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Happy Teaser Tuesday! Today we continue with the story we began last week. Take a minute to go back and read that first, if you didn’t read it before.


“Kaizen, I want to say…” Her lips trembled.

“Ellen.” He reached out and stroked her hair. “Believe me, I know what you want to say. Now is the time to prepare yourself for separation from this world. Do you really want to say this? To strengthen your attachment? Will this help you along your path?”

She grabbed his hand, kissed it. “Damn you and your monkishness! Always giving, and never giving everything. Why have you helped me stay alive, let me love you, and now let me go at the end? Isn’t this hurting you too?”

“Pain is not suffering, and pleasure is not attachment. I am in pain, but I am not suffering.”

She threw his hand down. “You pitiless bastard!” She burst into tears that boiled away on her cheeks.

“Boy!” She waved for Erik.

“Ma’am?” He jumped up.

“Don’t you ever get taken in by this cruelty. Hiding behind words.” She screamed. “I loved him!”

Kaizen looked at the sky, letting his own tears well up and cover his unseeing eyes. “And I would pull down the stars to keep you alive. What more do you want?”

“I want you to say you love me! I want to say good-bye to a man, not a monk!”


The ridge between the mountain peaks was as sharp as a knife. The wind and clouds whispered as they blew up the far slope and out into the thin air. Erik and Kaizen crouched, shivering, but Lady Fyrhawke stood tall.

“I’m going down. Better ice than ice-hearted monks.”

Erik reached out a hand. “But my Lady!”

“Don’t follow! Kaizen, keep him with you, go back down as quickly as you can. If I can reach the ice, I might last a little longer. Go!” And with that last imperious word, she started unsteadily down into the icy mist.

“Sir, we must go after her! She’s gone by herself and will do herself a harm all alone.”

Kaizen held Erik firmly. “She knows what she’s doing. Come quickly, we have to get down before the end. Lead me, at least to that boulder where we ate last.”

A mountain valley rising to mist covered peaks.

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