Angel parks her SUV parallel to a pale blue minivan at the market’s lot. She rummages in her overcrowded purse for her shopping list. Thinking out loud, she considers unloading all of the debris that has piled up in her purse and consequently her life. She tosses out an ancient roll of Tums–a good start. She finally locates her grocery list: A dozen eggs, a dozen oranges, two gallons of milk, organic bread (even though it costs more), and Sugar Loops for the kids.
She begins to feel dizzy as she climbs out of the car. The world spins and the parking lot becomes a kaleidoscope. Then a tornado sucks her up and tosses her into a dark forest. She lands on the ground; jolted into a hidden reality where the world appears upside down and backwards, like one’s reflection in a mirror. She reasons that she hit her head on the car’s doorframe knocking her unconscious.
She feels like Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz and she makes a joke about Kansas. The forest, though, seems familiar to her, but she can’t say why. She’s never stepped out of the suburbs where she was born and still resides. She’s never seen a forest or a river and she’s never climbed a mountain, yet this forest feels like her real home.
She rises slowly from the ground while brushing off her floral skirt. Patting down her tangled hair, she then checks her makeup in a compact mirror. In the distance, she notices a muddy trail leading to a cabin, so she decides to walk to the cabin and seek directions back to the suburbs. As she staggers, shoes slipping on the slick trail, she smells a mixture of pine needles mixed with roses. The roses cause her nose to itch, but she ignores this and keeps walking towards the cabin.
Angel quietly raps on the front door. She hears someone shuffling his way to the door as she waits apprehensively for him to appear. Although she would like to run away, she musters up the courage to confront her fears coupled with her longing for answers. An old man answers the door and shouts at her.
“It’s about time you showed up!”
He introduces himself as Uriel, the guardian of the forest then he invites her into his modest home. Growing increasingly uncomfortable, Angel stutters when asking Uriel for directions back to the parking lot. She tells him that she must buy food for her family or they’ll go hungry.
Uriel explains that the only one starving is Angel. “Your soul needs to be fed with a nourishing substance. You don’t even remember that you have a soul and this causes me grief.”
Uriel leads Angel to a modest table where a king-size banquet awaits them. A variety of thick, dark breads sit next to a bowl of lime-green apples, dark cherries and blushing peaches. Angela’s eyes scan over the fruit and bread that wait to be consumed by her. She notices three large pink and blue crystals the size of a small cat.
“Why have you placed crystals among the food?”
“These crystals all contain magic that can help you see into hidden reality. Each crystal represents a different part of you. The light blue one represents your past and the pink and blue one represents your future. The largest one represents your truest potential of living in this moment. The crystals help you map out your journey into other realities and they guide you on your journey into the future.”
He waxes on, “You’ve lost sight of your life’s purpose and you’ve grown bored with the role of everyone’s caretaker. Work with the crystals on a daily basis and you’ll discover that you indeed have a soul and a purpose for your existence.”
They finish their feast and their conversation. Uriel gives Angel directions to a mammoth oak tree with a human-size hole in it. He tells her to dive through the hole and find herself in the market’s parking lot. Angel embraces Uriel. She thanks him for the meal and directions back to her day-to-day life. Reluctantly, she strides to the tree, glances over her shoulder, then dives into the gaping hole, which sucks her in and spits her out in the parking lot.
When she gains consciousness, she finds herself lying on the pavement next to her SUV. She reasons that she must have fainted from a dizzy spell. She hopes no one saw her lying on the ground. As she rises, she notices three crystals gleaming in the sun. She wonders where they came from then she recalls a strange dream in which she was sharing a feast with the guardian of the forest. He gave her three crystals, but how did those crystals make their way into this reality?
It’s possible that the forest represents reality and that Angel dreamed up the life in the suburbs. Then she has control over her boring life living among minivans, shopping malls, and parking lots. She can always wake herself from that nightmare. And maybe this time someone will comfort her.
By Patricia Herlevi (previously published). All Rights Reserved