She was dancing with angels. She twisted and twirled and laughed and laughed. She had never felt such joy. She grabbed an angel by the hand and continued to dance. They spun and glided through the air effortlessly. The angel, holding her hand, wrapped her up tight, and then spun her away. Her grasp on his hand was gone and she was spinning uncontrollably. Her feet then noticed the removal of ground and she began falling through white wisps of clouds, her arms held out helplessly, hoping someone would grab her hand. After a few seconds of falling through the clouds, she dropped out into a dark purple, starless sky. She continued to fall, staring straight up to where she had just been, until she gently rested in a large, freshly green field of grass.
She sat in the grass and looked around to inspect her surroundings. She saw nothing but hills of bright green which greatly contrasted the dark purple sky. Then behind her, she noticed a rabbit hopping nearer. When it got close, she realized the rabbit was actually hopping backwards. The rabbit hopped past her and was now face to face with the girl.
The rabbit had on blue overalls and a pair of black wire-framed glasses. One ear was stuck straight up in the air and the other was bent about an inch above its head, the end of that ear resting against its side. His nose twitched before he said, “It’s finally time for you to go home, back to your Father.”
The girl curiously stared at the animal, wondering what it was talking about. Suddenly a small drop of water floated from the ground directly in front of the rabbit. It floated up and under the rabbit’s glasses and into its eye. As the girl was about to ask what was happening, the rabbit spoke again, “And thank you for slaying the Malignant Mangrove Snake. He has been causing us much trouble these days.”
“But I haven’t –“
“I’m glad you have made it here safely,” interrupted the rabbit.
“I’m glad I did too,” said the girl.
“I’m glad you chose the right path,” the rabbit said as his bent ear flipped up straight and a smile ran across his mouth. The rabbit then hopped backwards into a hole in the ground a few feet away.
The girl began walking through the meadow, trying to figure out what was going on. She walked for what seemed like a couple miles until she spotted a large boat in the middle of the green field. She walked up to examine it. It was a large white steamship with two steam pipes protruding from the top. On the side, stenciled in large black letters was the word ‘FAITH’. She climbed on board by ascending the fish net that was hanging over the side. She walked around the deck, inspecting the ship and then looked out across the end of the boat. She could see an ocean off in the distance. Between the ocean and the ship, there was a line of torn-up ground where the boat must have gone through. She pondered how to get the boat back to the water, until suddenly, all of her hair fell out. Each strand twirled separately down to the boat’s deck in shapes of waves and seaweed and fish. The hair then dissolved into the deck. The boat started to tilt. The girl went back over to the edge of the ship. Now instead of green grass, there was blue water. The water swayed with the boat, not hitting it with force but gently guiding it to its destination. The girl felt the breeze on her back, urging her towards the edge. The roaring of waves was, she thought, the most beautiful sound in the world. The wind blew a breeze and lifted the newly grown hair off her shoulders.
When the boat finally hit dry land, the girl climbed out and onto a barren landscape. The ground was cracked and crushed under her every step. She started following a narrow path, only visible because it was outlined with enormous black boulders. The path widened into a large circle. On the left side of the circle, there lay what appeared to be an enormous body of a snake. And to the right of the circle, the head of the snake lay with a sword through its mouth. The girl walked through, trying to imagine what epic battle must have taken place.
The path narrowed once again. She followed it until she saw a gate. The structure of the gate, which was mounted into the boulders on either side of the path, was magnificent. It was huge and shimmering white. She could only marvel at the construction as she walked through it. She turned around and walked backwards to continue to admire it, and she noticed another path next to the one she had just traversed.
The other path was much wider. There was actually grass along this path, rich and green and healthy. She was curious as to what was at the end of that path, but decided to turn around and continue when she smelled the faint whiff of smoke.
She followed the path which now seemed monotonous: it was just a straight path marked with large black boulders, the ground still cracked under her steps. When she looked out into the horizon, the same path she was following was mirrored back to her. She kept walking until the landscape started to become blurry. It started to dissolve. A dim purple light surrounded her. She hated the color; it reminded her of a bruise that refused to go away. She reached out and saw her hands in front of her, and beyond that, purple. She brought her hands back to her face to make sure this wasn’t a dream, no matter how much it looked like one. She felt her cheeks, cold and clammy, and then grabbed at her hair to run her fingers through it. Her hair felt unnaturally and wonderfully long and beautiful. As she stood, hands running through her hair, it all started to fall out. Each strand twirled separately down to the dim purple floor. They did not fall in heaps, but rather, into shapes of stars and clouds and birds, the sun and the moon. Each strand created its own idea of a heavenly object until the girl thought she was standing on the sky.
* * *
The girl opened her eyes. She could see her parents. They looked down at her with tears in their eyes. She could feel the strong grip of her parent’s hands on hers. Her mother’s other hand came up and stroked the girl’s bald head.
“Everything is going to be ok, sweetie,” her mother whispered.
The girl lay confused in her hospital bed with her parents crowding over her. The girl turned her head to the doorway where she saw two nurses coming in, one with a small tray. After the nurses entered, a tall doctor followed. The doctor put a hand on the girl’s mother, looked at the girl, and gave a forced smile of reassurance. The doctor then walked over to the tray one of the nurses had brought in and picked up a syringe with a clear liquid in it. He walked back over to the girl, grabbed her gently by the arm, and told her, “It’s going to be completely painless.”
The girl looked back over to her mother, who said, “It’s time for you to go home.”
Then the girl felt a small pinch on her arm. Suddenly a dim purple light surrounded her. She hated the color; it reminded her of a bruise that refused to go away.