Chapter 4: End of Days

Part 1

FOR MOST PEOPLE ON EARTH IT WAS NIGHTTIME WHEN IT HAPPENED. THE VERY ATMOSPHERE CHANGED, THINNED ALMOST. AS IF THE CORPSE OF OUR EARTH REANIMATED.

WITH A SUDDEN GASPING BREATH!

ITS LUNGS WERE FILLED WITH LIFE ONCE AGAIN. AND TO ITS CREATURES IT FELT LIKE A WEIGHT WAS LIFTED! FREED THEY WERE FROM UNKNOWN RESTRAINTS.

MANY WERE AWOKEN FROM THEIR SLUMBER. FOR A VERY SHORT MOMENT THE EARTH SHOOK. THEN IT WAS AS QUIET AS IT WERE BEFORE. THEY COULD NOT HAVE GUESSED THAT THE QUAKE WAS CAUSED BY THE GREAT PILLARS FALLING.

FAR FROM LAND, THEY WOULD DISAPPEAR INTO THE OCEAN. SINKING LONG UNTIL THEY WERE AT THE VERY BOTTOM, WHERE NO LIGHT COULD TRAVEL TO.

THERE THE CRAWLING THINGS OF THE SEA WOULD HAVE A FEAST. FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.

ALL WHAT DWELLED IN THE ABYSS EYELESS FISH, WORMS AND CRABS. BACTERIA AND SPINELESS JELLY.

NONE OF WHOM WOULD EVER SEE THE SUN IN THEIR LIVES. SO TOO WERE THEY NEVER AWARE OF WHAT TOOK PLACE ABOVE THEIR HOME. YET THEY WERE THE ONE BEINGS REWARDED THE MOST.

FOR GENERATIONS THEY WOULD EXIST IN ABUNDANCE! FLOURISHING FROM THE DECOMPOSING FLESH. AND THE FLESH WOULD GIVE BACK TO THE WORLD IT ONCE ATE FROM.


SOON DUSK WOULD COME OVER THE LAND. AND THE CHANGE WAS HARD TO MISS.

EVEN LONE GROUPS DEEP IN THE NORTH OF THE ARCTIC RIDGE. WHOSE PEOPLE HAD NOT YET EXPERIENCED ANY TRAGEDY CAUSED BY IT. STILL, THEY WOULD NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE.

FOR WORMWOODS VILLAGE IT HAPPENED IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS. AND IT WAS THREE CHILDREN WHO WERE THE FIRST TO LOOK UPON THE HEAVENS.

AS THEY HAD BEEN TAKEN FROM SLEEP BY THE EARTHS MOVEMENT. IN A RUSH THEY WOULD RUN OVER THE BRANCHINGWAYS AND BRIDGES. YELLING, WORKING THEIR TINY VOICES UNTIL THEY WOULD BREAK.

“The tendrils! They are gone! The tendrils are gone from the sky!”

AND THE PEOPLE WOULD WAKE. GAZING FROM THEIR ORBS. SOME WITH ANGERED EXPRESSIONS ON THEIR FACES. AS THEY HAD BEEN RISEN SO EARLY. BUT QUICKLY EVERYONE WOULD GATHER ON THE BALCONY.

THERE WAS ALREADY A BIG GROUP CONGREGATED WHEN WORMWOOD ARRIVED. ALL THEIR HEADS WERE TURNED TO THE HEAVENS. AND THEY WERE LOUDLY TALKING AND PRAYING AMONGST EACH OTHER. WORMWOODS SIGHT WOULD FOLLOW.

BEFORE THEM THE HORIZON WAS PAINTED IN PINKS AND BLUES. AS THEY LOOKED OVER THE MOUNTAINS IN THE DISTANCE, THE SCENE WAS UNBROKEN.

NO LONGER DID THICK BLACK STREAKS CUT THROUGH THE PICTURE. IT WAS AS IF THEY WERE NEVER THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

THAT DAY WOULD BE A CELEBRATION. FOR EVERY PERSON ON EARTH IT WOULD BE. FROM THE HOTTEST DESERT IN THE SOUTH TO THE COLDEST HARBOR IN THE NORTH. ALL WOULD INTERPRET IT UNIVERSALLY.

FOR THEM IT WAS A SIGN OF HOPE. AND EVEN THOUGH ALL THEIR PROBLEMS DID NOT DISAPPEAR OVERNIGHT, AS DID THE PILLARS. IT WAS A BEACON OF CHANGE. AN UNCERTAIN ONE BUT NONETHELESS A CHANGE.


WORMWOOD JOINED INTO THE FESTIVITIES THAT NIGHT. AS HE HAD BEEN LIVING THERE FOR ALMOST A YEAR NOW, HE HAD GROWN COMPLETELY ACCUSTOMED TO HIS PEOPLE. HE WOULD EAT, DRINK AND LAUGH WITH HIS FRIENDS. BUT DESPITE THE JOY HE COULD NOT IGNORE THE PIT THAT HAD FORMED IN HIS STOMACH.

HIS MIND WOULD NOT SETTLE. EVEN WHEN HE LAID WITH EEL IN THE HAMMOCK AFTERWARDS. AND HIS BRAIN WOULD NOT FIND REST. HE COULD ONLY TOSS AND TURN.

“Are you alright?”

EEL WOULD WHISPER.

“Yeah. Sorry for waking you up.”

“It’s okay.”

THEY WOULD NOT SPEAK FOR A LONG MOMENT. EVENTUALLY EEL WOULD CONTINUE.

“Is it because of π?”

“No!”

WORMWOOD ALMOST SHOUTED. THEN HE BREATHED IN DEEPLY BEFORE HE SPOKE AGAIN.

“Ok... Maybe.”

“Well, I guess he saved us after all.”

EEL LAUGHED. BUT WORMWOOD DID NOT CHANGE HIS SOMBER DEMEANOR. SO INSTEAD, EEL WOULD TAKE HIS HAND. GENTLY PETTING HIS WRIST WITH HIS THUMB.

IT WAS SUCCESSFUL IN CALMING WORMWOOD NERVES. AND HE COULD FEEL THE PENT UP TIREDNESS OVERTAKING HIM.

“He’s really dead isn’t he?”

WORMWOOD COULD BARELY KEEP HIS EYES OPEN.

“I want to move on but he just won’t leave my brain. whatever I do. I think I am cursed. I will die like this.”

“Nonsense.”

THE VOICE OF EEL SOUNDED AS TIRED AS WORMWOODS. YET HE STILL CONTINUED TALKING.

“I don’t think I can compare my problems to yours but you should know that I understand the way you feel. At least a little bit!”

BEFORE EEL CONTINUED HE WOULD PAUSE. SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT THING TO SAY NEXT.

