Something snaps inside.
So does the branch.
But their tugging has brought the floating tree closer.
Something small and coveted tumbles out of an outcropping of rock and root.
Beneath them both, the swirling thickens, becoming a pool of whorls.
The ground beneath them cracks like thin reeds and they fall in line with the height of the cliff.
Tall they are, and tumbling.
He kicks out as they plummet, slapping something shiny back onto the ground with his foot’s remains; the momentum from that push out propels them both toward the spiraling spatial disturbance below them, and then there is no air for breathing anymore.
They are in the Heart of the Cloud.
The last thing the Flesh hears before the winds of the Vortex embrace them is the welcome sting of Koschei’s reprimand in his goopy ear, “…so tell me, moron- are there corsets where we’re going?”
To be continued in The Crossing.