America My Love


First Refrain

 

down and out in the cold by tenth street

are all the women in forced heat

they peddle their wares

through sweet scents in their hairs

 

While boys in the black

Talk some vile smack

And the middle aged couples

Run through their scruples

 

Some men run so far

As to get in their car

And drown family fanfare

In that scented hair

 

The sixties sang

The seventies swung

The eighties fought

The nineties simply sought

And the millennials swallowed all it was

That their forefathers bought

 

There once was a man from Nantucket

Who liked to draw dicks so long

his followers imagined they’d suck it

He drew for the throng

For so damn long

That eventually he up and said

“fuck it”

 

He went to the store, and found it a bore

He barged into the bar, but tasted tar

He jumped to the gym, but was too slim

He pounced to the pool, but found it too full

 

So he finally flew to the farm

And with what little luck left,

He found it had some charm

 

They found him one day

In newly bought property

With a ruptured colon

And a horse that went all in

 

They say there was an artist

Who counted herself the smartest

even though what she drew was the tartest

 

With a hefty herp

and a deep old derp

She went to deviantart

To draw out her heart

 

She gave it her all

She put out her best

But the commenters put her

right to the test

 

She banned and she blocked them

Her reactions never stopped them

Yet…

As insults came to dominate

She learned to love the hate

 

But by the time she swung open the gate

The trolls trotted off

And the white knights went soft

 

All that remained

Were the ratings

So so stained

and

so low…

Seemed they had

nowhere to go

 

Her personality was so in detention

That from friends or from family

She could not find attention

Even the internet forgot her contention

 

So With no eyes left watching

With no time for proper debauching

She walked with rope and knot tied taut

 

 

To a bridge in the middle of town

Bearing a deep little frown

And Wearing a dirty old gown

 

She choked back tears

And recalled the sweet, sweet jeers

As she suppressed all of her little fears

 

And imagined, that she jumped…

Right into the arms, of her peers…

 

The suspension bridge never felt so suspended

The story was rough

But the ratings were splendid!

 

I heard once of a boy

Who loved to make himself a toy

Of sick obsession

And derelict regression

 

You know he could be a charmer

Once he donned a gimp’s armor

Many would say whips and chains

only gave him growing pains

 

There once was a time

When shame coated like grime

But confidence can cure aversion

So off he went with his perversion…

 

Those that knew him – when he had shame

Were quite quick to forsake his name

Friends met him – with excuses so lame

Family threw him off – exactly the same

That was, until he got some fame

 

When he flew off to the races

When he fell into piles of money

His mom went back to calling him honey

And his friends started to find him quite funny

 

One day our hero awoke

Went out for a smoke

Found his wallet full of cash

And his phone always a flash

He was a different breed

That one

A dominant submissive indeed

America my love

You’ve outgrown your manger

And I am afraid you are only getting stranger

I feel you rebel from the world

With your adolescence unfurled

You stopped being so slim

And you can’t settle on a hymn

You keep me up every night

Just so I might stare at your blight

 

~Austin R Ryan

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Posting Schedule


Hello wordpress world! I just wanted to make a small announcement about posting. I haven’t updated in a while because the workload in college gets a bit heavier towards the end of the year, but rest assured I am not disregarding the blog. I intend to have another multi-part story up, but I lack the time (and admittedly the creative inertia) to edit it.  Still, I will adhere to a general posting schedule. My goal for this wordpress is to have something posted every week.  I may fail that occasionally due to writer’s block or a spike in workload, but I will not leave the blog unattended for longer than a month.

Anyhow, the long and short is that I’ll try and consistently make weekly posts, but I do not really have a proper posting schedule to follow, though I can say that I’ll have a real post up later today, not just a boring, informational cop-out post.

Happy blogging, Austin R Ryan

The Sound of Self


This is another article I wrote up for WVAU.org. Since you guys liked the last music article, I figured I could post up another one.

The Sound of Self

Austin R Ryan

            Almost everyone covets complete silence. I have talked to so many people who put both headphones in just so they might avoid collecting unnecessary scraps of conversation. Airlines often give out complementary devices meant to negate sound. As a species, we have developed the ear plug for no other reason than to seek out silence. Sure, there are a few people who relish constant noise, but overall that breathtaking absence of noise is another mental medicine we seek. However, very few of us have ever truly come close to delving into complete and utter silence. Noise canceling headphones do not eliminate all sounds, and ear buds still let in air. No device gave us absolute silence, that is, until some scientists fashioned a 99.99% sound absorbent room.

Seems wonderful right? How many times have you wished for complete silence that might allow you to find some peace of mind? In a constantly cluttered space littered with the endless press of visual and auditory stimulus, a place of complete silence might seem enough to get the most eschew head turned straight. Well, the truth is that you cannot escape sound. The presence of nothing is so foreign that it can hardly be imagined. An endless sea of white, images of some purgatory, come to mind at the drop of the word “nothing”, but that white purgatory is still something. Naturally, complete nothing even in terms of sound sends your mind reeling. Nothing in the world has prepared us for nothing.

So what happens? Your mind simply changes what your ears pick up. No longer do you hear the white noise of sweeping wind and scuffling seats. Instead you hear your heartbeat in perfect detail, your lungs belch out air and the sound of acid swashing up against the rims of your stomach. Those exposed to the room that would make us confront some small aspect of the empty have reportedly hallucinated after just small visits to the room. The record for longest stay in solid silence stands at a scant forty five minutes.

After The Daily Mail reported this little bit of tech news, a genuine wave of shocks sprinted through my spine. A part of me wondered if our musical race of beings could not handle the pieces compose by our own biology. Another part of me felt as though we grasped a small piece of purgatory. Every fiber of my being paled as a realization dawned upon me: that the world would collapse in less than an hour, if it were held up by nothing more than the rhythms of our own bodies. After the shock receded, I felt absurdly grateful for every song that graced my ear and every bit of wind that whistled in my direction.

If you would like to read more about the effects of this sound-absorbent room:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2124581/The-worlds-quietest-place-chamber-Orfield-Laboratories.html

If you want to absorb that sweet ambient sound that’s keeping you sane:

World Untitled, The Finale


The massive bird landed into the grove. The small opening in the trees could hardly hold it. The irate beast yelled out at the bird. The bird stood stalwart and stepped forward, causing the beast to step backward. The beast let out another war cry. Unabated, the bird spread its wings out in full. A massive shriek formed from the loose opening in that curved maw. The war-cry tore through the air and forced the wind to turn on the beast. The beast stepped backward and blinked in the face of the torrent of wind. It shook out its disorientation and started to scrape the ground with its hooves. The bird fluffed out its wings. It stretched its mighty golden wings around the entirety of the beast. Now a fine dome of gold and purple feathers eclipsed the beast. Then Trot heard a noise so intense that his hands ran to his ears without a second thought. The noise became the very air. He could not hear anything aside from the incredibly shrill whistle that reverberated out of that dome of feathers. They shut his auditory nerves off from the terrifying, air splitting sound. The bird’s feathers returned to their normal state, as its wings receded. The Beast swayed drunkenly back and forth as though it could hardly stand. It let loose a hoarse cry. A small, continuous trickle of dark red liquid eked out two circular orifices on the side of its head. It moaned slightly, and then fell onto its side. Its chest swelled massively as it sucked in all of the thin mountain air its lungs could find. Trot could hear his breath grow heavy with the beast’s. Trot managed to adjust his backpack with his tremulous hands. He never wanted any of this.

