to identify.

He was the protector of the forest.

He guided the souls and allowed them to hold a snippet of Heaven before they lost hope.

Brown. Green. Brown. Green. Brown. Green.

The Hermit jumped from tree to tree, his laugh echoing through the sanctuary as he grabbed at the branches of the magnificent, large blooming tree. Its leaves giggled at his touch and their energy together sent vibrations throughout the sanctuary.

Each heart of the trees beat in sync with the Hermit's. Each time his happiness grew stronger and the seams holding the two together would tighten. He was afraid to see what pain he'd feel if the stitches that bound them as one would loosen. Pain, pure pain, prominent as permanent can be.

Snap! The Hermit's feet stopped pounding against the trees, forced to halt and making falter as he listened to the trees swaying, singing his tune. Plop! Footsteps beat to the rhythm of the sanctuary's heart and persuaded them to create a new tempo.

Soul searching, the Hermit tried to figure out why he hadn't gotten an image of the soul that would enter his forest and step onhistrees. Snatching up his binoculars that hung from his neck, the Hermit gazed into the foggy lenses, searching for his intruder along the green perimeter.

Tap, tap, tap. Swivelling around to see who was behind him, his glare decreased as he peered down at the four year old soul. Lowering his binoculars, his eyebrows furrowed and he couldn't bring himself to be anything but plain curious. Why could he see her? Was she just a mirage, a fixation of his imagination?

Touching her brown curly hair, his fingers pushed and smoothed down the strands. "Are you real?" The Hermit asked, gazing into her violet eyes.

"Yes," she breathed and he swore he could feel something disappearing within him.

"Why can I see you, little one?" He wasn't allowed to see anyone, why was she here?

The corners of her lips pushed upwards and he edged closer to her. "Have you ever seen Earth, Samuel?"

"Samuel?" The Hermit asked, looking at her as if she were crazy. Clutching at the strings on his binoculars, he swallowed. "Is there someone else here?"

She shook her head. "Only you and me, buddy." Breathing in, she closed her eyes and when she reopened her violent violet orbs, the Soul felt him beside her. Clasping her hand with his, she turned to him. "You don't remember your first memories, do you?" He shook his head. "It's because in this place, you only have one name- The Hermit. God erases your memory because He feels you need to focus on the future and not on the past."

"And you, what has he done for you?" He queried, seeking answers from her facial expressions. He didn't get any, her face was expressionless and the only thing that held life was her voice.

She took another breathe and he clutched at his chest, clawing and clutching at his heart. Smiling, her violet eyes flashed and he looked around, vulnerable and already forgotten. "He's given me a life to guide souls and He wants you to live one with people, Samuel."

The seams were tearing. He had never felt so much… freedom. Raising his arms, he laughed. "Is this how it feels to live, little one?"

Her eyes twinkled at his cheeriness and she stepped forward, placing a hand on his heart. "No. It's what it feels like to be by yourself and not have your life directed by God himself."

"What are you going to do here?" His attention back on her, he noticed her looking downwards. Following her gaze, he saw the ground. "You're not making me go down there, are you?"

She shook her head, "No. You can't touch the ground until you're a soul wondering through this forest, needing my guidance and help to get back to reality." Pushing him to the floor, she crawled beside him and laid her hand across his heart. "I'll teleport you there myself."

Taking in the trees and the bridge with its river protected beneath it, Samuel smiled. Turning his head, he gazed into the violet pools and closed his eyes picturing his new life.

"Mr Mathers, are you feeling alright?"

Samuel opened his eyes and as he took in the room with its white walls and beeping machines, he could feel something within his skin. Looking down, he noticed several tubes connected to his body and he looked quizzically at the woman who stood beside him dressed in an unusual light blue outfit. "Where am I?" Samuel asked three times, before it came out clearly and not as a jumble of words.

"You are at Saint James' Hospital. You've been in a comma for six days," she said in a professional voice, checking papers and the steel machine beside him.

"A comma?" He asked. A flash of vocabulary and knowledge flashed into his mind. Strength increased and he rose up, ripping out the tubes from his body. "Excuse me, I've got to go."

"Sir," she said, looking up from the papers and walking after him as he opened the door. "Sir, it'd be best if you stay here."

Exiting the door, she peered out of the doorway to the empty hallway. Clutching at her head, she could have sworn he was right there!

Where could he have gone?

"Everything is passing… enjoy its momentariness." -Mooji