Way Back When

Mother Nature is a kind old lady, but sometimes not. Sometimes she creates beautiful faces and statures and bestows them on people whether they deserve it or not. She usually favors the wealthy because money usually buys beauty.
Mr. Stevens was a man of good fortune in his earlier days, as beauty came to him through generations upon generations. He was the benefactor of his parents’ good looks.
He took advantage of the ladies in his earlier days. Because he was rich and handsome, he accumulated many of them for his amusement. He would walk along the sidewalks with them hanging on his arms to show them off as if they were his trophies. Now as he was approaching his eightieth birthday, all he had was pleasant memories to amuse himself with and forget about his loneliness.
At the nursing home he would fool the nurses, sneak outside on his own, and go on long walks along the perimeter of the grounds at night. In his mind he was still twenty five years old, but his body didn’t agree. His legs were wobbly, but he wouldn’t let that bother him. He was a fighter.
One night, he walked outside the perimeter and followed a path that led into the dark woods. While walking along the path, he looked up and started cursing at the moonlit sky. “Why have you let old age weaken my legs? Why did you send the beautiful ladies away from me? Why can’t I stay the way I was fifty years or so ago? Why do you torture me like that? I’ll give anything to be like that again. Can’t I go back in time? Can’t you hear me up there?”
Just then, a red face appeared in a burning bush. He got scared and started to move away, but his curiosity told him to turn back to it. In a deep penetrating voice it said, “If you give your soul to me, I can help you return to your youth again. All you have to do is swear your allegiance to me. I am on your side. I want you to be young again. I can send you back in time.” “I’ll do anything to go back again,” Mr. Stevens said.
Then he heard a deafening noise that sounded like thunder. Then he blacked out and came to in total darkness. “Could this be a dream or a nightmare? Am I blind? Am I in a room? Why aren’t there any lights? It’s cold in here. Br-r-r-r-r-r.” As he stumbled around in the dark, he kept getting colder. “I guess I must be outside. There are no walls in here.” Just then he stumbled on a rock; then bumped into a large boulder. He couldn’t see a damn thing; not even the outline of the sky. It was total darkness and bitter cold. He was feeling young again, but couldn’t even see his hands in front of him. His heart was pounding in fear that he would never see again and he would freeze to death as hypothermia was getting ready to settle in. He shouted at the top of his lungs, “What happened to me? What did I do to deserve this? Will I ever be able to see again and get warm? Help me, somebody! Please help!”
Then finally there was a fire, so he could see something and warm himself. It was that same burning bush and that same face again. He now could see what his hands looked like, his youthful hands. The face said with that same voice again, “You wanted to go back in time, but didn’t say how far back. That God of yours that you love so much hasn’t even sent light to the earth yet. It will come tomorrow. By then you will be frozen to death. Ah ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.” Then the light went out and it got colder.

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Nelson D Reyes
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