NEW πŸ“—Story: Radio ❌

The Valley of the Dead

Monday, Dec 17, 2018
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⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.

As Zelda got older and her sense of urgency decayed, the bone between life and death seemed to grow less important as time went on. Could you blame her? She was eighty years old at this point and still as fresh as fourteen β€” suspended somewhere in the misery of her old age and enthusiasm of her youth. You get a sense of it when you meet her β€” there’s no urgency about her, no hurry at all. No hurry at all. Just the mild, sweet curiosity of her teen-age appearance and the patience of an old woman.

Since the friends and family of her teen-age years (her real teen-age years) were dead by this time, their spirits had returned to their places of birth. Her mother was in Ula. Baron was in Lola, by the sea. She hoped everyone she loved was at peace. She did not have many friends in her first cycle of life but the ones she did have were precious to her.

In the mountains south of Montre, near the village where she had worked as a librarian for some years, there lies a healthy plateau between monumental basalt ribs. Here is the grave of her mother, long since turned to ashes and returned to the earth. This whole ro, this flower-tundra, was alive with spirits. The ro are important to Vekllei people as the meeting points between life and death. Her mother appears as a cat she recognised from the train station, and the two of them share a space for a while. Zelda never knew her mother all that well, and disliked her for some of the things she did, but eighty years does a lot to the turbulence of grudges and these days she wonders more and more about the bloodline from whence she came and, perhaps some day, she might return.

She pets the cat and talks to her mother, and once it gets too cold to bear, she wishes her mother well and leaves her. Zelda knew there were demons here and didn’t want to spend much time in the Valley of the Dead after dark.

She returned home on the express line from Tiamoin and alighted at Montre-Dupau, where her little country home and the working week awaited her.