The Faithbook

A place of writing and reflection…

The Catalogue

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Last night I had a dream so surreal to me.

It was dark…dank…a library of sorts.

Dingy cobble stone made up the dimly lit walls.

There were halls…halls with many, many rooms.

A couple from which I heard crying behind close doors.

I swallowed.

There the librarian sat from her desk

She watched me from behind her blood red glasses.

Matching lipstick gave me a smile making me feel uneasy.

“Can I help you,” she asked with a hiss.

“I-I-I don’t know,” I answered

“Come with me,” she replied with the same awful smile.

She grabbed a large candle from the corner of her desk.

With it she lead me down the first hall and to another.

She seemed to know where we were going in this deep dark maze.

I kept watching at the trail behind us grow steadily longer,

But had long since lost direction in this eerie place.

The air was cold, almost damp in my lungs.

It smelled almost of mold.

What was this place?

We passed many more doors along the way.

The sounds that came from them didn’t set my mind at ease.

There were cries and pleas.

“This can’t be right!” begged one.

“Please,… this isn’t me…it can’t be!” called another.

“What have I done,” sniffed a third.

There were so many.

It made my skin crawl.

My hands became clammy.

I tried to wipe them on my pockets.

No good.

The feeling wouldn’t stop.

If not for the fear of getting lost I would have gladly run the other way.

This was all too real.

The librarian finally stopped at a door.

“Here we are,” she said with that terribly sickening smile.

My stomach wrenched as she pulled out her keys.

The lock clicked.

The door opened with a horrible screech.

It was heavy and metal a few inches thick hung on rusty hinges.

Their sound was almost unforgiving.

Down the hall I heard a cry from another room.

Chills ran down my spine like tiny ants on a branch.

Well,” asked the librarian.

With another gulp I peered into the room.

It was dark like the rest of the building.

The same mildewy scent.

The same dank air which not chilled my lungs.

Yet it was empty except for one large brass catalogue against the back wall.

It was just like the old ones I remembered seeing pictures of from back in the day.

The ones libraries used before computers.

Except this one had many, many drawers.

More than I had seen before.

The catalogue stretched from wall to wall,

From floor to ceiling–

And a very high ceiling it was!

I was not eager to enter that room,

But my feet moved me all on their own.

The librarian smiled,

Took her candle,

And left.

There I stood completely alone.

My mind screamed to leave.

Quick! Follow her out! You can go back!

Regardless of it’s pleas my feet moved closer to the catalogue.

My trembling hands reached for a drawer in front of me.

What was I doing?

I tried to stop,

But my body acted all on it’s own!

Help me,” I wanted to scream,

But no words came.

Only my hands did the moving now.

They grasped the handle of the first drawer and slowly pulled it open.

It came out with the same terrible screech.

I supposed it, too, had throughly rusted through.

Inside were many cards.

Several of which appeared to have been throughly riffled through.

Their edges were soft and worn.

I pulled out the first and began to read.

It was dated…some event…

something I had done…

Lied to teacher.

There was my name on the bottom.

Worse still it was signed by me!

But I don’t remember signing this…

Yes, I had lied, but that was so long ago.

I pulled up another card.

It looked exactly the same as the first.

It was dated,

Signed,

And another sin noted.

Stole lipstick from the K-mart.

I started flipping through the rest in the drawer.

They were all the same.

All dated.

All signed.

And all listing everything I’d ever done!

How could this be?

I grabbed another drawer to find it the same a well.

Then a third.

A fourth, and so on.

Again and again they were al the same.

I fell to the floor staring blankly at the card in my hand.

More lay on the floor about me.

Hopelessly I looked up at the looming catalogue.

Why…? Was I…doomed..?

The other rooms must have had catalogues like this as well.

Was that the reason for the cries?

It must have been.

I, too, was tempted to sob.

“Don’t cry,” said a voice much friendlier than the librarian.

Looking up I saw a man clothed all in white.

“Who—”

“Open that drawer,” he said pointing to the bottom corner of the catalogue.

There was a drawer I had not noticed before.

It was different from all the others.

It was red,

Not brass like the others.

It wasn’t even rusted.

I grabbed the handle.

It came out easier than all the others.

Inside, however, there was just one card.

I pulled it out.

It was white and crisp.

Not dingy and worn like the rest.

On it’s side said just one thing:

Jesus

He had signed it.

But not in ink.

It was blood.

And still so fresh.

I looked back at the man dressed in white standing at the door.

He only nodded and directed me back to the other drawers.

Timidly, I peered into the first and pulled out a card I was sure I had looked at before.

Over the whole card was that same signature:

Jesus

I pulled out another to see the same.

Then another.

And another.

And so on…

They were all the same!

But how could this be?

“Remember the prayer you said so long ago,” said the man in white.

“It was raining outside that day.

“There you sat on your bed alone and afraid.

“So much had happened that day.

“So much of which you could not be sure.

“A friend had been buried and you were afraid your life would end the same.

“But you remembered the lesson you were taught in Sunday school that day:

” For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

“So there on your bed you sat and prayed:

” ‘The future is so uncertain…Lord come save me…

“And He did.”

For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

—Romans 10:13

Copyright The Faithbook 2013
Image © Jon Ellis

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