The trial of the end

He had lost track of time. He did not know how long had passed since he was in that boat, rowing, looking at Caronte, who scrutinized him, smiling from time to time, while a dense fog surrounded them.

After a while, his mind went white when he saw the Underworld’s entrance, where the fog started to clear. The boat entered in that cave which was flanked with two statues, whose faces were already decayed due to the pass of time. Barely, he could assimilate what it was happening when he saw a big dog, with three heads, showing all his fangs, looking at him with his six yellow eyes and revealing his tail, which shushed because it was a snake. His body trembled and, yet he forced himself to keep rowing.

Caronte made him get off the boat, leaving him alone while he came back to his job. He looked at the place; he could see the different rivers that existed in the Underworld. He could feel how Cerbero’s eyes were on him.

underworld_by_jbrown67-d894efp

He observed the stone stair that was in front of him. It led to a large door. He supposed that this was his destiny, so he decided to put an end to everything. What was beyond that door?

He closed his eyes while his hands pushed the door, opening it. An icy breeze hit him so he held his breath for a moment. However, nothing happened. Little by little, he opened his eyes. He was surprised because he found a big patio, surrounded by the different rivers and, in the background; there was a dark, large palace. In the center of the patio, there were three thrones in which three old men, dressing white tunics, were sitting. The one, who was sitting at the right, stand up, without taking his eyes off him.

“Welcome to the Hades. I am Radamantis and I will judge your soul.”

Suddenly, his life’s memories started to invade his mind. He threw his hands up in horror, feeling how the pain started to punch his body. He fell down to the flood, resisting the urge to scream. He looked at him, ready for begging to stop, but he was no longer in that patio. Instead, he was at home, surrounded by his family. He could not help but smile until he realized that every one of them were covered by the blood. He started to feel the lack of oxygen. He tried to reach his mother, touching her hand, feeling that it was cold.

I have killed them.

Radamantis was there, in front of him, looking at him with his inexpressive face. Again, the images began to appear in his retinas, the sounds began to penetrate in his ears. He could see how that man had killed every member of his family. He could hear their hopeless screams, their requests.

Everything stopped and the only thing that he was able to see was the knife that was in front of him.

“Will you kill me?”

His body did not answer, he could only look at Radamantis with his eyes filled with tears while he felt heartbroken, he felt the anger and the hated mixing with his blood, going across his body. He focused on the knife that was in front of him. He looked at it for a moment without understanding anything. He could kill him. He could be carried long and got revenge. He took the handle… But he was not able to lift it.

No. You are not able to do it.

He heard a snap and came back to reality. He was again on the patio. There was no longer a knife in front of him, only Radamantis was there.

“Interesting. Let me explain. This was a test in order to judge your soul through your actions. Your family is ok. I think that you do not deserve to come back to the Asphodel Meadows so soon. You do not deserve to go to the Tartarus… Oh, I see. You will do a job in order to clean your soul and then… I will decide.”

This was how, after that trial, he was again in that boat, rowing, going out from the Underworld, under Cerbero’s look, which showed him his fangs. His work? Taking souls to the Underworld. What would it be his upcoming trial? Would he be able to rest?

Image by jbrown67

Anuncios

El fin

Sabía que estaban cerca del Inframundo, ya que la niebla empezaba a dispersarse. Se dio cuenta del temblor que sacudía el cuerpo del muchacho. ¿Había hecho bien? El recuerdo de todos aquellos trazos en la piedra le decía que sí. Lo único que tenía que hacer era que Radamantis lo juzgase. Un escalofrío recorrió su espalda al sentir la mirada de Cerbero, quien acto seguido no dudó en mostrar sus afilados dientes. El chico se sobresaltó al verlo y lo miró con preocupación. Intentó sonreír, queriendo así hacerle saber que todo iba bien… o eso deseaba pensar.

Los rugidos y ladridos de Cerbero se hacían eco por toda la entrada del Inframundo. Salió de la barca, ayudando al chico después. No pudo evitar recordar la primera vez que Caronte lo había dejado allí, solo, confuso. Colocó una mano sobre su hombro, llamando así su atención. Volvió a sonreír y le indicó con la mano la gran puerta que estaba delante.

—Tengo miedo, no debería haber aceptado. No tengo con qué pagarte. Caronte vuelve después de mucho tiempo a recoger a la gente que no tiene dinero, quizás debería haber esperado un poco más.

