The torrential rain drums out sound, but I am yet amazed by the silence behind me. I hear nothing, not even a child crying out in fear or wonder. Not daring to look around, in the event the action loses me the forward path, I begin to question whether anyone follows.
Damin, are they with me, I think. My answer comes when an image of a blue flower appears in my mind’s eye. Well. That is a different talent to seeing and hearing, but now is not the time to question Damin.
I go on.
The path is ankle deep water amid curving walls of swaying liquid. It is the strangest sight. It is also beyond frightening, for those shifting barriers are almost at head height. If I falter but once, we are doomed.
I cannot tell how many hours pass, but eventually I realise I am climbing. By slow degrees my shoulders emerge into the open night air, then my waist, thighs, and soon I am splashing in genuine ankle swirls. I am on high ground.
Something warns me to stand there without glancing back to see how the others fare. I must maintain the path until the last has crossed also. For what feels like eternity I simply stand, looking ahead.
People swirl around me as they pass, and no one says a word. I think Damin warned them to be silent until all are safe. Finally I feel him at my back and his hands settle onto my shoulders.
“Lyra, it is done,” he whispers.
Before me is a host of survivors, every one with a hand over a heart. It is homage, and it stirs me as little else has. My tears emerge then, of gratefulness and utter exhaustion.
I turn into Damin’s arms. I weep as they enclose me.