[Shattering Heard a World Away]
The abyss churned, a swarm of blackness and fading teal. Flashes of light illuminated the blank space, catching the minute surfaces of only a few chunks of debris dancing in the nothingness. A figure appeared, approaching in a veil of light, the only brightness as far as the eye could see. They glanced around, almost surprised at the possibility of another soul amidst all the swirling carnage of what used to be.
“You’re still corporeal?” the figure called. “You must be pretty strong to survive this.”
As the figure drew closer, its diminutive size was more apparent, no larger than one’s hand. The flickering light behind it was the glare of rapidly flapping wings.
“What…happened?” Consciousness was a difficult companion to keep.
“I can help you – if you’ll help me. You don’t want to fade away, do you? If we work together, we can change things.”
Eyes sputtered, eyelids darker than the blackness enveloping the realm.
“Hey c’mon! We need each other. Okay?” the small figure pleaded.
What felt like a nod was all that could be mustered as a response. The figure smiled and its tiny hand stretched forth. A teal light erupted from its palm and washed out vision. A strange sensation wrapped about the body, not falling, but not rising. As the world sought to tear apart all within it, a feeling of centeredness grew.
The tiny being fluttered around you, now draped in a strange coat you had never worn, a hood resting on your head.
“I’m Lof,” the figure said.
You gave the faerie-like being your name in kind.
“Alright, looks like we’re partners from here on.”
You stared out at a vast land of nothing but graying dirt and upturned shards of earth. An equally gray sky, overcast with flat, thick clouds, met the land with a mutual handshake of desolation.
“What happened here?” you asked.
“Destruction. This was your home once…”
Here and there, tiny morsels of familiarity freckled the gray – the steeple of the church, bent and charred, sinking into the ground; the large sign that squatted above the hotel, split in twain; cars, trees, and other monuments to the crafts of man, decaying and entombed beneath a harsh, drab sand.
“…but if we work together, we can get it back.”
“How…do we come back from…this?”
“Here, this if for you,” Lof said, waving her hand over yours.
A shaft of light appeared in your palm, then subsiding to reveal an ornate, silvery grip. You held the item ahead of you, unsure of what to make of it when a blade protruded from the top of the handle, and a crossguard grew from the sides, all with the grace and majesty of a blooming flower. Lof landed on the flat of the blade and crossed her arms behind her back.
“Now, let me tell you about the Allegory of the Harvest…”