- Vol. 08
- Chapter 07
Fantasia is engulfed in misery and dread. The Nothing rips it apart at the seams, piece-by-piece. Atreyu rides atop Falkor—a wise, white, dog-faced luckdragon—and witnesses the ravages of grief. It is unbearable. Below, spirits flee the ensuing darkness. Above, an angry storm brews.
Bastian is caught in the middle and must choose: succumb or survive. The ocean, once a force that cleansed and renewed, cannot save him. He must lift his head and call for help. His voice trembles and breaks. He chokes on his words.
The rain begins and Falkor can see the end is nigh. The world eats itself. The edges walk themselves back. The universe no longer expands, it disbands—a hurt so deep that matter and energy can no longer hold their shape nor form. Grief transforms into rage.
He bites his tongue. Thunder crashes in the distance. He must speak up before it's too late. He swallows, takes a deep breath and look towards the sky. A silver serpent glistens. Pink birds chase. A woman with red hair extends her hand. Bastian, draped in orange, reaches out.
Atreyu beckons to Falkor to save one more soul. It's their last chance. The luckdragon descends towards the Earth. The image of a boy shivering in the downpour grows larger. Darkness spreads. Lightning devours.
A snake falls from the heavens. Bastian waits for its embrace. As it nears, he cries out and sounds bellows from his lungs. The creature circles the boy and lands, resting on the ocean shore. He looks into its deep brown eyes, full of knowing and recognition.
Falkor remembers the human from his dreams. As if prophecy, this meeting is fated. Sad eyes stare. The boy is not a boy. Underneath the orange robe lies a tail, the same ilk from which the dragon is bore.
Nothing is what it seems. Only the black clouds and their tears and their violent wrath. Atreyu takes the hand of the child and holds him close. Falkor rises and so does the wind. Their journey is nearly over.
The air is hard and blows off Bastian's cape. Rose doves dip and breech. The topless woman holds him tight. Her pink scarf comes loose and is lost but she doesn't look back. "We are headed to the end of ends, where we will be safe."
Three and some flying to the last light. Falkor's horizon is green and blue. A place where lime trees adorn freshwater lakes. Here, salvation in a somewhere untenable to sorrow. Hope is a discipline, he knows it.
The animals land in a forest glade. The sky stops falling. "You are safe. You are home now," Atreyu tells the boy.
Falkor nods slowly. "We are family."
"I was lost and now I am found," agrees Bastian.
The Creator. The Challenger. The Coach.