Alexander was flying, or maybe it was that the earth was rushing by beneath him as he stood perfectly still in the air above it. Soon the forests and grasslands he was familiar with were left behind as he skimmed over the distant mountains, or they skimmed under him. An undeniable force pulled him forward past any place he had ever heard of even in tales. Lakes and rivers and strange dry, barren places passed him by, but no people. There was never any sign of people, or of anything else that lived and breathed. It was only him and the strange lands scrolling by before he could really take them in.
He felt impatient and hurried, like he was trying to stop something. No, it was more like he had to stop something, but he was racing against time and space.
After what seemed both a brief moment and an eternity, his pace slowed. He was now over a wide, misty plane. The ground seemed wet and the straight, green stalks of some foreign crop spread out around him. In front of him was a red mountain, the peak gone. Smoke and fire billowed from the broken top.
Suddenly he was there above the jagged crater. He saw now that part of the mountain was hollow. In the emptied space roiled something molten and forbidding. Impossible and unbearable heat rolled over him in waves and steam coated his lungs.
A harsh laughter filled his head and threatened to consume him. He curled up, squeezing his eyes shut and pressing his hands over his ears, trying to shut it out. It seemed to be forever before it was bearable enough for him to open his eyes.
An impressive figure hovered in the air across from him. The man was tall and well-built, his body swathed in rich black fabrics. His looked like a king, or a powerful heathen god. His hair was wild and his handsome features cruelly twisted. His strange eyes were dark and danced with reflected flame.
The man laughed darkly again and thrust his hand out in front of him. Something hot and sharp slammed through Xander’s chest. His heart shuddered as he was thrown back and he sank into unconsciousness.
Listening to: "Slow Me Down" by Emmy Rossum
Reading: Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko