She had no more time to wonder at the ferryman’s comment. A sigh rippled through the gathered angels and they swayed in time to a heavenly tune only they could hear. Light gathered in the pool the angelic host had surrounded. Rising, an effulgent figure emerged and its purity sent a tear coursing down her cheek. Never had she seen so beautiful a soul as the one floating above the crowd’s exultation.
“Who is that?” she asked of Charon, who’d remained by her side. Even his eyes were wet and glittering with tears.
“Someone who belongs in heaven.”
As he said that, the angels broke ranks and formed an honor guard around a radiant being. Their wings all but hid the Dalisay from sight and in her breast burned a fierce desire to follow them. Releasing Charon’s raven-feathered cloak, she walked, somnolent as a dreamer, in the shadows of Angels.
“Where’re you going girlie?”
She ignored Charon’s hails. Hand extended, she ambled until a pearly gate barred her path. It zapped her hand on contact driving her back a few steps and jolting her back to reality. She couldn’t go in there. She was the daughter of the Greco-Roman pantheon and beyond that shining fence lay the Judeo-Christian God’s abode. Technically He had created everything including her antecedents, but that didn’t give her access to heaven. That holy place was reserved for His believers not for half-reptile pagan shifters like herself.
Sinking down, she covered her face as a sob wracked her. And then her hands turned luminous causing her to lower them and stare in wonder at the effulgent woman standing on the far side of the gate.
“Why do you cry?” asked the vision of beauty and grace.
But Dalisay shook her head. She didn’t know why she was crying. Dashing the tears away as fast as they fell, she couldn’t string two words together. A knot of grief had jammed up her throat. Or maybe it was unworthiness that made her duck her head in shame and cover her face again.
“Oh dearie, I warned you not to go this way.” Charon clicked his tongue and the warm weight of his cloak settled around her shoulders again. Its feathered edge tickled her cheek. “Come gentle lamb, let the ferryman ferry you home.” He pulled her up and with a firm arm around her heaving shoulders, he lead her away.
The refulgent woman watched them go, saying nothing. What could the woman have said anyway? They derived from two opposing religious views. And there was no common ground between them.
Charon handed her into the boat. Belief had locked that gate and she didn’t have the key. Maybe that’s what had made the tears fall. Dalisay glanced back once at that resplendent figure burning in a fire she couldn’t understand. Part of her wanted that understanding. And that scared her as the boat nosed out into the current. All of a sudden, she wanted to be home and surrounded by her odd family.
“Take me home, please,” she said in a small voice.
–>The story continues in Tadhana. I seem to be writing this tale out of order. I apologize!<–