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About the Writer:

Beth cares deeply for the Lord and those around her. She looks for ways to help and support her readers by sharing her honest convictions and personal life lessons. With a creative and energetic writing style, Beth translates memorable word pictures and helpful principles into language we can all relate to.


The Waking

By Beth Caster

Her eyes always flooded with tears when she was terrified. It was an involuntary reflex that debilitated her at times when she needed her sight most. Fright signaled escape, it required the ability to at least see where she was running. But she could not see through the saline liquid as she tore through rooms to reach the phone. She had to tell someone what she had just witnessed. She had to somehow make her shuddering fingers dial any number that summoned a human voice on the line. It was still watching her from the living room window, a black form that blazed against a midnight background. Seeing it for the second time, blurred and smeared by the tears pouring from her eyes, forced a scream from her mouth.

She scrambled from the kitchen into the laundry room. With the door slammed firmly shut behind her, she dialed frantically.

Numbers, any numbers.

She had to force her fingers to find a human voice. An elderly man answered and hung up when he failed to decipher the woman’s frenzied cries. Something outside…waiting..?.

The door to the garage began to rattle. The phone dropped to the floor, a dial tone ringing in the dead night air. The woman’s breath lodged itself in her neck. Had she locked the door to the garage? Had she put the automatic door down when she came in with the groceries? Seconds passed and the door stopped rattling. Slow, methodical twisting began to move the doorknob before the woman passed out. Her pulse had weakened to fifteen beats per minute. Her skin was cold as the grotesque creature peered inside the house and smiled.

It could have been seconds or days later when the woman awoke to find herself in an incomprehensible nightmare. She struggled for the sanity to grasp what was happening to her. Duplicates of the beast she had seen at her window surrounded her on every side, joined by others of varying repulsive appearance. They fought viciously with one another, the smaller ones with protruding eyes spitting a vomit-like substance on their tormenters. Deafening screams echoed on the crawling walls around her. She looked down to realize that she was unclothed and standing atop a sea of decay. The woman could not hear her own screams as they blended into the chorus.

Every eye turned from its previous activity when the grotesque creatures became aware of the woman. They stood motionless, staring with half-eaten faces and disease-covered bodies. The ones nearest began to restlessly lick their chops.

A sound like a trumpet pierced the air and silenced all other noises, as if signaling the creatures that this woman now belonged to them. The choir of screams had abruptly stopped. Then a roar met the woman’s ears as the creatures descended upon her in thousands.

The creatures soon began to loose interest, as one began to fight with another, rippling chaos throughout the millions. Agony coursed throughout the woman’s body as she became conscious of everything about this place; the flames that were going through her, her indescribable agony, her bewilderment of how to escape. Pain seared throughout her body, begging her for a reason why she was still alive.

It could have been minutes that passed, or hours. There was no sense of time in this place. Only agony, unending continuous agony that somehow made each moment that passed feel more and more like the first. The woman longed for death to release her.

A winged creature swooped down and caught her up into the sulfuric sky. Acid on the creature’s breath burned at her muscles and forced her diaphragm to heave. Screaming for the creature to drop her, she was falling in an instant into an ocean of fire. Human forms bobbed in the flames, all being pulled by a powerful current as the cave’s walls narrowed steeply. One by one, each person was pulled underneath the sea of flames and dragged for years upon years before the surface could be reached.

The woman had no idea how long she had been dragged underneath the flames, never establishing the ability to adjust to her pain. When her head at last broke through the surface, she found herself washed ashore a filthy platform. It appeared to be suspended in an ominous black space that stretched in every direction as far as could be seen.

Blood stained the floor surrounding an immense throne made of twisted thorns and bones. Beyond the throne stood a creature likened to a man, appearing unnaturally large in stature, cloaked in a shimmering robe that paled against his breathtaking golden hair and piercing eyes. In spite of the woman’s unending suffering, this creature awed her with the most unsurpassed beauty that she had ever seen. And as he drew nearer to her, filling the ominous space with the light he emitted, the woman was overwhelmed with assurance that this being could save her.

Reaching out to touch his robe, she grazed his flawless feet, immediately transforming the man into the most appalling being she had yet witnessed. In viewing this creature, she was wracked with death and tragedy, horrors imaginable and those not. She saw the ring of time spin around for eternity, marred with infinite wickedness. She saw the dominance of evil over her soul and felt permanence in a way she had never known it before. She became enlightened of separation from any measure of release and felt finality grip her in iron. The woman saw every opportunity for freedom granted her before she had arrived at this place, and felt the indescribable agony of having rejected every single one. She felt the being’s intense pleasure at her suffering and the overwhelming void of justice in this place. All things good and noble turned their back on her, incapable of company with purest evil. It was when the woman became overtaken by what there are not yet words for that she screamed to God for help. Then at once, she was awake.

The bed looked foreign to her, with its simplistic symbolism of comfort and all things normal. A light still burned on her nightstand. Sweat soaked her pajamas. The woman was too overwhelmed by the future that awaited her to be relieved, when she heard an audible voice that crashed like thunder and likened to a waterfall.

“Choose Life.”

Copyright © February, 2007 – Beth Caster. All rights reserved.


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