TIME. Spring 2019 - Page 29

places after we had already left them. At least, that is what we believed at the time. Whenever we reached for Death with our minds, we only found the same images we had already seen ourselves. As our ride went on, the images became harder and harder to look upon for a second time. Soon we no longer tried to bond with our elder brother. When it ended, we looked upon Paradise. Have you seen it? Its towers are tall and gleaming, gold and silver beyond the sun and moon of the Earth. The light does not shine down into Paradise. The light is Paradise. Radiance suffuses every brick, every marble column. The saints who dwell in it sing of the light and their song rises up and up and up, twisting and dancing. Pestilence did the same with his bow, Famine with his scales, and Death with his scythe. There was no more use for them. Death did not speak. He did not have to. There are some things that simple speech is not enough to convey. There are some things that can only be shared soul to soul. They have no place in this account. By the power given to him, Death cast us into a deep trance. Here we shall lie, still and silent. Here I shall lie, and know rest. David Ferranti is a senior concentrating in Biology. A fresh note rose in our minds as we sat upon our horses lis- tening to that saintly song, a single shared thought. We could not enter the city. There, before the gate, before humanity’s intended dwelling place, we knew that, knew it as well as we knew the sound of the seals breaking. How could we enter Paradise? We were never meant to. We were meant for what we had just done. Judgement! And in that final, almost musical revelation, we saw a lamb rise above the city, its coat whole and unblemished. Stars crowned its head. We looked upon the lamb and we knew that our ride had been done as it should have been. We left Paradise then, still covered in the dust of a dead world. We rode until we returned to our sunless, soulless home. Then we took the saddles from our steeds' backs and the bits from their mouths, and bade them run free in the grassland, to eat their fill of the grass and quench their thirst in the cold streams. They were loyal. They had earned their rest. I broke my sword over my knee, and cast the fragments away into the tall swaying grass. The sword that had once been so sharp and so polished was now pitted and scarred with the blood and grime of countless battles. Its whispers had gone silent, and its fragments will lie here undisturbed forever. And 29