She stands at the precipice.
The dark blue of the ocean stretches out before her, so calm and deep. The first whispers of the breaking dawn, in the far off horizon. Even the Baracelanra wind, usually brisk this early in the season of Karisnaan, is gentle on the many cuts and and wounds that mark her.
Far off sounds, hidden in the early morning mists of the Asiv forest, loomed nearer.
She couldn’t decide which was worse.
The nightly terrors of the forest, of which she had never encountered before this waning night, the known dangers of the same untamed, dense forest in the daylight, or the far off sounds which she knew better than her own heartbeat. The heartbeat only now beginning to ease to normal levels.
She breaths deeply of the air, heavily scented of the Marlesh blooms native to the nearby mountains. Even in the near dark, the presence of the Lanig could be felt.
For centuries, her people had attempted to cross over the near razor sharp edges of the mountain; all who tried have died in the attempt.
For centuries, her people had attempted to pass through the mountain; all who tried have died in the attempt.
For centuries, her people attempted to till the land at the foot of the mountain; all flora and vegetation except the Marlesh died in the attempt.
For centuries, her people have since learned that the Lanig will not be crossed over, passed through or tilled on. Yet, the Marlesh thrives.
She listens again to the sounds, breaking the quiet of the dawn. She has time yet to enjoy this view, and slowly, painfully lowers her achinng body to sit on the still dew damp grass of the precipice. Her feet mere inches from the sheer drop to the ocean below.
She had been born on this precipice. She had frightened her family to no end during her early youth, with her constant wandering to this place. At least until she grew older and they were certain she would not go over its steep edge. Here in the Second Coming of her Etol N’gavet she still cannot fathom her attraction to this place. Like the Lanig – it just is so.
The once far off terrors of sound are now fully upon her and she slowly rises to face its source.
No words are spoken between them.
The time for words had long since passed, when she tore through the horrors of the Asiv itself in her attempt to escape the inevitable. The expressions exchanged between them however spoke volumes.
What choice do you have?!
She glanced at her surrounds. The ocean, an unnaturally brilliant blue in the rising sun of this new day, is to the right of her. The Lanig, to her left with it beautiful flowers and fierce jagged edges, glinted in the sunlight. The Asiv behind her? She had barley survived her flight through it is trying to reach this precipice. She knew she would not make it to the terrors of the forest this time, let alone through it again. And finally, that which she could not escape, unabashedly enjoying this moment of triumph, waiting patiently to claim her.
What choice did she have? The alternative was equally final and eternal as far as she was concerned.
Sighing deeply, resignedly, she feels her soul depart from her body as she takes the final step towards her fate…
She relishes in the screams of frustration coming from above her as she sails through the air to the rocks and ocean below.
She couldn’t help but smile.
It was a beautiful place to be born.
And a beautiful place to die.