Submitted into Contest #113 in response to: Write about a character whose dreams are portals to other worlds.... view prompt


Fantasy Fiction Inspirational

   One night after going to bed early, it was rare form, but I had fallen asleep practically instantaneously. I slept soundly, but then at around 4:00am a bright light shining on my closed eyelids had caused me to awaken. Upon opening my eyes, I found this bright light radiating from the spirit of a little girl standing alongside my bed. She appeared to be approximately seven years old, had on a blue dress with white lace trimming, a white hair-band in her long medium brown hair, and wore white knee-socks with black patent leather shoes. Her brightly illuminating presence had lit up the core of my bedroom. Contrarily, I quickly felt an armor of calm come over me, as if I knew her:

   “Do I, do I know you?”

   “Yes, you do know me; in fact, you’ve known me for centuries, although presently you do not remember.”

   “Oh… I, um… Uh yes, that, that’s true, I, I don’t remember. But then, well, who, who are you?”

   “I’m your guardian angel.”

   “My ‘guardian angel’? But then, what, what may I ask, is your name?”

   “My name is Maryanne.”

   “Maryanne…? Yeah but, you’re only, only a little kid.”

   “I’m whatever form I choose to be, and I’m older than time itself.”

   “Yeah but, well then, why, why are you here?”

   “Because there’s so much for you to see, so much beauty, beauty far beyond the realm of your most vivid and wildest dreams, beauty transcending far above the outskirts of man’s broadest imagination, and all you need to do is touch my hand.”


   “ ‘No’? And why not? Your destiny’s not in my hands, your destiny’s in your own hands. Perhaps you don’t trust yourself?”

   “At the moment my destiny may not be in your hands, but once we venture out there, to, I don’t even know where, all things may change.”

   “I assure you, you have nothing to fear. From here on in any decision you make will be solely of your own free will. Why not live a little, and let me show you the sights?”

   Then suddenly, for some strange reason, I actually believed her. This indeed did sound like the chance of a lifetime. Thus, after another minute of pondering, pausing and thinking, and with much trepidation, I eventually mustered up the courage to hesitantly reach out my hand to Maryanne, my so-called guardian angel:

   “I’m ready when you are, Maryanne.”

   Off we went, ascending into the great beyond. We flew up and over a rainbow, landing inside an atmosphere that appeared relatively dreamlike, reminding me of how it looks to see reflections upon a body of water. The inhabitants of this region began rapidly moving towards us, increasingly becoming more in focus as they approached. Within a few seconds, I recognized just what they were – tamed and trained pet animals. Cats, birds, horses, rabbits, and even pigs, but primarily dogs began surrounding us. I felt such a gentle soothing impact from their presence that it was like being wrapped inside an envelope of unconditional love. It felt quite different from the presence of humans. There wasn’t even one iota of pretentiousness within the entire lot of them.

    “What do you call this place?” I asked.

   “Oh, this place is known by many names, but I refer to it as ‘The Realm of Pets.’ Take a good but quick look around, for we haven’t much time. There’s so much more for you to see, therefore we need to move on. Here now, again just touch my hand.”

   Once more we rose into the air for what seemed like only a moment or two, landing inside what appeared to be a light blue, glowing mist. At this site, our second stopping point, we encountered a realm occupied by elves, pixies, gnomes, and fairies:

   “These are nature spirits,” Maryanne said. “Throughout modern mankind they’ve been regarded as myths, but as you can see, they truly do exist. They possess the ability to appear and disappear in your physical world whenever they so choose. Generally speaking, they’re mischievous, but not mean-spirited. Sometimes they enjoy playing tricks on people, such as masquerading in whatever form they choose. Yet, every so often they will also befriend people, and may, at times, even become helpful. But now, shall we move on?”

   Again we ascended into the air, flying upward for what, once more, seemed as but a moment. The scenery rapidly converted into a field of pale, light green, long, thickly bladed grass, with spreads of Earthly bald spots sparsely scattered throughout. While walking through this field, we were accompanied by a small crowd of people. They behaved genuinely content and happy, and also very friendly, giving me the impression that each of them profoundly related with one another. Additionally, they all seemed to function entirely on the same level, being completely in tune and in harmony with each other’s feelings, to such an extent that it was as if a group bond had existed between them. I truly felt as if I knew these people, but I just could not remember from where or when, possibly from other lifetimes. It also seemed as if a number of these people had affectionately remembered me from past lifetimes as well. As we walked, I noticed more and more people scattered alongside us, all heading in the same direction. A lake glistening in the distance seemed to be the object of everyone’s destination.