The bird positioned itself underneath the tree, and looked up at Trot. The Powerful Aviator’s gaze seemed softer, almost apologetic. Trot crawled down roughly from the branches, just barely managing not to simply descend from the tree in a painful tumble. He made it to the Powerful Aviator, which dipped to the earth before him, and lowered its head. Trot did not understand at first, but then he recalled the Bark-backed Whistlers and climbed on to the back of the bird. He gripped the powerful aviator’s massive hunched shoulders as it shot back into the air. Trot’s hands enjoyed the feel of the feathers. They did not feel scratchy like the bark of the wood. The feathers felt smooth and soft to his hand. The Powerful Aviator moved gently through the wind. Trot looked down. He could see a number of those little beasts, just like the one he turned over, surrounding their immobilized mother. They let out high pitched, despairing bleats. The bird flew to the very summit of the mountain. The bird descended sharply, but it fluffed out its feathers to lessen its momentum. Trot felt the sweat peel from his brow as the sky’s breeze caressed his face.

He saw it now. He saw what Scamper wanted him to reach. He smiled faintly. “We are here,” he said to Scamper, “we are finally here.”

Trot stepped off, having now regained some strength in his weary legs. He stood on a small plateau high above the earth. Around him he could see for miles. He saw massive mountain tops blanketed with shining snow. He saw slopes that rose and fell. Some rose even higher than this mountain. He saw red cliffs racing alongside massive coursing rivers. He saw out in the distance a forest composed entirely of bright white leaved trees. The trees themselves looked like bone. It felt like a dream to him. All the glory and bounty of the land stood before him. Yet the most important piece of all surrounded him now. A large grove of beautiful golden flowers swayed in the wind. They glowed brilliantly, as though each one contained a sun. He could not look at them directly, even viewing them in his periphery left a blotted imprint in his vision. He could see the silvery press of the light whenever he shut his eyes. He reached down and scooped up as many as he could and placed them against Scamper. He knew where they needed to go. He returned to the back of the bird. He pointed towards the slope of the mountain, near the base, and the aviator glided down towards that direction. Trot felt the sensation of flying through the air. He felt the breeze cool him as the bird descended towards the base of the mountain. Sometimes he worried that his arms would not hold against the forces of the sky, but even the feathers seemed to cling him tightly to the massive winged entity. Trot pointed towards the shrine. Seeing the shrine from above made it look small. The Powerful Aviator must have viewed everything like this, as simple small pieces of the world. The bird swooped down and landed just beyond the shrine. This forest was not meant for such a gargantuan animal. Trot heard twigs and sticks snap and crack as the Powerful Aviator landed. He even heard a few branches creak indignantly. Two massive talons dug into the soft dirt around the shrine. The Powerful Aviator regarded its feet quizzically, surprised by the softness of the terrain.

Trot stepped off. He wanted to watch the bird for a little longer. It looked a little out of its element, its head darting around sharply. Occasionally it whistled a leaf that fell near it, causing the leaf to surf away on a tide of air. Trot knew he could waste no time. He could feel each step towards the shrine. He wanted to run, but he knew he would fall if he tried. He reached the large oaken doors of the shrine and sighed. He placed the flat of his hands against the smooth wood doors, and with all his might shoved. He could hear them creak slowly as his arms extended fully until his shoulders were flexing and his head pointed towards the ground. The doors swung open, and he felt triumphant. He ignored that shiny, noise making plate in the corner, stepping hastily towards the small shaft. Getting on all fours, he climbed through the small shaft. He emerged in that small secret room. He could feel the presence of all of those sick, shriveling beings. Their bleats were appeals and questions. He wanted to answer them, speak to them. He almost felt that he could. He grasped the cool golden handle and creaked open the casing on the giant lantern. He placed his backpack on the ground, and removed Scamper from it. His arms could barely lift Scamper’s heavy iron body. He felt water trickle down his face. His vision grew blurry and his eyes curled into themselves.

“See?” He spoke through sadness, “We made it. We made it back.” He felt as though he were choking on each word.

He shielded his eyes from the glowing flowers, as he placed them into the lantern. The flower wove into the lantern’s very framework. At first its light dimmed, and he saw the shifting golden strands on its petals shift and move as though they were fiery specks on top of a sun. Then, the flower shined so brightly that Trot had to shut his eyes. His hand swam desperately through the air, until it found the edge of the golden handle. He shut the lantern’s case. The whole room lit up, and those grey insects began to shimmy loose from their stale groaning. Their shells started to turn orange and red. Some bore stripes or dots. Scamper still sat perfectly still. Trot saw just how wide that dent in his armor was. Trot moved Scamper closer to the light.

“Come on, Scamper.” Trot pleaded, “Come on. I know… I know you are not…”

Scamper’s body remained limp. He felt the cold of his shell press against his hands now. Trot ran his fingers across the dent in Scamper’s armor. He felt the twist of that metallic shell. For a moment, he felt as though something cut him deep, and the blood would pour from him at any moment. Trot lowered Scamper to the floor. Scamper’s insect brethren surrounded their silent brother. They lifted him up, and moved him outside. Trot followed them in solemn procession, picking up his backpack while leaving the remaining golden flowers in the shrine.

A part of him remained curious even through grief. He wanted to turn away from Scamper, to try and forget, but he needed to watch. He needed to see what they would do with him. They placed Scamper just outside of the shrine. They all ran off into various directions. Trot watched them, as did the large and mighty aviator. Now it even bent its head in grief. Perhaps it remembered how Scamper chattered. Maybe it heard Scamper, understood him. Maybe it could only understand those sharp whistles its brethren made.

Scamper’s brethren returned with a number of those fiery red flowers. They placed their flowers against Scamper’s shell. The glow of those flowers intensified. Trot ran his calloused, dry hand against his wet face and puffy eyes. He knelt next to Scamper, and removed a red flower from his pack. He was going to keep it for himself. He extended his hand, and placed the flower on Scamper’s shell.

“Goodbye friend.”

The flowers vibrated. He heard them hum. A flame erupted from the pile of flowers. The flame was a pure and ebullient white. It engulfed Scamper, and then dissipated. The smoke dissipated. Trot saw a solitary, gorgeous white flower with a golden center. The flower made Trot smile begrudgingly. He saw the attention of the bugs focus to him. He paused. Hoping not to offend them, he reached down, and picked it up. He felt overwhelmed. He could feel Scamper’s spindly legs in the stalk, and he could see the shine of that untended armor in the bright petals of the flower. A rush of emotion overcame Trot. He clutched the flower towards his heart. He held it against his shirt and it wove into the fabric. He felt it fade from his hand. A beautiful white flower sowed itself into the pattern, just next to the roots of the tree.

The Powerful Aviator let out a small caw, getting Trot’s attention. On the shoulder of the massive aviator stood that little glass eyed bird from earlier. It chirped lightly before it returned to the air. The Aviator seemed to nod at Trot as it shot into the air. He heard more branches shatter against the wings of that behemoth. Trot felt lighter and heavier at the same time.