“Thinking you are the only one of your kind. Trying to come to terms that you will spend your days alone while others have what you want. And then! When you finally met someone else! When you realize you are not alone. He just seems so far away."

THEIR EYES MET. IT WAS THEN WHEN A FEELING OF EMBARRASSMENT CAME OVER EEL.

"It's not really that similar if you think about it. Maybe we both should just think less.”

STILL, AS THEY LAID NEXT TO EACH OTHER THEY WOULD MOVE CLOSER. SO TOO WOULD THEIR FACES ALMOST TOUCH.

ONLY SECONDS LATER THEY WOULD SHARE A KISS. AND WITHOUT SAYING ANOTHER WORD THEY WOULD FALL ASLEEP. THEIR BODIES INTERTWINED.


Part 2

IT WAS IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS. CANTO STEPPED OUT INTO THE WET GRASS. AS SHE HAD BEEN DOING EVERY DAY.

THE SKY WAS STILL DARK. BUT THE RISING SUN BEHIND HER LIT UP THE BELT OF VENUS. AND IT SCATTERED ENOUGH LIGHT FOR HER TO SEE. A DEEP SIGH WOULD ESCAPE HER THROAT.

SHE GAZED ALONG THE HORIZON. NOW IT WAS UNOBSCURED. TO HER IT ALMOST FELT EMPTY. NAKED IN A WAY.

SO TOO HAD NOT APPEARED A SINGLE FLARE IN MONTHS. THOUGH THEY HAD BECOME RARE EVEN PRIOR TO THE FALL OF THE GREAT PILLARS.

CAUTIOUSLY, CANTO MADE HER WAY DOWN THE STEEP SLOPE. BEFORE SHE REACHED THE HERD, SHE WAS ALREADY GREETED BY THE LAMBS.

THEY HAD BEEN BORN JUST DAYS AGO. DESPITE THAT THEY WERE LIVELY LITTLE CREATURES. AND THEY WOULD JUMP AROUND AND PLAY.

REARING THE YOUNG WAS CANTOS FAVORITE PART OF HER OCCUPATION. SO, SHE WOULD BE EXCITED FOR THIS TIME EACH YEAR.

IN HER BAG SHE CARRIED BOTTLES OF FORMULA. EVEN THOUGH THE LAMBS HAD NOT BEEN LONG ON THIS EARTH, THEY ALREADY KNEW ITS PURPOSE WELL. WHILE CANTO PREPARED THEIR DRINK THEY WOULD SIT PATIENTLY ON HER LAP.

MOST OF THE FOOD, THE LITTLE ONES GOT FROM THEIR MOTHERS. HOWEVER, IN CANTOS EXPERIENCE AN EXTRA BOOST OF NUTRITION WAS NEEDED. AND IT WOULD ENSURE THE LAMBS GREW HEALTHY. TAKING THEM THROUGH THE FREEZING NIGHTS.

IT WAS NOT LONG BEFORE THE CONTAINERS WERE DRAINED. AND THE LAMBS WERE SATED. BY THAT TIME THE SUN HAD RISEN INTO THE SKY. THOUGH ITS LIGHT WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT GLISTENED ON THE HORIZON.

IT WAS HARD TO NOTICE BUT IT CAUGHT CANTOS EYES. FAR DOWN THE MEADOW SOMETHING WOULD MOVE. AND AS IT DID SO, THE BRIGHTNESS OF ITS SHINE WOULD FLICKER.


A SUDDEN ODD FEELING ROSE WITHIN HER.

SO DID THE SHEEP SEEM AGITATED. HOW THEY WOULD ONLY BEHAVE IF DIREWOLFES WERE AROUND. AND THE HERD WOULD MOVE UP THE HILL. CANTO HOWEVER STOOD STEADY.

SHE WOULD STRAIN HER SIGHT. BUT ALAS IT WAS STILL TOO FAR AWAY TO IDENTIFY THE LIGHTSOURCE. CANTO WOULD RUN HER MIND FOR A SECOND.

WAS IT JUST A ROCK OR A MIRAGE? IT CERTAINLY MOVED. PERHAPS IT WAS AN UNKNOWN ANIMAL. ONE THAT WOULD APPEAR IN SUCH AN UNFAMILIAR FORM.

EITHER WAY, CANTO DECIDE TO INVESTIGATE. AND SHE WOULD START WALKING TOWARDS THE ANOMALY.

SOON IT WAS APPARENT THAT IT WAS A PERSON. NO, TWO PEOPLE. SO TOO WERE THEY GOING TOWARDS HER.

"Hello!"

SHE WOULD CALL OUT.

"Are you guys alright? Do you need any help?"

HOWEVER, NO RESPONSE COULD BE HEARD FROM THE FIGURES. AT LAST, SHE COULD GAZE UPON THEIR SHAPES. AND WHAT SHE SAW MADE HER SLIP OVER IN SHOCK.


BEFORE HER STOOD π.

BUT IT WAS NOT SEEING HER LONG-LOST FRIEND THAT CAUSED HER THE MOST DISTRESS. INSTEAD, IT WAS THE TALL WOMAN TO HIS SIDE. HER HAIRLESS SOFT BODY WAS STRANGE TO CANTO. AS STRANGE AS IT HAD BEEN TOO π WHEN THEY FIRST MET.

BOTH WERE BLOODY AND MANGLED. CANTO COULD HEAR πS LABORED BREATH WITH EASE. AND HE SEEMED TO BE UNABLE TO STAND WITHOUT THE WOMANS AID. DESPITE ALL THAT π GRINNED FAINTLY AS HE SAW HER.

“Hi.”

HE SPOKE WEAKLY.

“Be not afraid!”

SAID THE WOMAN.

STILL, THERE WAS GREAT TERROR IN CANTOS CHEST. SHE DID NOT KNOW IF SHE WANTED TO CRY IN THAT MOMENT. OR LAUGH. OR YELL. BUT SHE COULD DO NONE OF THOSE THINGS. ONLY CONTINUE TO STARE AT THE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF HER.

“I know this must look bad to you."

π WHISPERED ALMOST.

"I will explain everything I promise. But first I need to ask a favor of you.”

WITH THAT CANTO DID NOT WASTE ANOTHER MINUTE. AND SHE WOULD HELP CARRY π TO HER CAVE. TOGETHER WITH THE WOMAN, WHO TOLD THAT HER NAME WAS RACHIEL.


π WOULD RECOVER THERE WITH CANTOS FAMILY.

