A barren and desolate land where tumult and disquietude pursues you to no end. A place of deep darkness in the vastness of the other world. Crows spread their wings and navigate their way through thick putrid air. Their piercing cries and calls can be faintly heard in the other realm; their dark feathers conceal them from sight. Only an occasional glow of the eyes can be seen. I can see the other side, almost touch it, but I cannot cross over. Invisible shackles hold me back. For years I have sought to destroy them, but most have proven elusive. Those close to me have witnessed the shackles. They see them clearly, and they have toiled endlessly to release me, but alas I still remain in bondage. Strangers jeer with presumption; I cleave to hope with frayed thread. My movements are controlled and orchestrated by unforgiving and unseen forces. They render me lethargic and wilted. Obscurity has been an unwanted friend and we have abode now more seasons than I wish to count. The portal to the other side grows smaller and smaller by the year, by the day, by the hour. As the hour is upon me, I am incessant in my pursuit to reach it, to break through the dark layers and let light flood in. Will anyone assist? Is anyone there? My own echoes confirm my plight. I am resigned to my fate. Miraculously, fire still burns within me. I must conceal it in a secret place, lest the crows and whisperers of the night gaze upon it and uncover my resolve.