Chapter 1

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Uriel pushed himself up to a sitting position on the snowy ground. "Impossible," he said aloud in a cracked voice. "I must be dreaming. They probably gave me more medication, I'm delirious, that's all, I'm…" but there was a lack of conviction as his voice trailed off. He felt like a little boy trying to talk himself out of being scared. He managed a derisive snort and said, "How many times have you tried that? Too many," he answered himself shaking his head.

He let the thoughts drift away and turned his attention to the surroundings, slowly viewing the expanse. He was in a small, circular clearing surrounded by what appeared to be pines. The trees were taller than pines, had a reddish tinge, and a sweeter scent than what he remembered. The area was heavily wooded and the slope led him to believe it was part of what probably was a mountain range. The sky was an endless smudge, blended from varying shades of grey, ready to unleash a storm. As he scanned upwards, he saw two spherical spots of dull light a short distance from one another. He wondered what they could be. One was probably the sun, but the other? Maybe the moon. Strange to have the moon and sun out also, he thought.

He brought his thoughts back to himself and noticed for the first time that he was not wearing ordinary clothes. He was dressed in a hooded cloak of heavy, medium grey material while his underclothes consisted of a tunic and leggings which were a slightly lighter shade of grey. The boots were slightly darker than his cloak and were made from the fur of some animal. A gust chilled him and he remembered he was still sitting on the snowy ground. Uriel stood up and noticed the lack of pain. He stood very still for a moment, taking account of where he thought he should feel pain. But there was none. A wide smile broke across his face. He was healthy again! And if he could be healthy again then maybe…

"Lynn!" he shouted. "Lynn, Danny!" he shouted again. Barely waiting for a response Uriel made short turns, calling out the names again and again. Finally, he listened intently for a long, lonely minute but only his echoes answered him. The snow began to fall heavily as he stood silently crying.

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