The Gates

May 28, 2008
By Jonathan Welling, Beaverton, OR

Her celebration was over, the reception now a memory. The white balloons tied to the bumper jerked back and forth behind the car as it sped down the highway. Dark clouds showered down large droplets that drummed the balloons with vigorous pounding. As the windshield fogged she could only squint to see through the glass. With restricted vision, the red light went unnoticed.
She gasped, and her muscles tensed as the windshield shattered. Glass shards sputtered over her body and the car twisted around her. Metal grinded against the pavement and the car skidded to a stop. Cold water entered the car and showered sown on her face, the sunroof above was now only a distorted hole.
She reluctantly let her body relax, expecting the pain to come soon. Lying back, she looking up and saw one of the white balloons rising to the dark clouded sky; struggling as the heavy rain punished it down. The deep drumming faded as the balloon triumphed upward.
She tried to push herself upright, but her body wouldn’t obey. When she found she could only slightly move her fingertips, panic set in. Franticly glancing around she saw her face in the rearview mirror. She was scared, and crying; a sight that brought anything but solace. She could feel her body was getting weaker.
A large water drop that had accumulated on the car roof fell, splashing on her check, leaving cold trails down her face. She saw a second drop fall, but she didn’t feel it reach her face. The crash had done its damage and her final breath had come. In complete silence her view faded, but not to darkness. A bright white fog crept across her vision and the world fell beneath her.

She felt her bare feet touch a warm smooth tile floor, somehow she was now standing. The thought came fast, she had just died, but now where was she? Everything felt right, strangely more lucid, thinking was easier. She wasn’t scared, but relaxed, so relaxed that she realized she was still closing her eyes. She felt her eyelids open, she felt the muscles work, a feeling she had never once noticed in her entire life. Her body was still there, she could feel, her feet had felt floor.
She first saw her feet, they were younger looking. She still recognized them as her own, but not since her prime. Her toenails were cut perfectly and her skin looked smooth and soft. Her clothes had changed; their brightness caused her to squint to see them. Her eyes adjusted to the intense whiteness that now wrapped her body from the neck down. It felt like it looked, continually leaking heat as if it had come from a dryer. She wanted to bask in its overwhelming comfort; a feeling of relaxation that so contradicted her feelings moments before.
The fabric was thick and soft like fleece, but it had the appearance of silk. As she looked up her body, she recognized her clothes as a robe; not a bath robe, something much more formal. It was loose but kept her concealed. There was also a sweet smell of honey sickle emanating from the fabric, swirling around her. It was a light smell, but evident. Beyond her clothes was the smell of a flower garden just after morning dew. Fresh, clean and stimulating in a way of that succors you into tranquility.

Glancing around the floor immediately caught her eye. It was made of some kind of glossy rock, but it had no seems. It was continuous, and unchanging. Its beauty almost made her feel a sense of shame for standing on it. It had the appearance of a still fire trapped under a plane of gold embroidered glass. The gold glimmered as it pursued a pattern of an endless strand curving and swirling along the surface. The fire underneath seemed so real and existent, so dimensional, that she perceived it to be real fire simply absent from any motion. For the floor was luminescent, giving off such forceful light that pierced through space in every direction. The illuminating place seemed to have light jumping out of every substance as if the atoms themselves were exalted. She looked around this luxurious place and found it had no ceiling or walls. Instead the room faded into the peaceful white fog she had seen before.

She felt the place resembled a large corridor because it was lined with two rows of free standing columns. These majestic columns were vast, large enough that two people could barley link arms around one. They were made of a polished white marble overlaid in the same gleaming gold pattern as on the floor. She walked forwards admiring the astonishing craftsmanship of the corridor that unmatched even Solomon’s temple.

At the end of the hallway were large gold gates placed in front of a steep marble staircase. The gates were made open down the middle and had a simple design; parallel bars with two elongated paisleys at the top.

She stopped about ten feet from the gate, there was a harmonious sound coming from somewhere. There were no distinguishable words, just soothing soft sounds. She had not noticed it before; she must have approached its source. It had to be coming from behind the gate. Its rejoicing tune supplied instant solace. She suddenly wanted nothing more then to unite herself with the uplifting music.
She took a step forward and the gates started to open towards her, inviting her, welcoming her. Startled, she looked around expecting to see someone else controlling the gates. When she could see no one, she slowly took another step towards the open gates. When nothing else happened she could no longer rationalize her hesitation and her desire to enter over took her. She ran through the gates and started up the stairs. Still compelled by a strong unknown feeling of glee she kept her pace up the staircase.
Look forward she now understood what it truly meant to be in Heaven.

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