TO HER PARENTS AND SIBLINGS, THEY WOULD TELL THAT π WAS THIS GREATLY INJURED ON HIS TRAVELS THROUGH THE FOREST. WHAT WAS LEFT OF HIS WINGS WAS CAUSED BY A RARE INFECTION. SO, WAS RACHIEL A PERSON FROM VERY FAR AWAY. THIS WAS THE REASON FOR HER UNUSUAL APPEARANCE. THANKFULLY THEY WOULD THRUST THEIR LIES.

HOWEVER, CANTO GOT TO KNOW THE ACTUAL TRUTH. AS RACHIEL WOULD DESCRIBE TO HER WHAT TOOK PLACE. ALONE IN THE SPARE ROOM WHERE π RESTED. WHILE HER FAMILY WAS ASLEEP.

“I wouldn’t believe any of this if it wasn’t you π.”

CANTO WOULD RESPOND EVENTUALLY.

“Of course, something like this happened to you. It couldn’t be anyone else. You idiot.”

AND π WOULD ALMOST LAUGH IF HIS RIBS DID NOT ACHE SO MUCH. BUT NO MATTER WHAT VERSION OF EVENTS THEY KNEW TO BE TRUE, CANTOS ENTIRE FAMILY WOULD KEEP THE PROMISE. THAT THEY WOULD KEEP πS PRESENCE A SECRET.

AS WORD WOULD TRAVEL FAST IN THEIR VILLAGE. SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY EVENT WOULD SURELY REACH THE GATHERER QUICKLY.

THAT HOWEVER WAS THE THING π WANTED TO PREVENT. HE WAS NOT READY TO RETURN HOME.

AS HE DID NOT WANT ALEPH OR EULER TO SEE HIM IN THIS STATE. AND HE HAD TO BUILD UP HIS COURAGE FOR A MEETING WITH HIS BROTHER. SINCE HE WAS SURE IT WOULD NOT END WELL.

SO TOO WOULD RACHIEL STAY HIDDEN WITH π. FOR THE FIRST DAYS, SHE WOULD NOT LEAVE πS BEDSIDE. ONLY SLOWLY WOULD SHE WALK AROUND.

DESPITE THAT SHE WAS CERTAIN TO NEVER LEAVE THE CAVE AS WELL. KEEPING THEIR SECRET.

RACHIEL WOULD SPEAK TO THE FAMILY MEMBERS. BUT ESPECIALLY WOULD SHE TALK WITH CANTO. CANTO WOULD GROW TO ENJOY RACHIELS COMPANY A LOT. AND IN SOME INSTANCES, THEY WOULD BOTH DARE TO SPEND A DAY ON THE MEADOW.

RACHIEL WOULD CHERISH EVERY GLIMPSE OF THIS WORLD THAT SHE GOT. HER AMAZEMENT WAS INFINITE TOWARDS THE PLETHORA OF PLANTS, CREEPING AND CRAWLING THINGS.

HER HEART WAS FULL OF LOVE! FEELINGS THAT SHE HAD NEVER FELT PREVIOUSLY. EVEN FOR HER IT WAS STILL HARD TO GRASP THAT HER OUROBOROS HAD BEEN DEVOURED.


OVER THE WEEKS πS BODY WOULD HEAL GREATLY. LEFT OF HIS OPEN WOUNDS WERE NOW ONLY SCARS.

HIS WINGS HOWEVER SAW NO IMPROVEMENT. AND AT LAST, THEY HAD DECIDED IT WAS BEST TO REMOVE THEM.

CANTOS MOTHER HAD PASSING EXPERIENCE IN VETERINARY CARE. AND SINCE IT WAS TOO MUCH RISK TO GET A DOCTOR, SHE DECIDED TO DO IT HERSELF. SO WOULD CANTO AND RACHIEL HELP.

IT WAS A QUICK PROCEDURE. YET FOR π IT WAS PAINFUL. HE WOULD RECOVER QUICKLY. AS IT HAD NOT BEEN THE FIRST TIME HIS BODY HAD DEALT WITH AN AMPUTATION. IN ONLY A HANDFUL MORE WEEKS, π WOULD REGAIN HIS STRENGTH AND ABILITY TO MOVE.


SOON THERE WAS NOTHING ANYMORE STOPPING HIM FROM RETURNING TO HIS OWN FAMILY. AND EVEN THOUGH HE WAS TERRIFIED, HE COULD NOT SHAKE THE DESIRE TO SEE HIS SIBLINGS AGAIN.

“You can do it π.”

CANTO SAID TO HIM ONE EVENING.

“But if you still need time that’s ok too. Whenever you are ready, I guess. And whatever will happen, you are always welcome here.”

ON THE NEXT DAY π COULD PROCRASTINATE NO LONGER.

IT WAS LATE INTO DUSK WHEN HE WALKED THROUGH HIS FAMILIAR TUNNELS. ONES THAT HE HAD NOT SQUEEZED TROUGH FOR AN UNIMAGINABLE AMOUNT OF TIME. AND AS HE MADE HIS WAY BACK HOME, HE TOOK THE LONGEST POSSIBLE ROUTE.

CLOSE BEHIND HIM FOLLOWED RACHIEL. SHE COULD BARELY CONTAIN HER AWE.

AS THEY WALKED PASSED THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CAVE STRUCTURES THAT SHE HAD EVER SEEN IN HER LONG LIFE. SHE WOULD CARESS THE COLD ROCK. SHUDDER AT ITS BREATHTAKING COLORS.

“What a wonderful place you are from π!”

BUT π DID NOT SEEM TO TAKE NOTE OF HER WORDS. HIS MIND COULD ONLY FOCUS ON COUNTING DOWN HIS STEPS.


EVENTUALLY THEY STOOD BEFORE HIS OLD DOOR. WITHOUT HESITATION π WENT TROUGH. AS HE KNEW THAT IF HE STOPPED NOW HE WOULD NOT HAVE THE WILL TO DO IT AT ALL.

WARM LIGHT SURROUNDED HIM AS HE STEPPED INSIDE. FIRST THE CAVERN SEEMED EMPTY. AND FOR A MOMENT, HE THOUGHT NO ONE WAS HOME. BUT THIS WAS PROVEN FALSE QUICKLY.

EULER WOULD RUN FROM THE BED ROOM. IT SEEMED SHE WAS ON HER WAY TO THE KITCHEN. IN THE HALL HOWEVER SHE CAME TO A COMPLETE HALT.

HOW COULD SHE HAVE NOT? THERE STOOD π.

IT WAS DEATHLY QUIET FOR AN ETERNITY. πS VOICE DIED IN HIS THROAT. HE HAD MUCH TO SAY. YET HE COULD NOT SPEAK A WORD.

ONLY COULD HE EYE HIS SIBLING. TO HIM SHE APPEARED SIGNIFICANTLY TALLER THAN HE HAD REMEMBERED.