He smiled and tried to fight off further tears. He tried to fight off the sleep beleaguering his weary state. He dragged himself into the temple and lost both fights.

 

This is the end of our tale, though I think I’d like to squeeze more from this world. Hope everyone enjoyed the story! If not, tell me what made you disinclined to it. Criticism is welcome.

~Austin R Ryan

World Untitled, Part 6


He saw the beast careen through the jungle, smacking its armored hides against the trees. It closed the distance between them quickly and placed its massive foot over a paralyzed Scamper. Scamper struggled to stand. Scamper could feel each of his legs ready to snap in half. He could hear his exoskeleton strain against the pressure of standing up to this beast. Scamper could hear the strained cries of his brethren echo through the temple. He hoped he had done enough for them now. He hoped his health would revive theirs. He recalled trying to soothe them, but they could hear little through their illness. Scamper wanted to reach out. Scamper longed to be heard. As he strained, Scamper hoped that Trot might be the one to listen. Scamper chattered out something low and solemn as it readied to give in.

Trot grabbed Scamper by the leg, and snatched him out from underneath the hoof. Scamper crawled onto Trot’s chest and attached himself there. Trot saw the giant beast ready its charge, and quickly rolled under its belly. Trot started to move as fast he could on all fours. He emerged out from underneath the beast. He saw its tail. Realizing he was now behind it, he catapulted himself into a mad dash that set his already tired legs on fire. He ran faster than he had during the course of the journey, perhaps even the course of his life. He heard the breath of the beast as it turned and continued its endeavor to charge him down. He could hear whole trees snap as the massive creature knocked the greenery out of its mistakenly vengeful path. He felt the air around him grow hotter. He knew the beast had somehow closed the gap. His legs accessed strength so primal and intense that it felt inhuman. They flung him off the ground as he raced through the branches and the leaves. He did not know where he was headed, but he knew he needed to survive. He noticed that Scamper had moved to his back.

Suddenly he felt an intense heat at his back. He willed his legs to hasten, but they simply could not carry him any quicker. He heard a loud clang an impact flung Trot forward. Trot flew through the air, and landed on one foot. He stumbled briefly, but caught himself with his hands and continued his frantic pace. Trot saw two narrow trees. They led out to a dazzling light. If the beast could not enter in through the narrow trees, he could still save himself and his companion. With an epic exertion, he pushed himself to the very threshold. He felt his heart pound out of his chest. His lungs lit on fire and his feet launched him as he moved. He could feel his vision fading from the effort. Intense sparks of light formed in the corners of his eyes as his vision began to darken.

He felt the hot breath at his back again. He could feel that horn near the back of his leg. He stood just inches away from the trees. He dove in between the trees, emerging into a small sunlit plain. He rolled into the plain, exhausted. He rose to his knees and turned to face the two trees. He saw the hot breath pour out from the shadows of the trees. He could still see spots of sunshine illuminate the faded yellow shell of the beast. He took a number of steps back as quick as he could before collapsing against a tree on the opposite side of the small plain.

Suddenly Trot remembered the loud clang he heard earlier. “Sc-Scamper.” He said as he stifled a rough cough. “Are you st-still there…” he coughed openly now. “Buddy?” Trot’s body started to shake. He looked down to see the claw like legs still gripping him. He grabbed one, and it fell limp. He made his less wearied arms take Scamper off his back. Scamper’s antennae slowly shuffled in the air. It let loose a weak bleat. It sounded like those ailing bugs back at the shrine. He lightly caressed a massive dent in the iron shell. The massive beast’s horn must have met Scamper’s iron shell.

“No.” Trot’s voice shook, “No, not after all of this.”

Scamper’s legs twitched slightly. One leg swam slowly through the air, as though it might be drawing something.

“I’ll find a way,” Trot said, “I’ll find a way to get what you need.” His cough calmed a little, “I’ll get, I’ll get you something to fix this.” Trot’s muscles resigned, in spite of his words. He went limp against the tree. All he could do was gaze up at the sky.

He then heard a massive knocking.

He looked over to the two trees. Their bark looked splintered. The trees seemed to be shaking, splintering from some kind of pressure. His eyes narrowed as he honed his faded vision. He saw the horn of the angry beast no battering the trees in violent rhythm. He could feel the whole earth shake beneath him. He grabbed Scamper’s limp body in one hand, and pawed at a branch with the other. It was slightly out of reach. He forced himself to rise up to his feet. His legs wobbled underneath him. The two trees wobbled as the beast pushed with all its might. He grabbed the branch with one hand. He clinched his jaws together and shut his eyes. He forced himself upward with just one arm. He strained against his, and Scamper’s whole weight. He felt his stomach convulse, and suppressed the desire to vomit. He pushed until his stomach ran parallel to the branch. He managed to raise himself up to the branch, and sit against it. He pulled off his pack and placed Scamper’s cold body into it. He almost laughed when he realized he could have put Scamper in his pack when he scaled the first branch. He forced his legs to lift him up once again, as he reached for a higher branch. With as much effort as he could steal from his fatigue, he heaved himself and Scamper up and up that tree.

He heard nature let loose a massive groan. The two trees swayed a little, then snapped. He felt time slow as the large foliage plummeted into the plain. His tree shook once those twin trees smacked the ground. He felt himself wobble and stumble. He quickly stabilized himself. The massive beast pushed its way into the small grove. It grunted angrily and scanned the area. Trot tried to steady and silence his breath as he watched the beast through a veil of leaves. It sniffed the air. Then, its eyes started to examine the tree Trot sat in. Its large orange eyes meticulously scanned the tree. Those eyes focused on Trot. He met the beast’s stare. He heard the beast’s breath grow with fury. It let loose a rough, beleaguered cry and rammed the tree. Trot fell from his branch.

He felt himself fall into the air, then jolt to a stop. His feet were treading air. He looked up and realized that he grabbed a branch with both hands as he slipped. The beast rammed the tree once more. One of Trot’s arms flung loose from the branch. He felt his backpack slip from his shoulder. He grabbed it with his limp arm before it hit the ground. He held his backpack in one hand and held the branch in the other.

“No.” He said to himself, “Not now!” His arm burned as he lifted himself up with it. He thought the pressure might break him. He felt the drips of sweat embrace almost every inch of him. He could feel his vision fading. Somehow he clawed back onto the branch and wrapped his whole body around it. The beast stepped back to the very edge of the grove. It scraped the ground, readying to charge, when something shined in the sun. It looked as though the very sun were descending from the sky. Trot felt a familiar gust of wind dry the sweat dripping from his brow. He sat up against the tree, and peered through the leaves. He saw great golden wings grace the grove.

World Untitled, Part 5


Another entirely distinct Powerful Aviator stood before him. It stretched its wings out to a full fifty feet. The jungle hardly seemed capable of containing it. Scratches and wounds decorated its mighty wings. A number of scratches ran across its white stomach, marking patches of wounded skin where feathers no longer grew, yet its metallic blue crest remained perfectly intact. In fact the crest was larger and shined brighter than the crest he saw on the other Aviator. Its massive red beak curved into a sharp point, and on the crown of the Powerful Aviator’s head was a thick golden ring with not only red dots, but purple ones as well. Those dots shined brighter then gems. Those dots shined like sunlight. Streaks of purple ran down the back and across the golden wings of this monarch of the sky.

