Amorum Eternis

It was a long climb, and I was weary when we finally reached the cave on Kearn's Bluff. Elvirren, of course, bounded up the rocky slope with the skill of a mountain goat, and was already sitting on the ledge regarding me with amused eyes when I panted up the final stretch.

'You're getting old, Maenor,' he grinned.

'You have the advantage of age,' I managed between gasps. 'You, twelve and I nineteen: I've got the years on my back, lad.'

'Old,' Elvirren reiterated, cheeky grin sparkling at me.

I decided to change the subject. 'Enough. We've got our work cut out for us this day. Did you bring the chalk this time? I'd hate to waste another day going back down to the campsite.'

'Naturally,' Elvirren replied. His hands disappeared inside the tattered cloth of his jerkin and brought out a scarred leather bag, from which he took a white stick. 'I only hope you've got it right this time. Another climb like this would be all right for me, but...' and here he looked meaningfully at me '... not for you, I think.'

I grunted in reply, concentrating on the symbols in the book in front of me. 'Right... karnak vigilum, maestas praknst...' I closed the book. 'Got it,' I smiled. 'Come on, hand over the chalk.'

Elvirren kept his perpetual smile as he handed it over, but I thought it seemed strained, as if he was uneasy.

I drew the sigils on the stone floor. Only here would the spell hold: only here on the entire Earth was the place where the delicate fabric of matter drew thin. I talked as I drew, possibly to avoid thinking about what was to happen.

'You see, Elvirren, it had to be here... matter distorts space, and matter distorts time... that's why we have gravity. You've heard of the tales of the Ancients. Remember the Ancient called 'One Stone', or 'Ein Stein' in the old tongue? He first discovered this, but he couldn't forsee what use matter and time distortion have.'

'This book here was written, oh, it must have been a few thousand years after One Stone, just before the Second Destruction that created the Blacklands, where it is death to tread and the ground is glass. It's the vague memories of third hand knowledge, set down. A lot of it's been lost of course, but...'

'What?' Elvirren asked.

'Well, they discovered that there are places where matter is thin, where the cross between dimensions is just' I twisted my finger around 'there. In the same space lies a whole set of universes, with their own special rules, and sometimes they interact, join, when special signs set down in the right places cause distortions in the pattern of nature...'

'The most amazing things possible can be done, Elvirren. Things which you may not have ever even dreamed of are possible. This is just one, but one that we can both use.'

I switched hands with the chalk and continued drawing, careful not to brush the marks that seemed to writhe on the stone as if seen through a heat haze.

'You know, Elvirren, that we are both dying. Ever since we were banished from the Citadel because of our love for each other our life has been limited. Life outside the Citadels, even now, means a slow death.' I pulled at my hair, and great handfuls of it came out easily in my grasp. 'Look how I can't even keep my hair anymore. That graze of mine from last week when we killed that... creature... still hasn't healed. You're in better shape now than I am, but it's death in the end, for you and for me.'

I stood up and surveyed the plain from the windswept outcrop. The land was barren and scorched, here on the edge of the Blacklands. A few stunted, malformed clumps of vegetation clustered in small groups near small lakes of putrid, stinking water. In the distance, I could still see the gleam of the thick lead-glass dome that protected the Citadel of Purity.

I turned, and noticed Elvirran for the first time. He was sitting huddled at the back of the cave, the smile gone from his face. When he spoke, it was in a quiet, cracked voice that I had never heard him use before.

'I've known it, Maenor... for a while. I've tried to keep active, keep my spirits up, but I'm beginning to get tired easily... I know that our skeletons will be unseen, our deaths unknown... painful.'

I smiled. 'Cheer up, Elvirran. It's worked! Just one more sigil and I'm finished! But I'll leave it for a few more moments.'

Elvirran smiled weakly, the fiery sparkle dampened in his eyes for the first time since I had known him. 'You've never told me what exactly you are doing. Will you tell me now? Please?'

'Yes, I'll tell you now,' I said. 'It's time now, we haven't got much left. I'll tell you.'

I sat down inside the ring of sigils. 'This book contains a very powerful sequence. It merges two dimensions together, allowing them to mix and flow in a certain area. Moreover, it allows the user to join with the dimensions in a powerful way.'

'You remember I just told you about multiple dimensions? Well, there are spaces between dimensions, where anything is possible. You just slip into the gap between dimensions and become a creature of emotion, a creature of spirit. Becuase that's what fills the gap between dimensions. There's only one problem, and that is that we must leave our bodies and identity behind. We must join the emotional cloud, from which the pool of emotions for humanity is drawn. We will die, fade from existence.'

'You and I, Elvirran, will go together. Before we seek oblivion, we will entwine together, creatures of love. We will become one, tangled together in the cloud, separate from it yet inextricably together. And our existence will make the world a better place, for there will be more love, more pure, simple love, diluting that emotional cloud.'

Elvirran raised his head. 'So that's it. I... understand. I could say... no. But should I?'

'What have you to live for?' I asked. 'A painful, slow death followed by oblivion? We would be together, forever, just as we always wished it would be. A wish come true.'

There was a long pause, punctuated only by the whistle of the wind over the ledge. Finally Elvirran spoke. 'I will come. For better or for worse, I will come.' He stood up suddenly, his eyes suddenly full again of an inner fire, a joy of life. 'And we can make a contribution to humanity in the process, yes?'

I nodded, full of elation that my lover, my life's only meaning for existence, had decided to accompany me on this final journey as he had on so many others. I threw back my head and laughed, suddenly filled with joyous peace and understanding. 'Let us go, then!'

Elvirran put up a hand. 'Wait... can we not have one last physical embrace?'

'I've thought of that,' I said. 'The book says that we have about a minute after I draw the last sigil before the transition is made. But first, let me prepare to die as I have always wanted.'

I tore at my rotten and tattered clothes, ripping them from my body and hurling them over the edge, where they were carried to oblivion by the wind. Elvirran, too, divested himself of his clothes and we soon both stood naked, facing each other on the windy ledge. Then we embraced.

My fingers mirrored his as we traced the outlines of each others bodies, caressing once more each other's crevices that we knew so well. Our lips met in a kiss, a kiss full of passion and static electricity as our hair whipped our faces in the dry gusts.

After a long moment, I stood back. Grasping the chalk, I completed the last sigil and smiled gently as the circle of runes ceased writhing and started to glow. The air about us twisted as we stood in the centre of the circle's focus, details becoming indistict as two dimensions tried to occupy the same space.

Once again we caressed each other, once again we kissed. Drawing back, Elvirran looked deep into my eyes and smiled. 'Together, forever,' he whispered, 'perfect.'

'I love you,' I whispered, suddenly overcome with sadness. 'I love you more than anyone has ever dreamt.'

'I love you too,' he whispered, and smiled. 'Don't be sad: an eternity is ahead of us, an eternity together. Goodbye, dear Maenor. It's been fun...'

'Goodbye,' I said, and my eyes blurred with tears. Elvirran reached his neck forwared and we joined in one last, passionate kiss, there on the windswept rocky slopes on the borders of desolation. Then the spell caught, and there was a bright flash. I felt a huge tug, shuddering me to my being, as if my soul was being ripped by force from my body. A feeling of speed came over me and I felt myself contact with Elvirran's raw being, touch, merge...

An outsider, looking on, would have seen a flash in the tortured air, followed by a silence and stillness that was broken only by the sound of two bodies falling lifeless to the ground, locked in an embrace of infinite love.

A love that not only survived life, but transcended the very borders of existence.

written by tygyr

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