ALL OF A SUDDEN EULER WOULD JUMP FORWARD. HUGGING πS STOMACH AS TIGHTLY AS SHE COULD. IMMEDIATELY π WOULD FALL TO HIS KNEES, HUGGING HER BACK. AND HIS EYES WOULD SWELL WITH TEARS.

“I knew it!”

HER TONE SOUNDED EAGER. IN COMPARISON TO π SHE DID NOT CRY AT ALL.

“I knew you would come back! Aleph look! I was right!”

EXCITED, EULER WOULD TAKE π BY THE HAND LEADING HIM INTO THE KITCHEN.

πS HEART IN RETURN BEGAN TO RACE. HE WOULD PREPARE HIMSELF FOR THE FALLOUT.

ALEPH WAS SITTING AT THE DINING ROCK, READING A SCROLL. NOW π WAS UNABLE TO KEEP HIMSELF FROM CRYING. AS ONLY THE SIGHT OF HIS BROTHER CAUSED HIS CHEST TO CONSTRICT ITSELF.

THE FACE OF ALEPH LOOKED WEARY TO π. SO DID HIS FRAME SEEM SKINNIER THAN HE REMEMBERED. IT WAS ONLY THEN WHEN HE LOOKED UP AS WELL. AND THEIR SIGHT WOULD MET FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MILLENIA.

IT WAS QUIET ONCE AGAIN.

ONLY THE LOUD NOISE OF A BREAKING CUP FILLED THE AIR. AS IT HAD SLIPPED FROM ALEPHS FINGERS. THE SECONDS PASSED LIKE HOURS.

“Hi-“

π EVENTUALLY MANAGED TO SAY. BUT HIS VOICE WAS SHAKING FROM THE TEARS.

ALL AT ONCE ALEPH GOT UP. AND π INSTINCTIVELY FLINCHED. HE EXPECTED TO BE SCOLDED, YELLED AT PERHAPS EVEN HIT.

BUT INSTEAD, THE FELT A LIGHT TOUCH ON HIS FACIAL DISK. THEN ALEPH TOOK HIM IN A FEST EMBRACE.

THE SUDDEN KINDNESS WAS OVERWHELMING TO π. ALL HE COULD DO WAS HUG HIS BROTHER BACK. CRYING WHILE HE DID SO.

“I’m sorry.”

π WOULD WEEP.

“Don’t.”

ALEPH INTERJECTED FIRMLY. THOUGH HIS VOICE WAS ALSO DRENCHED IN TEARS.

“I am the one to be sorry. Oh, π it was all my fault. How can you ever forgive me?”

“No, I am the one to apologize!”

“I think you both were at fault actually.”

IT WAS EULER WHO REPLIED. AND ALEPH WOULD LAUGH IN RESPONSE.

IT SURPRISED π. AS HE COULD NOT RECALL THE LAST TIME, HE HEARD HIS BROTHER LAUGH SO GENUINELY. AND IT TOO MADE HIM HAPPY.

ALEPH WOULD TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT π. STUDYING HIS FACE AND BODY. AND IN HORROR HE NOTICED ALL HIS SCARS.

“Oh, what happened to you π!? I thought you had perished!”

“A lot...! a whole lot did happen.”

AND π WANTED TO SAY MORE. BUT HE HAD TO TAKE TIME TO BREATH. AS HIS SOBS WERE FILLING HIS THROAT, AND STRAINING ON HIS LUNGS.

HOWEVER, ALEPH DID NOT EXPECT A COHERENT ANSWER. NOR DID HE EXPECT ANYTHING AT ALL. HIS MIND FELT DIZZY FROM THE SHOCK. STILL, SOMETHING IN HIM WAS UNSURE IF THIS WAS NOT ANOTHER DREAM.


“Who is that?”

EULER WOULD SAY, POINTING AT THE DOORWAY. SUDDENLY PULLING THEM BOTH OUT OF THEIR THOUGHTS.

THERE RACHIEL WAS. AS SHE HAD BEEN SILENTLY WATCHING THE SCENE UNFOLD.

ALEPH GASPED! HIS GRIP WOULD TENSE WHEN HE NOTICED HER.

“Fear not!”

π SPOKE.

“I can explain! It’ll just take a little while.”

BUT BEFORE HE COULD BEGIN, SOMETHING CAME TO HIS MIND. AND HE WOULD REACH INTO THE POCKET OF HIS SKIRT. TAKING OUT A TINY OBJECT. ON HIS OPEN PALM HE WOULD PRESENT IT TO EULER.

THERE LAY THE LITTLE PIECE OF BONE. THE VERY SAME THAT HE RIPPED FROM THE FLESH ALL THIS TIME AGO. IT SHIMMERED IN THE WARM TORCHLIGHT.

“I haven’t found many, I’m sorry. Hopefully this one will make up for it.”

EULERS EYES WIDENED. AND GLEEFULLY SHE WOULD TAKE IT INTO HER OWN HANDS. RUNNING HER FINGERS OVER ITS DELICATE SHAPE. MEANWHILE SHE WOULD STOMP ON THE FLOOR REPEATEDLY IN JOY.

“Not as pretty as my tiger snail shell, I have to admit. Thank you π!”

SO TOO WOULD SHE JUMP BETWEEN THEIR EMBRACE. THEIR ARMS WERE TIGHTLY INTERTWINED.

SUDDEN LOVE WOULD OVERFLOW THEIR HEARTS. AT LAST, THEIR BROKEN FAMILY WAS REUNITED. DESPITE THE ODDS, THEY WERE GRANTED ANOTHER CHANCE.


Part 3

SERENE BECAME πS LIFE. AND IT WOULD TAKE A FORM REMINISCENT OF BEFORE HE HAD LEFT. THOUGH HE NO LONGER DESPISED HIS STAY. INSTEAD, HE WAS GRATEFUL.

THAT HE COULD WALK THE CAVERNS.

SIT IN THE TALL GRASS OF THE MEADOW.

EAT WITH HIS FAMILY.

SO WOULD THE PEOPLE NOT MIND RACHIEL. SHE WOULD BECOME A PART OF THEIR VERY MOUNTAIN.

HIS SOUL COULD BE AT EASE. HOWEVER, THERE WAS STILL SOMETHING THAT KEPT HIM UP EACH NIGHT. A RESTLESS FEVER THAT HE COULD NOT SHAKE. AND IT WAS NOT ONLY THE GROTESQUE HOMESICKNESS THAT WOULD PLAGUE HIS SLEEP.

IT TOOK ANOTHER LONG MONTHS, BEFORE π COULD ASK RACHIEL. ABOUT SOMETHING THAT HAD NEVER LEFT HIS MIND FOR ALL THIS TIME. YET HE COULD NOT DARE TO SPEAK OF IT. ONLY NOW WAS HE ABLE TO MUSTER THE COURAGE.

