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Chapter 30

The End is just the Beginning

It was done; Astrid had given up her life. The Darkness left the Forest and its Creatures, and they arose from the ground and went back to where they came.

Amerroth bowed his head, and drew his hands that held the sacred stones of the Protectors to his heart. He would returned these sacred stones to the temples, and then take his leave, for he had completed his task.

Lithia and Cristoph stood there silent. Cristoph conjured up the words that needed to be spoken; though none of them had said a word yet. “She shouldn’t have had to carry such a burdening choice for us. But she has saved us all.”

“She’s not dead…” The Protectors spoke together in unison.

“What do you mean she is not dead, we all just watched her die!”

“She is not dead…” They spoke again, floating ethereal above the ground. “An act of selflessness is always rewarded… You’ll see...”

It was dark. Where was he? Jack felt for a wall or something in this darkness, but there was nothing to hold onto. He drew near the floor and desperately reached for it; but in all real sense of what he knew, how was this possible. There was nothing there for his hands to feel. He stood up, and kept walking on and on for an eternity it would seem. Then there in the distance, there appeared great towers. Were they towers? They were faded as shadows in the distance. Transparent buildings that stood tall, reaching for the unknown heights of the blackness that would be continual. Was this heaven?

Astrid laid in sleep… or in drifting. She felt indifferent to the world around her. It was cold and disconnected from her body.


What was that? A sound? She remembered sound. It was nice. It was something she had once known from a place where there was also light and not all this darkness.


There it was again. Astrid… Astrid was her name; no, Astrid was her body’s name. A body that was the vessel for her at one time… but isn’t anymore. Was this why she felt disconnected? She had died hadn’t she? She had jumped off the edge of the earth to die and come here. To this endless darkness and drifting. Was this all there was after death? Was she to just float in this dark emptiness feeling neither good nor bad about it eternally?

“Whoever said all good things must come to an end.” Jack said. “You’re not dead. Wake up.”

No one would have known of the Forest, unless it had been written about. And what was documented about this magical paradise had barely scratched the surface of all its beauty and splendor; of what it really was. At the bottom of the mountain… there wasn’t much to see.... but what you see is always half of what is there.

October 24, 2013

11:28 P.M.

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