The Tree at World's End

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Twenty Six

Fjiorn stood in complete darkness, waiting for his eyes to adjust, until he realised that nothing was happening.

“Fire,” he said.

Neither a plea nor a request, it was a direct summoning.

A torch set into the wall before him suddenly blazed, momentarily blinding him.

He walked the length of the corridor towards the doorway at the far end, and rather than open it, strode straight through the door as if it wasn’t there.

He was getting quite good at letting go of what had once limited him in his normal life.

Beyond was a cavernous space flickering with tongues of flame, where shadows danced wildly and voices resounded in wordless chant. Drums throbbed a rhythm in time with his own heart.

Fjiorn felt certain that the entire world could be accommodated within this hall.

He reached a parapet of green glass and looked down. As far as his eyes could see there spread below him an assembly of people who danced and swayed as gracefully as the seaweed in the ocean’s current.

Mesmerised by the music and the thundering of the drums, Fjiorn found a staircase and descended into their midst.

He walked amongst them like a ghost, unseen and unheeded.

The dancers moved in beautiful symphony, oblivious to everything around them; yet despite their enthralled state, none collided; not with each other, nor with him.

Fjiorn felt the desire to join them. The enchantment of the music was irresistible, it entered him and began to move his body.

His eyelids drooped.

He was about to succumb, when he saw her.


She was dancing like the others, unaware of where she was, or what she was doing, and the sight of her restored him to himself.

He called out to her, but his voice was drowned out in the sea of sound that echoed through the vast hall.

He manoeuvred his way towards her, but as he neared, he saw something that shocked him.

He saw himself.

Entranced in the dance, like everyone else there.

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