The cliff stood above the blackest of black valleys, the sun never able to reach the middle of the valley much less the bottom. It called, though. It called to many people. One day they would walk down the path between the oak and willow trees, they would hear it whisper their name. As the path between the oaks and willows grew smaller and smaller and buildings sprang up and up, people still heard the whisper from a valley that never existed.

So they stood on the thin ledge, looking down in the seemingly never ending pit that was screaming now. It screamed their name, like a lover who had found out about their infidelity. Like a parent who lost their child, which is always too soon. Like a child’s wail from being misunderstood by adults.

Another slow step, the big toe of their left foot dangling over the edge.

Some had come to the valley to quell the sounds that had called to them. They offered the valley trinkets that meant very much or very little. They poured coinage and paper and fruit and animals into the valley, hoping the sounds would stop. Others…

A deep, slow breath filled their lungs, their eyes closing as they let the euphoria of the fall take them.

The amount of people that had offered themselves and others to the valley is actually quite small. The valley doesn’t call to everyone. It only calls the worthy.

The wind rushed past them as the purple blue sky they had called night gotten smaller and smaller, the blackness of the valley swallowing up their tiny body. The sound of the wind had stopped, and they seemed to be floating. Their eyes couldn’t adjust to how dark it was. They couldn’t even see their nose.

A soft blue light flashed for a moment, the tiny light nearly blinding the fallen. It flickered again, almost as if it was a flashlight trying to push through a thick web of darkness. As they fell, the light seemed to get bigger but not quiet. As the fallen kept falling, the light suddenly broke though the dark barrier and rushed up to the fallen, wrapping them in what felt like a hug.

The fallen closed their eyes, letting the warmth of the hug breath through them.

A forgotten memory of an open field covered in gold and white flowers, under a midday sun greeted them when they opened their eyes. They looked around, the flowers going on and on in any direction. As they walked in the direction of the sun, a red door slowly crawled up from the horizon. As they had reached it, it stood twenty meters tall and twenty meters wide, decorated in ancient vines, birds nests and rodent families. The blue light was there to receive. It twirled around the fallen as it pulled them to a small bit of the door that was bare. A handful of signatures were scribbled here, each of them in a different language. The fallen placed their hand on empty space and their own signature was there when they lifted their hand.

The door groaned like an old man after work as it slowly opened, the darkness sending its salutations once more. The light and the fallen walked inside the darkness, the fallen’s footsteps moving against the darkness like ripples on water. When the door closed behind them, the fallen let out a scream as the ground beneath them disappeared. Frantic, they tried to reach for something, anything, in the emptiness to slow their fall. Their light guardian rushed in front of them, stretching out into a glowing river that went on for eons. As the fallen locked eyes with their reflection on the river’s surface, they horrified face they felt was met with a calm twin.

The crash into their own calm made them gasp as they shot up from their spot in the grass. They were only a few meters from their campsite they shared with their friends. They slowly stood up and dusted themselves off, taking a step before turning around walking back towards the path that led to the cliff. As they pushed through a familiar bush, they were stumped as to how they got turned back around and back at their camp. They turned around, seeing their little guardian disappear into the fiery red sunlight of dawn.

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