—Iré contigo si así te sientes más seguro.

El chico dudó durante unos momentos antes de asentir, con una sonrisa débil. Ambos empezaron a subir las grandes escaleras, quedando en frente de la puerta. Había algo que le preocupaba, quizás fuese la actitud agresiva de Cerbero, o quizás fuese el miedo del chico. Intentó despejar la mente mientras sus manos se apoyaban en la puerta y la abrían.

Todo seguía igual, tal y como lo recordaba: el patio enorme, los ríos, el palacio a lo lejos y los tronos. Sus ojos se posaron en Radamantis, quien se levantó y se acercó a ellos. Miró al chico, que dio un paso hacia atrás, queriendo huir de todo esto.

—Te traigo un alma para que la juzgues.

Radamantis los miraba a ambos, con el ceño fruncido. No recordaba aquella expresión seria en su rostro. No recordaba que el ambiente estuviese tan tenso cuando él fue juzgado.

—Oh, ya veo. Juzguemos, pues.

Miró al chico; se había quedado pálido y su cuerpo temblaba. Se dio cuenta de las lágrimas que empezaron a caer por sus mejillas. Sus piernas flaquearon y cayó al suelo a la vez que de sus labios se escapaban susurros pidiendo ayuda. Miró a Radamantis, cuyo rostro no mostraba ninguna expresión. En ese momento, el muchacho tomó una gran bocanada de aire, volviendo a la realidad. Intentó levantarse, pero sus piernas seguían sin responderle bien. Se arrodilló para ayudarlo, poniendo ambas manos sobre sus hombros.

—Eres un muchacho de buen corazón… Anda, toma un poco de agua.

Radamantis le ofreció un vaso de agua. El chico lo tomó con manos temblorosas; se lo llevó a la boca, bebiendo.

—Una pena que no hayas podido pagar tu viaje –el vaso cayó al suelo, rompiéndose en mil pedazos cuando el chico se llevó las manos a la cabeza–. Te condeno a pasar el resto de tus días vagando alrededor del río Lete, sin saber quién eres.

—¡¡No!! ¡¡Espera!! Caronte ha traído almas que no tenían dinero.

—Exacto. Caronte puede hacerlo, pero ¿quién te da derecho a ti a hacerlo? No eres nadie aquí, tan solo cumplías un pequeño trabajo para purgar tu alma y la has manchado aún más al desobedecer las normas… A ti te condeno al Tártaro.

Lo último que vio fue a ese pobre chico, cuyo único error había sido confiar en él, mirándolo sin saber quién era, ni dónde estaba, ni qué estaba pasando. Y, de pronto, ya no estaba en ese patio, sino en su casa, rodeado de su familia, cuyos cuerpos yacían inertes en el suelo, manchados de sangre. Miró su mano, donde sostenía un cuchillo manchado también de aquel líquido escarlata, donde se reflejaba el muchacho vagar por las orillas del río Lete, sin saber quién era.

—Tu condena va a ser revivir la prueba de tu primer juicio pero, esta vez, tú matarás a tu familia, y cada vez que mires el cuchillo, verás al pobre muchacho al que has condenado al infierno del olvido.

Y lo supo. Nunca descansaría en paz. Estaba condenado a vivir ese infierno para siempre jamás.

hell_by_ollisiponkoski-d3kddzb

Imagen por OlliSiponkoski


Para leer el resto de la historia:

  1. El principio del fin
  2. El juicio del fin
  3. El último acto de bondad

The beginning of the end

He heard the voices from the members of his family, begging for his fight, begging that he had to resist a little more, but he felt tired in order to prolong that flame in his deep inside that kept him alive. The last thing that he knew before falling into the death’s arms was that his mother took his hands, leaving something there.

He opened his eyes, discovering a sky full of dark clouds, without stars, without moon; he felt that his lungs burned, like if he had not been able to have oxygen for a long time. He breathed with clenched fists, noticing that something was being thrust into his skin. He opened his hands and watched that golden coin that his mother gave him.

He sat up, realizing that he was not alone. There were more people sat in the sand, close to the shore of what it looked like a lake. What happened? He knew that he was dead. He knew it. So, what was that place?

«He’s coming».

People started to gather on the shore. He tried to stare beyond people, realizing the presence of a small boat in which rose above an old man. People cried for his return, they pushed between them in order to reach that boat. He did not understand that behavior. He did not understand why that old man looked at them, scrutinizing for those who were suitable for the next voyage. He averted his gaze when he listened to the screams of a man who was being hit by that old man.

