~Cascade~ (Ember, Part Four)

Hello. Welcome to Ember. This project started out as a simple idea for a gift, and has become so much more than that. This nine-part story is dedicated to my favorite musical artist in the world: Kubbi.

On February 5th, 2015, he released the album Ember. This story is a response to that very soundtrack. Each part of this story correlates with a song from Ember, and is correspondingly named. Ember is an adventure that I hope you will enjoy. Thanks so much to Kubbi for releasing this amazing and inspiring creation. If you enjoy what you hear, please go give your support to him.

I’d also like to thank Emily Pineau of Nilly Writes for reviewing and helping me edit and being very supportive throughout the process of writing this.

The story corresponds with the soundtrack. I highly encourage listening while you read. The line breaks indicate the pace you should read with the music. Longer groups of words should be read with more energy and speed. You will get a natural feel for it as you listen (although don’t obsess over it, this isn’t necessary to understand the story itself).

This is part four of nine to a progressive story, which will be updated once a week. If you wish to see all of Ember so far, it can be found here. If you wish to see the individual posts, they’re listed below:

Part One – Pathfinder
Part Two – Ember
Part Three – Firelight

Welcome to Ember, Part Four: Cascade.

I passionately hope you’ve liked what you’ve read so far, and that you will continue to! Thanks so much! ~<3~


Zeina wakes.
“Where am I?”
Everything is still so bright…
Colors flash,
Sounds vibrate,
He is overwhelmed by light.

Pulsing waves
Shake the ground.
The world felt like it would crack.
Then he saw
Something else:
Another person, looking back.

Fiery soul, glowing eyes,
Ivory skin in lighter shades
Tall and thin and beautiful,
Her bright scarlet hair cascades.

Stressed, exhausted, shivering.
She looked like she’d been through a lot.
Zeina watched as she approached,
Wondering what to do with that thought.

“Who are you? What is this place?”
Pyra, quick to inquire, she is.
“I am Zeina,” he softly spoke,
“And I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for this…”

She must have seen how shy he was;
She calmed her tone a bit.
“It’s okay. But where are we?
I mean, this place, you know it?”

Yes, he did. It wasn’t new.
It was his own invention.
He’d never expected to see this place,
And it was never his intention.

“I don’t know how we are here,
But I know what it is, you see…
I thought of it so long ago,
An idea that’s now become our reality.”

“This is the labyrinth!”
Zeina said, with passion,
Probably louder than he’d ever spoken before.

After all, this was his dream come to life!
But not as small as he dreamed;
It was so much more.

Pyra asked, “But what is that?
In here, what’s there to find?”
Zeina told her his root thought:
“The labyrinth is a metaphor for the mind.”

“Here we find the thoughts and dreams
Of whoever’s mind it is,” he said.
“In that case, who’s mind is this?” she asked.
Before he could answer, the walls shifted.

“An opening! Let’s go, Zeina!” Pyra ran for the door.
“Wait– oh, um, okay…!”
He tried to catch up with her.
She was too fast, couldn’t keep up, couldn’t stay.

She sure seemed uplifted though, he thought to himself.
Happier than she was when they met.
Which made him wonder for the first time:
Where had she come from, and why she was soaking wet?

Down the hall, colors swirled, dancing around her,
He wanted to paint it, it was beautiful.
Red, green, blue, and– the girl.

“Wait, what’s your name?” he called out to her.
She’d stopped at a door, wondering what was inside.
“I’m Pyra,” she said, “And where’s this go to?”
“One way to find out, I suppose,” he replied.

They pushed through together,
Amazement filled their eyes.
Pyra was struck by the pure beauty,
And Zeina expressed his surprise.

They saw paintings of bright landscapes,
Yellow skies and violet dreams,
Emotions were expressed with color,
A feeling in every shape, it seems.

The room was moving, spinning, turning,
Colors flashing, changing, fading.
Pyra said, “I absolutely love this.
Your labyrinth sure holds amazing things.”

Before Zeina could think of what to say,
The room began to change again.
More doors appeared, leaving a choice.
There were a lot; Zeina counted eleven.

“Which way, Zeina? Do you know?
If not, we can just choose randomly.”
“I think I do– just hold on a moment…”
She then looked over, concernedly.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong, Zeina?”
“I’m fine, it’s just a little overwhelming.”

Pyra could tell he wasn’t completely truthful,
She knew he wasn’t saying everything.

“You’re completely sure that you’re okay?
It’s okay if you don’t want to say.”
Pyra knew if she was him,
She wouldn’t say anything anyway.

“It’s just that no one’s ever told me
That anything I’d made was amazing.”
Pyra at first thought that he meant the labyrinth,
But then realized– he meant the painting.

“Come on, follow me this way, Pyra.
I know which way to go.
We need to head down as far as we can.”
Pyra decided to trust that he’d know.

Quickly, Zeina chose to proceed
Through the only door that had no mark.
Each other had a number, but not this one.
A journey in which she was willing to embark.

Zeina could still hardly believe
That she’d appreciated what he had made.
Though, now that she knew it was his,
He thought her amazement would fade.

After all, no one had ever cared.
They’d only ever criticize.
Zeina only saw his imperfections.
She hadn’t yet, but she’d realize.

Normally too scared to lead,
Zeina still felt responsible.
Somehow, he’d brought both of them here,
So he had to help her get out.

She seemed to really like it, though,
No real desire to get back home.
She didn’t speak much of herself,
She’d just explore and roam.

He didn’t mind it at all himself,
No one would miss him, he was sure.
This place was straight out of his dreams–
But what had he been brought here for?

Pyra made him happy.
For once, he had a friend.
He almost didn’t want it to end…

Hours pass by,
They see the maze,
Through rooms of dark,
And pastel glaze.

She truly loves
All that he’s made.
He wishes to draw for her
The fiery cascade.

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