Adventure Fantasy Inspirational


The evening arrived and Angelo prepared to leave for ceremony. He had travelled a long way, from Seattle to end up in the middle of the Amazon rainforest and one million thoughts were going through his head as to why he had made such a wild journey. The facilitators approached his hut with flashlights and motioned for Angelo to follow them as they guided him to his very first Ayahuasca ceremony. Angelo picked up a bottle of water and a small blanket and followed the staff out of his hut and down the dirt trail into the woods. Though his brain was loud, Angelo remained quiet, as the party proceeded down the trail. Even if he had wished to speak, his guides only spoke Spanish, and Angelo spoke none, so it would have been a short conversation. The two men walking a pace ahead of him didn’t seem to mind the silence though; the jungle was anything but quiet. Insects and birds could be heard in all directions. Every once in a while a branch would fall from the canopy and come crashing down to the forest floor causing quite the racket. This was a wonderful, wild, and mysterious place and it was like nothing Angelo had ever seen in his life.

And it was just about to get wilder.

The party approached the end of the trail and made their way towards the maloca, a large hut where the Ayahuasca ceremonies took place. Angelo walked up the wooden planks and entered the hut. Before him were several mattresses laid out in a semi circle. Across from them was a table where the Shaman who would be guiding the ceremony, as well as the facilitators who would be assisting the participants, sat. In the centre of the room was one large candle. Angelo looked around and realized he had been the last to arrive and took his place on the one remaining mattress. Angelo sat down and locked eyes with a young girl named Laura who sat on the other end of the room and they exchanged a smile. A few of the other guests were chatting but Angelo hadn’t connected with anyone except Laura yet and since she was on the other side of the circle he chose to remain silent for now. As Angelo sat cross legged on his mattress, the reality of the situation he had put himself in really set in. What was he getting himself into here? Over the last year, Angelo had taken an interest in spirituality and personal development. He had heard from colleagues and friends that there were retreats in the Jungle where people used an ancient medicine called Ayahuasca to heal their spirits and help guide them, and after a few months of research he found himself in a faraway land surrounded by strangers, about to go on an inward, life changing journey.

And he was having second thoughts.

Life changing. Mind Blowing. These words kept going through his head over and over again. What if he was making a mistake? He might never be the same again after this experience, was he ready for this? Angelo watched as the Shaman stood up and quickly realized that his time to abandon ship had come and gone. He would have to go through with it.

The guests sat in silence and watched as the Shaman burnt sage around the perimeter of the maloca in order to cleanse and purify the space. Angelo had read and watched videos all about these ceremonies, but actually being here was a very surreal experience. The Shaman sat down and began pouring the medicine for the guests. Laura stood up first to take hers and then each guest followed, one by one, until it was Angelo’s turn. His heart raced as he got up off of his mattress and approached the front of the room. The Shaman handed him his cup and Angelo downed it in one gulp. He was thankful he did because it tasted absolutely awful. He had read all about the putrid taste of the brew, but no amount of testimonials could have prepared him for that flavour. He tried his best to hide his reaction as he walked over and sat back down in his place. The guests all laid back on their mats as the Shaman began blowing out the candles on the table one by one and finally approached the large candle in the middle of the room, extinguishing its flame. Angelo laid in pitch darkness with his eyes shut as the Shaman began to sing. The song was eerie but beautiful and Angelo focused on it while trying his best to ignore both his anxiety for the situation he’d gotten himself into and the overwhelming urge to throw up from the taste of that drink. He forced himself to relax by thinking only about his breath, in and out, while the Shaman sang. Angelo had lost track of time but was beginning to feel the medicine working its magic in his body.

Lights appeared in his mind. Very subtle reds, greens, and purples began to flutter in the darkness, growing brighter. The lights appeared closer and closer until Angelo could finally make out that they were hundreds of little brightly coloured eyes. The eyes began moving in circular patterns from the centre of his mind and outward along what Angelo assumed were vines. The vines began rotating faster and faster and Angelo was being pulled into the centre. He was being ripped through a dark tunnel in the middle of the vines, led by many brightly coloured eyes. The walls of the tunnel were made up of countless interlocking geometric shapes that twisted and turned and flowed into one another. The tunnel walls stretched for a seemingly infinite distance and just as Angelo was beginning to feel overwhelmed by this he blasted through the other side of the darkness and was surrounded completely by a powerful, warm light. He floated across a vast expanse of white light and felt a wave of pure love and joy rush through his body. It was so strong his eyes began to well up with tears. He had never felt anything like this in his life. Clouds began to form around him as he continued to traverse the endless skies. He looked ahead and saw that he was approaching some sort of shrine with a small staircase that led up to two large pearl white doors. Angelo landed at the base of the shrine and took the steps up towards the doors. He stood before them and realized he would have to make a decision and walk through one of the doors. Angelo was never good at making decisions and the one he faced now felt like the most important one he’d ever have to make. His indecisiveness had always been an obstacle for him in the past and he had many regrets of opportunities lost to his inaction. He couldn’t make that mistake again, not now. What if he waited too long and the doors disappeared? A million thoughts were passing through his head as Angelo walked up to each of the doors. He placed his palm against the centre of the left door and stood there for a moment. He thought maybe he could feel something, some sort of sign that this was the correct decision but nothing came. He walked over to the right door and did the same, placing his palm upon it. Again, nothing.

Angelo walked back to the middle of the shrine and stood before the hulking doors once again, wracking his brain over which direction to go in. He walked up to the wall between the doors and placed his hands on it. He was hit with a sudden rush of terror, fear, and anguish. Ever fiber of his being trembled as, in an instant, he experienced more horror than he had in his entire life up to that point. His hands would not leave the wall, completely locked in place, Angelo was forced to feel the pain. Crying and shaking, Angelo did everything he could to keep from screaming at the top of his lungs. Just as he was certain he would die from the trauma he was going through, it subsided and was instantly replaced with a wave of pure love and joy, much like that which he felt upon his arrival to this place. The warm ,comforting light seemed to repair all of the wounds in his soul and Angelo’s tears of fear turned into cries of bliss as he struggled to contain his happiness. After what felt like infinity, his hands finally released from the wall and he fell to his knees. He picked himself up and looked upon the great doors once again, still completely unsure of which one to choose. Now he feared that if he picked the wrong door he would be subject to the overwhelming sense of despair that he had just gone through. But perhaps he would choose the door which led to the land of bliss. He knew he had to make a decision and couldn’t remain here forever in this cloudy limbo. 

No more overthinking.

Trust yourself.

Angelo reached for the handle of the left door and walked through. He couldn’t believe his eyes. This side of the door was a mirror image of the side he had entered from. He turned around and looked at the wall to see both doors behind him. It had never mattered which door he had chosen, they both led to the same place. Every moment he spent overthinking; every worry that went through his head. All of it a waste of time. He needed only to trust in himself and move forward. He had gotten his answer. Angelo would no longer be paralyzed by fear and anxiety. He would trust his intuition and move in the direction he felt was best. It didn’t matter which path he walked down; which door he went through.

He would always end up exactly where he was supposed to be.

May 27, 2021 01:37

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Henery X
01:29 Jun 01, 2021

Greetings, Shawn. I pray all is well with you and yours during this time of rebuilding and rejoicing. I truly enjoyed your story, especially the moral. Continue to bless us with gems from your diamond mind. #writewithpurposeonpurpose


Shawn O'Connor
19:34 Jun 02, 2021

Beautifully put thank you so much! Thank you for reading and I hope all is well with you too!


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Tommy Goround
10:04 Aug 13, 2022

Love the premise here. Clapping


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