THAT DAY π CAME TO RACHIEL. HE WOULD START SPEAKING.

“Do you remember when you searched the whole earth for me and then found me? Or when I told you to bring me to Canto and you did without asking for directions?”

“Of course, π! How could I forget?”

HIS BREATH WAS SHARP AS HE SAID FURTHER.

“Could you do that with Wormwood too?”

“Oh, the demon! I was wondering when you would finally ask!”

THE FACE OF π FLUSHED HOT. SOMETHING IN HIM HAD HOPED IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. BUT THERE WAS NO PATH AROUND IT ANYMORE. NOR COULD HE WAIT ANOTHER SECOND LONGER.


WHEN π AND RACHIEL LEFT THEY WOULD SAY GOODBYE TO EULER AND ALEPH. AND EVERYONE WAS AWARE OF THE IRONY OF THE SITUATION. THOUGH ALEPH DID NOT APPEAR WORRIED AT ALL. TO π IT WAS EVEN SURPRISING.

“I thrust you π.”

ALEPH WOULD SAY.

“The world may not be kind but I’m certain that you can handle it. until we meet again!”

THEY WOULD VANISH WITHIN THE TREELINE. PASSING VAGUELY FAMILIAR TRAILS. SOON π WOULD NOTICE THAT THEY WERE NOT WALKING IN A WESTERN DIRECTION THOUGH. INSTEAD REACHIEL LEAD THEM TO THE SOUTH.

THEIR TRAVEL WAS LONG. BUT FOR π IT FELT LESS STRAINING THAN THE PREVIOUS TIME HE DID THIS. SO TOO WAS THE ENVIRONMENT NOT HOSTILE. AND HE SEEMED TO HAVE AN EASIER TIME MOVING THROUGH THE BRUSH.

RACHIEL WAS IN AMAZEMENT AS WELL. EVEN THOUGH SHE HAD SEEN THE FOREST BEFORE, SHE COULD NOT AVERT HER GAZE FROM IT. TO HER THE LIVING THINGS AROUND WERE HER ONLY WAKING THOUGHTS. STILL, SHE WOULD BE MINDFUL TO TAKE THE QUICKEST ROUTE TO THEIR DESTINATION.


IT WAS AFTER SEVERAL DAYS. SUDDENLY RACHIEL WOULD SPEAK.

“We arrived!”

IN FRONT OF THEM WAS A RIVERBED. AND UPSTREAM FROM WHERE THEY STOOD, π COULD MAKE OUT PEOPLE.

AS HE MOVED CLOSER, HE COULD SEE THAT THEY WERE WASHING CLOTHES. SO, WHERE THERE CHILDREN PLAYING IN THE WATER. OTHERS WHERE BATHING. SOON THE PEOPLE WOULD NOTICE THEM TOO.

DEMONS THEY WERE π HAD REALIZED IN SURPRISE. KIND PEOPLE ALSO. IMMEDIATELY HE WAS WELCOMED AND OFFERED SHELTER.

INITIALLY THEY WERE BEWILDERED BY RACHIEL. BUT JUST AS THE PEOPLE IN THE MOUNTAIN, THEY WOULD NOT MIND HER. INSTEAD, MANY WOULD BE DRAWN TO HER APPEARANCE. MOST ASTONISHED THEY WOULD BE OF HER WINGS.

π WOULD FIND HIMSELF SITTING IN THE HUT AT THE VERY TOP OF THEIR HOMETREE. THERE HE WOULD DRINK TEA WITH THE HIGH PRIESTESS LOAIEL.

OUTSIDE ON THE BALCONY, RACHIEL WOULD BE. THERE PEOPLE WOULD TALK TO HER. AND WITH ONLY FEW WORDS THEY WOULD BE IMPRESSED.

“Sate yourself and rest as long as you want! Let us know if you need aid in navigation as we would be happy to help you in any way that we can.”

LOAIEL SPOKE.

“Thank you so much. You all are too nice!”

π WOULD RESPOND.

“But the truth is that I came here for a purpose. I am searching for someone...”


THE SUN HAD LONG SET BEHIND THE HORIZON. GOMORY WOULD TELL WORMWOOD OF THE NEWS. BUT IT WAS ONLY NOW, WHEN MOST PEOPLE WERE ASLEEP, THAT HE COULD BRING HIMSELF TO GO TO THE HUT.

WORMWOOD WAS NOT STUPID. HE HAD HEARD THE WORD AROUND TOWN. AND JUST AS PEOPLE TALKED ABOUT A TALL WINGED WOMAN, HE KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. DESPITE THAT HE COULD BARELY BELIEVE IT TO BE TRUE.

EVEN WHEN HE APPEARED IN THE ENTRANCE WAY. HE COULD NOT TRUST HIS EYES.

AS THERE ACROSS FROM LOAIEL AND RACHIEL SAT π.

SO TOO WERE EEL AND GOMORY WAITING WITH THEM IN THE HUT. AND WHILE GOMORY AND LOAIEL WERE IN PLEASANT CONVERSATION, EEL SEEMED RESERVED. THOUGH THEIR CHATTER WOULD DIE DOWN WHEN THEY NOTICED WORMWOOD AS WELL.

IT WAS A MORE FAMILIAR SHAPE OF π. AS HIS HORRID WINGS WERE NO LONGER BRUISING HIS SHOULDERS. IN THEIR PLACE WERE NOW ONLY DEEP SCARS.

SO WOULD π LOOK BACK AT WORMWOOD IN SILENCE. AND HE NOTICED THAT HIS FRAME WAS NOT BONEY THIN ANYMORE. INSTEAD, HIS LIMBS HAD FLESH TO THEM.

AT LAST π WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING. BUT BEFORE HE COULD SPEAK A WORD, WORMWOOD HAD ALREADY CUT HIM OFF.

“I knew you would come. I knew the moment that I thought I could be happy here. I knew that you would come to haunt me and of course you brought her too.”

π WAS SEARCHING IN HIS MIND FOR THE RIGHT THINGS TO SAY. FOR WORMWOOD IT SEEMED TO TAKE TOO LONG SO HE WOULD CONTINUE HIMSELF.

“Why are you here?”

WITH SLOW MOVEMENTS WORMWOOD WOULD ENTER THE ROOM.

“I- Uh, wanted to let you know that you don’t have to worry about the thing in the heavens anymore. And I wanted to make sure that you are okay.”

“You were not worried about that when you left me to die.”

SHAME SWELLED WITHIN π CHEST. WORMWOODS BLUNTNESS TOOK HIM ABACK AND IT SEEMED TO DO THE SAME FOR EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM.

