Stories : Astraias Journey
Astraias scream erupted from her lips as her life twined partners soul erupted from his body. Immobilized by pain she could do nothing more but watch in stunned horror as the blade was tugged out of her loves now lifeless body and he crumbled to the floor. The betrayal was complete.
His soul could not run this time, the witches magic bound him and into absolution he fell. Astraia felt every moment of his death, felt him being dragged away, felt their life bond snap and the emptiness of infinity claim him. As his body had crumbled, so did she. Every cell in her body screamed pain, her mind was blank, uncomprehending.
The moment lasted an eternity; her entire being shattered as his presence, their shared love and her meaning for life was destroyed. The thought “please take me instead”, started to resonate through her being as she lifted her tear stained face to look at the one she had thought to be her friend. And though her mind screamed all that seemed to come out was a whisper. “How could you?”
Triumph filled the face of death as she advanced towards Astraia, “You ruined plans my dear, plans beyond what you understood you were destroying.. the Rifts” she turned her darkened face and spat at the fallen heroes body, “ they will come here and you and your maggot of a partner certainly won’t be getting in the way any longer.”
The witches’ blade glinted in the fire light; Astraia watched with dull eyes as the blood dripped off the sharpened tip and onto the cobblestone floor. She could have fought, she always had. She could call the wolves and escape, she was not as helpless as her partner had been in the moments leading to his death. But there was nothing but death for Astraia, it surrounded her, called to her, there was no life on Telara left for her. She welcomed the cool steel, welcomed the blood of her lover flowing with hers, welcomed deaths embrace.
As her soul departed her body for one last time, she turned away from the nightmarish sight in the small cottage which had housed her partner in their times of rest between journeys. They had loved and understood each other in ways nobody could understand. Together they had protected what was good and true in the world of Telara, always bonded by their love they had shared many wondrous and horrifying moments. Together... Now Astraia was alone. She could not feel him, the witches magic had shattered their bond that death alone could not break. She let darkness fill her and her soul journeyed to a place of nothingness.
There was no time, no space; All that was, was and at the same time wasn’t. In places of nothing there was everything, the nature of the universe is its infinity. And so it was for Astraia, her soul no longer was but yet she was everything in the universe, her consciousness deeply asleep. And so she remained for some time. Yet her journey could not be undone and what she had experienced would never stop existing so after much rest her consciousness began to stir, things were not resolved and could not be ignored.
Her return to consciousness started with a memory; fresh grass, the sweet smell of warm summer air and the loud laughter of her Mother. Memories drifted through her youth to the time she found the boy with the broken sword limping into town, his eyes grey with pain that seemed to reach into her soul and fill her in ways untold. She missed her bow, oh for the familiar strength that reached through her when she held her bow or the close presence of nature’s spirits as they embraced her into their world of magic and mystique. Hazy distorted memories of her life now past drifted in and out of her consciousness, over time her life began to feel more like an old dream than anything of real substance.
When faced with infinity a soul wonders, where is my place in all of this? Does anything really matter? Do I really matter? And so it was for Astraia, her entire life she had been so busy trying to protect what was good and true to her heart she had never paused to heal the wounds to her soul inflicted on the way. And now as she drifted in infinity she was haunted by her pains, her self doubt and grief gnawing at her like a pestilent disease. Without the warmth of her lovers’ embrace- oh how she missed him- to protect her from her fears she stood alone in them, no bow or wolf guardian would save her now, she had never felt more alone.
How much time passed with her in this state of grief is immeasurable as she drifted in a space where time didn’t flow, it simply was for Astraia. Yet as her time moved so did her greif, she mourned the death of her family, the pain of her sisters rape, the destruction of her childhood township. She found refuge in her memories of the forest, the river, the meadows and the mountains. Her memories of her partner were always hainted with fear of his souls wellbeing, he had suffered a great deal in his life and it was their love that had kept him strong.. and her. But as she grieved she developed an understanding of her life, gained a higher perspective and so slowly but surely came to be at peace with her fears and pain of the past. Her partner would find peace, this she knew.. he was good, light and true and when all the pains were cried he would, like her return to his default state of light.
A strange thing happened to Astraia, she came to realise that she had been so busy feeling alone that she had been unaware that she was anything but alone. In her peace she felt the universe pulsing through her being and with it moved out of her place of nothingness and into a place of infinity. She became everything that ever was, like she always had been, and in the face of infinity she realised that she was the universe and yet only an aspect of the universe, her soul at rest she entered a state of being, enjoying her souls peace until it was time to be active again.