… Essay, Research Paper
A fatigued traveler approaches a clearing in a forest where a cloaked woman stands.
“Where am I?” he asks.
Silence. The woman, instead, counters with a question of her own.
“I greet you at the Crossroads of Time, my friend. Or is it foe? Would you like to feel my love or to feel my wrath? It is but your choice.”
“I—do not know you, but—”
“I hope to be a friend, although—”
“Then you shall learn much,” she interrupted. Out of her cloak emerged a slim, delicate hand, gesturing upwards as if holding a fragile object. An image projected out of that ghost-like palm, showing three paths.
Although muffled, the figure spoke: “Three paths lie in the journey of life…three very different paths.” The semblance focused on the left-hand passage. “To the left you see a barren land where only the Devil dares to dwell.” As she spoke, a column of white fire erupted from the dead earth. “The course on the right shows an unending paradise filled with majestic phenomena nurtured only by the holy God.” Multi-colored creatures glide through the clear sky.
She paused, staring at the middle path. Filled with uncertain fear, she tightened her gaze upon the projection. Finally, the woman spoke. “Towards the middle lies a path, cloaked with intangible forests, where only the bravest enter.” She stared directly into the stranger’s eyes before continuing. “Those who go in never come out.” The woman tilted her head slightly, allowing a slight shaft of light to penetrate the impending darkness . Seeming to read his mind, she repeated the question he mentally asked. “Why? Because of an indestructible danger? Or of a pleasure so great that it gives no leave. That is for you, vagabond, to find out.”
The mysterious figure held his eyes and began once more, “Now I ask you, stranger. Which path would be yours?” At those last words her dark semblance disappeared leaving the awestruck man standing in front of three passages. He shivered and glanced at the woman, finding that she was gone and merely hearing her ghastly voice.
“Which path would be yours?” the forest echoed.