Written in 2005. Character study. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. -- St. Mark 1:1, John the Baptist.
Rabastan has started to dream.
He never used to dream, just exhausted himself until his body gave out, lying still and stiff on his back until he woke. It frightened his parents during his youth, though they've grown accustomed to it over the years; it would trouble them more to see the way he now writhes and mumbles in his sleep.
He welcomes the dreams. They are no night spectres, no terrifying figures. The voice, and the heat arises in him, as though the white-hot flame of the gods, of life is before him, awakening something in him that is so strong, so vivid, so intensely human that it cannot be human at all.
It is... divine.
Mother used to be religious, and once prayed over his bed when he was particularly ill, begging all the saints to save her child. He later asked her of these saints... she said that they were ordained by the touch of God to do His will, told what must be done to save the souls of the unknowing and the corrupt.
A voice speaks to him in the night, one that reverberates in his soul, it says Prepare ye the Way of the Lord. The heat, the love, the desire to fulfill the task he has been given, it overcomes him. He finds himself suddenly awake, waves of cold and heat tearing through him, writhing, cold sweat soaking his bedclothes. He curls into himself, murmuring fervent thanks to God for the ecstasy of his touch and for choosing him as a messenger for the Almighty.
He is not frightened of death, he never has been, for it has haunted his steps for as long as he can remember. He does not fear anything, for the Mark on his arm has ordained him to be something above fear, above weakness, above mortality.
He is a messenger of God.