It released a massive puff of smoke and a commanding whistle from its nose. Trot felt the steamy breath of the bird encompass him. Trot could not look away from the incredible Aviator. His lips formed a weak little smile that trembled at the edges.

“Hello. I am Trot.”

The bird twisted its head quizzically. Scamper sprinted up to the massive talons of the bird and started to chatter furiously. Its antennas gesticulated wildly, but the Aviator disregarded it. It leaned in terribly close to Trot, who only narrowly managed to summon up the courage to stand his ground. It twisted a feathery neck around the boy’s sides. Trot could feel the steam being released from its nostrils as though the gas were solid and touching him. Finally, it extended its wings fully. The flowing gold and purple feathers vibrated to life in the sunlight. He felt their impression and could do no more than stand in awe as the Aviator looked directly upward. It pulled its head downward. Trot felt Scamper crawling about him, but he could not focus on anything beyond the magnificence of the bird. Every scar told a story. Every rip and tear, he knew, came from a challenge, a war even. The aviator’s head shot forward, but stopped abruptly. Trot felt his breath pound out of his chest and collide with the Aviator’s steam. He looked down, and noticed that Scamper’s torso covered his chest. He felt Scamper’s legs grip his back. The bug squeezed so hard that Trot could already feel the bruises developing. The Aviator’s beak lightly tapped Scamper’s shell, but the force was enough to force Trot to stumble back a step. The Aviator let loose an incredible whistle that sent many of the animals fleeing, but Scamper and Trot still stood. The Aviator hopped back. It surrounded the two with its wings, encasing them in gold and purple. The blue emblem on its chest illuminated. The pure colors of that bird filled their eyes.  The gold, the purple, the blue and the red formed a candescent glow that nearly overpowered Trot’s eyes. He managed to keep them open. The Aviator pulled its wings back, and the sunlight flooded back into view. Suddenly, the massive bird shot up into the air with incredible force. The wind of the takeoff nearly knocked Trot over. He watched as the bird stormed off into the sunlight.

Trot looked to Scamper, “I think you just saved me. Thanks friend!” Scamper scurried off of Trot’s chest and the two proceeded up the mountain eclipsed in mighty jungle. As they proceeded up the mountain, the beasts got bigger. They saw stout, clawed mammals with wide heads and armored backs. The animals did not bother them. They even got to see some ram sides with one another. They would wrestle and scratch at each other’s armor. They saw nimble and long bodied furry creatures with spiky spines on their backs. The spines extended when they got close and the animals hissed at them, so they made their best attempts to move around the furry creatures. Soon they encountered large creatures with slender builds. They stood about two feet taller than Trot even. Each paw had six claws and each mouth a full set of large teeth. Scamper neared a few of them. Two instantly stood on hind legs, and began to roar, slowly approaching him. Scamper shrunk bag in panic. Trot quickly ran over to Scamper, lifted him up, and jogged away from the beasts.

Again, Trot and Scamper found themselves feeling as though they were alone in this sprawling jungle. They could see no other animals, none even poked out their heads. Scamper and Trot started to quicken, hoping to reach the summit soon. Trot found company in the trees at least. They rose up to highest heights, branching out into so many directions. They created a sea of green leaves flowing through the wind, with occasional amber and red specks. Scamper started to slow.

After a while of walking alone, they spotted a creature about five feet long and three feet tall. It had fallen on its armored back, its unguarded stomach faced the open air. Its large hooves thrashed in the air. A low cry echoed from the mouth of the beast. Its body connected straight to its head, and it had a mouth full of sharp teeth. Trot looked at the beast a moment. Scamper strayed away from it. Trot followed Scamper shortly, but the worry welled up in his eyes. He doubled back. Scamper followed after him hurriedly. Trot ran back to the beast lying helpless and placed his shoulder against it. He heaved and pushed. It did nothing as he could not rock the heavy thing over. Finally, he stepped back and charged, planting his shoulder into the armor of the beast, now forcing it back on its feet.

It instantly ran off in the opposite direction. Trot scratched his head after stretching out the sore sinews in his shoulder. He looked down to scamper, “Oddly ungrateful, don’t you think?”

Scamper pulled at Trot, tripping him a little. “Alright, alright, I am going.” He started to walk off with Scamper. A tremor tore at the earth. A cascade of healthy leaves flew off the trees. They braced themselves against the shock. Trot turned around and jogged backward, looking towards the direction of the shaking. Scamper ran towards the shaking ground unabated, but Trot placed his hand on Scamper’s shell, stopping him. Trot paused for just one second as he saw two trees stammer in the air. The very wood seemed ready to split apart at the vibration. Something neared them. Something with a faded yellow shell marched their way.

A massive beast burst through the trees. It let loose a loud growl and shook its head with rage. It stomped the ground with massive hooves, four feet in diameter. Spikes jutted out of its yellow armor, and four massive horns adorned its head. Saliva flung out of a teethed maw. It gnawed and gnashed at the very air around it. It looked to be twenty feet wide and thirty feet long. Trot saw the family resemblance now. He pieced it together, seeing the similarities between this beast and the little one he encountered earlier. Suddenly the white forests flashed before his eyes. He felt the touch of the serene, and the heavenly glow. He knew now how he must have got there, and he knew he could not let himself go back.

(The Climax is just a post away now)

World Untitled, Part 4


He suddenly realized that he was tumbling rapidly on the white ground. He could not tell where he was headed. He could only see dirt and sky in brief flashes. He started to claw at the round and bury his feet in the soil. That slowed him enough so he could see a giant black pit in the road, and pushed out his hands. His arms felt sore from colliding so harshly from the ground. He felt them shake, and wondered if they would hold. He could see the black hole nearing as he slid along the ground.He screeched to a halt at the very edge of the hole. He stared into its depths for a moment. He briefly peered into the depths. White roots squirmed and twisted around in lethargic and worm like motions at the bottom. He flipped himself onto his back and started to pant. He sucked in as much air as he could. He loved each breath more now than he could remember. He heard scamper chatter. Trot stood up quickly. He did not care to spend any extra time on the path, immediately entering into the thick of the forest.

Trot ran through his memory to puzzle out what occurred, he could not recall the details, but he knew that crimson ball he saw must have been Scamper. Scamper tried as he could to get Trot to move out of the lane, but he couldn’t understand anything the bug said. Scamper sprung off of a tree when Trot entered in full stride towards the hole and slammed into Trot to knock him of course. Scamper wondered if he hurt Trot, but Trot just smiled wearily, “Thank you.”

Trot wasn’t sure what Scamper had done, but he did not care to know what would have happened if Scamper hadn’t intervened. Trot weaved through the thick of the forest. His fluid motions slowed as each step needed to be considered more carefully now. He tripped a couple times at the beginning of his run through the forest. He felt as the roots and trunks were practically grabbing at him. Gradually became all the wiser, and found proper footholds at the end of each step. Their progress slowed, and Scamper often paused to wait for Trot. Finally, Trot emerged from the forest.

