Chapter 4

Cinders spit, washing faint light over Osiris's lone face. The woods behind him formlessly melt into midnight nothing. Sagira moves across his shoulders. Distant serenity. She is a small diamond. Instilled isolation. A playful flitter blinking among thermal plume. Pensive focus sloughs the physical.

He is alone in the void.

Intrusions no more.

There is a point in the depth.

It cannot be directly viewed.

Delve. Dive. Deeper.

"The fire is going out."

Cloying worldly noise rushes back.


"Aren't you cold?"

"I wasn't." Osiris rubs his brow and stirs the fire. "Thank you, Sagira."

"It's not going to get any clearer just because you want it to, Osiris. You need time."

Osiris clenches his jaw. He feels himself standing in wide shallows, gaping at an unrecognizable profundity. "Why did you choose me?" Osiris's voice is hollow. He flattens a palm for Sagira to perch.

"You have a spark." Her voice is warm air. The fire pops.

"A spark?" Frustration lines his face. "This world is dying. Over and over again."

"So were you; I dragged you back." Sagira allows Osiris's hand to cradle her shell. "I raised you until you could stand on your own. You'll do the same for them, in your own way."

Her words linger in his ears with sweetness.

"I don't have your patience, Sagira."

He takes in a slow breath and lets it out.

"Someone's coming." Her voice sharp.

"Conceal me." His serene.

Sagira dissipates as Osiris closes his palm. He dims.