“I’m sorry-“

“Can’t you say anything else?”

π WAS UNABLE TO SPEAK.

“I really have no peace, do I? Never will I be at ease. And it does not help that for some reason, I feel happy seeing you alive.”

TEARS CLOUDED WORMWOODS VISION AS HE SPOKE. FINALLY, HE WOULD SIT DOWN. NEXT TO π, AS CLOSE AS HE COULD WITHOUT ACTUALLY TOUCHING HIM.

“Here I am! You got your closure.”

THEY WOULD LOOK INTO EACH OTHERS EYES. πS CHEST FELT AS IF HIS HEART WAS BURSTING WITHIN. SO TOO WAS WORMWOODS. AND BOTH WOULD SEE IT IN THEIR EXPRESSIONS.

WITHIN π IT FELT AGONIZING. HE KNEW THAT HE HAD HURT WORMWOOD GREATER THAN HE COULD IMAGINE. HE KNEW HOW FOOLISH HE HAD ACTED. YET SEEING WORMWOOD IN FRONT OF HIM LIKE THIS, IT WAS TRULY HORRIBLE FOR π.

SO TOO WOULD WORMWOOD FEEL REGRET. THOUGH HE COULD NOT UNDERSTAND THE REASON FOR IT. INSTEAD IT WOULD TURN INTO ANGER. AND AS HE COULD NOT COME UP WITH THE RIGHT WORDS TO SAY, THE ANGER WOULD THEN TURN INTO TEARS.


IT WAS THEN WHEN EEL GOT UP FROM HIS SEAT. HE WOULD TAKE WORMWOOD IN HIS ARMS. SO WOULD EEL TURN TO LOOK AT π WITH SUDDEN SPITE.

"I think it is better for you to leave."

EEL WOULD SAY.

"At this time?"

GOMORY WOULD INTERJECT.

"It's in the middle of the night. Let them rest here at least and they can go by morning."

"How can you let them stay here?! Don't you care what they've done to Wormwood?"

FOR A MOMENT GOMORY WAS TAKEN ABACK BY HER BROTHERS ACCUSATION. SHE WOULD RAISE HER VOICE AS SHE ANSWERED.

"Of course I do! It's just a principle."

SO TOO WOULD EEL BECOME LOUDER.

"Screw that principle-"

"Oh alright, what do you want to do then? kick them out at night when it's dangerous. Why not just drown everyone in the river who has wronged you?"

"You are putting words into my mouth again-!"

"Children."

IT WAS LOAIEL WHO CUT OFF THEIR ARGUMENT. DESPITE HER VOICE BEING LOUDER, HER TONE WAS KIND.

AGAIN IT WAS SILENT IN THE HUT. AND AS π WAS THE FIRST TO SPEAK AGAIN, HIS WORDS WERE SUBDUED.

“It probably means nothing to you and that’s ok. I really regret what I did. But I also don’t want to imagine how things could have ended differently. I missed you a lot and I thank the Gods that you found this place.”

WITH THAT HE WOULD THANK LOAIEL FOR HER KINDNESS. THEN HE AND RACHIEL WOULD GET UP AND PACK THEIR SUPPLIES.

GOMORY WAS ABOUT TO SAY SOMETHING. THOUGH SHE COULD HOLD HER TONGUE IN TIME. AND IN HER MIND, IT WAS FOR THE BETTER. SO TOO, DID EEL AND LOAIEL SPEAK NOTHING.

HOWEVER, π WOULD STOP ONE LAST TIME. FROM ONE OF HIS BAGS, HE WOULD PULL SOMETHING AND HOLD IT IN HIS HANDS.

THERE WAS A SMALL PIGEON WITHIN THEM. HE WOULD GIVE IT TO WORMWOOD. AND ALTHOUGH CONFUSED, WORMWOOD WOULD TAKE IT.

“It’s a messenger dove! She’s a bit sick though, she was the only one they would let me take. If you ever want to send me a letter or something.”

“Are you aware that I will just butcher it and cook it into a stew for dinner tomorrow?”

“It is your decision.”

AS QUICKLY AS THEY HAD COME, π AND RACHIEL WOULD BE GONE AGAIN. EVENTUALLY THEY WOULD RETURN TO THE MOUNTAIN.


MANY YEARS WOULD COME. SO WOULD THEIR LIVES MOVE ON. π AND RACHIEL WOULD TRAVEL THE FOREST OFTEN. BUT NEVER WOULD THEY GO FAR FROM THE MOUNTAIN.

EULER WOULD BEGIN HER INTRODUCTORY STUDIES IN ENTOMOLOGY. ALEPH WOULD BEAR HIS CHILDREN. AND CANTOS PARENTS WOULD PASS AWAY. SHE WOULD THEN TAKE OVER THEIR FAMILIES OCCUPATION WITH HER WIFE AND HUSBAND.

THE WATER PATH WOULD BE USED STILL. HOWEVER, WHEN THE ENVIRONMENT BEGAN TO RECOVER, IT TOO WOULD BE SLOWLY DISCONTINUED.

THOUGH THIS TOOK PLACE OVER A LONG SPAN OF TIME. AND EVEN THOUGH π HAD THE CHANCE TO, HE DECIDED TO NEVER TRAVEL IT.

π WOULD FEEL HAPPY LIKE THIS. WITH HIS FAMILY, FRIENDS AND LOVERS.

DESPITE THE NORMALCY, AND DESPITE HOW MUCH HE WOULD TELL HIMSELF, HE WOULD NEVER BE TRULY AT EASE. THE HOMESICKNESS NEVER CEASED TO EXIST. THE SAME PULL HE HAD FELT HIS WHOLE LIFE.

THOUGH NOW HE WAS AWARE OF ITS SOURCE. AND IT WAS NOT THE PRECIOUS FOREST HE STILL LOVED. HE KNEW THAT THE PLACE HE LONGED FOR WAS ROTTING. FLOATING DEAD THROUGH THE REALM. BEING BACKED BY THE SUN.

IN HIS RATIONAL MIND π WAS AWARE OF HIS FOOLISHNESS. TO HIM IT MADE NO SENSE. BUT IT WAS HIS BODY THAT FELT IT. SOME PART DEEP INSIDE HIS BRAIN. THERE WAS NO USE TO FIGHTING IT.

SO WOULD HIS SLEEP NEVER COME EASY. AS WELL AS THE STRAIN ON HIS BODY WORSENED WITH AGE. CAUSING HIM MANY NIGHTS SPENT COUGHING ON HIS OWN BLOOD.


THEN IT HAPPENED ON AN UNASSUMING DAY. ALEPH HAD COME HOME EARLY FROM HIS WORK. AND WHEN HE ENTERED THE CAVE, HE WOULD GO STRAIGHT HIS BROTHER.

