Epilogue

Once upon a time there was a boy whose mother was a witch. He had eyes as blue as the sky and hair like spun gold, and the older he got the more beautiful he grew, until his mother was afraid that the world would steal him away from her. So she locked him in a tower, where only she could see him.

But after many years there came a prince. He climbed into the tower, and he charmed the boy so that he fell in love. The prince loved him, too, and for a while they were happy.

Then the witch found out.

She banished the boy to the desert. The prince she blinded. And for many, many years they lived apart, each thinking the other dead. It was a time of sorrow, but there was room for other things, too: the boy (now a man) lived with the nomads of the desert, whose unforgiving, beautiful home he made his own. There was a girl who loved him, just as there was a woman in the village where the prince now lived who might have loved him.

It wasn't until many years had passed that the prince and the man met again. Together they defeated the death magic in the clearing where the tower had stood. And when it was done, the man said, "Come home with me." So it was that the prince left the village of the damned, and the woman who might have loved him watched as he left, knowing that it was his time.

The man and the prince traveled through the desert. They traveled until they reached the nomads' caravan again, and the desert girl ran to meet him.

"Welcome home," she said. She looked at the prince for a long, long time. Then she said, "Welcome," and smiled, knowing that the man was complete now.

And the man and his prince lived happily, if not ever after: because all people quarrel, and one must die before the other. But that is another story for another time, and all that needs to be known is that their lives were good, and long, and that they loved each other always.

The End.