But he was unprotected now. His heart was just as mortal as the next. The leaves fell from his fingers, terror stilling the organ in his chest. It wasn’t just the Biloba tree that was similar, he realized, but the entire forest. It was his. The gnarled branches twisted upward, blocking out the sky, the mist crawled up his legs, but he would not be trapped here. He had conquered this hell. He would never be lost to it again. He spun on the spot and all air was sucked from his lungs. Death stood before him. Towering, hooded, a long wicked scythe in one skeletal hand.