The old man falls asleep by a birch tree. He dreams of killing an imaginary stranger. When he wakes up, he feels unbearable guilt. And he discovers that he is sprawled across the golden sands of a vast desert.
He rises and wanders in the desert, drifting west toward the setting sun. In the distance, he sees an oasis. Or is it the sanctum sanctorum?
When he arrives at the vanishing holy place, he finds only waves of scorching sand. Beneath a merciless sun, he stands tall, stretches his arms toward the Heavens, and cries out: “Forgive me!”
Tears cascade down his twisted face. Yet unexpectedly, he grows a blissful smile. Perhaps, he is no longer in our world. He may be traveling in Phantasmagoria, the country of delusions and hallucinations, an eerie place where wishes come true.
After sunset, he listens to the howling wind and in the chilling darkness, he falls to his knees and whispers: “Forgiven!”