When one is cuffed and blindfolded, reality does not set in until the door locks and you realize you're not alone. I'm standing in the middle of a room that could hold more nightmares than anything else in the disciplinary ward.
Long fingers slip into my hair, cold against my head. I am holding my breath before I realize the hands are loosening the knot of the blindfold The cuffs are also removed.
The drawl sounds more like a drone and my eyes focus on the startlingly pale face of a man. His hair is a long, flowing ponytail, blacker than the shadows in this room and the same shade as his elegant robes. It is neatly cut to waist-length and his cheeks are so hollow I wonder if he's starving.
"You are here to repent?" His toneless voice echoed off the darkened walls. "Of your own free will?"
"Do I have a choice?" The eerie room was getting to me.
On the far end, five clear tubes were fixed to the floor. Soft light illuminated them, to show five heart-shaped pink pillows, with five beautiful, crystal-clear gems.
"We always have choices." He murmured. "Always." Gliding over to the tubes, he flipped a switch, dissolving the protective shields around them. He picked up each gem and handed them over. "I am to give these to you on one condition."
"Me? For real?" I was speechless as he poured the gems into my hand.
"You must break them."
"They must be completely useless. Once you are finished, you are free to leave."
"That's it?" I stared at him. "I break these and I can go?"
The solemn face bobbed once.
"W-what if they won't break?"
"Then crush them" He melted into the shadows, leaving me alone.
I fingered the gems for a minute. They were gorgeous. I threw the first gem. It fell to the ground and bounced. I dropped the remaining gems, glad to see two of them split in half. In the end, I stomped on them to produce the glittery mess. "I'm done!" I called out, backing away as my stomach churned in the way that meant I'd ignored my conscience again.
"Why did you do that?" The note of sadness came through his voice.
"You told me to!" The prickly feeling started at my toes and traveled upwards.
Sorrowful sapphire eyes locked onto me. "You didn't have to."
"But you said-"
"Five gems, one for each letter in the word trust." His head bowed. "That is exactly what you did to the trust we had put in you. There is always a choicethose were priceless."
"Yes! I am! I'm really, really sorry!" His gaze shifted from me to the sparkling powder. He stretched one hand and light shimmered from his fingertips. When I could see again, he handed me five perfect gems.
"We place this trust once more in you, child. Prove that you are worthy of it."
Sara Harricharan is a young Christian woman with a passion for writing for the Lord through faith-filled Science Fiction/Fantasy stories and pure words. www.fictionfusion.blogspot.com
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