You walk though the garden filled with shades of cool green, bright yellow, and inviting red. All the flowers in the garden were made by your Creator. Every night He fills the flowers with life giving nectar, and every morning you collect it. It is your substance—your life.
Its long petals are a brilliant orange that overshadow all other colors in the garden. It is the only flower of its type in the garden, and by far the most eye catching. You breathe in its alluring sent. You wonder if its nectar tastes as good as the flower smells. The flower is shaped like a lily, the nectar cupped inside. You look in. The nectar is golden. You wonder what gold nectar tastes like.
You reach you hand out and touch the silk petals. So soft. How can anything this delicate and beautiful be harmful? You make your decision.
One drop of nectar.
That’s all. If you feel faint or sick after one drop you’ll never touch it again. You scoop the flower to your lips. The petals are soft and sweet. You slowly let a bit of nectar slid down the petal and onto your tongue. It’s ten times sweeter then you imagined. You close your eyes and saver the small drop of liquid. Its sweetness fills your mouth.
Nothing happens. No dizziness, no pain.
You smile and contemplate taking another small sip. Before you can, a bitter aftertaste creeps in. It fills every bit of your mouth just as the sweetness had moments before. You hope the taste will go away, but it doesn’t. Your eyes begin to water. You look for something to take away the taste.
Your eyes rest on a small group of flowers you don’t remember seeing. Their petals are white, softly drizzled with red. They are the most beautiful flowers you’ve ever seen. Somehow, you know that the nectar of these flowers will rid your mouth of the horrible taste. Your hand reaches to take hold of one. Pain pricks your fingers. You pull away. The stems are covered in thorns. You hesitate. There has to be an easier way.
The taste is growing. It now fills your stomach with waves of nausea and fills your nostrils with the smell of sulfur. The putrid taste fills your mouth until you gag. You turn and run to find something to wash it away.
You trip. You fall.
You stretch your hands in front of you to catch yourself, but you feel nothing beneath you. You fall farther.
You realize you aren’t going to hit the ground. You are falling down a tunnel like hole. You can’t see anything. You reach out to find something to grab and stop your fall.
You find nothing.
You keep falling. You reach out with the other hand. Still nothing. You are still falling. You stretch out with your legs, your body now in an x shape.
You go farther into a hole of black. Dark, dark black is everywhere.
Minutes pass. You no longer know which way is up. Falling. Falling. Has it been hours now?
You hit the ground.
Your back takes the impact. Your head snaps back, and you bite your tongue, drawing blood. Your shoulder feels out of joint, and your back, broken. You still can’t see anything. You try to call for help, but nothing comes from your mouth but a rasp. All control of your body seems to have gone. You have no strength in you limbs. Your senses are disoriented.
You lay there. In the dark.
Smelling nothing. Hearing nothing. Tasting nothing. Seeing…nothing.
You think you must have been here for hours or maybe for days, or maybe you’ve always been here and the garden was just a dream.
You think you see a light. Your eyes could be playing tricks on you. Somehow you sit up. There is a light, glowing a faint, soft yellow. It looks like a star was thrown directly in front of you.
It isn’t a star. It’s the flower. The orange flower you drank from is floating in front of you, only it isn’t orange anymore. It is golden.
You need more nectar. If you could just reach the brilliantly lit flower, you will be alright.
You crawl on your hands and knees toward the glowing flower, your back and shoulder protesting. Your joints ache, and your bruised body screams in pain, but this is your only hope. It is the only thing that can make you feel better.
No matter how much you crawl toward it, the flower never gets closer.
The ground becomes hard and full of rocks. You try to stand up but hit your head on cold stone. You are in a tunnel. You keep crawling. Rocks cut into your knees and shins. You know for sure that one of your knees is bleeding; you feel the moisture slide down your leg. The tender skin on the palm of your hand is stripped away. You don’t care. You keep crawling toward golden light.
One drop. Just one more drop.
The golden light gets bigger, and for a moment you think you are finally getting closer. You are disappointed. The flower has turned into a small round light. It must be the tunnel’s opening.
Maybe it leads to the garden.
As you get closer, the tunnel gets smaller. The ceiling presses on your back, your elbows scrape against the sides, and your shoulder barely squeeze by. Now that you are closer, the light looks orange. Your hand meets a rock that cuts like a sliver of glass. You wince and cry out, but you keep going.
Closer, closer. You will soon see the sun. Soon you will be in the garden.
You make it.
The opening is just big enough for you to squeeze through. You can’t see anything beyond the hole; Smoke covers the entrance. Once you step though, the smoke thins so you can look around. The first thing you notice is that you are on a stone ledge, only a foot wide. This ledge wraps around the circular room that‘s topped off with a domed ceiling. In the middle of this room, is a large gaping hole. The light you saw isn’t from the sun, but something in the hole. You feel a stab of disappointment. You step closer to see what is making the light. Orange and yellow flames consume the blackness in the pit.
Huge, winged black beasts come from the hole nearly hitting your face. You scream. They keep coming, swarming around the room. One bumps into you, nearly knocking you over the side.
You scream again and then turn, franticly trying to find the opening, but the winged creatures fly in around you, immobilizing you. They circle you like vultures surrounding a kill. Your heart beats faster. They began to swoop at you, their sharp talons digging into your flesh. You fall to your knees and cover your head.
They continue to attack. A strip of cloth is ripped away from the back of your shirt, leaving your back exposed to their agonizing claws. One bites you, tearing skin off of you arm. You scream for help. The claws keep raining down on you, stabbing you arms, digging into your back, and piercing into the tender skin on your neck. You think it will never stop.
They will kill you.
A deep voice rings throughout the room, telling the beasts to stop. They listen. The creatures retreat to small, shelf like coves along the top of the walls. Their eyes gleam in the eerie orange glow.
You try to stop shaking. Most of your clothing is stripped away, and your body is covered in blood. You look for the person who saved you, ready to do whatever he asked for rescuing you from the miserable beasts.
You gasp. The person who saved you isn’t a person at all, but a beast like the others, only seven times larger and stronger. Working up your nerve, you ask him if he can help you get out of this place and back to the garden. His only answer is a laugh, so chilling you wish you hadn’t asked.
He stares at you with cold yellow eyes, and then tells you that you will never get out. You are condemned here: Never to return to the garden, because you drank the forbidden.
You beg and plead for him to let you go. Tears well up in your eyes. You tell him that you are sorry—that you will never do it again if you had just one more chance.
His monstrous face becomes hard. He seems to have lost his patience. He signals for two of the beast, and they swoop down on you and take you by the arms with their talons.
Tears and blood run down your face as they take you in the air and dangle you over the pit. The light is gone now.
Screams from unseen, tortured victims fill your ears. You can feel heat emanating from the gaping pit. It hurts to look at the darkness.
Your heart thumps. You are dropped.
The nightmare is just beginning.