The Thirty-Third Leaf

I spent that night in the woods, because I could not risk going back to the castle. My fear of the woods was very strong, but I must avoid the Bishop. I searched for the largest tree I could find, and beneath it's tower I nestled. I tried to sleep but my mind was filled with every terror I could imagine. How many hours I lay there, shivering and worrying, are lost to me now. I am only aware of those moments of anxiety because of what came next.

I remain hidden there, beneath the massive tree, exactly what I had sought to do, when a group of figures entered my field of vision. There was very little light in the woods but my sight had become somewhat adjusted and so I was able to vaguely make out moving shapes. I knew them not to be animals because their movements were more purposeful. They appeared to be searching for something and when I realized this I was awoken like never before as I feared being discovered. It was then, in that awoke way, that I was able to fully see them. These were not the others as I had been expecting. They were .... different. I cannot say they were terrible, that they were hideous or wild. I have not the language to share the song that these nameless shapes sang to me. I was so close to the other world, somehow I could feel what they feel, and I was overcome with visions of what they must see, all moving so slowly, so silently, and strangely in time with my own heartbeat. How is it that I could be moved by that which terrified me? And how could I have stood up from my hiding place, moving into the shapeless group and begin to sing with their song? How could I have done that? There are no answers for me here. My sense of homelessness is complete as there is no refuge for me. Not in the night because of my dreams, not in the daytime because of the Bishop, and not in the woods where I grew because of something I can never name. I am a ghost in my own time.

- Sorren

The terrors of this man have driven him to the demonic realm where the curtain is thin and easily penetrated. This realm is not open to one anointed by the word of God. He does not even realize what he has done. This is the danger of despair, black lightning. Sorren has summoned these evil manifestations, and he will never have peace until he reaches out for the grace of Christ. This is the reason that the Lord calls us to be steadfast in prayer, for the thoughts in our mind reverberate into the world, even as the freezing coldness of winter chills us to the bone, and the world is made more dangerous when the body of Christ is fragmented. The wild places will not shield us from the eyes of the Lord, but we must instead seek solace in fellowship.
— M

This book is beginning to affect me in ways I had not anticipated. I find myself daydreaming about this when I should be concentrating on something else; I find myself pacing the room inside my studio long into the night when I know that I have only a few hours before dawn; I find myself directing day to day conversations to include these bizarre and obscure pages until my wife can barely tolerate my flights of fancy, and still I am unsatisfied. This book is beginning to torment me, but I seek out the torment and only speculate further about the words about a ghost. A ghost! While I turn into a ghost in my own life.

I can’t help my fascination with this book, and I did not seek it out. It was given to me, and there must be a reason. I refuse to live in a world without reason. The true irony is that our present world is a world built entirely upon the foundations of reason, and yet I refuse to acknowledge it. I’m sick of it!

Reason can become a sickness, a sickness of society, and this is precisely what I have systematically come to loath about our present world. There are literally, experts to handle every thought and every decision that happens in our life, and our life comes down to an agreement to follow the advice of the experts, because the experts have been programmed and certified with the syllabus of information that itself has been invented and codified by experts that came before them. I’m tired of it. Is this free will? I think not, for why would one go against the advice of an expert that knows what is best for us at every moment of our short life? And if we should choose to defy these proclamations given to us, there is an expert to make note of our defiance and offer us advice about how to come back to the fold, as if we were nothing but frightened sheep, wandering too close to the precipice. There were no experts telling Sorren what to do, and to watch him struggle with these issues is fascinating to me. It is also refreshing and poignant.

Sorren is going through something powerful, something that is beginning to consume him. These spirits that have become manifest to him are an indication of his condition. I am no expert, so I will not call him delusional. Sorren is alive! His passion is beginning to evoke supernatural expressions into his world, but he fears this. I can only imagine what it would be like for him if he accepted this without fear. We should all be so lucky.