The blank sclera of my eye become alight with a glorious ring of divinity as my entire vision is engulfed by them. In the black sky, I can see Corona's hand pressing against the wall which divides us. I behold the beauty, as this world slowly engulfs me in shade.
The earth beneath my settled legs shifts endlessly, a charade of patterns merely imitating life but unable to replicate its true form. Jagged peaks protrude from the shifting land, moving as if spines on some larger beast, but never daring to come close. The grains, I can hear, almost whisper something to me as they always have.
I took it to be my name. For eons yearning, I had finally come to understand it. The language they speak is one of astral understanding. Nothing could comprehend that which lies beyond the mirror curtain, but they somehow emenate a profound understanding of its nature. I can only assume they once touched Corona and came to me as envoys.
I cannot see beyond it, that wall. Though it remains transparent for me to see Corona, it only shows them. Nothing beyond that light but more of the unending plague of blackness. In some ways, I wonder how I can percieve these shadows when light seems so absent. Perhaps I have grown accustomed to Corona's presence. Was it always there?
The ground whispers to me all the same, that repeated name. Calling me. Mocking me.
I look down upon myself. My hands, thin and bony, Corona's full of life as it reaches towards me. My body, anorexic, alien to everything. Even the jutting spikes bear more beauty than these horrid excuses for extremities. Softly, I yearn for their shape. Then I look up, and see Corona again. I reach forward, only to be reminded of the distance between us.
It was some time ago that I decided to collect what little foliage I could to cover myself. The one feeling that dominated had led me to self-disgust of a nameless variety. Even seeing the horrid, writhing patterns, I still could sense their inherent beauty. Their fragile, changing form utterly unlike my own static one, sitting in place perpetually.
Something had come over me, to invent a measurement. A perverse measurement to scale the unscalable, which I called Motion. Each movement that I could witness is Motion. Each change is Motion. Everything observed commits to Motion.
Except for Corona. Ever-present. Unmoving. Yet, I can feel it reaching with some effort in the very core of my being. As if it wishes to move but can't. In contrast, I choose not to. The world around me continues indefinitely. What is the point? To stay in one place and observe from there has always seemed to be the only true option left.
And on some occasions, I wished to lie in the moving land and allow it to take me. To become part of it became a wish of mine. To close my eyes and allow the darkness in, to see nothing but it, and shut out Corona entirely. It became painful. Horribly painful, to see it every moment of my existence. I cannot name the fatigue of remaining perpetually aware of myself at all points. Should something so normal even be given a name?
I had given Corona their name, just as the earth had given me mine. Was that its true identity? Am I truly seeing Corona, or is this merely another figment in the far distance that I was merely hallucinating? No matter how hard I try to remain skeptical, I am shaken by the overwhelming comfort of Corona.
What would there be without Corona?
What is Corona?
Surrounding them is nothing but darkness, and yet their smile betrays what feelings I expect. Having not the earth to speak to, nor the patterns to feel, nor another light to see, is it not solitary?
I look upon Corona's form, and then my own. They remain uncovered and unabashed; fearless. How I yearn for that kind smile and radiance.
At some point, a spike had washed upon my lap. Not like the others which towered far above, but small and able to fit in my skeletal hands. I have kept it with me since then, waiting to know its purpose. Its shape is suited to parting the earth where its thinnest point lies, carving into it impurities which corrupt the patterns.
I press the point against my own body with one intent: As the spike cleaves and carves the earth it touches, so too shall it carve me. I will rend and shape this body to my liking, baring with scars it may leave.
As its painful form cleaves open my own earth, a cold blackness seeps from it and pours into the earth, further corrupting the patterns until all light is washed out of them and nothing remains. I further carve, my arm soon giving way as the soil is rended completely and giving way to my own patterns. Severing further, I find the spikes lying below and reshape them as I please. Once all is said and done, my barren arm is laid before me, unable to move, but I repair its lacerated pieces and stitch them into a more perfect form.
I follow with the rest. The worst is the lower half, which casts a sensation unlike any other I have ever felt, completely unlike the vast cold. There is no time to name it. When the task is complete, that part too cannot bear to move until it is forced to. The rest follows naturally.
