Thunder broke on the plane, and soon the silvery streams that trickled down from the mountains were turned into cool gushing rivers. Lara prayed that she would be dissolved in their waters. Instead, the mountains, looking down upon Lara in her anguish, reached down their cool arms and washed away the dried life force that had eeked from her horrendous wounds. She fell asleep in their watery embrace. When she woke, Lara reached out for the white pebble that Midgard had left for her, and noticed that her scars were now white and waxy.
Days had passed now. Many days. The plane grew warmer, and Lara noticed that it became a little lighter in the evenings. Still she could not move for pain, and so each day was spent leant against the nearest mountain, watching the sky.
I must try to make a life for myself here.
Why? To what purpose? What life is there, after the life I have known?
But we must try. To escape this nothing.
A place is only an after-life if you choose to make it one, Lara, my dear.
No. Never. I could not do it.
And so things continued. Lara died and died again and again, only to wake the next morning, her palms throbbing.
She looked up one evening as light was falling. There was something moving on the plane. A human? No, it was too short, and too horizontal. It moved in a quaint, positive way and its nose was very long. Its eyes were round black onyx.
The creature came closer to her. It was happy, Lara sensed, but surprised at seeing her by the mountain. Languidly she reached out and touched the animal’s face, which was covered in thick soft fur, warm. It was beautiful. The smile Lara gave it was watery and absent, and its presence made her heart murmur like a drowning voice.
I mean you no harm…the animal’s tongue lolled out of its mouth. Lara caressed its face and it whimpered in adoration. At length the thing wandered over to the stream, bent its head, and took a sip.
Night came, and as usual, Lara shut her eyes against the closing sky and tried to sleep. The fire inside her began to throb and she opened her mouth to keen afresh-when she felt something soft buffeting against her hand. She opened her eyes, and there was the creature, looking at her with gentle calm eyes. What are you? It was so happy, thought Lara, and so, so simple. Suddenly the creature began to walk in tight circles. Lara watched it with interest, when suddenly it flopped down against her, and went to sleep. The oddly ridiculous impact of the creature made her laugh. She laid her head against the creature’s back. She ran her fingers through its fur, shut her eyes, and died.
When she woke, it was during a spell of numbness. Lara lifted her head and looked about herself. The mountains were there, but otherwise the plane was empty. The creature had gone. And then Midgard was standing beside her. His eyes were shining white sparks. They laughed, and wanted her, and hated the sky.
“Alone again, fallen one?” he taunted, “What did I tell you? I have this last time spell laughed at Abiel and laughed at you.”
“Leave me alone,” howled Lara.
Midgard threw a pebble to her, but this gift was black and it scratched her skin with its texture, and though it burned her hand, Lara held it.
“Take it in thy hands,” he smiled madly, “That is my heart, which you hold. No evil made it that way. It was the candles that grew inside me that gnarled it and ruined it. So come with me and we can heal one another, for only I know where Magog is. I know that you will come to love it there also, as I did…..come with me.”
Lara reached up her arms to the sky and howled.
“Lara, heartbroken one,” Midgard reached out with his talons and clasped the side of her head. She pulled herself away and tried to die.
But death Passed her by.
And the mountains only watched.