“No, you’re not dead.” She smiled the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. “I’m not at liberty to say just now why you are here, only that the Wind has chosen you.” She reached out for my hand, and said, “We must go.”The next thing I knew we stood in front of a huge metal wall, which seemed to go on for miles around. Above two double-wide doors that looked like a glass curtain and must have been thirty feet in height was written, ‘Hall of Tolerance and Political Correctness.’ Two angels, with foreboding expressions on their ace, stood in front of the glass entrance and smiled pleasantly at Windoline. They nodded for us to go in, and without warning, she pulled me right through the center of the glass.
Once on the other side, she whispered for me to only observe. “You are not to speak or ask questions until we leave, no matter what,” she said. “Is that understood?”
I nodded and held her hand tightly. The giant room was filled with all sorts of people. I gazed at the checkerboard-patterned floor of cold black and white marble. It was very disconcerting to me, but it didn’t seem to have any effect on the occupants milling around. Partitioned walls and dropped ceilings were draped in blood-red velvet. There were no windows or lights that I could see, but it appeared to be twilight inside. The furniture consisted of stark chairs and tables sparsely scattered throughout.
At first I heard nothing, but then the drone of voices talking all at once came at me. Before I knew it, I stood face to face with a thin, narrow-eyed man of color. He grinned and bared his white teeth at me and stuck his hand out for me to shake. When I didn’t take it, he said loudly, “What, no handshake!” He spoke with mouth full of something dry and crumbly—I could not tell what.