Yun stood on the endless plane. The sky was a piercing, painful blue that stretched her heart further than she could bear. Below her was the mirror-still water on which she stood. The smell of spent rain clouds hung in the air like static, more divine than earthly. She walked.
She walked for a long time before she found the first gate. It was tall and ancient, long since disrepaired, the vague impressions of color fading into a blanket of moss. For a moment, she could see a figure on the other side, though perhaps it was just her reflection. She stepped through the gate and fell into the abyss.
Straight through the surface and into the crushing depths. Her breath steadily ran hotter and hotter as she sank.
She couldn’t see, but knew a hand was being held out to her. She reached for it, stretching her arm until it felt like her joint would pop out and her muscles fray. She felt the soft brush of fingertips against hers.
Yun awoke, face-down in her pillow, and sat up to breathe the clear morning air.