Consequences of Choices Poorly Made.
Joshua knew he was dead. The only senses he retained were hearing and sight. He tried to breathe deeply, but there was nothing there. He did not have to wait for Cockburn to draw close, all he had to do was stretch his arm out and smack him. Joshua danced in delight that his arm could span the ten-foot distance between them. He laughed as Cockburn swiveled around, glared at his men, and slowly return his attention to the carnage going on below. The men would all have to pay for Joshua’s impromptu act.
Joshua shielded his eyes from the bright light that blocked his view of Washington burning. A figure emerged. Such a lovely woman dressed in a long draped gown with a glow encompassing all of her. Her hair was no longer the fire red he remembered from long ago when they were wed, but he knew her. “Annie?”
“Yes, Joshua. We have been parted for many years. It is time to go home. Take my hand, I will guide you.”
“Dear Annie. I can’t. My work here is not over. Surely you can see that.” His plaintive plea sounded weak and unmanly even to his own ears.
Annie lost her sweetness, “Joshua, time is short. Come.”
He felt the tug of the vortex closing, but would not leave. “No, Annie. I will come later when I have repented. They probably don’t want me anyway. Not with all that I did -- was forced to do.”
“There is no later, Joshua. Your time is now. You cannot disrupt the timelines of those left behind without consequences. All is known. There is forgiveness.”
“I did love you during our time. And I thank you for our son. I just can’t…go now. I will join you. I promise. I just have to finish this one task.”
“I am not sorry for the things I did. Do you understand? I’d rather stay here than rot in hell forever.”
“It is not yours to finish, Joshua.” Annie retreated farther into the tunnel. “You must come now, Joshua. It is all choice. No one is forcing you to do anything. Do you understand?”
With that tugging ended and he could return his attention to the battle raging below. He had much work to do. He would make his repentance and then go to Annie. It made sense in the moment.
Joshua tried to dust his hands together to get to work, but could not get any traction. He needed a body, but none of these bastards would do. “Son, I hope you forgive me. But I need nourishment.” The blood ties do not dissipate after death. He found his boy, and took over.
Joshua did not think of the consequences of having two souls reside in one body. He just knew he needed this and needed it now. He would return his son’s body to him at the end of the war. Maybe.
He did not hate his son, he just needed him more than he loved him. It was probably for the best. Josh was too bitter to make it to heaven and he could instill some valor into this boy before his time was up.