Entrance to the Netherworld
I once dreamt about my death, the fire that surrounded me, the eternal forces of nature and man against me. I woke up, realizing that it was just a dream, but deep inside I knew that it was something else; it was an entrance to the netherworld, the world beyond.
The book, The divine comedy, was one of the books that I wanted to read, but never read. I was always curious about its tales and about the idea behind it. The idea being, that a human being, entered the underworld and lived to tell the tale. How could a mere mortal, a human being, enter hell? And how could that being survived hell, escape, and lived to tell the story about it? That’s crazy thinking, insanity, stupidity, impossible. But nothing is impossible, and this guy, who made the book, Dante, made a great creation, enlightenment to the world beyond. I don’t care what entered his mind in making such a story, whatever it is, it is pure genius. I might come to a bookstore and read it for myself, but for now, let’s talk about that dream, the dream of my own demise.
It all started in such a big blur, then clarity, the sun, the green grass, the smell of morning dew, all of those things. It was peaceful for a while. When such scenery enters your field of vision, it takes your breath away. It was a plain landscape, endless greens over the horizon, however, in the middle of the endless horizon stood a tree. The tree was humongous, about forty feet high. It reached the blue sky above, even a bit higher. It had green leaves, pink flowers, yellow flowers, all types of flowers growing in its branches. I took the moment and called it the World Tree. This was no netherworld, this was a peaceful world, but not for long.
I decided to move to the roots of the tree. I walked and walked and the tree’s bulky stem grew ever larger. When I reached the base of the tree, I saw the roots, big as trains, bulging out from the ground. The entire tree was bigger than I imagined. I walk to its side, right over the edge, to see what was behind the tree. In my surprise, right behind the tree, continuing across the horizon field of greens, there were more, more trees big as the one I saw. Each and every single one reached the skies. It was something I never ever had seen before in my whole life. I sat right next to the tree and marvelled over this, this world.
Did I know that it was a dream? No I didn’t. I didn’t even know that it was me, in that place. All I felt was that I was a spectator driven into another world. A world that was ever so different from ours.
My death didn’t come too far from that moment when I realized that there were more of those trees beyond the endless horizon. I saw the skies turning black and each tree started to lose its color. The flowers withered alongside the leaves of trees, its base, slowly cracking open, in what seemed to an earthquake from the ground. The sky was dark as black when I looked back. There were lightning, red lightning that stroke down the ground, leaving fire in its marks. I started to run, far away from black sky, from the red lightning, from the dying trees. I ran and ran hoping that I can find a safe sanctuary somewhere, a place where I would be safe. I was wrong.
I remembered that during the time of the Greeks, when someone dies, they would place a coin in the dead relative’s mouth. It was for Charon the ferry man of the underworld to collect. They say that if you forget to leave a Greek coin in the passed away person’s mouth, that person would not be able to enter the underworld, and that person would haunt their relatives until someone places the coin and end the torment. It was much more a fear factor than it was religious or a belief. Most people of Greece had done this and there were some, who prospered from this. Some who took the coins from the dead bodies and used it for their mortal pleasures. Yes, they took the coins of the dead. Those people knew the truth. There was no ferry man, no underworld; there was only death that comes after. It was interesting however, that a coin determines your entrance into the underworld, if you don’t have the coin, you cannot enter, if you have it, you may enter. It didn’t matter if you were a murderer, a rapist, a robber, a politician, a good person none mattered. All that mattered is the coin for the ferryman to collect.
I ran and ran, but you can never escape the skies. I looked behind me and the trees that used to be so strong, started to crumble down to the ground, one by one, before I knew it, red lightning stroke the ground in front of me. I was struck down by the force and my ears started to ring. My vision was blurring, but I could see fire in front of me. The fire started to surround me. When I could see clearly, I noticed a silhouette of a person in front of me. Then there were more of them, gathering around the fire, staring at me.
They used to kill “witches” in the same manner, in a manner of fire. Fire was said to be a purifying element, it was made to purge the soul of the witch and let it be gone from the face of the world. Witches were haunted down, be it during the times when God didn’t exist, into the time when He existed. Witches were known for plagues, swarms, death and heresy. They were needed to be rid off from this world. But in the end, there were no witches, no serpent of the underworld, just plain humans who were accused of witchcraft.
I am no witch, the heat from the fire made me feel that I was one. There were male witches after all, there were few. I was to be purged from this world by fire. And the men watched over me, to assure that my death was certain. The fire consumed my mortal body but I felt no pain, I felt nothing. Then I opened my eyes and knew that I had died and now I am in the Netherworld.