Temple of Visions

Beside me, I hear the tree creaking from the midnight wind. The gun clamped between my fingers and the quiver fastened onto my back. Today, we had been tracking a deer for the past few hours; we are so close that I can already taste its meat in my saliva filled mouth.
Jack and I were known as the fiercest sharpshooters in our village. We were the best of friends and each day, we would bring back all sorts of animals for our people. Jack and I were very interested in hunting with guns. Both of us were fascinated by its power and at first believed it was a work of magic.
Suddenly the thoughts of my past were gone when I heard the sound of a twig snapping is heard. My head flies to the direction of the sound but there is nothing there. I hear the bushes rustling in the distance. Hoping for the deer to be there, I traverse further into the forest.

My heart beat kept on beating faster, as I roamed around searching for our elusive prey. I was trying my best to use my finely tuned ears to locate the prey but the sounds were fading, as was my vision. I stumbled a bit but I used my gun for support. My partner looked at me with inquiring eyes as if to say “Do you need any help”, so I wave him off. “Never appear weak in the wild,” the doctrine from my mentor echoed in my head. Suddenly, it was getting harder to breath and my legs finally gave in. I collapsed on the cold hard forest floor. ……..
I was not from here originally, in Ohio, the back words of the USA. I was the youngest of five kids, from an established, albeit not wealthy family. That was because most of our money or fortunes were used to pay off the mountainous debts of my father. As the youngest of a crumbling family, I was given two choices. Either stay in London, and work as a small-time manager and a firm, or own a substantial amount of land in America. As a young fool, lusting for adventure, I chose the latter.

I arrived at Ohio, having gone through the awful boat ride and the rail to Ohio. The land, which I got was in a small town in central Ohio. The woods surrounded our tiny village and most of our food were crops farmed by ourselves or animals which we were able to hunt. The year I arrived was a dry year so most of the crops died. We had no other choice but to hunt. Many men were chosen and that was when i met Jack. He was a fine fellow who didn't talk a lot but his actions spoke louder than anything. Everyday he would go outside and practice shooting with his gun.

Suddenly, I wake up to a scene I have never seen before. There is a wide open field in front of me with a huge stone structure built in the centre. I had never been to this part of the forest before and I was lost. I turn around in the hopes of seeing Jack’s familiar face but he is nowhere to be seen. The structure had a wooden door with 2 torches on either side decorated with an assortment of colours and shapes. As I walk up the steps of the temple, the door suddenly opened with a large thud. With nowhere to go, I remove the torch from the wall and venture into the dark abyss.

Before I could take good look inside, the door suddenly closes behind me and darkness instantly engulfed the entire room. As my eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, I take the flint and steel from my bag and light the torch. As the darkness receded, I saw that the room was not what I expected. There were symbols and drawings on the wall that I had never seen before. Following my natural curiosity, I continue further into the temple to learn its secrets.

What I realize next is that the temple was not a temple at all, but a church. At first, I didn't believe what I was seeing, but closer inspection of the structure reveals that this must have been the church everyone in the village was talking about. Legend says that this temple holds the secrets of life. As a person cursed with curiosity, i go towards the light on the far side of the room. As I approach the light, i realize that the light was merely a projection of my life. I saw all the events of my life flash before my eyes. What did all of this mean? I reach my hand out into the projection and my vision suddenly blurs.

My dreams were not always to become the hunter that I was today. In fact, when I arrived at America, the first thing I did was build myself a farm. My idea was to work hard for a couple of years to raise enough money so I could open a small business in town and become a businessman. But such dreams never came true. Each year, I could never harvest enough crops to live on while paying off my mortgage. As a result, I had no choice but to abandon my land. I became a drifter, going wherever I could for money or a place to eat. Just when my life was about to hit rock bottom, I met Jack when begging for money at a restaurant in Virginia. He offered to give me a new life by buying my farm and giving me a new hunting job. At the time I was overjoyed, i could continue to live off the land I always wanted and I could revisit my dream of becoming a businessman.

When i regain my senses, I see a familiar land beneath me. I realized that I was looking at the farm I previously owned. It takes me a moment to notice that what I was looking at was a recreation of my past. It was far into the night and I was still sleeping inside the bedroom. Seeing all of this, I was overjoyed. I wanted to go rush into the building to tell me past self about the future and perhaps avoid the grim future. However, before a dark figure appeared on the other side of the field. With panic rushing through my veins, I quickly move and hide behind a wall so that I was out of his line of sight. It took me a while before I realized that the mysterious figure was Jack! What was he doing here? Out of curiosity, I carefully spy on him from around the corner. I couldn't believe my eyes, Jack was stealing my crops! I run out from my corner to demand an explanation for his actions. But before I could reach him, the bright light appeared once more and quickly engulfed my entire body.

When I reawaken, I had returned once more to the temple. After analysing the previous events, I realised that the truth was in front of me the whole time; I was just too reluctant to notice it. Jack must have been after my land all this time. He must have purposely stolen my crops and forced me into bankruptcy. I finally realized that that little rascal stole my entire life away from me. Armed with this new knowledge, I march out of the temple with a new found thirst for revenge.

Still unsure as to which direction I should walk, I begin to walk in a straight line hoping to find my way home. As I was walking, I suddenly see Jack in the distance. He appeared to be lost just as I was. Remembering what I saw back at the temple, the feeling of anger return to my body. As he did not seem to be aware of my presence, I slowly creep up to him using the trees for my cover. When I reached about 100 metres from his position, I take out my gun and prepare to aim a shot.

When my finger pulled on the trigger, the whole world shook. The bullet was aimed perfectly and passed right through his heart killing him instantly. A feeling of triumph rushed through my body as I approach his lifeless corpse, I see the blood on his body reassuring me that he was indeed dead. I look through his clothing and bags to see if I could find any clues as to why he did what he did. As I opened his bag, I saw his journal tucked away neatly inside a fold. I open the journal and immediately turn to the pages at which he wrote in the year of 1896 to see what he was up to as that was the year my vision took place. However, I soon realized that his journal did not have anything that mentioned his treachery. In fact, his journal stated that he did not even come to the United States before the year of 1898; he was a bartender working at Scotland for 5 years before he was able to earn enough money to be able to move to the United States.

Suddenly, I realized what I did; I had murdered my closest friend! How could I have trusted visions as fact? How could I ever live with myself for this crime I committed? Losing all hope in myself, I reach for the gun in my backpack. After a brief period of prayer, My finger pulls the trigger and my lifeless body collapses to the ground next to Jack. The two of us side by side for the rest of time.