    “Do you know where you are?” Maryanne asked.

   “I know I’m amongst the dead, but I have absolutely no idea where. Are these people the newly dead?”

   “Yes, basically, but no, not entirely. While many of them may have died as recently as within the hour, others are merely ascensions from lower astral sub-planes.”

   “So then, this area is like a corridor between sub-planes?”

   “Generally speaking, in a sense, yes, or the end of one sub-plane and the beginning of another. See over there, across the bridge, on the other side of the lake? Notice the plush trees? Over there reign the three most highly evolved astral sub-planes.”

   “Some of those people over there appear to be Native American Indians.”

   “You’re right, they are Indigenous Americans. They’re the ones who’ve dubbed the fifth sub-plane, which is the first sub-plane across the lake, with the name ‘The Happy Hunting Ground,’ while many spiritualists refer to it as ‘The Summerland.’ For whatever it’s worth, eventually, with few exceptions, virtually all of the residents here evolve even higher.”

   “So then, how many sub-planes are there here in the astral world?”

   “Seven… Are you ready to move on?”

   “I’m ready,” I placed my hand on Maryanne’s shoulder, “when you are.”

   Up we went, and within a few moments another scene emerged. We now stood at the foot of these massive alabaster steps, leading up to a gigantic building. Two humongous angelic statues were stationed out front, one to my left and one to my right, one male and one female. At the end of these massive steps stood rows of giant marble pillars holding up a precision-crafted, elegantly designed roof. Deep inside, beneath the roof, at the end of the huge marble pillars, reigned twin sets of artistically sculptured, monstrously large doors. Each door secured an entrance into the colossal-size building.

   “Does this place look familiar?”

   After a good viewing and a long pause, I turned to Maryanne, shook my head from side to side, and spoke but a word:


   “This is the most frequently visited location during your sleep. The reason being, this province is recognized as your celestial homecoming site, where your spirit minds have synonymously gathered, reuniting here for eons. Note that when you die, the reunion with your loved ones generally takes place either right here, or somewhere within the vicinity, but still within the foregrounds of these massive steps. Following this, each and every one of you soon gravitates to wherever he or she earnestly belongs.”

   “It’s the biggest and most beautiful work of art I’ve ever seen. What’s it called?”

   “This structure is called ‘The Temple of Wisdom.’ ”

   “It’s so spectacular that it’s mesmerizing. What astral sub-plane are we on now?”

   “We’re above the astral, this is the causal plane.”

   “There are planes above the astral?”

   “Oh yes.”

   “Really, how many?”

   “Different people have different beliefs, but from what I’ve been taught, there are eleven planes above the astral, making it thirteen planes altogether, excluding Hell and Purgatory, but including the physical plane.”

   “Really? What are they called?”

   “The physical, the astral, the causal, the mental, the higher mental, also known as the etheric, then there’s a gap known as the grand division, followed by the soul-plane. Above the soul-plane lie the seven planes of true Heaven. You’ve heard the expression to be in ‘Seventh Heaven,’ haven’t you?”

   “Yeah, but then how many planes of Hell are there?”

   “Nine, five in upper Hell and four in lower Hell. The bottom three planes of Hell also contain a number of sub-planes, or levels. The physical dimension, which is the oddity of all the planes, is actually only a little more than a holographic pseudo-Hell. Functioning much like a classroom, while positioned just above the threshold on top of the highest region of Hell, the physical plane exists entirely in a unique realm all its own. The lowest astral sub-plane is located just beneath the Earth’s surface, evidently sharing the same space as the highest plane of Hell, sort of overlapping one another. This area is referred to as Limbo. The astral world’s second lowest sub-plane resides upon the Earth’s surface. Inside this sub-plane astral entities coexist with physical Earth entities, sharing the same space, although existing within different dimensions. Dante Alighieri wrote of Hell as being shaped like a giant funnel, spiraling downward until reaching the center of the Earth, this is where the lowest of Hell’s inhabitants are said to reside.”

