The Pattern of Prague – Part One
Grandfather’s Sixth Letter
The crack, the boom, the roar. The Rhine raced down with terrible power as shards of crystal filled the water, a cruel addition to the torrent. Yet in the face of that crushing doom, I found myself calm.
“Why, how exceptionally brave Grandpa is,” you may think, imagining me wearing the heroic yet peaceful expression you see on the dying officers in all those silly war paintings. I am sorry to disillusion you, my dear, but my internal peace had nothing to do with courage nor for that matter any conviction William would rescue me. His feeble, “Oh dear,” had assured me of quite the opposite.
No, I stood steady for two reasons. First, I knew Fluss was safe. She had found salvation in that strange light and relief helped me ignore my desperate circumstances. Second, I was still exceptionally dazed by both the blow to my head and blood-loss, and so could barely muster any sort of reaction to anything.
So with death a moment away and I hovering on the edge of unconsciousness, I merely closed my eyes and waited.
To my very great shock – though certainly not yours as I am writing this to you – I was not turned into putty or shredded to pieces by that maelstrom of shattered crystal and water. Instead of that unpleasant fate, I heard the great roaring vanish all in a moment and William cry out.
When I opened my eyes, I saw about us a sphere of clear water and dancing riverweeds. The Rhine rushed by, a dark maelstrom, but it could not disturb our shield, that final farewell of Fluss.
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