Preface to a Preface
I’m currently writing a Dystopian Fantasy centered around the Archangel of Mercy and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In this series, the Archangel of Mercy, Tzadkiel, (tZahd-kee-el) has taken human form and come to earth in search of a single person who understands mercy and who exemplifies compassion and forgiveness. It’s a tall order for humans living nearly 2500 years in the future.
Why? Because in the future I’ve created, humans have become heartless, selfish monsters. Governments have deteriorated into harsh feudal dictatorships and justice is a thing of the past. Before the final Horseman rides, bringing death to most of the earth’s remaining population, Tzadkiel has asked for mercy. A stay of execution so he can prove humanity has not completely lost its heart by finding even just one person who still exemplifies mercy, compassion, and forgiveness.
His search takes nearly a century….
World-Building for the Real World
Typically, when writing any sort of fantasy or science fiction, a writer can spend as much time creating the world or realm for the story as they do actually writing the scenes. Even when writing a dystopian piece that takes place right here on Earth, there’s often a lot of time spent world-building. My story is no different, particularly because part of it takes place in ‘Heaven’.
To help readers understand ‘The-why-behind-the-what’, I wrote a preface for book three of the series, since this is when the scenes that take place ‘off world’ come into play. It’s my own view, built upon pieces of scripture, Sunday school classes, church sermons, and various discussions throughout my life.
After completing the preface, I gave it to a few Beta-Readers and their responses surprised me. They told me my description of ‘Heaven and Hell’ helped them understand the concept better than they did previously. That my notion of ‘Heaven and Hell’ made so much sense to them, they believed it. Needless to say, I was as pleased as I was surprised.
A Fantasy for a Fantasy
Not everyone believes in ‘Heaven and Hell’ and there are many theories about the realms of the afterlife. What I’ve written is meant to be fiction, a fantasy written for a fantasy, however, after the reaction my Beta-Readers had, I admit that curiosity has gotten the best of me. I couldn’t resist sharing it here to see what other readers think. What follows is the entire preface I’ve written for book three of The Mercy Series. I invite you to share your thoughts about it, as a preface for a fantasy story and as a possible description of what we know so little about.
The Beyond, Below and Beneath
Long before human beings were created, the Angels and Archangels existed; their abode, the Realm Beyond. Beyond the Earth-plane. Beyond cognitive perception. Beyond sight, sound, and touch.
The Beyond is where all forms of energy originated and to where all forms of energy ultimately return. It is where perfection is considered the norm and where all beings are made up of energy that is in harmony with everything around them. In this place, darkness and light, positive and negative, power and fragility are balanced. There is no evil intent and there are no selfish thoughts. It is a place of peace and harmony where each energy that exists has a purpose and each purpose encompasses positivity.
In the great spans of time before the reign of humans, a portion of the dark energy that existed in harmony with the light separated from everything around it. Its purpose became sullied; its compassion grew self-limiting and its native generosity twisted into greed. This dark force learned how to draw power from the bright, positive energy surrounding it. Driven by lust for greater power, it began taking and manipulating, perverting and distorting, beguiling and twisting all with whom it came into contact until its influence threw everything into imbalance.
Like a contagion against which the body defends itself, the malignant, encompassing dark force was opposed by the positive forces around it. The battle that ensued was mighty and pitched the entire cosmos into chaos. Some energies were lost and others chose to follow where others would not, yet ultimately positive energy prevailed. Banished to the Realm Beneath, the corruption of darkness was expelled from the Beyond.
It was not destroyed.
To eliminate the opposite of itself, even though it posed a great threat, would be to create instability. That instability would cause an imbalance more disruptive than the darkness was on its own. The Realm Beyond is balance and equanimity to its very core. It cannot create what it is not; thus, the darkness was expelled, but not eliminated.
Between these two opposing dominions lies the Middle Realm. The Beneath, also known as the Earth-plane. It is the kingdom of all that is corporeal and the domain where every creature, rock, tree, and element has both positive and negative energy within it. It is the median between two powerful extremes and all that exists in the Beneath sways in a never-ending pursuit of stability.
These three realms are connected by corridors only those native to the Beyond and the Beneath can traverse. These avenues of transition are utilized every hour of the day and night as the quest to maintain equilibrium continues.
The realm of darkness seeks to consume and overtake, while the abode of positivity strives to achieve harmony. In an attempt to balance the disorder created by the expulsion of dark energy from their realm, each Archangel gave a portion of themselves in the creation of humanity. Positive attributes such as strength, loyalty, kindness, patience, obedience, forgiveness, and mercy were gifted and human beings took breath.
They were fragile beyond their understanding; nevertheless, they took dominion over all other forms of life in the Beneath. As the wheels of time turned, the Earth-plane became a realm of conflict where light and dark, good and evil, generosity and corruption perpetually clashed, and where, more often than not, darkness prevailed.
The delicate balance shifted unceasingly until the imbalance, once again, was too great to ignore.
In a final effort to achieve lasting stability, four powers of inconceivable influence were released.
The Horsemen Ride.
~Thank You for reading ~
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