   “And these people who land in Hell, do they really remain there throughout eternity?”

   “No, for Hell is not eternal. A finite cause cannot produce an infinite result. Eternal damnation is but another fabricated religious myth, designed for the purpose of instilling fear into mankind, making man easier to control. Most people never go to Hell. Hell is only for those whose desires are gross and brutal, such as extreme sensualists, some suicides, depending upon the circumstances, sadists, and violent criminals and the like. Also, with few exceptions, generally being only those who denounce God, all basically, either soon or eventually rise up out of there anyhow, the same way, with few exceptions, virtually all either soon or eventually rise up out of the astral-planes. In truth, there are more human entities currently residing upon the physical plane than in all of the astral and Hell-planes combined. Besides that, about a third of all the astral human entities counted for, while at home asleep in their physical bodies, are unknowingly projecting into the astral world. Now, what does that tell you?”

   “That tells me that it’s not very crowded up here.”

   “Yes, but besides that, it also tells you that even though nature’s lessons are harsh, in the long run they generally end up being corrective and salutary, yet merciful and conducive to the evolution of the soul. Therefore, within reason, no matter how many rules one breaks while living in the physical world, after one dies it’s never too late to repent, and subsequently you’ll then either quickly or eventually elevate to a higher plane. A loving God would never allow, even the most wicked of his children, to suffer eternally in Hell, unless, of course, they refuse his clemency.”

    Maryanne then warmly smiled and reached for my hand. The next thing I knew, up we went, pausing inside another brief moment of blindness, and then smack, we abruptly landed in front of yet another site. We now stood before a second capacious building also designed in classic Greco-Roman architecture. Its giant dome towered above its many rows of palatial marble columns. Centered in the front of this building stood an enormous statue of Atlas holding up the planet Earth. The building reigned prominently in the foreground of a surrounding countryside. The view was absolutely breathtaking.

   “This building is a repository for every composition of music, as well as every piece of literature ever written, including all the historical works that were either lost or destroyed during ancient times, including all the literature from the great library of Alexandria, the writings and records of ancient Sumeria, Atlantis, and even Lemuria. Additionally, it contains every detailed chart written, thoroughly describing every single intricate past, present, and future act performed by every single person who has ever lived, and will ever live, extending throughout their each and every incarnation. Above and beyond this, this building also contains the written memory of God.”

   “Does this building have a name?” 

   “You are now standing in front of ‘The Akashic Hall of Records,’ the busiest research center throughout the entire other side.”

   Before I could utter another word, Maryanne once again grabbed my hand. Up we went, a momentary lapse of sight, and then another crash-landing. We now stood in front of a third mammoth size building, again designed in classic Greco-Roman architecture, with pillars and a rotunda. Positioned before the entrance stood a colossal statue of a lady. Her right arm extended outward as if beckoning all to come and enter. Her left arm pointed downward, gallantly grasping a sword, the blade crossing her left ankle:

   “This building is known as ‘The Akashic Hall of Justice.’ It’s stationed just to the right of ‘The Temple of Wisdom.’ This is where the council, who play a significant role in your lives, reside. They possess astonishing infinite wisdom, then once you graduate from the physical plane, and after your ascension to the other side, they act as God’s spokespersons. Now, what I’d really like to show you is ‘The Immaculate Gardens.’ Place your hand on my shoulder.”

   Up we went, again passing through another moment of blindness, only this time gently descending and delicately landing. We now stood in front of countless miles of beautiful precision gardening. Nothing on Earth could ever even come close to resembling such magnificent colors. I could see children playing and people strolling throughout. To describe my feelings of inner peace would exceed, even with da Vinci’s imagination, infinitely beyond all concepts of comparisons. Just the dynamic range of all the angelically soothing fragrances here alone were enough to make anyone feel profoundly in awe, transfixed, and mesmerized.

   Meticulous perfection stretched out in every direction, as far as my eyes could see. Throughout these Heavenly gardens, there flourished many artistically designed winding bridges, sparkling fountains, golden waterfalls and streams, crystal clear lakes, rows of carved white marble benches, interweaving pathways blanketed in mosaic art, brilliantly colored flowers such as roses, lilacs, daisies, tulips, sunflowers, carnations, and an infusion of countless other lush exotic flowers, most of which I’ve never seen before, all yielding beneath the shade of vastly colored, multiple variations of towering trees. Miraculously, within the teasing depths of this brief taste of divine serenity, which served to whet my appetite, I swore I felt the presence of God.