“Look what they found by the gate!”

ON ALEPHS HAND SAT A PIGEON. AND IT TOOK π A MOMENT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HE MEANT.

IT WAS NOT BECAUSE HE HAD FORGOTTEN WORMWOOD. INSTEAD, THE PIGEON LOOKED NOTHING LIKE THE ONE HE BROUGHT ALL THIS TIME AGO.

ROUND WAS HER SHAPE. SO WERE HER FEATHERS SLICK AND HEALTHY. AND TO HER BACK WAS BOUND A POUCH. INSIDE LAY THE LETTER ADDRESSED TO π.

“How are you doing?”

IT READ. π COULD NOT WASTE ANY TIME TO WRITE BACK.

"Good. How are you? Why are you writing?"

DAYS LATER CAME THE RESPONSE.

"Thought this would not work."

THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF THEIR ENDLESS LETTERS THAT THEY WOULD SEND TO EACH OTHER.

THEY TOLD EACH OTHER OF THE HAPPENINGS IN THEIR VILLAGES. OF THEIR LOVERS AND THE PEOPLE THEY HATED. THEIR WORK AND MUCH MORE.

WORMWOOD WOULD BRAG ABOUT HIS NEW POSITION AS A PAINTER. SO WOULD π EXPLAIN HIS LITERATURE STUDIES THAT HE FINISHED AT LAST. AND WHEN THEY HAD NOTHING MORE TO SAY, THEY WOULD DOODLE ON THE PARCHMENT AND ONLY SEND THAT. SOON THEIR LETTERS COULD FILL LIBRARIES.

EVENTUALLY π WAS INVITED BACK TO THE VILLAGE. NOT ONLY WAS IT THEIR DESIRE TO MEET AGAIN. WORWOOD WAS ALSO CLOSE TO EXPECTING A CHILD WITH EEL. AND HE WANTED π TO BE THERE.


FOR THEIR WHOLE TRAVEL π WAS ANXIOUS. TO HIM IT ALMOST FELT HARDER THAN HIS PREVIOUS JOURNEY DID.

THOUGH NOW HE HAD NOTHING TO FEAR. STILL THE EXCITEMENT WAS INTOXICATING. THE DAYS COULD NOT PASS FAST ENOUGH.

THIS TIME WORMWOOD ALREADY WAITED BY THE RIVERBED. THEY WOULD SEE EACH OTHER IMMEDIATELY WHEN π BROKE THROUGH THE UNDERBRUSH. AND THERE WAS NO HESITATION IN THEIR MOVEMENTS. AS THEY FELL INTO EACH OTHERS ARMS WITHOUT A WORD.

π WOULD HOLD WORMWOOD TIGHT. BURROWING THEIR FACES INTO EACH OTHERS FUR. FOR BOTH OF THEM IT WAS CATHARTIC. AND SO WAS IT IN A WAY NOSTALGIC.

HOWEVER, π COULD NOT SQUEEZE AS FEST AS HE WOULD HAVE WANTED TO. AS HE WOULD FEEL RESISTANCE ON WORMWOODS CHEST.

WHEN THEY EVENTUALLY LET GO, π WAS ABLE TO SEE ITS SOURCE. AROUND WORMWOODS SHOULDERS HUNG A HEAVY POUCH.

“Do you want to see her?”

WORMWOOD GRINNED. SO DID HE ALSO NOT WAIT FOR AN ANSWER. HE WOULD OPEN THE POUCH SLIGHTLY. EXPOSING THE HEAD OF HIS NEWBORN DAUGHTER WHO CLUNG TO HIS CHEST.

“What’s her name?”

π WOULD ASK. WHILE HE WOULD EYE THE BABY CLOSELY.

“Bugs!”

“That’s weird!”

π WOULD STAY WITH WORMWOOD FOR MANY WEEKS. ONLY WHEN THE HUMID WEATHER BECAME TOO UNBEARABLE WOULD HE RETURN TO HIS HOME.

SO πS VISITS WOULD BECOME A ROUTINE. HALF OF THE YEAR HE WOULD BE AT THE MOUNTAIN AND THE OTHER HALF IN WORMWOODS VILLAGE.

AND AS THEY GREW OLDER THEIR LOVE WOULD DEEPEN. NOT ONLY WAS IT SIMILAR TO WHEN THEY FIRST MET. THIS TIME IT FELT TO THEM BOTH MORE GENUINE.

AS BEFORE IT WAS JUVENILE. NOW IT AS SWEET AS THEY COULD IMAGINE.

EVEN EEL WHO DID NOT SHARE WORMWOODS FEELINGS FOR THE LONGEST TIME. SO TOO WOULD HE GROW FOUND OF π EVENTUALLY.


Part 4

THEIR LIVES WOULD SETTLE. SO WOULD THE EARTH CONTINUE TO SPIN. AND THE YEARS WOULD COME ONE FOLLOWING THE OTHER.

AFTER LOAIELS DEATH, GOMORY TOOK HER PLACE AS THE HIGH PRIESTESS.

EEL WOULD NOT ONLY BE AN EXPERT IN CARING FOR THE BRANCHINGWAYS. HE TOO WOULD BECOME SKILLED IN THE MAKING OF MEDICINE.

WORMWOOD KEPT ON PAINTING. HE WOULD DEVELOP SKILLS THAT EVEN THE ELDERS WERE IMPRESSED BY.

AND WHEN EULER WAS OLDER, SHE WOULD JOIN π IN HIS TRAVELS. VISITING WORMWOODS VILLAGE ON OCCASION.


RACHIEL WOULD GROW BORED. AS SHE HAD EXPLORED ALL THE WONDERS OF THE FOREST AND THE MOUNTAINS. SHE WAS STARVED FOR MORE. SO, WAS SHE CERTAIN TO SEE EVERY PEBBLE OF THIS EARTH.

“I will leave π. I want to see the world and I want to go to places far from here.”

ONE DAY RACHIEL SAID.

“Be safe then.”

π WOULD ANSWER.

“I will miss you a lot.”

“Don’t be silly π. As each time I will round the world, I will visit you here once again!”


THEN SHE WAS GONE. TO SOMEWHERE THAT SHE HERSELF DID NOT KNOW. THOUGH FOR HER THERE WAS NO WORRY. AND HER INDESTRUCTIBLE BODY WOULD CARRY HER TO PLACES HOSTILE TO MOST.

RACHIEL WOULD WALK TUNDRAS AND CLIFFS. DESERTS AND SNOWSTORMS. HIGH IN UNKNOWN TREES AND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. OVER COUNTLESS LAKES AND RIVERS.

AND MANY PEOPLE DID SHE MEET.

