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By Carlos Quintero on Unsplash

Taking a deep breath, he entered the flower tunnel. As he moved forward his confidence began to ebb away, replaced by a growing fear.

The black and white flowers, so sophisticated and elegant looking at first, began to look grotesque as the light faded. The petals and leaves surrounding him looked skeletal, like colorless fungus in a cave that had not seen day since the formation of the earth.

He glanced back, his tread brushing against the petals on the floor, sounding like voices whispering. The light looked as if it was moving away from him rather than him walking away from it, and part of him wanted to stop and implore it:

“Please don’t go.”

At the moment when the circle of light was no bigger than his fist, his knees trembling, his breath shallow and fast, when he was ready to turn and run back, admit failure, hubris, whatever it took, he saw the light ahead of him.

It was different than the cold blue-white light behind him. It was golden and as he moved closer he realized the leaves and petals around were no longer black and white, but multi-hued. There were so many colors, so many shades and variations of greens, blues, yellows — the rainbow and more — he did not know the names of them all.

At the end of the flower tunnel he stepped out into a garden unlike anything he had seen before.

His legs were firm. His breathing was calm and deep.

And yet he was more frightened than he had ever been in his life.

This scene was inspired by this artwork by Visothkakvei.

I have no relationship of any kind with this artist and was simply inspired by the piece.