Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

I like it too. It is philosophical and makes alot of sense.

Harry Wells Harry Wells
Recommendations: 15

A great use of well-chosen words throughout, Lucy. Many people who have had a close encounter with the process of dying who then recovered speak of the process as ascending a tunnel. Is this what you are meaning when you use the word?

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Yes Harry. This was a well thought out piece of writing. Unfortunately, not too many people have understood it. There is more in there than meets the eye. It is loosely based on facts, plus of course, my imagination. My twin (my fiancé) who died of Cancer, meant to read, died of aids.

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Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Beyond Being

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She had a friend.

This is the story where I introduced 'THE PRETENDERS' -  I have always liked this story of mine ... Hope you like it too.  It didn't get many reads the last time.

A door opened...  

I was ushered through the dark, narrow tunnel of the Southern obstacle course.
I crouched on all fours, my companion following closely behind, then complete darkness.
Many would not survive past this first hurdle which was said to be the most difficult of the six,
but it also determined the survival of the fittest.
This set a precedent for the rest of the journey.

I closed my eyes as the journey began.

I felt a suffocating tightness in my chest.
I could not breathe. I could not see and the tunnel was never-ending.
I was gasping for what was not there.
I felt claustrophobic in the confined space of the stifling dark tunnel.  
I was drowning in a vortex of compression.
My life’s energy was being squeezed out of me.
The pain was intolerable and I wanted to give up.

Then I heard voices in the distance, coaxing words of encouragement.  
Remembering the rewards, I willed myself to push forward.  
I hung in there with determination as I tunnelled my way ahead.  
I never anticipated the extent of difficulty with this first hurdle.
My persistence paid off when the tunnel grew brighter and life-giving air filled my lungs.
I indulged in a great yell of freedom.
I had completed the first hurdle.

I closed my eyes in thanksgiving.

Both my companion and I survived the first hurdle, which left us somewhat weakened.
I chose to travel with one other for support.
I am female, he is male, a perfect pigeon pair on a journey which began when a vacancy existed.  
Our journey should now be easier, provided we stick together.
My name is Belle and together with my companion Beau, we operate well as a team.
Knowing the needs of the other makes the pilgrimage more comforting for we come from the same sphere.
Having a friend by my side also lessens the loneliness.

Each year, there were four obstacle courses being run at the Central Botanical Park.
The first obstacle would begin at the Northern zone, the second by the Southern zone, the third at the Eastern zone and the fourth by the Western zone.
Each journey was divided into six stages containing many hurdles and challenges.
All were similarly balanced regarding their degree of difficulty; however, the climatic changes in the atmosphere made some more interesting than others. 3 comments

For this journey, I would be required to leave my warm and comfortable existence to venture outside to compete in an obstacle course, which was said to be like no other. It would become an adventure of a lifetime. In the past, I had not felt enough confidence to take on this challenge, but now I was empowered with purpose and an openness of mind.

I closed my eyes in anticipation of the journey ahead.

The rules stipulated that only people who were willing to participate in this blind experience need apply and present themselves on registration day.
Once the quota was reached, they would have to be prepared to wait in the queue for as long as it took for a competitor to vacate to the other side.
Each course could accommodate only a limited number of people.
This would also ensure that there was no congestion of traffic, which allowed plenty of space for that unexpected hold-up in proceedings. However, one did not know until the last moment, which obstacle course they would be entering.

Beau and I continued on to the next stage.  

This was an easy task as we supported each other and were quite vocal in demanding assistance from the friendly people who kindly pointed us in the right direction.
Betty and Bob were assigned the task of showing us where to get food, a place to sleep and how to survive.
They had travelled from the Western zone to share their experiences and gain new knowledge from another direction. We gratefully accepted their help.
We had been forewarned to be aware of Pretenders who were out there waiting to misguide trusting souls.  
We learned quickly.
At first we crawled, then walked and, as our confidence grew, we ran.

I closed my eyes in acceptance of my fate.

There were no time limits once on these courses and the choice of travelling, alone or accompanied with a partner or in a group, was the final decision of the individual.
Contestants were encouraged to travel to other zones to gain more worldly knowledge and it was likely that they would meet familiar faces along the way; this was allowed as long as discretion was maintained at all times.
The basic rules applied as each individual saw fit, depending on their motives in reaching their objectives.

