Tom looked around as they walked into Joe’s apartment. Tom could see Joe had made some changes and was searching for words to express just how grateful he was for everything he had done for him when Joe looked over and said; Tom you look exhausted. I don’t want to sound like your parents but, it’s been a big day for you and you have visitors coming over to see you after a while. Maybe you should lie down for a little nap and I will get somethings rounded around for dinner. We should try to eat before Ann and everyone arrive. Sarah said your parents and Ann and her parents were going out for dinner and that they were planning to stop by for a little while to see how you are doing. They know this was a big change for you and didn’t want to slow your progress by coming early and staying too late. That sounds great Joe. Sorry I can’t be much help yet. I’m sure I will feel better tomorrow. Every day that goes by I know I am on the mend. But, I think I will take you up on the nap idea. I feel pretty tired and I really want to be ready before Ann gets here. I really want to tell our parents about everything.
Tom made his way to his new temporary bedroom and carefully sat on the edge of the bed and looked out the window. All he could think about was how great it felt to be out of the hospital. He could see a butterfly hovering just outside the window, the grass was green and the sky was blue. Somehow it looked so much better out Joe’s window than it had out of his hospital room window. Carefully he leaned back and shortly after his head hit the pillow he was getting some much needed sleep.
Joe was working around the kitchen and took out a couple of steaks that he had picked up the day before. He planned to grill them for dinner but wanted them to warm a little before he got started. Steak is always better when you grill it after it has acclimated to ambient temperature than right out of the refrigerator he told himself. Opening the refrigerator he pulled out the meat and as he shuffled some of the food around he spotted one of his favorite IPA’s and decided it was time to sit back for a few minutes and relax while the steaks warmed a bit. Sitting the steaks on a plate on the cupboard, he cracked open the beer and walked over to his favor reclining chair and sat down, pushed it back and took a slow cold sip. Joe was letting his mind recall everything that had happened over the last weeks when he remembered the story Tom had told him about when he had died. Joe closed his eyes as he tried to recall every detail of the story. Tom said there was this bright light and then he met his grandfather and as they were talking…
Joe raised his head to see a large boulder staring down at him. Taking one hand he wiped some dust from the side of his face and shook his head wondering where he was. Listening closely he could hear what sounded like voices coming from the other side of the massive stone that towered over him like a giant creature. It was dark but the longer he listened clearer sounds got. It was like people were talking and laughing then he heard a scream that sounded like someone being hurt. Then the scream went silent. Joe got on his hands and knees carefully making his way around the boulder and could see what look like a fire pit in a distance that had been dug out of the ground. He couldn’t see the flames just the light that appeared to bounce up against the dark sky. They looked inviting to the eye. Joe carefully stood up trying to see if someone was around. He looked back at the fire pit and still couldn’t see the flames only the light. The light was enticing him to come closer. As Joe started to move he looked to the other side and spotted a man and a women walking towards the flickering light. Joe quickly stooped down to avoid being discovered. As he watched the couple they appeared to be happy and not aware of the open pit they were approaching. They were looking in the sky talking about the beautiful lights and before Joe could say anything they just walked off the edge and into the pit. He heard them scream as they disappeared. The screams seemed to fade away as if the pit was deep. Joe jumped up and ran forward to see if he could help and as he approached the edge he ran into a fence that he hadn’t been able to see which stopped him dead in his tracks and knocked him to the ground. The sounds stopped as he sat wondering what he could have done to save the couple that he assumed was seriously hurt. Maybe they died in what looks like a simple fire pit Joe told himself. Looking through the fence he could hear what sounded like a big party going on but couldn’t see anything. Then he spotted someone walking out of the tree line towards the edge again as if they had no idea what was going to happen. It was like the fire pit was attracting them but they were oblivious to it. Joe started to shout but as the man looked over at Joe he walked straight off the edge and Joe could hear his fading scream for help. Then it stopped. Joe jumped to his feet and started to work his way around to the opposite side. Joe again heard laughter coming from a distance but it was coming from the other side of the fire pit where he had just been. The voices continued to get louder as they approached. Joe turned back wanting to stop them and as he started to move he hit the fence and fell backwards hitting the ground harder than the first time. Looking up he started to yell at them. But as the group of five looked up they walked off the edge and again Joe could hear the screaming. Then it stopped. Then he heard someone approaching from behind him and turned to see a young man about his age. He stopped just as he reached the edge of the tree line and was looking into the sky. Joe thought he could see a smile on his face as he inched his way towards the pit. Joe told him to stop but he continued to laugh and started walking quickly forward as if Joe was not there. As he walked past Joe making his way towards the enticing light, Joe reached out to grab his shoulder but missed. The man was walking straight forward into the opening in the ground. Joe lunged and the fence appeared out of nowhere and knocked Joe to the ground again. Joe went silent on the ground, closed his eyes as tight as he could as he could still hear the screams from the man that he had tried to save. Then they stopped.
Joe rolled over, picked himself up and rubbed his eyes. Once he opened them he realized he was looking out the window of his apartment staring at the sun as it was beginning to settle behind the big tree. Sweat was running off Joe’s forehead when he heard Tom shout from the other room asking if everything was alright. Yes, replied Joe as he was trying to gain his composure. Joe sat down in his chair trying to grasp what he assumed was another dream. So when are we going to eat, shouted Tom. I will start up the grill and things should be ready in the next half hour replied Joe as he continued trying to comprehend what had just happened.
Before long the two of them were sitting at the table finishing up what was left of the steak. Tom looked over at Joe and told him how nice it was to be eating someplace other than the hospital adding that they don’t serve food like this there. Tom became a little more serious as he could see Joe had something on his mind. Even though they were talking and laughing a little during dinner Tom could feel the presence of something deeper going on with Joe. You have been pretty quiet Joe. You look like you have something pretty heavy on your mind. Care to share it? Joe was almost thankful Tom had opened the door for him. Tom, you aren’t going to believe it. But I had another dream and… You had what Tom quickly interjected as he was waiting for Joe to continue? Tom, I had another dream! Was it about dinosaurs again quizzed Tom? No, it was totally different. I don’t get it Tom. I haven’t had any crazy dreams like this since Sarah and I dug into the issue of creation and evolution. That was when I made my decision to accept Jesus as the creator. I don’t know what this dream means. I just know that the last dreams sent me on a quest to find answers. Now even though I can remember ever detail of this dream I have no idea what it is trying to tell me. It’s craze and it was a terrible dream. But we don’t have time to talk about the details of it now. I can tell you later. We need to get ready for your visitors. They should be here any time.