There were no stars, but as she kicked her feet as hard as she could, George’s voice drifted from somewhere above.
“No more tomorrows, Prudence.”
She tried to call out to let him know she was fighting, but the words got stuck in her throat.
“No more second chances” he purred.
Clenching her teeth and fists, she thrashed her legs as though she was pushing herself up from the bottom of the sea, and in many ways, she was, for she had been sucked through the eye of some great and powerful maelstrom, and now she had to find a way back to the surface. Still the temptation to cease whispered itself into her ear, and yet with each kick of her feet, the urge to resist increased.
“Don’t go” George called, and yet although she was fighting it, his voice sounded more distant than ever.
Squeezing her eyes as tight as she could, she pretended to swallow a mouthful of air and held her breath. The darkness smothered her—it kissed and squeezed and pinched her in all the right places. All she had to do was stop, and there would be no more suffering, and yet as she prepared to shoot upwards, she knew that as tempting as it was, no more suffering did indeed mean no more tomorrows.
“Prudence?” George’s searching voice fell upon her shoulders as if it were made up of the discarded leaves of some dying tree. It was as desperate as before, and yet she knew he was losing hope more than ever. She’d not been gone long, and yet the longer she remained out of view, there was no doubt he would think she had given in to the devil on her shoulder.
Biting her lower lip, she blew out a lungful of air and kicked against the invisible hands that reached out for her. They recoiled back, or at least they did in her mind’s eye. Like a dolphin, she shot through the absence of light, and the more she fought against it, the more she became her own light. In a void that transcended death, she was at first the smallest of pinpricks of light in a Godless sky, but as she continued to rise, so she continued to shine. She did so until her light reached George’s eyes as they frantically searched for signs of her return. The stars were still behind him, and yet everywhere else there was nothing—nothing except for the ball of light that seemed to be rising from the depths of wherever she had fallen into. Holding his breath as she held hers, he willed her towards him, but in his gut, he knew he didn’t need to for she now had the fury of her momentum. All he could do was focus as hard as he could so that when she was back with him, they could escape to the land of the living.
“The second I see you, I shall be there for you” he called.
But his words didn’t reach her.
Burning like a fiery meteor, X seared her way through the void like a hot knife through butter, and where once there had been a crushed a soul on the brink of defeat, there now shone a star child ready to once more taste the colours of life.