A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L'Engle
" ' Not everybody is able to see me,' he told her. 'I'm real, and most earthlings can bear very little reality. But if it will relieve your mind, I'll dematerialize.' he waved a few wings gracefully. 'It's really more comfortable for me not to be burdened with matter, but I thought it would be easier for you if you could converse with someone you could see.'
The cherubim was there in front of her, covering most of the star-watching rock, and then he was not there. She thought she saw a faint shimmer in the air, but it might have been the approach of dawn. She could feel him, however, moving within her mind. 'Are you feeling extremely brave Megling?'
'No.' A faint light defined the eastern horizon. The stars were dim, almost extinguished.
'I think we're going to have to be brave, earth child, but it will be easier because we're together. I wonder if the Teacher knows..'
'That you've seen an Echthros.'
'Progo, I don't understand. What is an Ecthros?'
Abruptly, Proginoskes materialized, raised several wings, and gathered her in. 'Come, littleing. I'll take you some place...and show you.'...'...Come.' He drew her further in to him.
She found herself looking directly into one of his eyes, a great, amber cat's eye, the dark mandala of the pupil, opening, compelling, beckoning. She was drawn towards the oval, was pulled into it, was through it. Into the ultimate night on the other side. Then she felt a great, flaming wind, and knew that somehow she herself was part of that wind.
Then she felt a great shove, and she was standing on a bare stone mountaintop, and Proginoskes was blinking and winking at her. She thought she saw the oval, mandala-eye through which she had come, but she was not sure.
The cherubim raised a great wing to sketch the slow curve of sky above them. The warm rose and lavender of sunset faded, dimmed, was extinguished. The sky was drenched with green at the horizon, muting upwards into a deep, purply blue through which stars began to appear in totally unfamiliar constellations.
Meg asked, 'Where are we?'
'Never mind where. Watch.'
She stood beside him, looking at the brilliance of the stars. Then came a sound, a sound which was above sound, beyond sound, a violent, silent, electrical report, which made her press her hands in pain against her ears. Across the sky, where the stars were clustered as thickly as in the Milky Way, a crack shivered, slivered, became a line of nothingness.
If this kind of thing was happening in the universe, no matter how far away form earth and the Milky Way. ...
'Progo, what is it? What happened?'
'Annihilated. Negated. Extinguished. Xed.'
Meg stared in horrible fascination at the rent in the sky. This was the most terrible thing she had ever seen...She pressed close to the cherubim, surrounding herself with wings and eyes and puffos smoke, but she could still see the rip in the sky.
She could not bear it."