It happened in a split second. Kasmira could feel the force of life hitting her like a boulder. One second, she was staring into his hate-filled eyes, and just like that, everything around her was gone. Kasmira found herself laying in a cloud-like surface. Everything around her was white except for a few people walking around as if they had a tough decision to make. Kasmira didn’t know what to think until a voice that she recognized from her dreams told her, “Welcome to the Spirit World, Kasmira.”
Kasmira spun around to see Garlord, who had the same long beard and blue robe he wore in life, except now he was chained to the cloudy wall. After all the stories she heard about him, she was surprised to see him looking so frail and non-threatening. “You’re Garlord, aren’t you?”
“Indeed.” Garlord explained, “Your father banished me here, as I’m sure you know. What you don’t know is that you are in the Gateway between worlds.” He saw her confused expression, so he kept explaining, “Your Spirit Guide explains your choices, and today that is me. Yes, with all of my evil deeds, you are probably surprised to hear that I have been giving you advice all along. I did a lot of wicked things in the name of ego and greed, but when I came here, my grandfather explained my options. If I wanted to continue sinning, I could go to the Underworld and endure torture while my soul continued to live like I had before. The other option was to go through Purgatory, pay penance for my sins, and be saved through Salvation. I chose the latter, although I wanted to stay here and wait for you.”
“Why? How did you even know I existed?” Kasmira asked him. He pointed down, and Kasmira was shocked to see the world she left behind except everyone was moving in slow motion. They seemed so close, like they were separated by a curtain. “Why is everyone moving so slow?”
“They aren’t moving slow, we’re moving fast. You can talk to them, if you like,” he told her.
She didn’t know what to say except, “Don’t worry-I’m okay!” She turned back to Garlord. “I’ve always wanted to know something-is there a curse?”
Garlord informed her, “There was, but you broke it. I gave you all a curse of unhappiness. You’ve been fighting the curse since you were a child. You sacrificed a lot to help others, and giving your heart to others is the best way to fight it. Your happiness was guaranteed by making others happy, and that kind of selflessness goes a long way. You probably would’ve fought the curse your whole life, but you did better than that. You sacrificed yourself for your kingdom. That broke the curse.”
Somewhat forlornly, Kasmira commented, “So, I was right; the only way to kill the curse was by my death.”
Garlord told her, “You’re not dead-just dying. You always feared getting married, but your decision to marry Orlando did more than you realize. You gave yourself to him, and so now you live through him. Your heart is down there, still beating. You gave him your powers upon your sacrifice, so he could carry on your work. That brings me to your choice. You haven’t really sinned, so you will not have to worry about going to the Underworld or even Purgatory. A part of you is living on, so you have the option to go back, or you could seek Salvation knowing your loved ones will survive without you. If you go back, you stand a chance of defeating King Davidson. I will give you my powers-I will not need them in Purgatory, and you will be more powerful than ever. Living on Earth does require a lot of pain and hardship from time to time though, so it’s up to you. What is your choice?” He stood and looked at her. She looked from him to Earth to other souls making their choices. She knew what she had to do.
King Davidson had the swagger of a gladiator who just defeated a dozen lions. He was jubilant, almost to the point of madness. He walked before the Rebels with extreme arrogance. “Enough of your blabber! I will comply with my end of the bargain and spare your pathetic little lives, but if you don’t adhere to the rules, I will destroy you! Now, there’s going to be a lot of changes around here. If you value your life, you will dedicate yourself to working your fingers to the bone for me! So, let’s-”
His victory speech was interrupted by a clap of thunder and smoke that enveloped his whole vision. The Rebels didn’t know what was going on, but they looked hopeful. When the smoke started to clear, King Davidson saw a figure approaching…