Inspired By: Whiteheart's "Climb the Hill"
Written By: Arianna Scriptsmith ☧
Started: Friday, November 15, 2013
A crowded courtyard with a faded grey haze settling down in the valley, overrunning what light there was, stood under the mountainous fortress. There was no laughter, there was no play. Though there were only children to be seen, they only curled in a pathetic ball in the ashes of the streets. They all either wore filth-ridden rags or they were naked and curled in their own stench. Chains dragged with their feet. Now cracked, transformed into cold, hard and deformed iron, wearing down their walk, were their own hearts, connected to the chains. The mountains and fortress cast a colourless gloom upon the children’s countenance.
Rumors of a secret escape to freedom stirred through this prison of shadow. All heard of it, yet none had the courage to seek it out. Yet, a young girl was not only seeking it out, but was very near to reaching it. Fearful was her name. She was a timid soul, but she sought freedom anyway. When she reached the narrow door, it stood wide open, a dim light pooled from the inside. Fearful noticed as colours began forcing their way into her making her a solid being. She dragged her chained heart with her. As she exited the shadows a luminous tunnel that went upward, she looked onward to where foot lamps led upward to a far off light.
Fearful’s feet dragged her cracked heart with her and climbed the underground slope. Step after step, pool of light after pool of light, she made her way up the rocky climb. Within an hour, the slope narrowed and grew steeper. By three, the soles of her feet were bloodied and scraped. By the sixth hour her heart was cracking more. By the seventh Fearful was ready to quit, because the climb had turned into a dead end, with a tall wall in the way, the light was too high to reach to now.
Fearful sat down, slowly, disappointment clearly filling her face. She sat there for a good while, too stubborn to turn back, too afraid to continue, she wept her tears of failure, she lay her head on a rock, and pleaded for help from anyone who could hear her. Then she heard it, twelve rings for the twelfth hour-- wait what? Fearful sat up and saw that the light had moved to the spot she was in, a door was right behind her, and wide open. A grown man stood in the way and smiled warmly to her.
“Come in, child. The tea is brewing, I have been expecting you and am so glad you stopped over for a visit,” said the man, tenderly extending a hand out to Fearful.
“But, who are you?” she asked him, timidly.
“I am the Sacred Alchemist. I’ve seen how you’ve suffered many years. And I’ve seen how you sought for a way to freedom. I am that Way. The Only way”
She hesitantly reached out for it and looked at her filthy nails. Her face fell to see his clean hands. As she pulled away, the gentle hand of the man reached out again, to reassure her that is was alright. Fearful looked up at the man who consolingly looked her in the eye. She took his hand as he lifted her up and led her inside. The room was so colourful and filled with the aroma of beautiful perfumes. A work table was in the middle of the room, with alchemy tools. The stranger left Fearful’s side and came back with a clean white dress with a green sash, a towel a washcloth and soap.
“Go, wash up. The tea should be ready when you come back,” he smiled serenely at Fearful.
She took the stuff, not daring to refuse, but nevertheless tears of joy streamed down her face, “Th-thank you, sir.”
The Alchemist smiled at her and led her to the bath and shut the door for her.
“My child,” he said, beckoning her to him, “Let me have your burden.”
Fearful had almost forgotten about her chained heart. When she looked down at it however, the chains dragged a living beating heart, partly metal, yet fully alive, and in agony. Blood spilled on the floor, and Fearful cried, trembling.
“Come, my dear…” repeated the Alchemist.
Fearful came to him, painfully, then stopped right by his left. He stooped over, and grabbed the cuff of the chain and snapped it off of Fearful’s ankle.
“Have a seat. I’ll fix this, my dear.” He said, striding to her work table.
As Fearful did as he bid and sipped the tea, the Alchemist took the heart in his hands and poured a beautiful pearly liquid onto it and whispered into the heart as it turned to gold. He brought the heart back and knelt before Fearful, unbuttoning her dress in the back. On her left side, he placed the heart through the hole in her chest and mended it. Then he embraced her, and the words he whispered to her heart echoed in her mind. You have a spirit of courage, not fear. You are my beloved, my child. I love you, this much. Fearful's sobs began soft, then shook her hard as her heart began beating a rhythm and her breath began a chorus of faith.
“Fearful, I give you the name Faith, for it was through your faith that set you free.”