Heavenly Illusions, Earthly Delusions

a man falls from his perch into an unfamiliar world, haunted by amnesia, delusions, and sinister motives. (a Fantasy collaboration between Jack and CheshireGrin)

Prologue: the Fall

    Tumbling -- endless blackness closing in upon me, all I see is dark. Foul screams reach my aching ears, though none escape my own parched lips. Waves of despair crest in my mind, crashing down on my consciousness, too overwhelmed to think. The scattered thoughts that do survive the onslaught speak only of things lost. forgotten, and meaningless. Simple images of broken white pillars, their very stone bathed in fire, rise to the surface of my remembering... Yet the notions of dream and reality escape me.

    I lean my body forward, or at least in the direction I am falling, in an effort to speed my plummet. At least I'll meet Death at the end, my ever-present companion through life. He's the only thing I bear worth for. My streamlined shape, like a falcon, dives through permeable dark; an inky abyss of lost thought and emotion. It is cut to ribbons by the blade that is my body, streamers of ebony fluttering behind me.

    I close my eyes and am greeted by a different darkness, warmer, it seems, and familiar... comforting, even, like the balanced blade of a favoured weapon.

    As my eyes open, I notice that the dark has changed. Still, it is black as the cruelest heart, dark as the heavens on a shrouded, moonless night. But a shape accompanies me on the fall, flitting its way towards me; it, too, familiar, a tangible memory from the past. As I strain to see its pale colour against the curtain of black, a final memory seizes me: towering conifers in a snow-laden forest, a maiden with hair and heart more pure than the surrounding ice. Her hand encircles a moth. Gray and frail and cold.

    It is then that the shape appears before my eyes, after the completion of my reverie. There before me is a smoky set of wings, blurred by the speeds at which they thrum. The darkness slowly ebbs and light consumes my fall. With blinding speed I complete my drop, with light I slow my descent.

The End

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