Long ago, I fell within a tree, dreaming and waking to the same dream and to the same reality. How long have I been falling? I thought upon awakening from another long dream. I’m taking too long… Not so long after becoming aware again, I safely landed without impact, the air itself a cushion for my fall. I slowly touched the rough wooden ground with the tip of my toe. It had been so long since I had touched solid ground that I couldn’t be sure if what I felt was real or not. I stood up straight and raised my hands up to stretch. She’s waiting. I thought to myself, and entered the bark-bound hall before me.
I wandered the endless corridors of temporal worlds and hidden things. Small green sprites faintly illuminated the way. Brushing my fingers across the sylvan rifts with each step I took, I reacquainted myself with the place outside places… My dearly missed home. With each strum upon the walls, occasional reverberations were created on the strands between spaces, like millions of tiny strings on a guitar. The scent of moss ridden bark was quickly replaced with the aroma of dying leaves and freshly bloomed flowers as a gust of wind flooded the hall. A court of trees, drenched in sun ray of both a morning dawn and an evening dusk appeared within the great halls, and I stepped forth to greet it.
My other was there, waiting for me, as she had always done so before. “What took you so long?” She asked, slowly getting up from the worn table she had been sitting at. She moved toward me, coyly grasping her hands behind her back. A gentle breeze picked up, enticing petals to drift and leaves to fall, Spring and Autumn greeting each other in this place without sense of time. I replied by embracing her tightly. I breathed in her hair, the scent of the sky itself. Sorry I took so long… I thought to myself, but refrained from speaking. I was too captivated and too comfortable to say anything. …I’ve missed you so much.
“I have to show you something!” She said, and revealed a small book that she had been hiding behind her back, placing it in my hands. The book was riddled with keyholes through it’s leather cover and spine. The book had a familiar feeling to it, one that I couldn’t quite place. “Where’s the key?” I asked. She shook her head. “There isn’t one…” I held the book up to the strands of sunlight beaming through the foliage and saw that the keyholes ran straight through the book, exposing tiny paper tunnels. “What’s the point of a keyhole without a lock?” I said as I peered through the book with one squinting eye. “So you don’t need to unlock it, silly!” I looked at her with a sarcastic smile that said, of course, how could I be so stupid? It was warm to the touch, and felt as if it shifted in weight from time to time. Another Oddity, then? I thought to myself.
I flipped through the pages, and found nothing but blank paper. “So… What does it do?” I asked. “You write in it, you read it… You could eat the paper of course, but I don’t think it would taste any good…” She replied with a teasing smile. “You know what I mean…” I said as I chuckled. I looked around the court and found the same desk I had constructed long ago from a wind-felled tree. “Well… Since there aren’t any words to read, I suppose that leaves me with one other option, doesn’t it?” My other ran to the old table she had been sitting at and came back presenting a silver fork and knife clasped in her hand, glee written over her face. “Funny…” “Alright, alright. Here it is…” She reached to the back of her head and plucked out a long, odd-looking feather that kept her hair loosely tied back. As she did this, her wild umber hair elegantly spilled to her fair shoulders. “Here you go, bet you missed this, huh?” “Yes… I’ve missed both you and Quill beyond what words can possibly say…”
I made my way to the desk that stood at the foot of the largest tree of the court and took a seat, that all too familiar spot of mine. The ivory “tree” was a strange sight to behold. It looked vaguely like a giant reed and seemed to be much older than the ancient forest of the court. My other skipped to where I sat, making the leaves under her bare feet crunch with every hop. She leaned in and peered over my shoulder. “So! Who’s story are you going to write next?” The wind hushed as if holding it’s breath, listening intently…
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A darker universe lies in wait. The twin of the collective dream, The Naught awaits your nightmares at https://reddit.com/r/thenaught