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Bride of the Shadow King: Chapter 39


The sorrow is too great. Too heavy.

Better to curl in tight, tighter, tightest. Present nothing but the hardened outer shell that none can pierce, not even the sorrow itself. And then to sleep. Deep, deep sleep that may in time—in centuries, in ages, in eons—turn into longed-for death.

Ah! Death! Death would be sweet, the sweetest of all blessings. Death would mean escape at last. And possibly . . . reunion? Yes, yes, let sleep turn to death, one sinking into the other. No more stirring. No more breathing. Just stillness, stillness, perfect stillness.

But death will not come.

Only sleep.

And in that sleep, there are dreams. Always dreams. Dreams of glory. Dreams of joy. Dreams of great flights across wide blue expanses, endless and dazzling and free.

Dreams of together.

But this is good. This dream. Maybe it’s better than death. Maybe it is best to stay in this place, to let the dream become reality. For what is reality save that which is dreamed? Yes, here is a place to stay, to be.



Only . . .

What is that?

That weight. That heavy, crushing, terrible weight. The weight of stone. The weight of loss. The weight of worlds.

Curl tighter, tighter. Don’t let it in. Become nothing, become death, become dreams.

But it will not go. It will not shift. Not until it is shrugged off. Only then can there be freedom and great, empty, endless sky.

Perhaps it is time. Time to stop dreaming.

Time to wake.


Stone shifts.

Foundations tremble.


An eyelid rises, revealing a boiling red disc.


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