108. Dream

The crystal catches the light in midair. For an instant, the beauty of it fills him with the old yearning. He watches it fall toward the waves far below.

One last time, it glints in the sun before the ragged surf devours it.

Good, he thinks. It is done.

One thing remains. But not here. It cannot, must not, be done here.

Riding, he is riding. How long, he cannot tell, nor where. From somewhere far off, he hears the bright notes of trumpets, and the throatier call of horns. Who it is that is sounding them, he does not know.

Only that they must not find him.

Someone rides with him, beside him. He cannot see, even when he looks.
The sun is in his eyes, rich, bright, golden. The wind is warm on his face, and perfumed with the scent of pine needles and resin. There are trees to his right. Beneath them, deep shadows. To his left, the sky, the precipice, the sea.

Again the trumpets and horns sound in the distance. There is not much time.
Suddenly, he is alone. The other, gone, his place taken by grief.

It had to be.

Somewhere high above a seagull cries, its mournful call piercing the scented air.

He dismounts and stands at the edge. Below, far below, the sea roils. He is afraid of what it will be like, though not of what is to come afterwards.

She must never again find him.

He leans forward, arms spread out. The wind receives him. Briefly, he thinks he might fly.

Then the sea swings into view, and the waves.

NEXT: Memory


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