I could feel myself spinning out of control. My head swirled and I found it hard to open my eyes. When I did manage to do so, jets of light were streaming toward me at breakneck speed. My stomach flipped again and again, while my arms and legs twitched with convulsed spasms. I tried to scream but all the air seemed to have been sucked from my lungs.

Within a few moments, I began to feel myself slow down. I tried again to open my eyes, only to be met with complete darkness. I couldn’t see a thing, I couldn’t hear a thing, I couldn’t feel a thing. What the hell was going on?

I began to hear a slight murmur in the distance. I tried to focus my attention on wherever it was coming from, but I couldn’t get a lock on its location. Then I heard the old woman’s voice in my head, “Just relax, child. Let yer surroundin’s be yer guide.” I had no idea what that meant, but I allowed myself to just let go.

Soon, the murmurs became louder and I felt more like I was floating. I opened my eyes and found myself hovering above a strange body of water. There was a heavy fog enveloping the world around me, making it hard to see anything below it. I could tell that there was something moving down there, but I had no idea what it was.

My eyes were becoming accustomed to the dim light and I could start to make out a few forms in the distance. What I thought were trees, turned out to be wooden spikes protruding through rotting corpses. The murmurs became louder and I could hear the wails of pain and the moans of sorrow. The fog began to part and I could see thousands of souls lining the shores of a putrid river.

The sights and sounds grabbed at my heart and I felt the anguish that fueled this scene. I could smell the odors from the decaying flesh and rancid stream. Tears clouded my eyes as panic set into my soul.

“Relax, child,” I heard the old woman whisper in my mind once again, “yer but an observer. Don’t let yer senses be overtaken. Relax.” Once again, I let myself go as the dismal sensation began to subside.

I scanned the world around me, noticing a large palace in the distance. It was grand and opulent, yet dark and grotesque. A massive beast with three heads stood at the entrance, gelatinous ooze dripping from its enormous fangs. I began to drift in that direction when I noticed a boat floating slowly up the river toward me. Torches lit either side of the bow, while a single, massive oar hung from its stern. In between the torches stood a looming figure draped in a hooded cloak. Though I had no idea who it was, I knew that it wasn’t Dinlas.

As the boat neared the dock below me, the cloaked figure put out its hand toward the masses on the shore. A few had small coins that they seemed to have plucked from their eyes. They handed the figure the coins and climbed on board. Those who had no coins tried to attach themselves to the boat but slid into the murky abyss.

The boat seemed to have miraculously turned around and headed toward the palace. I set my gaze upon its mast and followed along. I looked down toward the shoreline and found it crammed with the souls of the dead. How could so many souls be here and in the Multi-Verse at the same time? I found myself to be as shocked by the experience as Dinlas had been to have found me.

As we came to the dock in front of the palace, I could hear the sounds of yelling coming from one of the upper rooms. I set my gaze upon an open window and quickly found myself looking within. And there he was. The god who’d come into my bar. Dinlas.

He seemed to be arguing with an older man who had fire in his eyes. Just gazing upon the other man caused a feeling of fear to enter my soul I’d never felt before. The two screamed and yelled back and forth, but I wasn’t sure what they were fighting about. Though I could hear them, nothing made any sense.

I tried to focus on their conversation and began to understand what was going on.

I still couldn’t completely understand what Dinlas had said to the old man, but when he replied to the younger god, my fear turned to rage.

“You will fix this, Dinlas. It’s your duty to make sure this matter is taken care of and quickly. You’re the fucking god of hate. Stop being so fucking nice and do what you have to do.” With that, the old man stormed out of the room, causing everything around to violently shake.

I could see the anger in Dinlas’ eyes. His face was twisted and gnarled, his eyes blood red. He took in a deep breath and roared at the top of his lungs, bursting every piece of glass in the room. He looked around at what he’d done but showed no signs of remorse. In fact, he almost looked pleased with himself.

His gaze moved to the window in which I watched the events unfold. Though I knew it couldn’t be, I felt as though he could see me floating there. He came closer to the window and yelled, “I AM DINLAS, GOD OF HATE AND JEALOUSY, AND YOU WILL BOW BEFORE ME!”

Part of me wanted to run, but part of me was ready to fight. God of hate and jealousy, indeed. What was the god of hate doing in the Multi-Verse and how was I going to get rid of him?

I lowered my gaze and looked him dead in his eyes, “Not in my realm, God Dinlas.”




Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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