Two Deserts Returned

The full Behind the Music story on where this comes from will be along later…in the meantime, just days after the early preview, here’s the actual thing. It is sitting with me like a seed crystal…we’ll have to see what grows, what the solution is…



Two Deserts Returned

Weight, and wind, buffeting, still, and still, and still.  His feet, contentious with the ground, carrying him on.  His eyes on the rim, the drawn horizon, plaything and pretend, can’t be real, not where he is, not now, not with this heat, this heated weight, pressing him into his path.

Ivory dust from a fallen tower.  Coating his feet as he staggers away.

Staggering is a good word; staggering fits.  He staggers…he is staggering…west or east or somewhere in the folds between.  It doesn’t matter, the sun weighs him as he goes, overhead, shadow burned away.

Heat wave, shimmering, structured anticipated intent waves.  Is she here, again?  She was, and will be, but is?  Again?  Parched lips, smile and crack.  Anticipated, aging leather creaks, carried on his back, towards her.

White and dull, distant, as dust and whirls, winding from one foot to the next, drawing him on.  She has a way, a length and measure, against which he fails, and falls, and winds his way to her.  Again.  From his fallen tower, closer.  The tower is true.  His fall is true.  His return, painful truth.  But her, and all of her, unknown.  Each time, possible and pure and possibly not.  Unknown life, poured within. Crevices filled and restored, ache ignited, white and glaringly bright.

Those few moments, between, unknown and all that allows the shadow and shape to take form, and fall, again and again.

Time hangs and he halts, hesitant, hating himself.  His tower, behind, dust; his tower, before, centered and quiet.  And between, her, waiting.  Again?  The loop comes ‘round, a few steps more, she waits, again.

A door, glass, dusted and clear, and she’s on the other side.  Open it, and the circle closes, brief life returning, breaths counted, finite.  His end, and a building anew, and in between, her.

He reaches his arm out.  His fingers slide, lines drawn and not yet crossed.  She waits, he knows this, and at this moment on the crest, it is all there, all, at once, dust and spires, elevation and fall.

He chooses her.  For however long it can and will last.  For whatever burns and follows.  For now.  And only now.


3 responses to “Two Deserts Returned

  1. and I see the majority of Goodkind’s Chainfire trilogy condensed to a single page.

  2. Haven’t read that one yet, but checked out some summaries, and I think I will.

    There are two origins for this one: 1) two lines in one of the songs on the Into the Wild soundtrack; and 2) a very old story that I wrote when I was in high school (that’s the Behind the Music story I’ll get around to telling at some point).

    Ultimately, though, it moved past both of them. I was thinking of Cycles, and archtypes, and Myth with a capital M…always there is the tower, and as the universe expands and contracts, he returns to it, and falls from it…and in between is Her, and what happens with her each time is a mystery, *the* mystery, and the reason he is willing to build and climb each time, even knowing the fall to come.

  3. Well, the Tower is a powerful and persistent image (there are black and white towers, no less) in the Goodkind series, as is Her. In the Chainfire trilogy he has lost Her, he is the only person in the world who remembers Her (including Her), and he spends all of his time trying to find her again.

    Much of the sun/desert imagery was more specifically addressed in The Pillars of Creation, which comes before the Chainfire trio. Since both characters are of political importance, they often spend time separated by distance and lack of communication, trying and wanting to get back to each other.

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