The Tree at World's End

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Twenty Five

Åsa could not believe it - she had seen him!

Chance, or the gods, had led her to within a few feet of her beloved, but in her excitement and joy at finding him she had forgotten to figure out how to stop, and how to land. Free falling, flying and veering she had managed, but stopping seemed beyond her ken.

Still, it was all quite redundant now, for her flight had taken her way beyond the white keep.

She had tried to veer again in order to turn back, but as she did so she lost altitude rapidly and soon had to focus simply on not smashing into the trees.

Her hands had become feathered and the slightest twist of her fingers affected her flight. She tried to slow down, but lost more altitude instead.

To her right she saw a river, offering a softer landing than the woods.

She veered towards the silver ribbon.

As she drew closer, she saw that this was not a placid river flowing lazily towards the sea, but a churning and frothing torrent, as wild now as when it spilled out of the mountains.

Åsa matched her course with it and slowed even further, until her talons skimmed the icy waters fed by unseen glaciers.

She waited until clear of a final tier of rocks that jutted towards the sky like dark teeth, and then dropped into the black pool of broiling fury that swirled beneath the stone jaw.

As she hit the water, the shock of ice and gelid spray stole her breath.

And was instantly replaced by the dance of translating geometries.

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