Windoline nudged me on and told me that the conversations we heard were exactly the same from one day to the next. “They never change and no one knows the difference.”
We walked toward a table where two women stood talking, one was Ms. Fibbergiver, the other was known as Ms. Whitelies. Leaning on her broom, Ms. Fibbergiver, with her unwashed, blond hair hanging limp and uncombed, looked as though she had not bathed in some time. Ms. Whitelies was similarly un-groomed, and both were oblivious to the cobwebs that surrounded them.
As we drew near, I listened to the truth-impaired, homely Ms. Whitelies who spoke loudly to Ms. Fibbergiver. “I have to tell you how pleased I was to meet your daughter, Bratwaller, the other day,” Ms. Whitelies said, holding her hand over her mouth to hide her sneer.
“Ms. Whitelies,” Fibbergiver replied, as she calmly brushed a cobweb from her mouth, “I declare, I know your daughter, Horridair, and my Bratwaller will become the best of friends, just as you and I have.” She looked over her shoulder as she spoke. “Oh I see that fool, Smackum, is coming by still mumbling about The Son of Man.”
“I hope he doesn’t stop to bother us,” Fibbergiver said. Then as Smackum drew closer, she smiled and waved. “Mr. Chew Smackum, how are you this fine day?”
He did not answer. As Windoline led us away, I noticed two brown spiders, both at least a foot in diameter, climbing a velvet covered partition next to Whitelies and Fibbergiver. Without knowing how, I found myself with Windoline standing in front of another glass wall. I could no longer see or hear those strange people we just saw. Above the doors where we stood now, it read, “Hall of Revenge and Rebellion.”
“Before we go inside,” I said, “can you explain to me about those people we just saw?”
“Some by appearance might be considered decent individuals,” she replied. “Take Mr. Smackum for instance, aside from his inconsiderate chewing, he appears to seek the Lord. However, his only purpose in finding The Son of Man is to argue that it is not right He should be the only way to The Living God. Mr. Smackum has lived his life believing he can meet God on his own terms. He is convinced that because he sees himself as a good person, he can save his own soul.”
I might have argued with Windoline at one time, but right at that moment I sensed God’s Presence. For some reason I knew that disputing her words was not the right thing to do.
“What about Berthabode and Meanrake,” I asked?