Chapter Fourteen


When Methiyal woke, he had absolutely no idea where he was. His last recollection had been of standing on the edge of the Tear with Melkaz. After that, everything was a complete blank. Except for the terrible bruise where Nimbus had struck him, he felt safe and secure for the first time in days. He didn’t want to move, as the warm dark place he found himself in was so comforting. It was the pleasant musky smell of the Shrike that finally alerted him to where he was. Rising to his feet, he pushed his head through the opening of the wattle, expecting his eyes to be assaulted by the harsh glare of Nocturne. Instead, they were comforted by the gentle light of early dawn. For a few brief seconds, his heart was filled with joy when he realised he was back in the land of the Kern. But his joy was shattered, as the horrible events of the last few days came back to him. He had only one option; to return to the Tear before he infected the world he so loved. Then a terrifying thought  occurred to him, ‘where was Melkaz?’ He had no idea if he was back in the Tear, or like himself had somehow miraculously found his way back to the World of the Kern. The thought sent a shudder down his tiny spine.

With a great deal of trepidation, he decided to make a quick visit to his beloved Gnarl so he could warn the others of both himself and Melkaz. As soon as he had done so, he would return to the Tear. The agony of the thought was lessened by the knowledge that the Shrike was able to find her way back to their world. Once he had returned to the Tear, he would send her back.

Whispering into her ear, he gently instructed the Shrike to take him to the village. Slipping back into the warm dark depths of her wattle, he felt the enormous power of her wings as she took to the air. In less than half an hour, she was perched in the giant Karapoti tree. With a heavy heart, he asked her to wait and climbed down to his beloved Gnarl for the very last time.

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