“You are still living.”
The Princess stood astonished, wondering how he could ever know how she spoke. He was not a member of her village, so how could any other being know of her language? She wondered if he was a god, but if he was, why had he broken the one thing that was sent from heaven, that gave her and the villagers such happiness and that helped them live from moment to moment? She looked down at her body, which remained in tact, and wondered what he meant by saying that she was still “living.” Of course she was still living, she figured, she had survived in the forest and felt her heart beat beneath her chest, though it was a little broken at the moment. She looked back up at the stranger in question.
Swiftly, the ephemeral stranger grabbed Princess Deboline’s hand and the two began to run through the forest, dodging trees and vines, though to the Princess, the man appeared to be gliding rather than running. The sun slowly began to stand out and make her line of vision brighter, until suddenly, it became so bright she almost couldn’t see the stranger anymore and the two, almost as if in a matter of seconds, burst from the forest into a place totally without trees or green of any kind. The Princess shielded her eyes from the intense sun and stood flabbergasted at the scene before her.
She was no longer standing on the squishy carcasses of Oomkali crabs, but on a new kind of surface, a grainy surface that seeped between her toes that, instead of feeling odd like mud, felt like miniscule seeds that cushioned the bottoms of her feet. The grainy terrain stretched on as far as she could see, and suddenly, the Princess heard a noise all too familiar to her.
She heard the noise from the frangeracuca shells when they were held to the ear, but it was much louder, and it enveloped her entire being and roared in her ears with profound strength. It was then she noticed the huge sea of blue which lay before her. Waves of water thundered onto the grainy surface she now stood on, slowly retreating back only to come splashing onto the surface again, the process repeating itself and all the while, the most sacred noise the Princess loved to hear reverberating off her eardrums. The entire atmosphere felt surreal and it sped up her heartbeat, and soon, the Princess forgot why she had even entered the forest or what she was seeking, and only wanted to be one with those powerful waves, to know where they were going and where they would take her. She wondered what was beyond them, what was waiting behind the line dividing the water from the sky. She wanted to see what lay beyond, she wanted to float there with the stranger next to her, who was watching her behold the grand spectacle.
She widely smiled at what the stranger showed her, and at that moment, nothing else mattered to her but the sea and whatever lay beyond, for such things would never be able to leave her or be crushed between two little fingers. Princess Deboline felt the stranger take her hand into his, and as she looked down at them, she saw her skin begin to glimmer as his did, and she suddenly felt weightless, without a care in the world.
She was ephemeral.