The lion was dressed in his Sunday’s best as he stepped up to the gates and stood in awe at the wonderment at the marvel before him. The bars were made of pure gold which pretty much matched the color of his mane, they stood out in contrast against the white cloudy brightness that covered the surrounding area in an almost holy aura. Surely the tales of old, and the hymns he heard on a weekly basis during his line of work did the kingdom no justice. He felt a sort of joy fill his heart, for he unlike many of the other mortals of the planet had spent his entire life devoted. To learning of the afterlife of which many had doubted the existence of, and now he would be a part of the glory, for surely he would be deemed worthy to partake in the glorious commune.
An alter seemed to rise before the feline as he stepped down the barely visible path before the gate, a sharp mahogany structure that was regal in its essence, obviously crafted by a masterful carpenter. The golden browns mixed with the reddish hues of the structure within it defining the conflict of its ultimate purpose.
As the preacher stood behind the wooden fixture, a bright light filled the sky causing the lion to draw a paw before his eyes as a learnt reaction from his time as a mortal though he did not feel any pain from the brightness invading his retinas. When the light cleared and retained a level the recently deceased was comfortable with he dropped his paw to see a humble figure before him dressed in white rags. The lamb gave the lion a somber gaze as he observed his latest figure upon which his judgement would be bared.
“Oh lord!” the lion felt himself unable to contain his words despite a subconscious wish to do so. He felt he had devoted his entire life to this day and now that is was here he felt as giddy as a child before a vast present, waiting for the gift he felt he deserved and within would contain all he could ever want. “I’ve waited so long to see your face before me in all you righteousness and to spend an eternity in your grace.”
The figure appeared to not respond to the words of the preacher as he appeared to gaze in the distance, beyond the lion and almost through him. “Son,” the lamb finally spoke. “I have looked upon the depths of your life and stand before you to pass judgement. For your actions committed during your mortal period I send you off to an eternity in fire and brimstone.”
A feeling of bitter cold took hold of the lion’s very being, his voice almost squeaked as that of a mouse as he tripped up upon the words spoken to him. For such a charismatic leader of his church during his life it was almost the first time he felt himself choking upon his larynx. “I-I believe you must be mistaken Lord. I spent my life preaching your word! Surely I am truly one that is worthy of your kingdom! Do you have me mistaken for another?”
Light continued to flow down upon the meek lamb, its thin form stood strong before the medium build mortal and shook his head, his tone unwavering as he spoke again. “My words are not false, and are never false. I have rendered my judgement, and it is sound.”
The feelings of doubt shattered before the feline, a new emotion took a hold of him and it was replaced with a piercing anger, as it does to all those that are to be denied a paradise they felt were all but promised to them. “No! This cannot be Lord! I devoted my whole life to you! I struck fear into a world full of degenerates! Of people who mocked your very existence! To the queers whom embraced in disgusting lust within their closets, to the women who murdered children whom never had a chance to breath life’s first breath! I preached and influenced the lives of thousands! I helped to shape my government in your image and to make it an instrument of your will! You should be bestowing upon me the greatest of honors, and here you stand and dare damn me to hell?”
After a bit of a pause the lamb stood back from the gates as they had opened before them. “Forgive me, for I am the one mistaken, you have shown me that truly you are worthy of inheriting my kingdom.”
With a grin and a triumph the lion strutted forth through the ajar doors and into the heavens. Words were his greatest asset. When he spoke, others listened and he used it to obtain so much in life. A devote following that hung upon his every breath, for they knew that every utterance brought the wrath of God behind it. For his speech was always filled with quotes from the holy book, and that made his own word holy.
Through the valley of light the lion strode, and in the distance a group congregated, he felt the need to speak his praises as he walked up upon the strangers. The forms turned to smile to him and gave him a solemn welcome. “The Lord told us a reverend was coming, and we were wondering if you would honor us with a sermon.”
The lion was honored to oblige the crowd as he stood up upon the hilltop and spoke down upon his audience. His words spoke as they did on the mortal plain, however they seemed to be amplified by the lack of his soul’s need of oxygen, his angry sermon not longer held back by the pacing of his mortal body. He did what he had done for many years and stuck the fear of God in those he spoke down upon. Tales of filth and debauchery flowed from his throat as the creature got lost in the tales of the disgust around them. Wrath and disgust flowed upon the crowd like a warm bath as the preacher latched on upon the sermons that made him such a success in the material world, the value of that success and feeling of pride, joy, and bliss of being influential grasped upon his being and surged through him and gave a warming glow of control of comfort and of power as he gave out his final utterance, “Amen.”
