There was nothing but silence. Silence and emptiness.
There was no other noise aside from my voice.
“Man, this sucks,” I thought out loud. “How am I going to get home?”
I stood there (or maybe I floated) next to nothing, surrounded by nothing.
“You did a great job here, Gladiator,” a calm voice said to me.
I looked around, and then I looked around again and saw the owner of the voice.
“Virgil.” I looked at the poet and the man who guided me on my journey through the many levels of the Underworld. “You know how I can get out of here now?”
“Certainly,” he replied. “But there is something that I must show you first.”
A bright, shimmering light began to emanate from the poet. His form then shifted, changing shape and sprouting wings.
“Wow.” I was awestruck by the transformation.
“Jon, there are many marvels of the multiverse. There are worlds where beings of immense power exist and still others filled with individuals blessed with the wonder of imagination. With your actions here, you have made it clear that you are worthy.”
“I am worthy?” I asked. “Worthy of what? Did I go through all of this and it was only some kind of test? That is so not cool.”
“No,” my companion replied. “It was not a test, at least not in the way you think it would be. As I stated, there are many universes out there, full of both wondrous good and odious evil. We are standing at a crux, a lynchpin between what is real for many different realities. You are a lynchpin.”
“Me?” I couldn’t believe it. “Why me?”
“Why not? Because everything that you encountered on your trip was real, you have proven yourself worthy of this honor. Many have come before you, and many have laid out the groundwork for this hub of existence. But many are also now gone, unfortunately.”
“This is gotten very metaphysical,” I thought out loud. “So what do I do?”
“Do as you normally do. Live your life; your existence is what keeps this crux in balance.”
“OK, I just kick back and exist, huh? I can do that, I'm pretty good at existing.”
“There will be times where many will come to you with tales of their worlds,” the shining being added. “There will also be times where you will be called into action as your world's hero, just as before. Answer that call, fight for what is right and honor life always.”
“Yeah, I can do that,” I replied.
“Very good, I shall now return you to your home.”
“Great,” I said. “Only thing is, if I told anyone this, they’d think I was crazy or that I had a huge ego or something.”
“Perhaps you should not tell others of this, then,” “Virgil” suggested.
“That’s a good idea,” I replied. “I won’t speak to anyone or write about this or anything. Don’t want anyone thinking that I’m an idiot or something.”
“Indeed,” my companion replied.