She was suddenly far from the underwater world, in a place that existed only in fire. The pressure was exquisite, crushing the breath and life from her. Magma spewed from roaring fountains, cascading all around her, touching the hem of her simple white dress and crumbling it to blackened ash. Soon, the shoes that had been on her feet were burned away, and only her pale skin was left behind. She stepped unflinchingly into the largest of the magma rivers, and waded out into the very center. Magma rose up from just beneath her, moving slowly up her skin as though a force greater than the center of the earth pulled it. It continued to rise until it covered her whole body, then it cooled rapidly, encasing her within smooth, black stone.
There was no air anymore. No thought. No light.
Golden-white light shot from the tips of her fingers downward into the magma, cracking the black stone, making the bubbling fire glow with radiance. It spread quickly through the river that she stood in, then traveled outward, rapidly transforming the entire network of rivers and streams, firefalls and oceans, until all were lit with her golden-white light.
As the winding up days of the great and final battle commence, old alliances come to the fore, new alliances are strengthened, and their world of shifting light and dark becomes more hopeful as the numbers of the Luminari and those that follow the Dragon-King Cerralys continues to grow stronger.
And then suddenly the unthinkable happens, and Auri discovers a secret so brutal that it shatters everything she knows. Everything she is. Before the end is come, before the final battle-horn knells and the fire of the Rebel Dragons descends, she must somehow find the courage to be the White Queen of elven prophecy, the strength to face the darkest shadows of Terradin, and the graces to heal that which seems irreparably broken.
For herself, and for those that she just can't live without.
©2014 Dusty Lynn Holloway (P)2016 Dusty Lynn Holloway