Spoiler Warning -- Do Not Read On Unless You're Prepared To Know The Ending!

Dawn Song, Part Four, Chapter Two, IX


      Naked, moving as mist and wind, she smoothed the snow of her rooftop, as one would smooth a tablet of wax. She flowed over perfect whiteness, writing her journey, her inner configuration of souls, upon the snow. She had begun her pilgrimage from the realm of her Father--The Unbowed One, from his Kingdom in Hell that echoed the Worldly creation of God's Kingdom; for this point of beginning she wrote a mark in the snow. Around the mark she made an impression, rounded as if made by a sphere of glass pressed into the snow.

      Her first lover, Andrew, whom she had slain with the Instability of his needs, with the longing for nurture that such Instability inspired: she had taken him in the realm of her Mother, sweet Lilith. The child, Troy, she had taken in this realm, as well, a victim of the Instability of his mother's beliefs. She made a new mark and impression above the mark of her Father's realm.

      Arthur, taken in Lust; John (who forsook his name for 'Spaw'), taken out of his Greed for power over women, belonged to the realms of The Shining One, and of The Angel of Poison, respectively. She made two more marks, parallel, above and to either side of the mark she'd made for Lilith's realm.

      Brian--taken by the Inharmony of his soul without poetry (a surrogate for the stricken man she had lost, whom she had wanted to take by releasing the Ugliness the city had placed inside him). Brian belonged to the realm of The Giver of Judgment; this mark she made between and slightly above the last two.

      Frank, whom she took with Cruelty, belonged to the realm of The Fiercest in Despair. This mark she made above and to the left of The Giver of Judgement's.

      Tim had died for the Apathy he held for his own flesh. Parallel to the mark of The Fiercest in Despair, she invested Tim with the mark of The Adversary, the Giver of Knowledge.

      And there, she left the wind and collected herself in flesh.

      And there, in flesh, she broke apart Tim and took him into herself, making her configuration complete, attaining True Flesh for the first time, crossing the Void to a Materiality of her own.

      Like widening rings in a pond, her awareness reached outward.

      The crystal of the snow around her crashed, shattered, became the wall of surging cataract. In a state of non-being, yet still intangibly one with her body, she was crushed, burned, her ashes scattered. A roll of thunder fell upon her like a great stone. A rain of burning metal, shifting, colors like a thin layer of oil upon windswept water, fell upon her. Ice the color of lightning became her blood; receding lights of red and green entwined with her flesh. The bite of strong wine spread beneath her skin. Her spine became a sword. Her teeth melted and ran like wax.

      She crossed a chasm of burning Ignorance, upon a bridge made of hair.

      She drew into herself a spark that had, once before, been hers--the spark invested by God in the body she had once occupied in fleshy life.

      She looked out across the rooftop, toward the hill she had seen upon the first dawn of her pilgrimage, to the River that connected to the sea that had caught her upon her fall. Knowing that she had lived before--having now earned the devastating knowledge that her Father had intended her to earn--she pulled the Divine Spark she had stolen close to her heart.

      Once mortal...

      Once living...

      She now moved as one partly resurrected, transcendent, her very existence a profound blaspheme, a mockery of those Saved Dead who will walk in Flesh at the End of Time. As one Damned, she had stolen back her Grace.

      Burning, an angel newly terrifying, foretold by no prophecy, she saw around her the influence of The Enfolded One as a raging sea washing through the city, stronger than she had ever seen It before. Or, perhaps she saw It now with stronger sight than she had possessed before. Burning, with her shining trophy nestled by her heart, she drove her newly tempered Will into that sea.

      She found Paul, the Widow's Son, whose soul had been nurtured by birds.

      She touched his entrapped soul; doing so was like thrusting her hand in a furnace to touch a nugget of gold. She withdrew. On her knees, thanking her Father, she pledged to cheat The Enfolded One of Its trophy, as a minister of Stolen Grace.

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