My heart pointed out to me that every phrase in this scene suggested a thousand stories, every one of them bringing a moment of …
The Lake of Fire is something that all who visit the Realm know of, have heard a story or two about, and cannot help but visit.
To describe a deeply blue lake that seems to stretch onto eternity from the shore, upon which the waves break, caress, and then withdraw wouldn’t be that hard to explain. However, attempting to put into words how the foam isn’t foam but rather tongues of red and gold flames that swirl and play among them is a little bit more difficult.
On this particular day, she was resting on the golden sands, her red bikini not quite getting sand in uncomfortable places yet as she watched the tide roll in. Occasionally, she would pick out a flash of red, or white, or some other colour that seemed to peer out of the surf and waters, regard her and then vanish once more.
Pushing her sunglasses down her nose slightly, she peered over the edge of her frames and wondered why the lake was so wild today. Usually there was a placid sheen across the waters, so smooth that, when the light was right, one just could make out the skyline of the Realm mirrored there. But not today. It seemed like there was a storm within the waters, something that was causing things to be different. The home of the Tails was in upheaval. The question was … why?
Moments later, Tera had kicked off her sandals, tossed her glasses to the beach beside them, and made her way to the surf along the shoreline. The waters and their flames licked around her toes. It was the place where two worlds collided, but also embraced each other as one.
As she waded in further, the waters slowly crept up her legs, soon wetting her bikini bottoms and turning them black. A bit further and her tail was beneath the waters, the colour shifting from red to a particular shade of black that was legendary. Further still, and the waters caressed her curves, soaking her top and turning it as black as night just before she kicked off the sandy bottom and started swimming out further into the lake. Some of her hair had turned red now, the flames of the water licking at her hair, her skin. The caress was that of multitudes, all trying to please her, guide her, draw her to them.
Well out from shore now, she took a breath and then disappeared beneath the waters, a wide ripple marking her passage as she did so. Beneath the waves, her hair was red, a beacon in the depths around her. The passage from the Realm above to the Realm below coincided with a shift from Tera … to Tail.
She arced around in a wide circle, her eyes growing accustomed to the darkness in which her kind, the tails of the Realm, existed. A place where they awaited their return to the world above, to rediscover, or discover, that there were always possibilities. She dove deeply, the waters turning darker with the shadows of tails around her, the waters still and at the same time vibrating with tails and the power they held. After a time the darkness began to give way to a light far below her.
Moving towards the light, the waters still held tails, their numbers growing larger and larger. The surface beckoned before her, the light sparkling in wait for her to draw close. She came to the moment of breaking through, her hand about to pass through the division between the water and the air. A black tail came out of the darkness, entwined itself around her waist and began to pull her away. She looked for the one that was holding her back, stopping her from continuing … and found no one there … for it was her own tail that was calling her away. Then a red tail joined the black. Then a green, an orange, more and more came to her, holding her fast and pulling her away from her goal. She struggled, fought to break free, to find her answer, but could not overcome the sheer number of tails that encompassed her and drew her elsewhere.
The light faded away, the darkness returned and still she struggled. Then the light came back, the darkness faded and she ceased her battle with them. The surface came closer, then she found herself breaking the water and took a breath of air again.
She floated there, her red hair around her, looking at the Realm before her, the waters still churning about. Her tail broke the surface, the tip looking at her, then darting below the water again, waters broke, and she faced … her.
From afar, if there had been someone there to witness the moment, it would appear that an ebon-haired woman looked towards the other with hair of fire. If someone had been close enough to see, they would realize that the two looked like twins, echoes of each other, save for their hair, horns, and when they appeared, their tails:
the same, but not …
…opposites and mirrors of one another …
… the one of the past reborn in the one of the moment.
They drew close, their hands reaching, touching, their lips drawing closer until they touched. A burst of power, of the love that encompassed each with the devotion that burned within the other, burst from their moment, rippling over the waters and turning them calm and still once more. The light reached the shoreline, spilled over it, and then, when it faded, there on the beach she stood, looking out into the Lake and smiling softly. Her tail wrapped itself around her waist, the unspoken meaning a simple one that she well knew.
The promise was within each of them, filling their world of the Realm, surrounding them always:
the past held in the moment of the present …
… the present embracing their past …
… the future being shaped by them both …
… the moment bringing with it … rebirth.