We had been warned that once on this course there would be no turning back, one could only go forward.
Everyone who completed the course was a winner.
Not everyone would complete their journey.
One could stop at any time.
Provisions had been made for a speedy exit along the way, should the travelling prove too difficult.
Each person was given a scroll on which ten basic rules were inscribed.  
The points acquired at the end of each obstacle course determined the magnitude of the prizes. Points were awarded for honesty, support, visualization, accomplishments, discretion, judgement, determination and stamina.  
Points were deducted for cheating, lying, criticism, and deception over their fellow man.

Beau had distanced himself when a Pretender with the promise of power lured to the Northern zone, which did not include me.
He promised to meet me further along the way once he gained more experience that would help us reach our goals.  

My eyes were painfully opened to the revelation that he would leave me.
I had been dependent on him.
I was left to travel alone.

There were times after Beau deserted me, when the going got really tough, until I found my independence.
My judgement and insights were well rewarded as I made many friends who accompanied me on my journey.
The thought of succeeding on this voyage kept me company and put me back on track.
But my thoughts were still with Beau.

I closed my eyes in uncertainty.

I have found a new companion to travel the road with me.  
I trust him implicitly for he is no Pretender.
His name is Brian.  
I had a faint recollection of having met him somewhere in the past.
He felt the same about me.
He promised to assist and protect me on our journey and we travel in perfect harmony and mutual growth.
We support and comfort each other through each stage of difficulty.  

Now that I feel more confident on my journey I elect to assist other younger members who join us, to face up to their challenges and instruct them on how to progress along their path of fate.
I point out to them that communicating their in-depth feelings is the true language of the soul and that their greatest enemy is fear.
I also warn them of the Pretenders who weave their web of false security.
Those youngsters look up to me in admiration.
I find these ventures most satisfying even though my responsibilities have grown.

I closed my eyes in contemplation.

As my journey through each stage continued with escalating speed, I faced the many challenges with courage and tackled each hurdle with renewed vigour.
There were mountains to climb; some mountains were steeper than others; crosses to carry and some crosses were heavier than others.  
At times, some of those burdens were too great for me to bear, and my weaker side temporarily overpowered me.
I was tempted to follow the Pretenders.
The ten basic rules were not as easy to keep as I had first thought and I made many errors in judgement along the way.  
I was, after all, a mere human.
But my faith always put me back on track.

Beau kept his promise and joined me at different times.
We were then close once again and travelled as before.
But he had changed and was more fragile than I’d ever seen him.
His creative imagination and cleverness with facts, combined with his worldly experience, contributed towards our journey’s end.  
But it was not enough.
We had grown too far apart in our moral principles.

I closed my eyes once more.

We lost Beau on the way to the fourth stage.
He had become too engrossed with his male worldliness.  
He followed the Pretenders and lost sight of the bigger picture.
He had diverted from the basic set of rules, lost his way and became ravaged with weakness.

‘I need you Belle. Don’t abandon me now,’ he had pleaded.

'But you left me,' I wanted to cry and watched helplessly as he slowly fell into the hole of decay and was taken away from me forever.

One could take shortcuts, join with others and divert to opposite paths or travel to different hemispheres.
They could get disqualified along the way for breaking the rules or, if successful, journey on to the very end.  
For Beau, the Pretenders had won.

I closed my eyes in sadness.

I found that I was content to travel with an assorted crowd of twenty, who had accompanied me at different stages of my eventful journey.  
I had now reached the final and most difficult stage.
This last challenge was almost too great for me to bear and as I struggled to cope, kindred spirits helped to make the last leg of my journey more comfortable.

Brian had faithfully accompanied me until the fifth stage, but was not as strong as I.
He could not continue with me to the end of my journey, but promised to wait for me on the other side.

That time was now drawing closer.
I felt an inner peace and accepted the inevitable that my journey of a lifetime must end.

I closed my eyes, for I was very tired.

I would miss my friends and loved ones, but had no regrets.
I would always remember them.
Hopefully they would remember me too for the knowledge and the love that I imparted.

This obstacle course had not been about winning, but competing and taking every opportunity offered; turning each one into a positive outcome.

I hoped the judges would see that I had shouldered my responsibilities and challenges to the best of my ability, as I now awaited my just rewards at the finish line.

Moving forward and onwards, I near my journeys’ end and am drawn to the bright light meeting me at the exit of the tunnel.
Large cheering crowds of familiar faces are eager to welcome me.

My husband, Brian and Beau, my twin, are waiting with outstretched arms;
I hurry towards them.
I had completed the six stages of the course.
Now I could seek my place in Eternity.

I closed my eyes for the last time.

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Birth and death is like a picture show - where life is just the interval.
                     - anonymous 4 comments

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