THE DECEIVER – EXCERPT # SIX

The Jackal has been defeated again, the crooks sealed into the Barrier Wood, and Terah’s body lies in state

Terah’s body lay in state before the throne of Windfallow. It had been washed and dressed, the wounds left visible as tokens of his sacrifice and honor. He lay on a rectangular block of pure amethyst., a cloth of shining white lay across his body. The thrones behind him were empty for the King and Queen stood with the assembly that packed the huge hall.

Shoulder to shoulder they stood in silence. The Alari, sized down to miniature, hovered just above the people. Except for Angari. He stood between the thrones; his robes were glistening white, his hair and body golden. His wings were spread wide and his hands were raised, palms upward, to Heaven. He was not the blindingly bright creature revealed when the Great Bells rang in unison, but he was undoubtedly an angel.

Now, he began to sing. His words were unintelligible to the humans, but sounded like bells and music. The King and Queen joined him then, and, slowly, sweeping from front to back, the whole assembly joined the stately chorus. When the music had swelled so that the building vibrated with power, Angari stepped forward, lifted the broken body of Terah, and flew over the heads of the people. Escorted by myriads of Alari, he disappeared through the high doors into a cloud of light.

Silently the fallowfolk left the palace until only the King and Queen and the Thomases remained. “Oh, John,” whispered Sarah, “there are no cemeteries. There are no cemeteries on Windfallow! How beautiful!”

 

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