How exactly the world could come to an end and life go on, Lugh didn’t know. He felt like a sleepwalker. He’d bathed and changed from his bloodied clothing, as he’d done after hundreds of battles before. The routine carried him through where thoughts failed him. The lesser fey handled the preparations for the corpse. Lugh oversaw, more to have another Sidhe present rather than to truly assist. The All-Mother deserved so much more, but Lugh had nothing left to give.
Her body was cleaned and dressed in glittering white. Her gloved hands were joined together over her stomach, holding the hilt of the silver dagger than slew her. The blade rested between her breasts. The silver did not touch the skin and so would not damage the body further. Danu would not decay. She would just slowly fade away.
All fey were partially physical and partially magic. Without the constant and renewing breath of magic coming into her, Danu would eventually become less corporeal, becoming as a ghost until finally she vanished into nothingness.
Lugh helped to lift the glass cover into place over the velvet pallet that served as the All-Mother’s final bed. His tears finally began their silent spill to burn down his cheeks as the procession began into the undercroft deep beneath the temple. The fey scattered a carpet of flowers before them. Fairy lights twinkled in the dark passageway to the deepest chamber, haphazardly strung along the route at irregular heights. A few of the dwarves had carved a fine stone pedestal for the glass casket to rest upon. Lugh ensured its perfect alignment before setting down the burden.
He knelt before the All-Mother, in her final slumber. His forehead rested against the glass side. Eyes closed.
All of the fey would Fade now, as the All-Mother’s body did. Mourning her, he mourned his people, his home, his own life. Time would not extend before him endlessly, as it always had in the past. Without Danu, there were no Mounds. Without the Mounds, there was no source of fey magic. The flow and renewal of the magic that fed into each fey and powered their magic came from the Mounds.
“Why would anyone do this? Did they not know?”
A hand softly rested upon his shoulder. Lugh ignored it. Only when the hand squeezed did he finally lift his gaze.
The Scribe offered him a sorrowful smile. During the preparations someone spoke the Scribe’s name. Lugh searched his emotion-torn memory. Willem. The Scribe’s name was Willem.
“All may not be lost, Champion.” Willem nodded meaningfully across the chamber. All of the other fey had wandered away, dealing with grief in their own ways. The loss of the All-Mother devastated. More than just this, though, all lost family and friends in the collapse as well.
Part 7/7 of "End of the World" coming on 11/22/11!