Rebirth

'A soft breeze breathed a gentle warmth into my cheeks, tender hands splashing the coolest of water on my burning skin. The pain melted away, gone with it the terror that caused my mind such agony.

Relief, finally.

Birdsong played at my ears, high and sweet, mixing with the musical sound of someone humming close beside me. Behind my closed eyes, I sighed, muscles relaxing.’

'Tender fingers, small and soft, opened my eyelids, revealing to me the prettiest of skies, painted with pale pinks, golds, and blues.  Life's breath mingled in my chest, my heart fluttering to action once more. I gazed to the eyes of the one who had awakened me from my rest of agony, a warm, familiar color of brown hinted with gold. Where had I seen these eyes before, set in a face unrecognizable to me? Thick, golden ringlets of hair framed her bright, youthful face like brilliant rays of morning sunshine. Her lips were large and pink, her cheeks blushed with the color of the dawn sky above.  She smiled at me with such a smile that would grab any mortal man's heart.’

"Good morning," she murmured with the voice of birds, with the voice of a spring breeze, with the voice of a gentle brook.

 

Ajax blinked a few times, still caught by her tantalizing smile, and of all things, her strangely familiar eyes.  "Good morning." his voice was soft and far away, as if it did not belong to him. "Where am I?"

 

She laughed, the most beautiful sound in the world. "You are in the Elysian Fields, Ajax. You have been 'born again', so to speak."

 

"Born again?" Ajax looked at his hands, his arms. They all looked the same … and yet, they were clearer, free of the scars of life, and smoother, soft like a babe’s skin.

“Your death is the beginning of a new life here. An unending life of rest and peace. The wounds of your life have been cleaned away," she continued in a sing-song voice, as if only continuing to hum some melodious tune. From beside her, she took a goblet of gold and gems, offering it to him. "Here, drink this."

Ajax obediently sipped from the goblet, cupping it between his two hands. His mouth tingled in delight, feeling the deep, satisfying freshness seep down his throat, into his chest, his stomach, and spread its wondrous fingers through every part of him. He eagerly finished the whole goblet, only returning it when each drop had vanished.

“Ambrosia,” the woman explained, as if hearing his thoughts. The drink of Gods?

 "Who are you?" he breathed, looking over her beaming face, so full of sunshine.

  

 "Eos," she smiled radiantly.  

  "Goddess of Dawn?"

"Indeed," Eos answered. "My duty is to open the sky for my brother Helios, so he may take his chariot of the sun across the sky each day, and, too, I am the one to open the Elysian Fields for the souls who arrive here." She spread her arms out in one graceful motion, gesturing to the wide open world around them. Rolling fields spread in each direction, the largest of trees, like ancient pillars, were scattered throughout with leafy tops as tall as mountains. It was very simply beautiful. But … where was everyone else? Wait…

"Where is Elpida!?" cried Ajax, suddenly leaping to his feet.

   

Eos stood, putting her hand on his arm to calm him, "Who?"

"My wife, Elpida," He looked around urgently. "Where is she?"

   

The goddess gazed at him, eyes sad and wide, as realization struck her. "I do not believe she is here."

The End

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