Suddenly the land stretched out into the farthest reaches before him. At this height he gazed at world, seeing mount caps, jungles and waterfalls all out in the distance. Each breath of air felt like unbridled freedom. The wind poured over him as the very sky opened to reveal the coloration of the sun. Beautiful rays of sweet orange poured out in wavy motions and bathed the world in warmth. Patches of green and brown interwove on the vast plains where various undefined creatures roamed about. He looked upward, and saw that they neared the summit. The incline was perfectly vertical and smooth. Trot could not find a single hand hold in the rock wall. Even if he could find one, he could not say whether he could use it. His arms were feeling weak.

Trot looked down at Scamper and frowned. Scamper chattered a little and shifted his antennae about before starting up the cliff. Trot shook his head. Scamper hissed a little and slid down the side of the mountain. A small pool of glimmering water sat between them now. Scamper’s antennae pointed towards the water. Trot looked downward, now entranced by his distorted and wavy reflection. The borders of his body shook in that mirror. He smiled ridiculously at his counterpart, who repeated his every action. He frowned, and then flexed his muscles ridiculously. Continually the clone followed his moves. Scamper wiggled his antennae and dropped them into the water, causing a ripple of waves to shatter the mirror. Scamper raised the antennae out of the small pool, about seven feet in diameter. Little glistening drops of water fell off of his antennae. Scamper suddenly scurried straight into the pool of water. Trot’s eyes widened. He placed his hand against his shirt, where he imbued the firestone earlier. He pulled the roots of the golden tree on his shirt back gently, and the fabric loosened the firestone. He placed it back in his bag, and then produced another circular stone, this one imbued with the image of a wave. He placed the wavestone at the bottom of the roots, and they sowed it into the fabric. He felt his body react to the stone. He felt hot underneath the sun and his legs felt strange having to support his body. The air felt heavier and standing how he did felt unnatural. He shook out his limbs, and then dove into the pool.

He entered into a deep basin of water. He could see the light radiate in from various holes that connected the basin to spots of dry land. He opened his eyes wide and watched the majesty that was the brilliantly colored fish swimming in the deep reefs of the massive, unexplored basin. A glinting fish with silver plated scales flashed by. It’s scaled shifted outward, sending the beams of dancing sunlight out towards the edges of the basin. He gaped wide eyed at the blue eels that stretched in between networks of coral reefs. They flowed seamlessly with the water. The basin stretched out into the very corners of his eyes, filling his brain with visual sensation. He shook his head sharply, remembering Scamper. He searched for the bug, finding it crawling along the wall of the basin. He was crawling towards one of the holes that led into the basin. Trot swam through the temperate water. A school of thin fish with large emerald eyes darted alongside him. They swam in unison, as though they were one being. Trot reached the hole leading out of the basin. It angled up sharply.

His head burst out of the water. He spotted a number of rocks in the tunnel leading out of the basin. He grabbed the small handhold and began to carefully ascend the tunnel. His arms were shaking, but he felt they could hold so long as he had a leg hold too. He saw Scamper’s strong spike like legs slam into the tunnel walls. They quickly carried Scamper upward. Trot needed to move at a much slower pace. Trot’s eyes squinted as he tried to speed up. He started to push himself hard to quicken his pace. He felt the heat of the tiny tunnel bloated with sunlight. The beads of sweat dripped down his arms and along the back of his hands and feet, until they caressed the fingers and his toes. He reached for a high rock, and both his feet slipped from underneath him. Miraculously, his left arm held long enough for the right arm to quickly lunge out and grasp another handhold. He repositioned himself and proceeded more carefully, the pounding of his hear reminding him of his nearly fatal folly. He pulled himself up out of the tunnel after some time. First he saw Scamper staring right at him through small black beads. His eyes adjusted to the marvelous sun that bathed the land in golden rays. His hair dried nearly instantly, as he felt the heat touch his very core. It was the simultaneous advantage and disadvantage of the wavestone. He decided it to remove it from his fabric, and place it back in his bag.

Now adjusted, his eyes feasted upon a new landscape rich and loaded in design and beauty. A veritable jungle encased him. The canopy of trees stretched widely out along the mountain. Massive trees towered over them. They grew perfectly circular fruit colored by splotches of red and purple. Each fruit had a different pattern. Such a sight overwhelmed his pupils. A giant T shaped tree looked as though it were shot full of holes.. It seemed that the bark of the tree swam about and danced in odd motions. Trot strained his eyes and saw that the motions of the bark were small furry creatures with stubby tails and backs marked with elaborate forms of camouflage shot out of the holes, weaving tiny patterns across the true bark as they chased each other. They cavorted and carried on in rapidity. They communicated through hasty whistles. A mighty bird swooped through the canopy, landing on a branch. Its massive outstretched wings spanned 30 feet at full extension. Its golden feathers lit up the air with their shine. Two holes in a beak of faded red shot off two streams of smoke that emitted a high whistle. A large blue crest on its chest began to glow in a nearly metallic fashion. Its five pronged talons clutched onto the branch with such great strength that it looked as though the bird could lift the very tree off the ground. It flapped its wings in three great motions, generating a flustering torrent of wind that had Trot bracing himself. It flung some of those little mammals off the tree. Its fine white feather stomach puffed outward as it released another steamy whistle. It lowered its head, scratching it with a feather. Trot caught a glimpse of a little pattern at the top of its head, which resembled something of a golden circle, spiked at intervals with little red spots that sparkled like gems within spiky golden circle. He saw the very soul of power in that bird.

A gaggle of the mammals sprinted across the tree to the bird. They carried small pieces of fruit and carrion in their mouth. They dropped it before the bird, which devoured it in quick and fierce pecks. Satiated, its wings curved inward. A number of the little mammals climbed on the back of the bird. It flapped upward and ascended into the air, flying off with the mammals clinging to its back. He drew a quick illustration of the tree, the mammals and the bird. He called the tree A Hollow Home Tree, the mammals Bark-backed Whistlers and the bird The Powerful Aviator. Scamper grew impatient at Trot’s dumbfounded attention to the nature, and started to poke him lightly in the leg. Gaining Trot’s attention, Scamper ran off into the jungle. Trot ran after him. The creatures watched Trot with a nervous anticipation. Many retreated into their hovels when seeing that he noticed them. They knew of Scamper’s kind, but not of Trot’s. He saw turtles that looked as if they were rocks, and rainbow colored salamanders that basked in the sun while they sat on the back of those turtles. He saw small birds of pure purple with long forked tails weave through the skies above him. One landed on his shoulder just briefly and rested its tail on his head. He did not disrupt the bird, but it flew off anyways. Red mice with yellow feet scurried away from a large vanilla cat with two long, puffy, multicolored tails. It pawed at the mice until it saw Trot. Its piercing emerald eyes shot out at him for a moment. Then it ran off.

Scamper continued to lead the way. On occasion it would stop, and try to approach one of the animals, but it was to no avail. It chattered at them, but they would not listen so long as Trot followed him. A few did not mind Trot, but they knew why Scamper was up here, and they did not want to hear his chatters. They did not care to help him venture deep into the forest. Scamper eyed the trees. They did not help either. Scamper held a vain hope in its body that it could somehow bring back fruit to its people. It knew deep down that any fruit it would retrieve would not be edible or sufficient.

