“Endless grief and sorrow.
Hearts slumbering again,
Stars frozen in their place:
Darkness envelopes the land.”
Surrounded by a vicious wind tearing apart the world around her, Rachel marched on through the onslaught, using every ounce of strength in her body to keep her feet firmly planted on the ground. She could see nothing around her but the dark, gray, foreboding wind.
Off in the distance, she could faintly hear her love, Emily, singing a melody. The whine of the wind made it hard to pick up, but if she really concentrated, she could hear her Emily singing to her.
She did not remember where she emerged in the hurricane, often she did not know if she was even going the right way. Occasionally, she would pause in her tracks, straining her ears to hear that melody. And if it were to sound quieter, she would turn and go back the way she came and find the path that made it louder.
It had been a day, a full day on her feet, watching plants and dust uproot and sail into the wind with the storm. She was going to find her; that was the only thought that kept her going.
In the back of her mind, she knew she was dying. She knew Emily’s voice was really just her losing her mind. Eventually, her last drop of strength would leave her and the wind would crush her.
She could already feel it coming. Every organ in her body wavering. Every bone in her body caving inwards. A force like a hand against her throat. A simple breath racked her body, her spine screaming in agony, her feet begging her to stop. But she knew if she stopped to collect herself for even a second she would be swept away.
She would never get to hear the rest of Emily’s song.
So she continued, and as time passed on, the song became louder. It grew from whisper to a conversation. Just around the corner, she had to be just around the corner.
Her heart sank when she didn’t find Emily, and then the song grew louder. Thunder in her ears, a cacophony of sound. Soon, her hearing gave out completely.
Rachel stood there, wrapping her arms around herself, her will leaving her. It was over.
Yet as her feet left the Earth, there was a rumble all around her. She held her hand out. Her flesh tickled with sensation. Waving her arm around her, the sensation faded. If she closed her eyes and forgot the wind, it felt just like holding her Emily. She marched forward.
Weeks. It had been weeks that she was lost in the storm, and despite her body screaming in pain, Rachel marched on, her sleepless eyes gazing into the storm, searching for a sign. But there was nothing. All that was left was the tickling on her arm which grew more and more intense with every step.
Then her eyes burned with light. So used to the darkness, the eye of the hurricane was almost too much to bear. Taking a minute to adjust, Rachel looked up. A beam of heavenly light shone down into the center of the eye, and there, her Emily floated, gazing up at the sky.
Rachel pushed forward, feeling lighter than air, numb from the oppression of the wind. Moving across the barren earth, Rachel stepped into the light.
Rachel reached upwards, her thumb sliding onto Emily’s palm.
Emily looked down to Rachel, her eyes wide, glowing white. Emily frowned.
Did she no longer know her? Were they to be strangers?
Then a smile.
The hurricane faded away, the light retracted back into the clouds, and Emily fell into Rachel’s arms, the two tumbling to the ground together.
All around them was cold and gray. No life left on this dead plain, nothing left to see until the horizon.
Emily looked up at Rachel, Rachel’s hand gently squeezing Emily’s bare arm. Just as soft as she remembered.
Emily’s lips moved and while Rachel could no longer hear her, she had seen those lips move that way so many times.
“I love you,” she had said.
Stroking her cheek, Rachel lowered her lips into Emily’s. She had no idea how they were going to survive this, or how they were going to go home, but in that moment, she knew that they were going to be okay.