To hold you over till I finish something substantial enough to post from Chapter 6, here's a bit of a new story. It's going to be called the The Sea of Forgetfulness. Probably.
It may be a bit confusing at first...but bear with it. The story as a whole involved a maid and a prince who try to run away and get tricked by a sort of evil librarian into getting thrown into another world. Short hand. It's really a lot more complicated than that...anyways this particular chapter is about said crossing...
"A bit of Sea"
The world became words.
There was no oxygen or nitrogen, nor was there air at all. There were no muscles, nor lungs or viscera. The world was words and nothing else. I breathed them, I ate them, I slept trapped within the print like an insect in a glass case. I knew not life, not the way a living, breathing entity knows it.
Because I lived and breathed no more.
Time didn't move. It spun in place like a top. Like a dozen tops spinning one in front of the other, into infinity. There was no transience to emotion, it was as permanent as stone. I felt all things all the time, because they were all recorded within the words. And the words were eternal, endless sentences that stretched like threads across the fabric of forever.
Within lack of limit, there was no individual. I lost myself in the sheer vastness of what surrounded me, trapped within the pages of the Librarian's book. I lost myself, I lost who I was, and what I loved, and what drove me. I lost, and I gained back a humanity as titanic as the ocean. Everyone, at every time, everywhere.
But even though it felt like it was limitless moment upon moment, eon stacked upon eon, it was truly but a second. A single second that seemed like it would never end.
And then, after I felt like I'd aged a million years, living in the skin of a million forgotten souls, the impossible happened, and it all changed.
The world became water.
My body returned to me, and what was left of my mind. I was still intact, still sane, and even though physically I was the same, I felt...bigger. As if my mind had been stretched out, leaving a great echoing space where once my thoughts had been very small.
Water, above and below. I breathed it, I drank it in. The water filled my lungs and then expelled itself as I exhaled. Like a fish I took it in, treading water. There was light, but it was dim, and I couldn't tell if it came from above or below. Indeed, I couldn't tell up from down. I could have been hanging upside down with the sky beneath me and been none the wiser.
Beyond the edge of my vision, a shadow drifted throw the water, making it tremble ever so slightly. Still I remained in place, floating alone. I felt certain I was being stalked. Whatever the shadow creature was that shared this place with me, it wanted to devour me.
The water grew more and more agitated. It was coming closer. I could see it now, a massive shape, larger than any great whale or kracken of legend. In a blind panic, my heart beating like a drum, I threw my hands over my face.
I felt a cool breeze waft over my face, and then suddenly I was on my knees, coughing up water.
The world became sand.
I was hacking and wheezing for all I was worth into the sands of an endless desert. The grit of it coated my wet body, weighing me down. My dress clung tightly, I could feel it wrapped around my ankles. Sand filled my hands as I knelt in a prayer position, coughing for breath. It filled one hand. I was shocked to realize that I was somehow still holding the Younger Prince's hand, as if the eternity in print and the time in the water had been nothing. He still had the ridiculous cello strapped to his back, too. It was dripping water into the ground.
I tried to look around, but my hair stuck to my face, leaving me only glimpses of the world around us. The sunlight blazed into our skin as if hovering just a few feet before us. I couldn't breath, that was all I could really focus on. There were mountains in the distance, sun scorched and weathered looking. They formed a ring around the desert, I later realized. And the heat, the unbearable heat, like being cooked alive.
It grew hotter and hotter. I was soon dry, but I still wasn't breathing. Nor was the Prince. How long could this last? How long does it take someone to asphyxiate?
It didn't take long for me to realize we were sinking, but I could not help welcoming the burial. I had not once breathed that hot, hot air. Somehow I just kept floundering, drowning miles from anything approaching water. And as the sand covered us, we at last found respite from the furnace that was the sky above...
And then, as we sank into the earth completely, and the sun lost its grip on me, everything went dark.
The world became green.
I did not know this at first, because I kept my eyes closed. I reveled in the wind whipping through my hair, and the feel of air moving in and out of my lungs over and over again, and then I opened my eyes, to peer at the world around me.
And it was indeed emerald green, all but a jungle. I lay on my back in thick, lush grass. My hair hovered in tangles over my face, played with by the gusts passing through. Trees towered above us, heavy with fruit and vegetation. All was quiet, not an animal noise to be heard. Nor did there seem to be any people, but I could see the great towers of some sort of castle or city rising on a far away hilltop, half obscured by a jutting cliff.
The Younger Prince lay next to me, on his stomach. His precious cello looked undamaged. It wasn't even wet. The bow was even safe, lying on the grass clasped in one outstretched arm.
I didn't know where we were, but we'd done it.
The transfer between worlds.