I have been to the place where the Prince first Fell, where he tore such a hole in the sky that the sun’s molten heat still pours through in blistering waves. His impact crater is a land unto itself, a waiting predator disguised in rubble the size of mountains, ancient layers exposed by tectonic shifts like the sharp vertebrae of the earth. Everything here is stark; the line between light and shadow, the shift between baking heat and freezing cold, the sudden swift wipeout of parched earth by a flash flood of tempest’s rage. Great black birds circle overhead each day and each night the ground dwelling creatures creep forth from their cool dens, eyes flickering in the moonlight. There is no land harsher on Earth and yet life struggles on in this place, oblivious to the workings of men or angels, and when either perishes here the scavengers strip their flesh like all the rest. If the Prince still walks this land it is in the rattlesnake’s venom, the coyote’s piercing howl, the thunderhead reaching down with lightning tentacles to scorch the earth.


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