A little while after Isea had climbed into bed that night, she opened her eyes. Isea stared at a door where her window looking out on the moon should have been, emitting bright golden shifting light, like sunlight shifting through the trees on a windy day. The light shone through a curling and twisting pattern. Isea slowly and lightly walked across the room and put her hand on the door handle.
Gwendoline was floating in the night air a few feet in front of Isea. She held out her hand.
Isea took Gwen’s hand, and they were off. They flew off above the field, gaining altitude. Finally when they were up in the sky amongst the winking stars, they stopped and floated there. Isea couldn’t believe her eyes. She had never felt so close to the stars before.
“Isea,” Gwen said, crossing her legs in the air. Her golden hair floated and was dark against the night sky; her eyes shone like the stars. “It is my pleasure to tell you the truth. No one else could ever tell you this on Earth. They are ignorant. You know it but do not have any knowledge of it. You naturally treat everything you meet gently with an accepting attitude. It is no wonder you can see the truth… Let me tell you what your truth is. Your spiritual eyes are partly opened. That is why you have extraordinarily truthful eyes. You see everyone’s true forms… You pay no attention to their outer shells. If you had pulled back the cloth that lay over my shell, you would have seen nothing. You see every person from the inside. Every person appears to you as kind or hateful as they are on the inside. They appear either beautiful or horrible, because that is how they treat others. You also seem to have been able to reveal to yourself other spiritual truths on your own. Your idea about leaves is an example.” Gwen paused and beamed at Isea. “You have always seen me this way—as a young woman only a few years older than yourself. You have always ever seen me as your friend—someone just like you. In actual fact, I was an old woman. Ron, Violet, Alice, Wilfred—they are all old in natural appearance. And I know you do not know what it is to be old, because you have never seen its natural state before. To be old is to be frail and worn out. You never saw that in us, did you?”
“Do you mean that…everyone walks around, with a sort of mask on?” Isea said shakily.
Gwen nodded. “Those that are wicked and evil can hide their true forms behind a beautiful face, and those that are truly kind at heart can appear ugly and deformed. The worst thing is when other people start treating them as they appear on the outside. Everyone sees your mum as energetic and charming, when in actual fact, she is frail and worn out. That is what she looks like to you, doesn’t she?”
“Everyone who is old… Do they look like that, all at the same time?” Isea said quietly.
“Yes,” Gwen said.
“What do you want me to do?” Isea asked. “Why are you telling me all of this?”
“Because, Isea…” Gwendoline whispered, “you must keep writing.”