   “Why does God send so many people to live down on the physical plane, Maryanne?” 

   “God doesn’t do this, you do this, every one of you volunteers.”

   “What? We volunteer, why? Are we all crazy, or are we all a bunch of masochists?”

   “Neither. Prior to coming down to the physical plane, you each decide to design your own charts equipped with all the trauma, trials and tribulations that you believe you need to learn and experience. You do this in hopes of promoting your spiritual growth. Keep in mind, though, that when writing your charts, you’re thinking with your spirit consciousness, causing many of you to feel virtually invincible, which is why you sometimes take on more than what you can handle. You all have assignments to fulfill, and you continue reincarnating until each assignment is accomplished, and then once all your assignments are accomplished, you may choose to remain in the hereafter, or you may reincarnate with additional assignments. Actually, you’re all brave heroes just for even entering into life upon the physical plane.”

   “But if it’s all the same to you, Maryanne, I’d prefer to just stay up here now.”

   “Yes, I know you would. But if you did that, you’d be breaking a contract, which means you’d then be subjected to consequential penalties.”

   “Yeah, but I’d also be subjected to ‘consequential penalties’ by returning to the physical plane, where there’s so much evil, disease, suffering, and war.”

   “That may be true, although your planet will always have war, for ending war would almost certainly bankrupt your military establishment. However, your going back down there won’t be in violation with God, while your staying up here would be.”

   “Yeah, but like I said, down there there’s just so much suffering. I’ve often wondered whether evil was behind my world having so many incurable diseases, such as cancer.”

   “I cannot say how many diseases are caused by evil. Nevertheless, I do believe evil is behind your world not revealing its cures for diseases. For if Earth were to reveal its cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, aids, and so on, then your greedy pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t make as many billions. This could possibly bankrupt Earth’s medical society.”

   At that moment, we again leaped into the air, taking off in flight at the phenomenal speed of thought. The next thing I experienced was what felt like the impact of an extreme crash-landing, smacking me straight down into my bed. I awoke with my heart racing a mile a minute. After lying still for a couple of minutes, I rose from my bed and diligently wrote down my dream. But was it a dream?

October 01, 2021 16:01

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Ruth Smith
04:01 Oct 04, 2021

Very interesting and well written.


Joe Malgeri
16:14 Oct 04, 2021

Thank you, Ruth.


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Rick Van Cleave
21:54 Feb 06, 2022

nice story well written like the subject and also like to hypothesize in my writing.


Joe Malgeri
01:47 Feb 08, 2022

Thanks so much, Rick.


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Lucy Newman
22:38 Feb 01, 2022

I needed this read today! Love it


Joe Malgeri
22:24 Feb 03, 2022

Thanks, Lucy.


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Shaivi S.
14:18 Jan 04, 2022

Nice story, Joseph! Your witty dialogue won't be forgotten soon; it's what keeps me hooked to the tale till the very end. I loved your take on this prompt (which could be thought of more as a complete fantasy throw), you made it into something that could share enough contemporary references without diving too deep into them. Keep up the great writing!


Joe Malgeri
18:22 Jan 04, 2022

Thanks much, Shaivi S.


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13:57 Oct 31, 2021

Amazing story!


Joe Malgeri
20:13 Oct 31, 2021

Thank you very much, Catherine.


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Kevin Broccoli
18:09 Oct 10, 2021

Such a beautiful story.


Joe Malgeri
20:07 Oct 12, 2021

Thanks much, Kevin.


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Kathleen `Woods
03:40 Oct 04, 2021

First let's screech, "same prompt!" just to get it over with. This was very well explained and had a good flow to carry it. The punctuation was great under E-reader, and I couldn't manage to find any grammatical errors at least by ear. Your main's characterisation wasn't all that extensive, but that didn't seem to be your goal, I don't think it's a good idea to overwrite on things you aren't invested in and you made well on the parts that mattered. The piece was well within traditional views of spiritual enlightenment, baring the specificit...


Joe Malgeri
21:51 Oct 05, 2021

Thanks for reading, Kathleen.


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