I arrived at home, my eyes still red from the salty tears. The second I opened the door to my tiny hut, a smell worse than the open sewers invaded my senses. Death. It was the smell of death.
I slowly crept into the bedroom, afraid of what I would see when I got there.
Mama was leaning over the bed with a wet rag dabbing Anya's forehead.
"Marie! What did the Physician say? Can he tend to her?" she asked me.
"Yes, he will come tomorrow morning, he said that Anya must have 'la peste noire', there are lots of people in the village with it. The Physician says he can cure her though . . ." I replied, not mentioning my encounter with the priest.
"How's Anya doing?"
"Well, she is in a deep sleep, maybe speaking with god, maybe she won't be cured. Please god, help my daughter!"
I left Mama praying over Anya's body and slipped my nightgown again. The sun was starting to set and the crickets started to chirp outside. I hopped into bed, and fell into a deep, deep sleep.
I opened my eyes, and I was in a meadow! Lush, green hills rolled all around me, the sky was an unrecognizable shade of blue. Birds of magnificent undiscovered colours soared above my head. I looked down and saw my feet. I was wearing the finest sandals I've ever seen. My body was fitted with a silk gown that blew in the wind.
"Where am I?" I said aloud, my voice ringing like bells in this strange world.
"You are in heaven my daughter." A magnificent voice rang, but it wasn't spoken out loud, instead the voice entered my mind, my soul! The voice was inside of me!
I looked around to see where it was coming from, but there was only a waterfall flowing into a pool that sparkled like a million diamonds.
"Who are you?" I thought to the alien figure in my mind.
"Ohahaha," a laughter like bells rang, "I am your god." The voice said.
"I have brought you here to show you what life could be like for your loved ones. That is, if you undue the sin you have committed."
"What sin have I committed, my lord?" I said as I bent down and put my hands in the position you do while praying.
"Six days ago, you were walking through the streets. An old woman stopped you and asked if you could help her. You said nothing in return to her, but ran away as fast as you could. That woman was falsely accused of witch craft. What she needed from you was merely a blessing. Even I can't control murder, and there was nothing I could have done to save her without a blessing from a child . . . That woman died, all because you wouldn't help her."
"I'm only a child my lord! I was afraid. Please forgive my sin!"
"My child, I cannot simply forgive you, something must be given to me in return. I need the life of your sister, to repay for the life of the old woman. You must let your sister gently pass the void into heaven. She will have no wait in Purgatory for your sin, instead she shall come here, but you must allow her an easy passage."
"How do I give her an easy passage? I cannot possibly murder my sister!"
"Let the Physician let blood. I will guide his hands and he will let enough blood for her to peacefully pass on, instead of suffering through the black plague. You must calm your mother, and whatever you do, do not give Anya's body away to the men who come asking for the dead. You must bury her under the apple tree and lay three stones around it. Only then has your sin been forgiven."
Before I could say anything in return, I was back in my own bed.
Author's Note: Please note that the people were extremely religious in the Middle Ages.