It was strange returning to the place where I'd met Mazany. So many wonderful memories and so many terrible ones. It was also a place of secrets; secrets Al'Leako had taught to Maz, who then, in turn, shared them with me. Now it was my turn to pass the knowledge of passage to the Black Twilight World on to Middy.

Al'Leako had disappeared a little while ago as I led Middy to the cliff. She gasped at the tainted beauty. Dark things had happened here and left its mark.

Don't be afraid, I whispered to her in my mind. She turned her wide eyes on me as I continued with a gentle smile.

Lesson one: Do not talk out loud here. You must learn with your mind, Little Moon, I grinned. She smiled back slightly and closed her eyes, concentrating.

Imagine there is a door to your mind, I instructed, If you want to reach this place you must open that door. I felt her follow my advice and at the same time felt the familiar arrival of that mist. Its tendrils were the same ghostly hands, reaching for me like and old friend.

Zuri! I'm doing it! Middy exulted.

Good, I thought, eerily echoing Al'Leako from all those years ago, Now do you trust me?

Of course.

Then open your eyes but do not shut your mind. She slowly lifted her lids and gasped again at the mist took the shape of the snake with green eyes. It turned those eyes on Middy, who was wary but allowed her trust for me to keep her open. The tendril-snake nodded and the eyes turned to a soft yellow.

I shut my eyes and stepped off the cliff. Middy squeaked in protest but then saw that I didn't fall. The snake wrapped itself around my body, welcoming me back.

I remembered Maz's words and reached out to Middy allowing her to catch a glimpse of that guidance and memory.

'Once you start walking, you cannot stop, Zuri. You can stop for nothing, if you do you will become that which is not. Just walk, Zuri, and don't stop until we meet Al'leako, Maz instructed me. He glanced back to make sure I'd heard and I nodded. With that, I walked forward much like Maz had and continued walking. Maz slowed for me so I could catch up. I shouldn't be worrying. I was with Maz who I trusted more than anyone. Still, I was walking in the air so I think I'm entitled to panic a little bit.'

Middy steeled herself and followed me unhesitantly. She tried not to flinch as the tendrils carressed her also. She began to walk more confidently and strode to catch up with me.

When we reached the middle of the lake the mist closed in on us and the stench of magic overwhelmed us as we were taken to another space in time. The cliff disappeared in the distance but Middy didn't notice. She did notice the mist gain a greenish tint.

Then the singing started.

"Silently waiting, we wait in the mist. Silently waiting, she comes again. Silently waiting, who does she bring? Oh who could it be, this new being? Will they make it? Will they make it through the mist?"

Always hated the singing part, I grumbled and heard Al'Leako's laughter fill my mind and Middy's as we touched solid ground again. He appeared in front of us.

"Welcome, Little Moon," Al'Leako grinned. She glanced around, absorbing her surroundings with great avidness. The blue and red grass with the green cobbled walkway that lead into a thick forest of grey trees.

The black, protective, moon hung in the orange night sky above us.

We were in the Black Twilight World.

The End

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