At this point the reverend was used to gearing the crowd reverberate the blessed utterance, but oddly, this time there was nothing but silence. The lion aroused from his stupor and looked down the side of the hilltop to notice that the area had cleared out, and there was no body listening any longer. He brushed his mane which had frazzled during the intense session, truly he had put his whole heart and soul into his craft and yet here there was nothing to show for it.
A solitary clap broke the emptiness of the silence, under the shade of a nearby sprawling tree a silhouette stood, the figure applauding. “Bravo.” The creature congratulated.
The lion smiled, at least there was some fruit of his intense devotion and labor. The mysterious creature spoke again, “It has been a long time since I’ve heard such speak of fear in this kingdom. Such distrust of those around them, it has been lacking around here for some time. Truly these lost souls don’t understand the wickedness of those around them. Being in this kingdom has made them soft.”
In agreement the preacher replied to the stranger, “they don’t understand, they’ll understand in the end though and by then it’ll be too late, if only they had listened to me they would have been saved.”
With a chuckled the figure replied, “they’ll be sorry indeed for you path is a glorious one reverend.” he spun around and started to walk down a path. “If you follow me, I know somewhere your message would certainly garner a more devote and fiery base of support.”
This was a true blessing, the lion had lived his entire life with a devote following and he eagerly wanted to feel this sensation again. The heavens were truly everything he had ever dreamed it would be. He followed the mysterious creature through the valley, he wore a sort of hooded monk’s rope, the wardrobe comforted the preacher as this must be a heavenly acolyte come to guide him on his path.
They arrived at a large and architecturally stunning building crafted of what appeared to be the finest of marble and stone, reflective of some of the largest and most revered churches of the mortal realm. Even in life the preacher had never had the honor of spreading his message in such a pristine building. It was certainly a glorious symbol of his grand majesty. The robed figure pushed upon the large wooden doors that towered along the facade of the building.
As they had entered the building the light of the heavens peered down a long stone hall, the lion tried to catch a glimpse of what marvels would lie within but it was too dark to make out anything of note much to his disappointment. The heavy doors shut behind them and made the interior even more shrouded, to the point where the preacher could barely make out the figure before him anymore.
A light flickered however as the form before him held up a flame to light the way down the hall. A rise of uncertainty started to take hold of the preacher as the two walked down upon a stone corridor that seemed rather plain and as they got further along the walls seemed to cause a sense of claustrophobia to the follower, where was the grand sprawling pew? Where was the pulpit? Was this a back way to the podium that would be before the millions of souls awaiting for him to speak and share the word with them?
The lion walked for what felt to him as an eternity, it started to feel as if there was fire beneath his paws as he continued onward watching the stranger before him. He did not question about how long this would take, he simply was driven by the wish of feeling what he had in the mortal world. Of having a group of people before him, uncertain and afraid, hanging upon his every comforting word.
The acolyte had stopped dead in his tracks suddenly and the preacher almost ran square into him. It was then he noticed that the figure seemed larger then before, or had the hallway constriction simply given the illusion of a size change? Turning around two eerie red lights pierced from under the hood giving light to the figures large and muzzle face. A dark equestrian figure stood before the preacher, scars aligning the side of his snout, the form’s breath fogged before him as it breathed heavily. A fear and sense of impending doom fell upon the lion like a weight.
Before there was any time to question what was going on the form bellowed “Welcome home.” the voice had become much more guttural and deep then when they had met before, so much so that the area around them started to rumble at the statement. The plain stone wall architecture that composed the length of the hall started to peel away revealing scorched earth.
A disbelief filled the preacher as the form loomed over him, this could not be happening, he spun about and started to run back down the hall to return from where he had come from. A burst of light blasted before him and a form stood before him within the crumbling hallway. In his white cloth, the lamb he had encountered before the gates stood before him once more.
With a look of profound disappointment, his words rose above the rumbling quaking that was tearing the structure away. “You claimed to be devoted to me and my word, yet when I rendered my judgement you question it. You boisterously point out the flaws in others but that still does not save you from the flaws within yourself. You claimed other had played God, but when you stand before me and say you can render judgement better then I, what is it that you play? Ponder this for the eternity that you will spend in the land you now reside.”
The stone roof finally collapsed with a loud crack and it collapsed upon the form of the lamb, swallowing the path and the figure beneath a pile of rubble.