A/n: This is a bit shorter, but this is where it wanted to end. Yes, I know I'm evil. Send coffee and I'll write faster!


            The peace that had always inhabited the Land slowly seeped back into her bones, but she could feel the unrest lying in wait in the dark corners of her mind. She calmly walked into one of the settlements, making sure to keep her features composed. The people gasped as they saw her blood spattered clothing. It was foreign to those in this land and seemed to violate an unspoken law.

            "Greetings," a musical voice said from above her. She looked up and saw Onyx. She let out an unconscious sigh of relief. If anyone could help her with this problem it would be him.

            "Onyx!" she cried in a voice that must have given away her distress. Onyx swooped down quickly and landed on her shoulder, being sure to stay away from the blood.

            "What has happened, little one?" he asked looking at her with intelligent eyes.

            "Someone died," she whispered in an awed tone.

            "Impossible!" the bird screeched.

            "Yes, it should be," Anu replied.

            "This is the Land of the Dead. There is no death here. It is impossible."

            "Yes," she said looking down at the blood marring her clothing. Onyx's eyes suddenly filled with concern and sympathy.

            "Go wash in the river," he urged. Anu nodded and took his advice, walking out of the settlement and to the banks of the river. The silver water sparkled in the light like the purest substance in the Land. She hated to foul it with the red of the blood. She walked into the water with all of her clothing on anyway, anxious to wash the evidence of what had happened away.

            Many awakenings went by without any more strange events. The death began to recede in her mind, but the color of the blood never faded from her memory nor did the vivid red streaks leave the sky. If anything, the red stripes grew wider with each passing awakening until it seemed as if they would take over the whole sky. She watched more people entering the Land after a particularly long sleep and greeted them calmly. Many of them were frightened at first, but she comforted and welcomed them.

            One particular person caught her interest, however, because of his strange clothing. She walked over to him smiling reassuringly.

            "Welcome to the Land," she said trying to catch his eye.

            "Thank you," he said in a voice that made her want to run.

            "Why do you wear such a strange cloak? It is difficult to see your face."

            "Would you like to see my face?" he asked in a dangerous voice. She wanted to say no and leave this man alone forever, but something made her nod in assent. He carefully removed his cloak, and she couldn't help but gasp. He seemed to be made up of only shadows and darkness. She shuddered when she realized that he was not a man at all. A sudden flash of lightning rent the air. Anu's eyes widened. Never before had she witnessed lightning firsthand. The shadow man laughed with a sound like rocks grating together. The ground began to shake, and Anu found herself growing weaker and weaker as the land began to split and change. Screams rent the air, and it took her a moment to realize that she was screaming as well. It was a relief when she finally blacked out.