Ch. XIII, p.3

. . .


… Alive?... No… Someplace in between…

This is…

. . .

“Do you know who I am?”

Her head swam, eyes squeezing themselves shut.

“Agh…” Was someone really talking to her? And why was it so freaking bright in here?

“Do you know who I am?” the voice said again.

That is a voice! Her heart jolted. Stomach seizing, she lumbered upwards with her burden, hands scrambling at the dirt in a feverish search for balance.

“Ai, ai, ai!” she shouted. “I’m not here to hurt!”

Silence prevailed in the coming seconds. She could feel her heart beat, her muscles shivering with tension; and she came to notice her posture: knees bent, one arm shielding her eyes, her shoulders hunched as if she would curl into a cowardly ball…


She did as her thought suggested, lowering her arm slowly. Her eyelids slid squinchingly open, her lungs once more taking in air.

“Who are you?” she asked the bright white light.

Her eyes began to adjust to the intensity of the glow. No… Not my eyes, she thought. Something else… The light seemed almost as if it were leaking into this place from another world entirely, not of the five senses.

“You see then…” said the voice, “This place is damaged. Do you know who I am?”

“No, I—” Maria caught her breath. All around in front of her, the light was taking form. Ashen spears of grass jutted greyly up from the cave floor, sparking around a bright, patterned circle.

In that moment, two thoughts were fighting for dominance in her mind. The first thought she should know that she had fallen into a cave just moments earlier, which would explain why she was all out of sorts and had hit her head… The second was that there was a woman radiating that light in front of her, and that she did, indeed, recognize her.

The goddess… Another moment passed. And also…

“Doctor Kerry…” her lips parted, quivering. “But how? Where? How did you…” She stumbled backwards and fell to the ground in a daze, unfeeling. Her head reclined as the woman approached, and she looked into her eyes.

“Watch,” said the woman, radiant, her white and blue eyes set against bright skin. “You’ll see.”

The woman touched her gently on the cheek, fingers cool and soothing. In that instant, Maria felt the universe settle, the whole of everything and all its parts falling into place. And in that instant, life in all its forms made perfect sense.

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