«You, the boy who is over there».

Suddenly, he felt that hundreds of eyes were looking at him. Little by little, he looked at people again, understanding that he was the target of all that looks full of mistrust, hatred. He looked at that man that made a hand gesture, indicating him to get closer. His mind shouted him that he did not accomplish the order, but his body started to move without its own volition, obeying the imposed order.

He felt the cold water when he entered into the lake. He felt shivers in all his body just by finding himself looking at that man, in a short distance. He could see each bone of his skeleton that his broken clothes showed. He could see his white hair caused by aging, the wrinkles in his gaunt face that looked like a skull. His entire body trembled because of fear.

«Do you have the money for your travel to the Underworld?»

Something started to burn in his hand. He opened it, watching the coin that his mother had given him. He heard a laugh that made him to shrink. He closed his eyes, maybe waiting for some kind of blow. However, nothing happened. He opened his eyes, finding the bony hand of that human being.

unnamed

«We expect a long journey».

The next thing that he knew was that he was travelling with Caronte, that was how he called himself, rowing in that boat on the Styx lake to arrive to the Underworld. Then, what could it happen to him?

El principio del fin

Escuchaba las voces de su familia, suplicando que luchase, que resistiera un poco más, pero se sentía demasiado cansado para prolongar aquella llama en su interior que lo mantenía con vida. Lo último que supo antes de abalanzarse a los brazos de la muerte fue que su madre le cogía con fuerza las manos, dejando algo entre ellas.

Abrió los ojos, descubriendo un cielo lleno de nubes oscuras, sin ninguna estrella, ni rastro de luna; sentía que sus pulmones ardían, como si hubiese sido privado de oxígeno durante mucho tiempo. Respiró con dificultad mientras sus manos se cerraban en puños, notando que algo se clavaba en su piel. Las abrió y vio aquella moneda de oro que su madre le había dado.

Se incorporó, dándose cuenta de que no estaba solo. Había más gente sentada en la arena, cerca de la orilla de lo que parecía una laguna. ¿Qué había pasado? Sabía que había muerto. Lo sabía. Y, sin embargo, ¿en qué lugar estaba?

«Ya viene».

La gente empezó a acumularse en la orilla de la laguna. Fijó la mirada más allá de todas esas personas, dándose cuenta de la presencia de una pequeña barca en la cual se alzaba lo que parecía ser un hombre mayor. La gente clamaba por su vuelta, se empujaban entre ellos queriendo alcanzar aquella barca. No entendía esa actitud. No entendía por qué aquel señor los observaba a cada uno de ellos, escrudiñando tal vez quienes eran los aptos para el próximo viaje. Desvió la mirada al escuchar los gritos de un hombre siendo golpeado por ese ser.

«Tú, el chico de atrás».

De pronto, se sintió observado por cientos de ojos. Poco a poco, volvió a clavar sus ojos en esas personas, comprendiendo que era el objetivo de todas esas miradas llenas de recelo, odio. Vio a aquel señor hacer un gesto con la mano, indicando que se acercase. Su mente le gritaba que no lo hiciera pero su cuerpo empezó a moverse sin voluntad propia, obedeciendo la orden impuesta.

Sintió el agua fría en sus piernas al entrar en la laguna. Sintió escalofríos en todo su cuerpo al encontrarse mirando a aquel señor desde abajo, a tan poca distancia. Pudo ver cada hueso del esqueleto que su ropa rota dejaba entrever. Pudo ver los estragos de la edad en el pelo blanco que tenía, en las arrugas de su rostro demacrado, que parecía más una calavera. Su cuerpo entero temblaba de miedo.

«¿Tienes el dinero para tu viaje hacia el Inframundo?»

Fue entonces cuando sintió que algo quemaba la palma de su mano. La abrió, observando la moneda que su madre le había dado. Escuchó una risa que hizo que se encogiera sobre sí mismo. Cerró los ojos, quizás esperando algún golpe. Pero nada pasó. Los abrió, encontrándose con la mano huesuda de aquel ser.

unnamed

«Nos espera un largo viaje».

Lo siguiente que supo fue que estaba viajando con Caronte, así se había llamado, remando en aquella barca por las aguas de la laguna Estigia para llegar al Inframundo. Y después, ¿qué sería de él?