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part six.


The sun has already set by the time Aura awakes and, for the first time in a long time, she feels the chill of the wind biting at her skin. Thanks to the ash cloud blotting out the sun, her clothes are still slightly damp, but it’s certainly much warmer up in the air than it is down in the murky water. One Ear is curled up in the folds of her t-shirt, watching her with one black, half-open eye. When he sees that she’s awake he unfurls his body, stretches and blinks up at her, twitching his whiskers cheerfully.

“Us guys go,” he says simply.

“Go where?”


They pause long enough to devour the remaining leaves on the tree branches (a pitiful meal, but it’s all there is) before setting off. Once again, One Ear leads, although now that she’s rested Aura has an easier time keeping up with him. After he found the forest tops she no longer doubts his ability to locate land, and is reasonably content to follow him.

Swimming through the flood is difficult. The water is littered with debris which ranges from driftwood to the bloated, deceased bodies of those who didn’t make it – animal and fairy alike. More than once Aura thinks she feels something swimming beneath her, and more than once she’s looked down to find the ghostly form of a corpse hovering several feet below the surface of the water staring back up at her with dead eyes. At moments like those, it takes every ounce of courage she has not to simply give up there and then. One Ear is excellent; he chivvies her along, scolding her when she slows up and chattering away in her ear at varying volumes (apparently, losing an ear affected his hearing), spouting stories of brave and courageous rats designed to keep her hopes up. It doesn’t work entirely, but she appreciates his efforts.

At one point in their journey an unexpected current almost sweeps the rat away, but Aura, hearing his squeals of distress, plucks him from the water and transfers him to her back while she struggles to push forward. As a significantly larger animal she has somewhat more success at this, although the effort saps a great deal of her strength. Once free of the current, she pauses and treads water for a moment to get her breath back.

“Underwater river, huh?” One Ear slips off her back and treads water beside her.

“Cascading Waterfalls,” Aura’s eyes are already fixed on the misshapen lump hovering on the horizon. “And that must be the Vista Mountain.”

“Yup yup,” One Ear agrees. “Land, huh?”

It takes longer than the deity would have thought to reach the mountain, but a combination of determination and a slow, steady pace see her through the journey. The sight of land lights a fire in her that no amount of water will extinguish, allowing for a sense of relief she’d dared not hope for. As they get nearer, One Ear wriggles his backside happily and starts to (badly) sing the Welsh national anthem.

Just as her feet touch the ground, a volley of barks begins to echo over the water. Aura glances up to see a large black and white shape hurtling down the mountainside and smiles.

“Good dog.”


    • part five. -
    • part four. -
    • part three. -
    • part two. -
    • part one. -

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