After much struggle and little oxygen they pierce the cloud layer ringing the mountain and come through the high glorious roof of the world, a sky as blue as midnight and thronged with stars.

Mighty Chernobog stirs in the depths of the stone and regards them.

“Little crawling things,” xie says, “have you come to visit me? My brothers, my sisters. My quick-limbed children. My loves. Have you come to visit mighty Chernobog?’

“Holy shit,” says Alex.

“Long have I waited. Long, and long, for you to come, for the bridegroom, for the white-clad bride. Have you come at last? Are we now to have our long-waited consummation? Come to me, come to me.”

Much panic and alarm. They plummet back down, down through the clouds, down the rocky cliffs, tear through the alpine forests, the soft mountain meadows, burn back toward civilization, toward the protection of people, of words, of neon. Mighty Chernobog thunders in their heads: “Wait for me, my best beloveds. I am coming. Wait for me, wait for me…”