The darkness didn’t stop when she opened her eyes. She tried to sit up, but found there was no supportive ground beneath her. She wasn’t falling per se– there was no wind rushing past– there was a simple lack of ground. She stretched out her arms in all directions, tired and bruised muscles screaming at her as she did so, but she felt nothingness all about. She reached down to find her wand, hoping to lob some fire into the blackness, and found it as absent as the ground. She found, in fact, that everything was absent: her wand, her rations, her armor, her clothes. She patted her hands along her body, finding there only the many lacerations she had received in the battle.
It had not gone well. The Whisper had whipped its tendrils about, knocking her down and about. She severed a few, and got a few good whacks at the thing proper, but it was too fast for her. It seemed to know her thoughts, to expect her next action before even she did. It had been inside her head so long it probably did. She had tried to act on impulse, remembering those few long-ago sword fighting lessons her father had given her out in the forest, hitting tree branches. But the Whisper, too, remembered at least one side of that memory, and quite likely both. It had spun her around and hit her from behind. That was the last thing she could recall. She remembered falling, the world slipping from her consciousness, her fingers slipping from her father’s sword.
She saw a glint in the distance. It was a tiny amount of light but in this perfect darkness it was as blinding as the sun. She twisted her body around and faced it, saw it again, and began to swim in the inky void, hoping that she might make some progress toward it that way. She struggled, pulling at the nothing for a dozen minutes, but seemed no closer. She blinked, took a deep breath, and peered at the thing, narrowing her focus on it. It, too seemed to be twisting in the darkness, the luminescence growing and waning as it did so. She reached out, her fingers eclipsing its light, and then, suddenly, the light was speeding toward her, its speck becoming a shaft, its shape becoming clear.
She grabbed her fathers sword, spun about with the force of it, and sliced into the darkness. She heard the scream, and the void churned, and suddenly she was falling. She tumbled onto hard rock, rolled, stood, and looked around.
The Island was gone. The Whisper was gone. There was only rough-hewn stone, a low stalactite-studded ceiling, and a dim glow coming from far ahead. She clutched the sword, wished she had recovered more of her belongings, and moved toward the light.