At the end of it, she stood before the place where the city had been, an overwhelming sadness upon her once she could see the full extent of what had been lost. There were edges left behind in broken, mangled remnants, and she pressed her fingers upon them, more lovingly than the Princess had ever been.
When she was done, it was a nice, clean space once more.
A city would not rise there the way it once had, for the land of light and shadow had had its time, and that time was over. She mourned this, for she knew that there would be no retracing the fingerprints of what had once been. For the charm to have its true magic – for the place to be a living space again – whatever filled the emptiness had to be new.
She raised her hand, and from it birthed new things.
When one horizon was filled, it raised its head and beckoned: Oi, get back here, end of the world’s over. Citizens began their negative exodus, and found that they were not the same as they were before, just as the space was not as it had been before. Even so, they were not sad, for when they regarded their new home, they saw that it was good.
Alas, not all came at this first call! These were the ones lost beyond the lines between one space and the other, some of them finding the folds where worlds met and sliding out through them to see the rest of the universe.
Raising the charm upon her face, she declared: You can’t be serious, and chased them one after another, returning them to the place that was meant for them.
Some went willingly, for they were merely lost, and some resisted, for they had seen the world beyond and wanted it, though that place could not hold them as they were. Though it saddened her, she fulfilled this task, for she knew that the charm only had magic for one; he had stepped beyond the barrier and had thus been changed, though when he bore the password: But I’m a very important man, she held the charm before him and he knew who he was, and it was good.
Side by side, they regarded the new city, which was as wide as it was grand. He had comments, though it was only her hand that brought the city to stretch all the way to the next horizon, so that everyone had a home and a share of prosperity.
Once done, she stood back, satisfied. There were still places for new horizons, but the charm could fold them inside now, and this it did.
She came upon the Library, now taller than it had ever been, and declared: You wouldn’t happen to have A Very Useful Book, would you, and the other said, Look, he’s narrating everything we say, everything we say, everything we say, will he really narrate everything, what if I say bollocks to—and she hit him at the back of his head, for the wise and very knowledgeable Librarian did indeed have A Very Useful Book, its cover new and red as it had once been, and she took it from him to touch pages that flicked at her fingers with soft recognition.
And indeed, it was good.