Immortally Bound

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Chapter 13

That night I dreamt. Again, I saw the world I first dreamed about cast in darkness and shadow, though the world was above the Earth. The humans below wandered around oblivious to the events taking place within the heavens. My body stood in the middle of a large green grassland on my home planet, but I felt the pull of someone calling me to the world above it, beyond the stars. I lifted my eyes to the sky and as I wished it, my consciousness floated up through the clouds and into the light of our sun. It soon shrunk from view as I flew past it and reached the outer parts of our solar system. I raced across the vast expansion of the universe, passing stars, galaxies, and black holes before approaching the world that I had dreamt of before. It grew bigger the closer I came to it, looking nothing like Earth from my point of view. There were swirls of green mixed with blue, and specks of black and yellow littered around the world.

My body rushed into a part of the familiar green and I landed on the new world, the place that called my heart here. The landscape took my breath away even if the ground was very much like the soil terrain that grew on Earth. Dark green shards of grass ruled the ground, but what drew my attention more were the waterfalls that dominated the sky. The water fell from tiny islands floating in the clouds, showering the terrain with its crystal cascades. Some of the isles were obscured from my view in some of the thickest white clouds I had ever seen. Even though I knew they were there, all I saw were sheets of water tumbling onto the rocks and streams below.

Once I drew my sight away from the mysterious floating isles I noticed the buildings. Houses blended with the foliage and outcroppings; most had been built with trees growing in the middle or marble archways across their roofs leaving it open to the elements. Others had terraces built high into the stony mountains for people to enjoy the view from above. Parts of the walkways that twisted on and above the ground were showered with water, while other parts became a tunnel through the trees, shrubbery, or the mountain’s stony walls. These walkways supported curved and adorned ruby and peach marble arches inlaid with swirls of gold. Black marble statues dominated the conjectures where they met or split. The statues were different in the sense that they held their weapons in a salute rather than the one I saw outside the girl’s house that was in defense of its charge a few months ago.

Children and young adults played in the water. They jumped from the cliffs into pools and dove off the rocks into lakes and ponds. They made waterslides with the rivers and the islands, turning the area into a game of sorts. Eventually the kids disappeared into the clouds, as they climbed up to the highest peak which was obstructed from my vision. Adults roamed the walkways, cultivating the greenery that grew around them. Flowers of every color and size bloomed around the rocks and pathways. One woman stood out among the few people that milled around me. Her golden hair was wound tightly into a braid that crowned her head and fell into a cascade of locks around her delicate figure.

The woman stood in front of a smaller house, hidden slightly from the path. She stared at a mound of dirt. Her hand appeared from the folds of her billowy red dress that looked more like a robe. She faced her palm down towards the ground before drawing it up above her head. She moved slowly, deliberately, curling her fingers as though she clenched something in her hand. The gesture alone was graceful yet strong at the same time. From the mound of dirt, a gigantic red flower sprang forth. The stem lengthened and grew up until the flower was three feet in height. It didn’t stop there. The petals grew big and bold while the leaves arched upwards supporting the petals. The flower soon resembled a table or a chair that would support something heavy. The golden-haired maiden did this again creating another seat, this one of orange petals. A light green vine of ivy swarmed towards her, carrying a basket in its limbs. She grabbed the basket and laid it on top of one of the flowers that became the table. The ivy curled around the basket and dipped its leaves in and out of the opening. Squealing laughter issued from inside, and the lady smiled with delight.

A man melted from the shadows near her. She turned and greeted the warrior with her smile. Compared to her, he was taller and broader than her, supporting large muscles. His long brown hair was gathered at his neck with a golden vine. He wore no shirt and his warm complexion glistened with recent sweat. A long fine sword was strapped at his waist, but he didn’t carry a shield. The sword was different by my standards; the tip nearly touched the ground, even at his seven feet of height. The pommel was in the shape of a lightning bolt, jagged and smooth if such a thing were possible.

He kissed the lady’s hand and whispered several words to her. Her smile disappeared, and she looked longingly at the basket. He whistled, and a young woman appeared. Her brown hair was pulled behind her head into a high ponytail and she wore green robes with a white apron that might have been servant’s clothes. She picked up the basket and gingerly whisked it away, melting into the shadow of the hedge once more.

Once she was gone. an intimate moment was shared between the lady and the warrior, but it lasted between the pair for only a second or two. Then warrior retreated into the shadows, as the woman no longer smiled and looked forlorn. She busied herself making flowers grow, but they were no longer glorious and bright. These plants were dull, and their light was dimmed. The flower chairs eventually hardened as no more life was left in them, and shards of their once glorious nature fell away, deadened and colorless.

A shadow soon fell upon the land; the sunlight was obscured from view. Children fell from the skies, fleeing the coming darkness. Shards of ice speared the ground, freezing the river and the rocks. The grass and the trees froze and stilled, encased by blocks of ice. Adults and children were hit with the falling shards, and frozen where they stood; some were stopped in the middle of fleeing or falling. Pillars of ice grew up from the ground, summoned by some unseen force, and eventually they dominated the landscape.

The lady fled to the center of a walkway where two statues stood guard at the intersection. Already the statues’ salute was gone and replaced with the defensive stance I was so familiar with. In the background, some already battled with the encroaching shadow. They broke apart spears of ice as they fell from the sky, turning the falling shards into water. Some turned the people back into living creatures from the ice that encased them.

The maiden used her hands and called forth a great tree from the nearby lake. It arose out of the water, mighty and green. She whispered words I couldn’t hear then slashed her arm. Drops of dark red blood fell into the knot of roots. The tree twisted in on itself, as if someone wringed the water out of it. It twisted up into the sky and grew less green. It turned brown and then darkened into black. It pierced the shadow above it, sending shards of ice falling to the world. A shaft of light pierced the tree, irradiating the twisted trunk and limbs. The tree shuddered and grew still. The shadow parted around the tree and where it touched the blackened thing, pieces of the cloud were burned.

The lady backed away slowly, as a pillar of ice encased her. But it was different from the other imprisoned people. Within it she could move and breathe, but she was the only one not frozen in time. The world went dark, as the shadow absorbed the light around the world, except for where the twisted tree pierced the black. Even in the darkness I felt the presence of the maiden. She whispered to me, but I couldn’t decipher the words of her melody.

When I awoke the next morning, I caught myself mumbling one name, Lynna.

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