GoneAway, In the Absence of Shadows. Read a sampling of the sequel to GoneAway into the Land. Yes, Mengus and Maraska are back. Mengus emerges from the depths of the Earth only to find himself climbing on a craggy hillside overlooking a small fishing village. Above him looms a monestary. Agios Ioannis.
Drip – drip – drip… One – two – three went the count.Mengus listened to the echo of the drip.
Droplets of water—the very ones that wore away the stones of Troy, and with blind oblivion swallowed cities up. Mengus pondered their passage from sea to land and back again—the dripping sound became, to him, the Niagara falling through unplumbed millennia, every watery particle destined to traverse time as he traverses time, and, at last, to grasp the meaning. Now he would listen and hold on with the strength of a God. Yes, to be hoisted to the Mount once again—to be anointed Lord of the Land.It would begin once again, he was certain, when time unfolds its contours. It would be then that Mengus would ride aloft the Ancients—all the while listening with delight their loathsome woes at having failed to dissolve his spirit.
Another of the drips shot through him like a static bolt causing his hopes to soar. It was water trickling as if from a cave wall.He could hear it.And it didn’t fade away like other sounds that had aroused his senses.
Mengus—count the drips. Count, he yelled, certain he was calling out the words, but he had been certain of other fictions as well. Those ended without result—as worthless telltales of his war with Mother Death . . . for she was to swallow his soul for all eternity. But she had not taken him—not yet anyway.
Listen Mengus for the sound of the dripping. It will be yours to turn the oceans red. The fertile grip of fear is love to you . . . for terror is a salutary thing. You who will ride the red horse and fly upon the darkened wing. Do not let your guard down. Do not relax. Your genius, for now, is your patience, and your trust must remain within the powerful events you set in motion.
Are my eyes closed? he questioned, but he couldn’t be sure.
An ache . . . yet again and again he could not be sure.
Mengus screamed for more pain—more pain. But when he tried to focus on his physical sensations, a blast of light, like a bomb, blinded him, erasing all thought, and with it the illusion of his triumph over the endless vacuum.When the light ended it had the demoralizing effect of eradicating his memory. But not the memories of things to come. He was hoarding those.