I lived in a land forgotten by all. A desert surrounded by mountains. A land without time. Without hunger or thirst. A land that had no ailments or disease. If you climbed a mountain you could see the never ending sunrise on one side of the world and the never ending sunset on the other. A land that truly strikes the sense of awe. But despite this unique beauty the land lacked something no man could live without. There was infinitely enough to keep one occupied for a thousand lifetimes. But there was one thing this land lacked. Companionship.
So giving up the gift of eternal life this land granted me. I went out in search of someone to share my one lifetime with. So I walked the land. Walked for years but never aged. I eventually came to something I had not seen before in this land. Water. Pools of water. Perfect shaped circles of water. In the confusion of this new spectacle I didn't realize how close I had gotten and I fell in. I gasped out of fear. But breathing in the water had not killed me. I kept going deeper into the water. Soon leaving the light behind. In the darkness I felt for anything. Anything other than water. The deeper I went the more I feared where I was. But with that more curiosity. Soon I felt something. Bubbles of air. I went deeper and deeper. Faster and faster.
Soon I found myself in a new world. After walking out of a forest I saw ruins from an ancient civilization scatter the land. A people that were no longer there. Had I, in my own private world, outlived humanity? Surely not. There must be someone alive. I thought. At that moment my stomach had growled. A sensation I had not felt before. I soon came across some fruits growing on vines against the ruins. I took a bite and the sweet taste filled my mouth. After I had eaten enough to maintain my hunger I continued searching the ruins. I had grown tiresome after a long while of searching. I found a place to lie, and fell into a short sleep.
When I had awoken I realized that the more time I spend in this world the more I showed the traits of a mortal. I knew I had to hurry with my search. I knew that I wanted to live with someone; not to die with someone. I had to take whomever I find back to the world I was from.
I had come across a set of ruins while aimlessly thinking to myself about the curiously aging subject of time. The ruins were of an old library. Upon entering the library a colorful book crossed my eye. Unlike the other books this one was without dust. I opened it and find it is an encyclopedia on various flora and fauna found in the region of the world I was in. I looked up after a period of reading and noticed a bird. I flip to the page where I noticed the bird and read the sound of its call before giving a burlesque impression of it. To my surprise it had called back briefly before it left.
I jumped at a cacophony of shattering glass and darted my eyes around the room. I quickly reserved my equanimity and in my native tongue, called out, "Who's there?" But with no reply I walked around.
After walking around I had quickly found what the glass was that had been shattered. A window! It was from a window! Not knowing where and when I learned the word I looked at the beauty of the other surviving windows. It was then that I noticed what had shattered the window. A rat was lying on the ground with a capricious twitching. It had fallen from a perch it made amongst a ledge on the outside of the building where it crashed through the fragile and thin glass.
I had taken the rat and bird as a good omen, that of life still thriving on this world. With this Elysian viewpoint forerunning my next actions I climbed to the roof of this tall structure. I yelled for the whole world to hear but it was to no avail. After my long fit of shouting that would have taken little to become a tirade I climbed down. It was dark by the time all this had gone down.
Tiredness had sunk in and I lost my sobriety. I tried to remain awake watching the rythmic dances of the fire I built. It was then, that I noticed my shadow, and she was beautiful. Watching me from the other side of the room. When she realized my intentions were not Svengali she began ogling me amorously. It was then that we began our tête-à-tête with the smoke of the fire wafting through the air.
Early in our conversation she seemed rather stoic but with time she began to smile. I could tell she was rather learned, that is, not boorish nor lowbrow. I told her of the world from which I came she was clearly engaged in what I had to say. After describing the gifts my world presents she gave my world a name; Panacea.
She told me the small group of people she was with had died out years prior to my arrival from a disease she, luckily, did not recieve. We soon drifted off into a blissful slumber. When we had awoken we began traversing towards the pool which had given me access to this world. While walking we noticed a flock of birds going the opposite direction as us, not unlike a raft traveling upstream. She mentioned this happens before the temperature rises every year. Upon hearing this I remembered something from where it came, I know not. It is around spring and we are in an area not far north of the equator. When she saw me thinking she muttered an esoteric phrase that nearly flew by my head. "Having fun in your cloud?" I responded simply yes watching her smile. She was a quintessent example of happiness, despite the state the world was in.
We walked close to a large forest containing myriads of trees. When she realized I planned to walk into it she was enraptured with fear and dismal feelings. I told her the pool was not far ahead in this forest. I could tell this did not assuage her fears so I sat down on a rock and asked her to explain why she did not want to enter the forest. She responded quickly with "the beasts will get us." It was not hard to realize she was not being facetious so I asked "what beasts?"
She told me of a creature I had not come across in the books I found in the library. They had green scales like a lizard, but it stood on strong supporting legs like a wolf or large feline. They had claws that had suction pads under them like a gecko but because of their size they were also supported with strong and sharp piercing claws. Normally they climbed and jumped from the different tree branches hunting for birds or smaller reptiles. Their tales were also strong with supporting muscles that allowed them to sleep hanging from branches or lower themselves onto an unsuspecting rodent. They normally do not bother men because they avoid leaving the forest, but are an unfortionate demise for those who wander into the brush.
Living out of the forest seemed purely unnatural to my ideals. But to some tribes wearing clothes seemed an unnatural appurtenance when our thoughts of their nudity would seem the same, like how she and I view the forest differently. I conjured my most glib tone and persuaded her to come into the forest with me. I told her the distance to the pool was not far, nearly an infinitesimal distance if you were to look at it from the clouds.
After a short walk we saw the pool with some things drinking out of it. Those things were the beasts! We hide behind a bush where we see one, slightly larger than the rest, approaching the pool slowely and most ostentatiously. The beast reveled at how the others moved for him to drink. But one of them did not move and the proud beast had an unrequited response by picking up the smaller one by the neck and tossing him out of the way. The smaller one whipped his tail at the beast who caught it in his mouth and while being moved around a fair amount a large piece of the tail had been bitten off. Another of the smaller beasts helped their leader and bit the leg of the turncoat. Now limping as he was ostracized by the group a few of the beasts who had missed their last meal jumped at the opportunity and took a bite as he lands at the edge of the pool, and they received very little struggle. As this happened she screamed alerting our presence to the beasts. They began climbing trees and jumping to branches above us. We raced towards the pool but one of the beasts jumped at her. It bit her leg and I kicked it off. We keep running towards the pool where we dive in before the beasts catch us. They are biting below the surface of the water and one knocks in the injured beast and it falls nearly without life above us. As we swim down further her leg began to sting and she cried out in pain emptying her lungs in a few large bubbles. I looked back and saw this and began pulling her down with me. At that moment she seemed to slip out of life and I knew it was hopeless to continue further. I then saw the injured beast begin to struggle as it sunk past us. I grab it and swim down with it to the world from which I came. My recent loss had made my decisions rash.
I made it to a point where I just seemed to float up to what became the surface of my home world. With the beast in my hands, it was kicking with new life and I thought about the dire thing that I had just done. I set it down fearing what it would do I backed away but it just stood there all calm and tame as though a trained house dog. It seemed that saving the life of this beast earned me a new friendship. Quid pro quo. For an eternity this would - will have to do.
But I'll never forget her. On our first night during our conversation she told me her name, Callele. Callele asked me my name before and I told her I knew not if I had a name. She dubbed me Neo, which is now the name I will always call myself now while living in my home world which seems almost new to me now. Callele will always be in my heart. I think of her sometimes while the beast, now named Dinsee, runs vehemently with great energy and pride through the mountains of this world.
By: Kylan Walker