I look upon my new form, unable to tell what it is. I have crafted it with my sole intentions. I have made it more perfect. Beautiful. Wonderful patterns to match Corona and the now blank, dark earth below. Etched into me are those which moved so easily before, now static upon this unforgiven body. The colors are disfigured in a patchwork. I linger on those scars, but nothing brings more joy than to see the result of their sacrificial history.
And yet as I look into the sky, upon Corona, I can only see the periphery of my vision fading into dark. That same, familiar feeling washes over when I gaze upon Corona's own form. The world seems to stop. All Motion apart from my own ceases to be. For a moment, I am everything. The next, I am nothing. Upon this endless land, I can only see myself as but a mere grain in Corona's vision. Surely, she can see beyond it all. And even now, even with this perfection, the inherent "Wrongness" as I can call it, still lingers. The earth below no longer shifts with vigor, but hesitantly.
And so I waited, for a sign of Motion. Perhaps it was a poor decision to measure by that, for even without apparent Motion, I could still feel the passage of something greater that would simply not relent.
And yet, at some point, a spike emerged from the ground. Not unlike the one which I had found so long ago, and still keep. The same. The exact same, but another. A couple.
Taking it in my hands, I press the two together. Surely, they were meant to belong together as something greater. Why else would they match? And yet, they do not fuse as they should. Unlike the patterns, their forms are too stiff. They are too stubborn. So, I force them together.
Each clash makes my ears ring in sharp pain, but I continue. Nothing could be more beautiful than these two horribly stubborn things coming together as they should. Each time, it seems as if it should work, but each further faults. Somehow, they seem to produce flickers of light with their clashing.
Is this the creation of Corona? Is this the source of its radiance? To be a part of such an event is surely beautiful.
And in one final clash, they split apart completely. In their parting, one final flash is created, and nothing more. They fall into pieces and to the earth below, becoming nothing more than a part of it once more.
Did I do something wrong? Did I fail again?
But something is wrong. Somehow, Corona's radiance seems to be emanating from somewhere. That feeling comes back. The unnamable which came about from carving out my lower half. That paradoxical pain, unlike any other before.
And as I look down, I can see that radiance building right there. Where I had once kept the spike, there is now light. It flickers unlike Corona's, growing rapidly and overtaking the foliage covering my new form. The unfamiliar feeling engulfs me entirely, and I can do nothing but sit in silent contemplation as the form I had taken such care into creating is consumed.
The feeling does not hurt more than that. Rather, it is the opposite. As it devours everything further, I gaze into the once dark sky, now illuminated, watching as everything I had once thought to be endless falls apart.
Soon, everything is gone. I now float in the same abyss which Corona does, still but a speck to its image. Now, there is a new feeling. Not just a dull and unidentifiable pain, but a lack of leverage. My body moves on its own, unable to find an anchor. I cannot change my direction, nor move as I please so easily. My very being comes to lack its own substance, but I cannot find the strength to panic.
Everything is gone.
...It is only in the silence as I close my eyes and last, prolonging the void as if to call it into me, I can feel a pressure against my hand. Finally, after waiting for so long, I can feel something other than myself. I open my eyes, and the face of Corona is staring into my eyes. I can see its hand pressed against mine, and feel it. The same feeling the false light which engulfs me brings, but far kinder. The tactile manifestation of everything Corona is. I could feel that much in my fingers, but then in my ears as it speaks.
"O Umbra, I have wondered when I would see your radiance."
Its voice, unlike any other, breaks apart every fiber of my being, and another unknown feeling wells up inside of me. Corona seems to become one with the wall we both press against, just as I do, and I assume we can feel each other entirely. My entire body basks in the glow, and only then does a name for this come.
"Warmth." Corona tells me.
I respond in kind, my own perception, "Love."
A step beyond joy. I cannot define it any further than that. No such capacity exists within me to do so. Corona does not respond. We remains silent.
For now until "The End", I will remain here, and Corona will accept me. Until "The End", if this "warmth" ever vanishes, we will remain.
May I now call myself content?