Trot gradually noticed fewer animals populated the area. He only saw the bright green leaves of the jungle. As he spritely maneuvered through the roots and the bumpy earth he noticed the presences abandoning the place. It was then that the two reached an open area, a plain of grass left in the full embrace of the sun. Half of the blades of grass shined blue, while the other half shined crimson. They were fully integrated into one plain where the colors intermingled to create an imperfect yet exemplary tapestry. Trot stopped as he exited the jungle and entered the crimson and blue plain. He looked to the sky to see glinting gold shake the sunlit air. He looked back, now seeing a number of the emerald eyed cats leering at him. Little purple birds sat silently on the branches. The glinting gold figure descended from the very direction of the sun, blinding him as he attempted to gaze upon it. It landed before him, its mighty wings pushing the blades of grass backward as though they were caught in a gust. Trot’s hair peeled back from his brow. The wind forced him to shut his eyes. When he opened them he saw two massive eyes staring into him. Those eyes were pools of black, with drops of deep red forming a circle at their center.

World Untitled, Part 3


Without warning it detached from the ceiling and started to fall to the ground, its back on a collision course with the floor. Instinctively, the boy leaped forward, dove out and extended his arms. He caught the creature before it touched the ground. It was heavy, and very nearly slammed his hands against the floor. He rolled it back over onto its feet. Without any delay, the creature crawled over to the large lantern in the center, and pulled open its hatch. It pulled itself inside while avoiding the water collected at the bottom of the oversized lantern. It extended one of its legs, and tapped a pedestal in the center of the large lantern. The boy moved in for a closer inspection. The creature pointed towards a hole in the pedestal. “It’s missing something.”

The creature scurried out through the wooden paneling. The boy followed after it. They returned to the first room. The creature waited for him at the entrance of the temple. “If I am going to travel with you, I’ll need to call you something. Skittering Red Back?” the creature’s antennae stopped moving. He sighed, “That is terrible. Until I can think of something better, I’ll call you Scamper.” He shrugged, “Not very creative, but it will have to do for now.” He caught up to the creature. It looked at him with black eyes, antennae circulating about. He stepped out of the building, but the creature did not follow. It gazed pointedly at him. “Well I don’t know where to go.” he remarked. “I assumed you did.”

He paused. “Um, is there- are we waiting for something?” The creature’s antennae stuck out sharply now, pointing towards him. “Me?” He smiled, “Oh. Would you like my name?” The antennae pulled back, forming eased, half formed loops. “My name is Trot.” Scamper started to move. It moved rapidly, Trot had to run to keep pace with it. Trot progressed with great strides, while Scamper’s six legs moved with small but very rapid motions. Scamper led him through the large forest. Trot ducked and weaved through the branches. He crunched through sticks and stones. He ran across the ground colored in beautiful leaves, when he saw a row of low set branches, which rose up to his upper leg. He slid and leaned backward, using his momentum to swiftly undercut the row of branches. He could hear the air squeeze between the small distance that separated his head from the hard branches. He stood up after the power slide and fluidly resumed his run. After a while, the path grew straight and Trot gave a sigh of relief. He felt confident now, and started to appreciate the light wind whipping against his face. As he galloped his foot dragged against a large rock. He flung forward, surprised to feel his steps pulled up beneath him. The light wind turned into a roar as he saw himself rushing towards the hard ground. He threw out his hands, his left catching the dirt hard and keeping him up, his right pushing him forward so that he stumbled back into his run and preserved some his fluid momentum.

The air thinned as they exited the colorful plateau and started to scale the mountain. He felt the humidity increase as well. The increment of the slope expanded gradually. He felt his ligaments pull as he stretched his legs out into long strides. As he ran, little green stems peaked through the dirt. The green stems stood up, and red petals bloomed atop them in sleepy circles. The red flowers sprung up in the fertile grass near where his foot struck the earth. The wind pulled back his hood as he rolled up his sleeves. He could sense the heat increasing now, the warm rays of the sun cascaded down the side of the mountain. The slope steepened further, and Scamper slowed down for Trot, who now had to bind up the steep mountainside, compelling his feet to launch him upward. Scamper’s sharp legs allowed it to dig into most surfaces and climb at the same speed it ran. Trot felt his breath grow heavy as he pushed it past his lips. The air felt even heavier when he pulled it into his mouth. Each step made his lungs pull harder at the thinning air. The ground flattened briefly, only to reveal a large knoll. Scamper crawled atop it and waited for trot to reach him. Trot shut his eyes and felt the sweat run in drips down his forehead. His felt a fire in his legs as he ran his feet along the dirt and pushed himself forward. He ran up the curve of the knoll. His lungs could not pull the air in fast enough, and his legs started to ache. He saw the top of the knoll, and lunged forward in one massive stride. He reached the top and collapsed on all fours. Trot’s heart slowed its beat and its lungs fetched more air. He regained composure and sat down properly.

A sprawling waterfall fell into a giant pool of glistening water. He saw a couple fish leap out of the water. Their tongues extended and caught flies as they took flight then plunged back into the depths. He walked over to get a closer look. Two fish engaged in some sort of ritual. They jumped from the water and slammed into each other in the air. The display of violence startled him. He could see their glinting scales fall lose with the loud “cracks” and “whacks” that erupted from each collision. He cupped some of the water in is hands. The water slid down his throat as he sipped it slowly. After the knifing dehydration in his throat calmed, he took wide and slow gulps, and let some of the water dribble down to the tree on his chest. After a few drinks of water, he stood back up and dusted himself off. Scamper called out with a loud chattering noise, and Trot looked over to see him sitting atop a curved slope. It rose out of the ground at a very high slope. The cliff had to rise at very least fifteen feet from the ground, if not higher. He sighed, and took a couple steps backward. He placed his hands against the ground, and sprung off to an unbelievable sprint. He ran up the curve of the steep cliff side, and skyrocketed upward, just narrowly catching the very edge of the top of the cliff. He adjusted his grip. Straining his arms intensely and trying to find a use for his feet now rapidly cycling against the air, he pulled himself upward and heaved his body onto the top of the cliff.

Trot clapped his hands on his knees so he might keep himself standing, “You are killing me here.” Trot stood up fully. “Hold on just one second.” Trot gazed at the waterfall, and the lake with the long tongued fish. He drew a scroll from his bag and opened it. It was a map. He traced out the lake area, the base of the mountain, and gave particular notice to the temple at the base of the mountain. “Alright, let’s go.” He had no idea if the bug understood him, but he knew it would not proceed without him. Besides, the joy he received from the simple one-sided conversation could be heard distinctly in the outskirts of his voice.

Scamper scuttled in towards a dense forest. Large white wooded trees with green leaves arched into one another, their leaves broadcasting a nearly fluorescent purple glow. They stretched upward and formed a straight lane to pass through, their branches intertwined, fusing the trees in arched unions. Trot ran through the lane. Outside of the lane, the trees were so intensely grouped together that they grew in union, sharing branches and roots. The ground could hardly be seen in the land beyond the lane. Scamper only cautiously entered the central lane, preferring to weave through the impossibly dense system of trees, by climbing in between the trunks. Trot traveled through the lane with. He felt faster running on it. He ran for a while, then noticed that Scamper started to chirp and whistle loudly. “I…” he paused, “What? Uh I don’t know what you are saying.” Scamper kept running with Trot.

