His deceased father, with his long black beard and top hat, spoke of the bloody saber that hung above the fireplace in their home. "You chose to live by the sword and now you must cross the line. Come give me your hand, son, and I will help you." John thrashed about in his bed and screamed, "No! I can't. I won't!"
Lydia, with disheveled hair and tears streaming down her face, fell to her knees and tugged at his hand. "Don't leave, John!" she sobbed. "Please don't leave. You are my life!" Her sobs turned to wails as a man in black with a white collar emerged from behind a partition, one made of wood or clouds. His
presence was overwhelming, his words kind as he uttered: "Through this holy unction may the Lord pardon thee for whatever sins or faults thou hast
committed." John gazed past him to where a greater Man stood, hands folded while he waited.
The Man smiled and beckoned with his forefinger. John drew back. "I can't!
How can I leave this woman whom I love?"
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