The sky had never felt as far away as it did now that I had caught it. As far up as I was, I could see an eternity stretching out beyond me. I was all too aware that I had merely brushed against the surface of the skies.
And then, from above, I saw an angel descending. The Heavens parted for her passage and I knew that she was mine. But as she fell, I became afraid. Was she falling for my sake? When she dropped to my level, would she still be the pristine goddess I saw, or would her descent twist her into a shapeless, godless horror?
“Stop!” I yelled, “Go back!” I couldn’t let that happen. I needed her, but that didn’t matter.
She looked at me then and smiled, her beauty suddenly blinding, before turning and plunging into the depths.
“No!” I cried, falling after her. The clouds took me in, pulling me closer to my angel. Suddenly, everything pulled away, leaving us alone in the middle of an endless black emptiness.
“Help me,” my love said. I paused.
And then I
Finally, I saw light poking through the trees. A clearing! Clara had been wrong; there was a way out. I’d have to go back and tell her.
“Welcome back,” she said, walking over to me. Wait a second. How could she have gotten here before me? She told me that she would wait for me in the village. Then I realized what must have happened.
“I must’ve gotten turned around,” I responded, looking around. Sure enough, there was the other end of ribbon she’d had me lay out.
“That’s what I thought the first time,” Clara told me, taking it from me. Then, in one fluid motion, she pulled the ribbon taut. The other end went rigid as well.
“What?” I was dumbfounded.
“It’s not caught on a tree, either,” she said, shaking it vigorously, sending waves into the wood. “Watch.” A few moments later, the waves emerged from the forest, smaller but undoubtedly the same.
“How…?” I trailed off. She shrugged.
“All I know is this: the only way out of here is to cross the bridge.”