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Ascending the staircase, the feelings of unease start to recede. The familiarity of the situation is obvious, but it seems as if you're intentionally denying your situation at this point...

You get to the top of the stairs and enter the vaguely skull shaped structure. You see the man standing in the corner opposite you. As you inch closer, you can vaguely hear him talking,

"Tell them I'm struggling to sing with angels who hint at it in black words printed on old paper gold edged by time. Tell them I wrestle the mirror every morning. Tell them I sit here invisible in space, nose running, coffee cold, & bitter. Tell them I tell them everything & everything is never enough. Tell them I'm davening & voices rise up from within to startle children. Tell them I walk off into the woods to sing. Tell them I sing loudest next to waterfalls. Tell them the books get fewer, words go deeper, some take months to get through. Tell them there are months when it's all perfect; above 'n' below, it's perfect, even in moments in between where sparks in space, terrible, beautiful sparks in space, are merely metaphors for the void between one pore and another."

As I inch closer, he turns around and cocks his head. I feel like he's smiling underneath that visor.

"I've been expecting you.", he says curling his fingers and beckoning me with 'em, "Come here."

I walked closer, and he extended his arm and made a little gun with his hand, he pointed it away from me and mimicked firing. From there, a tiny little orb shot from his fingers, and upon hitting a wall transformed into a giant gaping doorway. "Come on, walk and talk."

we entered the doorway and entered this like...twisted maze. it was greenish, scratchy feeling all around, and there was creaking and groaning all around us. i took a step forward and almost lost all my balance.

"Yeah, it can take a little bit to adjust. Keep at it."

as we walked down the twisted corridor, i heard a quiet weeping. we turned a corner and the entire area was awash in red light. the weeping got louder.

"'scuse me for a sec," The Beast said, stepping into the red light a little further. suddenly my eyes adjusted, and i saw the light was coming from a large room filled with what i assume are coffins. the light itself is coming from no discernible source in the room.

as the weeping continued, The Beast hobbled over and pounded on a coffin, "Keep quiet in there!"

the weeping got louder briefly, sounding more desperate and painful, before quieting down.

"There we are," The Beast said as He exited the room.

"Uh, that was a little harsh, wasn't it?", i asked.

He scoffed and said, "He knows what he did."

after some walking, we found ourselves in a room with a large throne. a chair like structure shot up from the ground, and i was told to "take a seat".

i asked him where i was.

"It's my own little private area. A pocket dimension, if you will.", The Beast said, "Now, take a seat."

hesitantly, i obliged.

"So, what's up?", Benaiah asked.

"I brought you here to tell you something.", The Beast said.

"Ok, shoot."

there was a silence for a bit, followed by The Beast stammering for a moment.

"Are you alright?", Benaiah asked.

The Beast takes a deep breath and says, "In forty days, the world will end."

...

...

there's a very awkward silence for a while.

"Oh, do go on. Please.", Benaiah says

"I know, because I have lived it before. Your father..."

Benaiah perks up, and narrows his eyes.

"Your father...will die...and so will you."

...

...

...

"Are you okay?", The Beast asks.

Benaiah is just sort of sitting there in a stunned silence. he doesn't know how to react. he doesn't doubt The Beast's truthfulness, nor does he refuse to accept this fact, he had never been afraid of death, but, somehow this was just a shock.

he couldn't explain it, but he was just...angry.

he got up from his 'chair' and calmly made for the exit.

"Joseph, wait!", The Beast said, lurching up from his throne. but Benaiah continued out.

passing the threshold of the throne room, walls began to creak and groan, and with a thunderous crash an entire wall moved from its place and blocked Benaiah's path. unfazed, Benaiah walked straight through the wall into the corridor beyond. the walls continued to shatter and creak, creating numerous hazards and obstructions before his path, all of which Benaiah traversed with no difficulty. The Beast followed in close pursuit, calling out for his child to return, enraging him further.

Benaiah came out to the bridge and picked up the pace. as the swinging obelisks hurdled towards him, they broke into pieces as they touched him. The Beast was taken slightly aback, but pressed on. using his tendrils he whipped towards Benaiah, ready to ensnare him.

suddenly, The Beast was enveloped in lanky tentacles that felt as if they were made of razors. Benaiah snickered, and threw The Beast back from the bridge. as the tentacles retreated back into Benaiah's body, he spoke a quick, "Don't follow me", and took his leave.

after some walking, Benaiah found himself before a brilliantly shining gate. as he approached, the twelve jeweled locks simultaneously unchecked, and the gate doors opened outwards. Benaiah stepped into the light and was gone.

"Ha ha ha," The Beast chuckled, before the pain reduced him to speaking through clenched teeth, "it seems I have failed you as well..."


"Where in God's name have you been? We've been watching sand niggers come in and out of buildings for fourty-five minutes.", one quipped.

Benaiah hesitated, "Sight-seeing. Let's just go to the wall."

The Western Wall wasn't as packed as Benaiah had anticipated. He put on his kippah and approached the cracked stone surface.

As cliché as it sounded, he wondered what stories this wall could tell.

He slipped his prayer into a crack and took his leave.

As he left the Old City he could've sworn he saw The Beast watching him, but it was probably just his imagination, it had to have been.

Gods don't bleed.

And they certainly don't weep.

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