Shortly after it had left the orchard, the column halted at the base of a mountain. The Green Man now spoke within them simultaneously:
“I have brought us together to take over this Divide to another plane—up.”
The mountain was smooth and white, its surface the white stones of the meadow, the lake, and the orchard. Their climb created a zigzag trail of switchbacks, at first marked by the Green Man’s blood.
The Goat Man began to play a dissonant and irregular melody on his applestick. Green plants began to sprout from the column’s bloody trail. Among them were red, orange, and yellow flowers. Next came bushes and trees, some with new kinds of fruit, some with nuts, some leaves, and increasingly with needles—all in a myriad of sizes and shapes.
From the path, which remained bare, a wave of vegetation swiftly encircled all visible ground and there took shape a mountain forest, which, a certain height thinned, and gave way to a meadow of flowers and berry bushes.
There the ground became level.
The Green Man called a halt and pointed ahead.
There perched upon a great white rock was an aged woman clad in a cerulean blue robe. She gestured to the Green Man, who approached her and knelt.
He rose and handed her his head.
The Crone placed it on his shoulders. “Heal.”
The wound disappeared. The Green Man turned around and smiled and returned to the column. Blue flowers sprouted around the boulder and entered and spread through the green grass to take their place among the red, orange, and yellows already there.
The Crone turned to the column. “Heal.” The last sense of division disappeared among its members. It became a being, a young woman with blue eyes flecked with green and blond hair streaked with orange. All blood evaporated from the meadow and suffused her flowing flesh.
The Crone cackled. “Blush, April. I prophesy that you will soon wed.”