The Tree at World's End

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Twenty Seven

Åsa watched the geometries evolve into endlessly new patterns, but she felt nothing. Her heart was empty, cold and closed. Despite all her attempts, she had achieved nothing. Had come no closer to finding her Fjiorn, nor had she succeeded in breaking the spell he was under. All she had managed was to fall under a spell of her own.

She felt that she had been tricked, enticed into an illusion that had no substance.

For a while she held Stigr responsible, but eventually let go of all blame.

She watched the geometries without interest.

She barely noticed when the geometries finally faded. But then she began to hear the faint sounds of music and drumming. The drums were beating in her heart, pumping blood through her veins, breath down her throat and into her lungs, as though they were a bellows.

She closed her eyes to the soft darkness around her, and began to see more than she could with open eyes.

She saw the world. Her world. The fjord. The mountains. The trees. Her house. Fyrka.

She saw it all. Her family. Her friends. Her childhood. Her life.

And she heard voices. Known and unknown. Soft and loud.

Calling. Speaking. Singing.

One grew louder, calling to her.

Åsa.

She did not want to open her eyes, but she knew she had to.

She knew she had to open her eyes.

She knew she had to.

She knew.

Knew.

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