A gentle hum issued from the atmosphere, riding upon the wind into his ears. He started to focus on that purple. It swirled and danced. That purple, its patterns kept changing and shifting. He liked that purple. Giant archways of purple cascaded around him, shifting in different shades and hues. The purple issued out in waves, like a concentric circle giving him a signal. He was having a conversation, and he smiled wide. Suddenly this odd hissing pushed at him, but the hum issued from the rustling of the leaves drowned such distractions. He could not leave the conversation, and he did not want to. He felt the world fall away. He only had the lane he ran in, and the miasma. Suddenly an impact blasted through the barrier, a fiery ball of crimson penetrated the purple glow, crashing into the lane and bashing up against his right arm.

World Untitled Part 2


A small bird stood on him. The bird’s silver chest puffed outward. The rest of the plumage bore the neutral green color of dark grass. The tips of its wings and its tail feathers worked like mirrors. They reflected the light in all sorts of directions. He looked over to it and its color shifted to a paler green as it hopped backward on his shoulder. He noticed now that it stood on three legs. It gave a cock eyed stare back at him. The eyes were two clear orbs. The orbs looked almost too large to fit within its eye sockets; they rolled around loosely, spinning in various directions. He could not make out a pupil, just foggy orbs serving as eyes. He reached out; the bird lifted its head to watch his hand. He glided his hand across the top of the birds head. Now it turned a cool blue that ebbed like an ocean wave to the edges of the feathers. He smiled. The bird then began to beat its wings rapidly, they blurred, and the mirror tips caused the light to glitter about frantically. It fluttered and maintained itself directly in front of his face. The crystal eyes suddenly ceased their rolling. He peered into what seemed endless. He saw within the eyes blood floating in a puddle, trees torn aside in jagged lack of harmony, and claws, strange claws. The bird gave a sharp chirp and flew off. He scratched his head, “What should I call that?” He watched it glint off in the sun. Something about those eyes sowed worry in his heart; it embedded a doubt deep within him. He had something to fear. Just what it was remained a mystery, dark in nature, bloating the imagination with sordid thoughts of misfortune.

The steps of the temple were cut from stone, chipped on the edges. The inside of the temple bore just two rooms. The flooring used to be waxed heavily. In some places it still shined. Little shelves contained various urns, all of separate colors found on those leaves. Of course, the urns were dirty and smudged. One whole shelf must have slanted over earlier, dumping the urns it carried onto the floor. The few that fell on the floor carried the smoky remains of a fire. He wandered over to the others, while peering back over his shoulder. He popped the top off of a few of them; they all seemed to carry the remains of a fire. The temptation to put his hand in one and search it started to overtake him, but for some odd reason he felt such an action would be no less than desecration. He restrained his hand.

In a corner someone attached a large gold disk to a frame with some strings. The gold disk curved outwards towards him. He strolled over, and bent slightly at the waist to examine it. The reflections of his face distorted in the large golden pan. He noticed a large finely cut stick with a fuzzy covering on the top. The covering was white and fluffy, but stained a little with dust. He shook it out, and the dust swarmed him. He batted at it with his hands until it cleared the air. He looked at the fuzzy covering and the golden disk. At first he used the fluffy section to dust the gold disk. Then he looked slowly to his left, then to his right. He pulled his hand back slightly and struck the disk lightly with his palm. A small echo flung through the halls. He shook a little with eagerness. Looking around as if to scout for another that enjoyed this, He brought up his hand again and struck it harder. The noise now reverberated through the temple. He grabbed the fuzzy stick, and struck the gold disk with it. The disk now shouted even louder, but with strange and echoing sound. He struck it again, even harder and it swung back and forth. He beat the stick against it and the cacophonous sounds bounced about around him, making even his head shake.

He clasped his hands together briefly in excitement, then repeatedly struck it to create continuous shattering waves of noise. He slowed then quickened starting to generate connections between the clashes, listening to the lingering effects of the sound’s residue. He returned the fuzzy stick to its spot and moved onward. At the far end of the room, a pedestal held this strange looking shrine. Little squiggles formed together sharply, curving out into patterns. Some of the squiggles resembled other squiggles. The shrine contained many of these scrolls with these squiggles. He wanted to know what all this meant, but shrugged it off. There would be no way to learn it now. The shrine looked nice though. Someone coated it in a deep red layer od paint. A symbol made of gold stood at the top of the shrine, the bottom half of the gold symbol being a simple crescent shape, the top half being a completed circle with large rectangles jutting out at organized intervals. It looked a little bit like a sun, contained in a dish.

As the boy started to make his exit, he heard a clicking noise. A bug skittered across the floor. It scurried up to him. He knelt down to its level. Its antennae shifted up and down. He brought his hand outward and felt its back. It was smooth, ridged, and hard as armor. “You are friendly for being small. Not a lot of your type likes to walk with me.” He said with a small sad smile. The bug rose to about his knee level. “Maybe it’s because you are large for your kind.” he theorized, though to no one in particular.

The bug skittered off a short distance. It turned quickly to look back at the boy. He followed it, and it moved forward as soon as he neared it. He chased after it until it ran off behind the shrine. It stood perfectly still, gazing at him until he got very close. Its antennae smoothed back, and it chattered rapidly. “What?” the boy asked. The creature pushed up against wood paneling behind the shrine, and opened a small concealed door. The door swung shut behind him. The boy pushed the door open himself and crawled along the ground. The tunnel was not long, and ended as soon as he pushed himself through another wood panel. The light spread into the tunnel as he creaked open the exit. He dusted of some light brown chunks of dry dirt as he stood up. There were no windows, it was purely illuminated by four lanterns, like those outside. One giant lantern sat in the middle, but it was empty, save for a small pool of clear water at the bottom that stirred with small concentric circles. The flooring in this room had not deteriorated in the slightest. The wood panels sparkled as if they were recently waxed and maintained. The walls were marked everywhere with little punctured holes. Scattered across the room were smaller creatures like the one he saw earlier. They all lay on their backs, their stomachs exposed. They chirped in a long, extended, excruciatingly slow fashion. Their voices could not muster loud noises like the one he met earlier. They all varied in size, but the one he saw had a finer red exoskeleton, these ones were coated in a splotchy grey color. He counted fifteen of them. He traced the holes upward with his eyes until he stared at the ceiling. That crimson shelled creature that led him here clung to the ceiling tightly to the ceiling, pinpoint feet lodged in those tiny holes.

World Untitled Part 1


Hello WordPress! A while ago I wrote a short story called “World Untitled” that describes a cartographer’s exploration of a vast and uncharted world. I loaded it with imagery and tried to create a fascinating and vivid land where reality became half-formed by imagination and odd twists in perception. However, since I am not inclined to brevity, the story naturally stretches some 10+ pages, so I’ll be posting it in parts. Here’s the first part of “World Untitled”. Enjoy, and please leave comments! I can always use pointers.

 

There was a pristine whiteness, a peaceful immersion. The heart started to beat in that whiteness. The whiteness rippled up with the waves of the beat and faded off. He sat up now, gazing at his hands. He flexed his thin arm for a moment. He stood up and stretched his arms out in wide circles. Looking around, he found himself in a beautiful forest, the trees rose up high around him. They were all leafless. The ground glowed a vibrant green, and the grass rocked with the wind. He peered out into the pure white horizon. Something beckoned him in the distance.