THOUGH ALWAYS WOULD SHE KEEP HER PROMISE. EACH TIME SHE WOULD RETURN. AND WHEN SHE DID, SHE WOULD TELL OF THE THINGS SHE SAW.

SO WOULD π TELL HER OF WHAT HAPPENED AT HOME. HOWEVER, HIS STORIES WERE OFTEN TIMES LESS EXCITING THAN HERS.


IT WAS ALSO π WHO WOULD BE THE NEXT OF THEM TO PASS AWAY.

HE TOOK HIS LAST BREATH IN GOMORYS MED ROOM. BY HIS SIDE WAS NOT ONLY HER. SO, WAS WORMWOOD AND EEL THERE. AND EULER WHO HAD TRAVELED WITH HIM.

UNTIL THE VERY END HIS RESTLESS SLEEP WOULD NEVER SUBSIDE. AND HE WOULD BE BURIED THERE IN THE FOREST.

WHEN ALEPH HEARD OF THE NEWS, HE WOULD TRAVEL TO THE VILLAGE HIMSELF. EVEN THOUGH BY THE TIME HE ARRIVED, FLOWERS AND GRASS HAD ALREADY BLOOMED FROM πS GRAVE. IT WAS THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME IN HIS LIFE THAT HE WOULD VISIT THEIR HOMETREE.

RACHIEL WOULD FIND OUT YEARS AFTER, WHEN SHE WOULD VISIT ONCE AGAIN.


EVENTUALLY THE OTHERS WOULD JOIN πS PATH. AS THEY HAD GROWN OLD.

THE NEXT WOULD BE ALEPH. THEN WORMWOOD. FOLLOWING WOULD BE EEL AND CANTO. AT THE VERY LAST, GOMORY.

THOUGH IT WAS NOT IN QUICK SUCCESSION. OFTEN THERE WOULD BE MANY YEARS BETWEEN THEIR DEATHS.

EULER WOULD GROW UP TO BECOME A FIELD SCIENTIST. AND BUGS WOULD NEVER SPEAK A WORD IN HER LIFE. SHE WOULD BECOME A SKILLED MUSICIAN.

BUT SO WOULD THEIR DAYS END EVENTUALLY. AND THEIR CHILDERNS. GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRANDCHILDRENS.

THE SCARS UPON EARTH WOULD HEAL. JUST AS IT HAD MANY TIMES BEFORE.

RACHIEL HOWEVER WOULD CONTINUE HER TRAVELS. SO WOULD SHE VISIT THE MOUNTAINS AND THE VILLAGE EVERY TIME.

EVEN AFTER THEY HAD LONG PASSED. AS SHE WAS KNOWN BY GENERATIONS TO COME. AND HER ARRIVAL ALWAYS ANTICIPATED.


AS TIME MOVED ON, THEIR STORY WOULD SLIP INTO MYTH. BUT IT WAS NOT π NOR EVEN RACHIEL WHO WOULD BECOME MYTHICAL. INSTEAD, THE EVENTS WERE INTERPRETED IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS.

TO SOME IT WOULD BE A TALE OF SPITEFUL NATURE GODS. PUNISHMENT FROM DEITIES WHO WANTED TO WASH THE SIN OFF EARTH. AND TO A FEW IT WAS A CREATION MYTHOS.

THOUGH MOST WOULD BE BORN AND DIE WITHOUT EVER KNOWING ABOUT THIS PAST OF THEIR HOME.

RACHIEL HOWEVER ALWAYS KEPT THE ORIGINAL WHITHIN HER KNOWLEDGE. SO WOULD SHE TELL IT TO ANYONE WHO BOTHERED TO LISTEN.


DECADES BECAME CENTURIES THAT BECAME MILLENIA. DESPITE THAT RACHIEL HAD ALWAYS NEW THINGS TO DISCOVER. AND SO DID THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE TO TALK TO NEVER DECREASE.

THE POPULATION OF THE DEMONS WOULD INCREASE. EVENTUALLY THEY WOULD INHABIT MOST OF THE FOREST EXPANSE AGAIN. DESPITE THAT THEY NEVER ACHIEVED THE SIZE OF THEIR FORMER WORLD.

SO DID THE SANDSTONE CAVERNS BECOME PROSPEROUS. THEY WOULD BE THE MOST NUMEROUS OF THE TERRESTROIDS.

AS ALWAYS, THE WAY OF LIFE WOULD CHANGE AND SHIFT. SO TOO WOULD THE GROUND MOVE INTO DIFFERENT SHAPES. RACHIEL WAS ALWAYS THERE TO WITNESS IT.


BUT NOT EVEN HER PERFECT BODY COULD LAST FOREVER.

ALL THE INFINITE AMOUNT OF TIME IN SPACE, THERE WAS NOT MUCH THAT COULD TAKE HER APART. NOW ON THIS LIVELY PLANET THERE WERE MANY THINGS.

AS THE ELEMENT RAINED ON HER. SO WOULD ANIMALS TAKE FROM HER. INSECTS AND BACTERIA THAT WOULD SLOWLY FEAST ON HER FLESH.

THOUGH IT TOOK A VERY LONG TIME, RACHIEL DID NOT MIND. IN FACT, SHE WAS EXPECTING IT TO HAPPEN.

AS HER LIFE HAD ALREADY BEEN INCOMPREHENSIBLE TO ANYONE BUT HER. SHE HERSELF SEEMED READY FOR IT TO END.

IT WAS WHEN THE WORMS MADE HER BONES BRITTLE. RACHIEL COULD NO LONGER WALK. AND SHE WOULD FALL DOWN INTO THE THICK BRUSH. CLOSE TO WHERE SHE HAD MET π FOR THE FIRST TIME.

THERE SHE LAID HERSELF TO REST. WAITING FOR THE SCAVENGERS. BIRDS WOULD NEST IN HER HAIR. SO WOULD SAPLINGS FIND SHELTER IN HER OPEN CHEST CAVITY.

RACHIELS LAST CONSCIOUS THOUGHTS WERE SPENT REMINISCING. REMEMBERING ALL THE WORLDS SHE HAD WALKED ON. SHE WOULD THINK OF π AND ALL THE OTHERS. EVERY PERSON SHE EVER MET.

AND SHE WOULD HOPE FOR ALL THE WORLDS THAT SHE NEVER VISITED. ALL THE WORLDS THAT WOULD NOT FALL PREY TO ANY OTHERWORLDLY BEING.


LONG AFTER THE LAST OF RACHIEL HAD DECAYED.

ANOTHER UNIMAGINABLE AMOUNT OF TIME IN THE FUTURE.

THE LAST REMNANT OF THEIR STORY WAS TOLD AND NEVER REPEATED.


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