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.