He watches me stumble, watches me fall.
Starts laughing out loud, a horrible, hideous shrieking sound.
I watch his handsome features dissolve. His skin burns, blisters, and breaks off.
He kicks me then with horse’s hooves.
I roll over, spitting bile. Hiding my eyes, I’m so reviled.
Bruised and beaten, bloodied heathen.
Before me, he transforms. His shoulders hunch, hair sprouts along his haunches. Bushy, scratchy mane appears. Fangs long and white, to predator’s sharpened point.
I stare the bedeviled lion before me, tosses his head and roars triumphant. Cowering and broken, I pull myself away. Head lowered, expecting to be devoured.
I cry and hope help has not abandoned me.
The chime sounds then - soft at first - builds to clanging in the void I occupy. The darkness clears, and light blinds my weakened eyes. I peer out in pain, my head turned, seeking the lion. And my death.
There is no lion.
The white around me seeps. In front, in red, a spitting cobra sits.
Serpentine in movement, no mistaking his wrath, he spits his poison inches from my person.
I turn to run, to flee. But the poison puddles and forms translucent colors.
I find myself transfixed and inching forward. The poison flows toward me in drops, and drips, and rainbows. The sweet smell of ecstasy so close within my grasp, I reach my fingers toward it, distracted. The cobra’s eyes slant in anticipation.
My fingers’ a hairbreadth length away, when once again, that deafening sound surrounds my space.
I snatch my fingers back and clamp my hands about my ears. The cobra hisses again. But the sound does not reach me.
I turn my head away and see what I’ve been missing. So close, so far away.
I find myself standing. I begin to turn my head, but see I am moving by no power of my own. I begin to run - the cobra, the lion, nipping at my heels. My feet no longer touch the ground. For one second, I fear the worst.
I realize I’ve been lifted and drawn in towards the light.
He greets me in silence. In love. I read my Rescuer’s story, in his wounds at hand and foot. Not surprised, though disappointed, His child again wandered after warning.
We stare together at the ground. Slithering snake is prostrate, frantically hunting escape.
I wish my Father’s wrath released upon my captor, but He shakes His head towards me, and whispers the words.