Dark, ominous towers loom above me – seven in all – as I walk through the Valley of Death. To my left, Faith walks beside me; her beautiful, golden hair, her bright blue eyes, and her striking features are a beacon of light which pierces the darkness. The stench of death permeates the air, and I find myself stumbling over the decaying corpses of those who attempted the journey through the Valley alone.
My heart races with anxiety as a voice calls from one of the towers: the tower named Wrath. I attempt to take a step toward the tower, but am stopped by Faith's soft tug on my arm. Curious, I gently pull away, and step into the dark tower.
Inside the tower, it's dark. I feel cold, and alone. A man approaches me. He's wearing leather that's been dyed red. He extends a hand toward me, and before I can touch it, a vision overtakes my mind:
I see myself on a hilltop littered with corpses. Among those dead are my family; my two children's blood and organs are strewn around them. My wife is on a pike. I hold a sword, which is dripping blood, and forming a puddle at my feet. I'm screaming at the world, and all those who live in it - the evil and righteous alike. After the world has heard my screams, I turn my face to the heavens, and begin cursing to them. Before I can finish my words, a spear flies to my throat, spewing blood through the back of my neck. I collapse.
I blink, and find myself back in the tower, my hand inches away from the man in leather. I pull my hand back, and run from the tower, flinging myself into Faith's arms. She gently strokes my hair, and tells me that it will be okay.
We continue our walk, hand-in-hand. Years have passed since the first tower, and we now approach the last tower: the tower named Lust. Like all of the other towers, it calls my name. A feeling is aroused in me, more prominent than the others. I turn to Faith, and she stares back with sad eyes. Once again, I gently pull away, and enter the tower. Like the first, it's dark, and a feeling of complete loneliness fills me. As with the first tower, someone approaches: a half-naked woman. In the darkness, she looks almost as beautiful as Faith. She extends a hand, and I extend mine. Before our fingers touch, my mind is once again assaulted with a vision:
I see myself lying on a bed, surrounded by many beautiful, naked women. They caress by body, and whisper sweet nothings into my ears. They suddenly disappear, however, and my wife steps through the door. She sees the undergarments left by the women, and begins sobbing. She runs back out of the door, as I try to explain. I hear the sound of metal, and then silence. I rush through the door, to find her dead on the floor, knife in hand; her throat slit. I fall to my knees, and begin sobbing. Overcome with grief, I take the knife, and put it to rest in my neck.
The tower comes back into view, and once again, I flee, once again finding comfort in Faith's arms. She does not berate me for leaving her, but she tenderly rubs my back, as I sob into her shoulders. Regaining my composure, we continue walking, the towers finally behind us.
After more years of walking, we approach a fork in the road. Two creatures stand before us: A large Dragon, and a Lamb. The Dragon stands next to a large globe, breathing fire on it, and emitting guttural growls, which can only be translated as laughs. The Lamb stands next to two large planks of wood, equal in length, and a large stone, which has cloths of linen lain atop it. The Dragon turns to me, taking a break from destroying the globe, and speaks.
"At this fork, the road that you will want to choose is mine, for I can grant you all that you desire: women, power, gold, and more. At the end of the road of luxury, you will be taken into the arms of Death. I simply ask that you assist me in destroying the globe behind me."
I step towards the beast, but Faith stops me, saying that I have not yet heard the Lamb speak. I turn to the Lamb, and He stares into my eyes. I'm overcome with the urge to fall to my knees. Once I do, the Lamb approaches, and whispers into my ear:
"At this fork, whichever road you choose is your choice, and yours alone. What the Beast says is true. Down his road you will have all that you desire. However, he deceives you. Down his road, you will also find pain, and in those times, the Dragon will desert you. At the end of the road, you will die. Down my road, you also will find pain, persecution and struggle. The entire way, however, I will be with you to take the pain away. You will be joyful, and in you will find beauty in everything. At the end of your life, you will be approached by Death. He will not touch you, however, for I will take you away to a place where Death shall never harm you.
"Now that I have explained the two roads, the choice is yours. Choose wisely, but choose quickly, for the reaper approaches."
Standing, I turn to Faith, silently pleading to her for her help. She looks into my eyes, and stands by the Lamb. Glancing between the Dragon, and the Lamb, I finally make my choice. I approach the Lamb, and fall to my knees; thanking Him for saving me from the road of the Dragon. He tells me to stand, and we begin our walk toward eternity.