Garden was a peaceful enough place; all of us came here, but most of us to visit at least once, before our final resting time. I had walked through its paths many times; the faces I saw were familiar, old friends, family, all of them languidly posed, eyes closed, lips all wearing the faintest of smiles, nearly like holding a secret. I knew, in time, I would join them, and any of my line might come through and see me, and draw strength and peace from being in the presence of all of our shared history. This time, however, Garden was busy, hundreds of us walking the paths, touching the trees, the earth, the flowers and vines, roots and blossoms. This time, Garden was all but humming with whispers.
I knelt into the mossy pillow on the banks of Garden’s river, my hands found only emptiness within the bed of grass where I once had put my love to rest. His closed eyes weren’t there for me to kiss; the shine of his armor did not greet me. Instead, I saw dozens of my friends speaking with loved ones long since gone, laying, hands clasped, arm in arm, staring up at the petaled sky. I saw old friends and compatriots rise, and walk on new, trembling feet, toward the way out, leaving behind the living, leaving them in their stead.
I felt his hand at my shoulder; I stood and turned to meet him, and found his lips upon mine as I had not felt them in many seasons. There, in Garden, he laid me down upon the mossy pillow, and covered my body with his own. He was cold as he had been the day he fell to the Autumn Queen, and he sought my warmth as never before. I took him in and laid my cheek to his, put my arms around him, and sang without sadness.
Once he had he spent himself within me, he rose, warm-skinned and fair-eyed. My arms would not lift to him, and my eyes would not stay alight. The last thing I saw was his smile, ever fair, as he walked out of Garden, something the dead had never done before.