“… It was like waking into a nightmare within a dream. I could feel sticky limbs attaching themselves to me all over, leeching the life from me. When I dared to open my eyes all I could see were these black things like huge worms writhing all around me. It was horrible.” As he spoke, fear and disgust were etched on his face. “I was afraid. I tried to tear them off me, kick them away, and the more I fought, the more I became entangled in them. I felt they would break me in pieces.
“I was about at the end of my strength. I don’t know how long I had been fighting. A lifetime, it felt. Then I saw a glint of silver. I reached out, trying to move towards it, I hoped it was the sword. I thought of the old story of the lady of the lake, and remembered Merlin and that made me smile inside. As soon as I smiled the tentacles seemed to flinch away. Then I heard a song. It was so beautiful that I was still and listened. I can’t tell you how it lifted my heart. I just gave in to it and the black things began to melt away. It seemed as if I could fight the darkness all I liked, but I could never win. Yet, by surrendering to beauty and joy the darkness could find no hold on me anymore.
“I closed my eyes and followed the song towards the sword. I could feel the music drawing me and the tentacles released me. I drifted for a long time in a darkness that was soft, not menacing, with the melody all around me. I don’t know how long. I suppose I must have been breathing, but it was no longer important. I just let the waters take me. After a while I could see light through my eyelids and I opened my eyes.
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