Cedar’s Upper Odyssey, Final Episode
Nathan puts Snow down on the ground and reaches behind him for his axe.
He is staring at the other girl, she’s just a dark outline against the trees, but he can see it’s a girl, and not much older that the one he’s just carried through the tunnels. Behind her the air shimmers, and shines, like a wall of clear ice.
“What’s going on?” calls the girl. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”
Snow begins to moan, softly, desperately. Nathan turns back to glance at her.
“Speak softer,” he says to the girl in the shadows. “You’re scaring her. We mean no harm”
The girl laughs a bitter, cold laugh. “I’m scaring her?” she replies, incredulously. “Yeah, right … I’m scaring her. You don’t think it might be you, you and your axe that’s scaring her, do you?” She steps out of the shadows, and Nathan can see her clearly at last.
“Teresa? Teresa O’Green, is that you?” Nathan looks as if he has seen a ghost.
The girl with the tree necklace stops still. Her thoughts whirl around in her head. Teresa, yes, she knows that name. She knows this man. She has seen him before. Where has she seen him? How does she know him? She just can’t make sense of it at all.
Nathan’s voice is shaking, he’s speaking barely above a whisper. “But you’re … The Beast killed you, tore you to pieces. I saw it with my own eyes. How can you be standing there?”
A vision of red fills Teresa’s head. Yes, she’s called Teresa, she knows it now. The name fits, feels comfortable, secure. But there’s blood. So much blood, and she can see it inside her head even as her eyes are staring wide at the man in front of her and the girl on the ground. A terrible secret is yawning wide in front of her and she is trying to block it out again.
“NO!” Teresa shouts. “No! I don’t want to know any more.”
Now Snow has staggered to her feet, swaying slightly. She holds one arm out and points at Teresa.
“It’s her!” she gasps. “I’ve seen that face in the mirror. It’s her! All of this is because of her. She has done this. It’s all her fault!” Snow’s legs give way again and she falls.
Teresa wraps her arms over her ears as if to clock out Snow’s words, and screams. As she screams there is a loud, sharp cracking noise from all around them.
Kylie, watching from the bushes, is astonished. The very air itself has a crack in it, like a broken pane of glass.
At that moment a long, blood-curdling howl echoes out from behind the old hut.
* * * * * *
The Creeper and Serié fall silent after their first attempt at conversation. Neither of them have any idea what to say to one another.
Serié stands up. She looks all around them. There’s no-one else in sight. The strange look in The Creeper’s eyes tells her it’s time to leave, while she still can. If she still can.
As she begins to turn away, clutching her book, the very sky above her seems to shatter. Shards of bright crystal are falling down around them, like rain.