In the last chapter of Hitherby Dragons we learned about Jenna and Liril.
They’d both suffered at the monster’s hands.
And unlike most of the Nephilim that the monster’d found they’d each built something like an answer. They’d stumbled into an escape; a way out; a path to freedom. And it’s the nature of escapes and ways out that they are dead ends; and each of them was facing this truth in their own characteristic fashion.
Jenna had locked herself away from everything else, in a firewood world suspended in the sky. She was busily engaged in pretending this would work when Martin came and set her spirit on fire and turned her into Jane.
Liril hid in Santa Ynez and she was still and silent and her brother Micah kept her safe.
And each of them lived frozen—
Not aging, like fairy princesses oughtn’t, even though that’s not exactly what they were—
Until the changing of the wind.
That’s when Jane pinned her safety to the future of the world.
She’d done it before!
A long time ago!
But it was the wind’s changing that made it official.
“The monster won’t have me,” Jane decided, “if I can save everyone from sorrow.”
And now she lives in a tower beyond the world and she creates these phantasmagoria from the chaos and maybe, just maybe, she’ll make an answer to everybody’s suffering before this story ends. If she doesn’t, you see, that’s probably an unhappy ending for everyone concerned, including Jane.
Liril’s answer, on the other hand, was more personal.
Liril decided she would run.
Some of it was the changing wind, and some of it was a stone named Liril that Micah rolled out into the world, and some of it—maybe—was a duty pressing inwards from the suffering natures of the world.
Out of all of that, anyway, came her decision.
She decided she would run.
She decided she’d be safe if she could make her safety. So she took her old babysitter John and she made a ghoul of him, and she and John and Micah made plans to get away.
That’s when Tina captured Micah and tortured him.
That’s when her plan went very bad.
Liril’s rescued Micah from Tina’s basement, now. John’s slaughtered the demon Thysiazo, now, and Liril and Micah are away.
But it hurts that Micah hurt.
Not just for Liril.
It hurts for all of us, for us and you, forever and ever, because when any person suffers none of the rest of us are spared.
It’s not just philosophy!
It’s a fundamental law!