            He sprinted out through the forest. His agility and speed guided him along the way from any sort of collision with the nature. He reached a giant tree with white bark. It extended up as far as his eye could see. “Aw man,” he scratched the back of his head, “How did I wind up here again?” Something hollowed out a part of the tree. A bubbly glowing film covered the surface of the hole. It reflected his face in ridiculous distortions. He smiled at it briefly, and then placed his head through the film.

            He felt a rush, and then a sharp pull from a strange force, and all faded around him in a single moment. He now sat upright on unfamiliar ground, gazing out at a new landscape. This little pool of water glimmered there. It emitted an ethereal shine. His jaw dropped now and he lost his breath. The jagged peaks out in the distance rose and plummeted. They stretched upward and caressed the bottom of the clouds with their spiky peaks. Yet they resembled nothing else seen thus far. A white flurry of snow eclipsed the wide base of the mountains. As they wound upward, pieces of greenery grew upon them. Unreal foliage sprinkled the large peaks and massive summits. He saw a forest that grew off of the side of a cliff as steep as a wall. Distant fluffy white clouds obscured the viewing of the top, but if the trend of growth evidenced by its slope were an indicator, there would have to be a practical jungle at the summit!

            He laughed at his good luck. He grabbed at his sleeves and pulled them forward, so they covered the full length of his arms. Then he rummaged through the pack on his back briefly. He removed a stone circle with a marking carved in the center. It felt warm in his palm. He searched his green shirt. On this green shirt, someone sowed in a magnificent design of a golden tree. The glinting branches extended out through the fabric. They shifted and moved with the light. The branches grew and shrunk, while leaves blossomed on them, changed shades, then fell from the branch and vanished. Currently that tree held a full carriage of leaves, some of which gently floated around the shirt, little flecks of gold pirouetting on the green. At the roots of the tree, he placed the thin stone disk. The roots engulfed it, and wove into the fabric, turning stone to cloth. The leaves turned a bright red; their tips shifted and moved about in flickers as they sat on the tree.

            He watched the display with tireless amusement. Then he reached into the back of his collar, and pulled up some extra fabric, forming a hood around his head. He looked up to the summit of the mountains. He could not decide which to scale. One mountain called forth by issuing a mass of auburn petals carried upon the waves of wind. On a plateau of that mountain beautiful trees full of multicolored leaves anchored themselves into the ground. He watched as the auburn leaves flew into the sky, followed by pink, and then little yellow leaves. The multicolored leaves flew off in mass migrations, riding on the wind. The pink and auburn and yellow all mixed, soon to be followed by arrays of blues and greens and velvets. They spun with the current of the air. He looked upward while jogging towards the base of the mountain. His feet sparked as he ran. The sparks faded off into the air without singeing the ground.

            The boy moved at a frantic pace. Even in a jog he reached high velocities, carrying the wind along with him. The green blades of grass combed over in the breeze. Spiraling off, he ran wildly into the patch of white snow. It felt crunchy and cold, but the sparks made sure his feet did not freeze. The snow stood resilient even in the sunlight, it buried his feet and encased his legs up to the knees. He felt slow in it as he heaved his foot out of the snow, only to plunge it back in. His breaths grew staggered and frustrated. The snow sparkled in the sun, exhibiting the lurid beauty of the shimmering snowflakes.

            The white waves did not yield much space to him. His teeth grit together, and his fists clenched while he pushed through. The fire beneath his feat grew. The sparks turned into flares beneath him. The snow started to melt as he moved, forming a pathway. Striding out, he passed through the snow. His legs started to fly, forming small wings of fire. After he cleared through the snow he turned and fell backwards on the warm grass, inhaling contently. He perched up his head and looked back at the path. The snow parted into two aisles, and in between the two separated expanses of pure white snow, patches of red flowers sprouted. The flowers lit up the air with a pleasant orange glow, which scattered and wafted about until it dissipated gradually. He pushed himself upwards, strolled over, and plucked one of the flowers from the ground. He inspected it. It glowed so brightly that he decided to pocket it within his pack, perhaps to be used for another time. With care, he eased it into a secure pouch along with a collection of other foliage.

            The mountain winded upward now. The air felt smoky around him, wisping about in        increasing thinness. He ran along a cobbled path, paved over with brightly colored rocks of different varieties. The rocks seemed very specifically placed to form a pathway that eased the upward climb. The path led off through the glossy green grass. He followed it straight along. It curved sharply, careening off into the forest filled with those multicolored leaves, shedding from the trees in speckled waves. He rubbed his chin in curiosity then continued onward into the forest. Little rays of light swam through small gaps in the colorful veil of leaves that bunched at that top of the trees, forming small windows of light. The scopes of light illuminated that small dust particles that floated by. Birds chirped out in high pitched cries. They burst out into dynamic motion, flying horizontally and vertically between the branches that nested them. They traveled through the air with a careless grace and ease, wings extended. He smiled in admiration.

            Tracing the cobbled path grew more difficult as the leaves eclipsed it. The leaves shifted colors when they reached the ground. A fresh green gradually painted over the old shade of brown. A pink and white design spread from the middle of the green leaf and crawled to the edges until it fully eclipsed the green. The colors circulated, many leaves transforming in separate and unique orders. A panoply of colors shifted about alongside the walkway. Gradually the colors engulfed the cobbled path with their show, but he combed them off to each side with careful movements of his foot. The stones of the path separated the two ongoing displays of vibrant and shifting shades. The left side turned as yellow as the sun once, while black leaves rendered the right as dark as night. The left and the right unified once, the majority of the leaves turning the color of the sky, while small splotches of leaves filled from the center with a white hue. The white color blotches drifted casually through the see of sky blue, and for a moment he thought he walked on a path in the sky. He wanted others to see such fine pallets of coordinating colors. At very least he hoped brushing loose the path might keep them from getting lost. The duty to clear the path slowed his progress.

            The path winded deeper into the forest, where the deep brown of the soil grew darker as they density of the trees increased. Then, a blaze of sunlight peeked in through a hole in the canopy. He followed it to the end of the path and found a little temple, adorned at the door with two lanterns. The lanterns lit up the air with an invisible fire, a movement of light that flared up and outward, to fade off into sparks. The shelter looked worn down and tired. The thatched roof creaked out, and the red beams of wood on which it stood started to peel and splinter. Someone left the windows and doors open too. The smooth clear material on the windows amazed him. It was a translucent green and blue swirl. The door had no doubt been fashioned of thick and heavy wood. It looked formidable, almost untouched by age. The lanterns gave him the most excitement. They burned out so fiercely, creating a light more radiant than that of the sun. He squinted to gain a closer look. Flowers powered the lantern. Their stems intertwined in a grand cluster, forming roots which fused to the base of the lantern. His pack glowed now too, an orange blaze. Reaching in, he produced the flame flower from earlier. He placed a hand over his eyes to shield himself from the dazzling light. As he moved it closer to the lantern the flower emitted more and more light as it neared the lantern. The door to the lantern opened, and that flower floated out of his hand, gently joining its compatriots. Its stem fused in with the bunch, and the roots intertwined. Just briefly he unshielded his eyes. A burst of gold lit up the entire area. The lantern door shut and muffled the light. Perhaps for the best, it would grow blinding after too long. He felt something touch against his shoulder.