Into the ceiling I slammed, hard
Or rather — the ground? Thoughts jarred
Down had become up and up? Down
Adrenaline begging me to lift myself off the ground
A concussion of percussion played a jig in my ears
And the world I thought I’d known blurred as my eyes filled with tears
But the phantom pain I anticipated never came
And I picked myself up gently to tentatively continue life’s game.
As the world around me grew perspicuous
Its intricacies revealed perniciousness
And yet it felt to me like a calling:
No more squalling and no more crawling
The world awaited me through a gigantic metal tunnel
A bridge between two world through which I now funnel
An adventure was afoot — one the world unknowingly needed
I stood from the ground and through the tunnel proceeded.
I emerged into the world from a sea of sublime greens
A world visibly in the past and oblivious to machines
Nature had overstayed its welcome
To some million kinds of plants the world had succumbed
And yet nowhere in it was life vibrant or even present
The silence was palpable among the absence of scent
Could this be a dream? It certainly seemed plausible
To fall through the sky to another world was certainly impossible.
But no, as strange as it may feel,
I was one hundred percent certain that this world was real.
Remnants of a church loomed nearby,
Though its inhabitants were likely bone dry,
The architecture, however, was a feat of great skill
Holographic paint mixed with the dreams of mentally ill
From on high statues screamed episcopalian
But to me the profound blue hues whispered something alien
The inside was gorgeous, empty save for irrelevant memorials
Every stone in the wall carved with intricate pictorials
People used to worship here, that much was clear
But where have they gone? What made them disappear?
If some higher power were involved, those people would surely be safe
Perhaps that is why they are gone and I’m here a waif
Lost and forgotten, wandering the world alone
Doing everything I can to make my name known.
Ah, yes! A library, an athenaeum of known names!
In front of those names, more importantly, repositories of flames
Knowledge on fire, my brain engulfed in translation,
I thoroughly skimmed through each book for information annexation.
My strength, wit, and usefulness are sometimes a lucky carousel
But my memory for facts is ‘naut but unparalleled.
Ghosts and goblins and goats and ghouls,
Surviving by trapping without proper tools,
This world’s atlas, before it went ashen,
How to get boys with tips on your fashion.
At last from the atlas I had less stress
With new knowledge my eyes fluoresced
A village was nearby, and likely to have residents
Self-compounding confidence echoing hopeful resonance
So out the church I embarked on a trek through Memna to Thasanludence
Atlas in mind, knowledge fighting prudence
Surely someone is out there, at a prime location next to the sea
And so I left the church standing tall, at one with nature, behind me.
Through Memna forest I traveled, eyes peeled for oddities
Natural or unnatural, noting the strangeness of this world’s qualities
The wind, for example, chose not to blow through the trees,
But instead constantly downward, trying hard to bring me to my knees
And the trees themselves were just as bizarre,
Each one sporting lacerations running down their length, a remarkable scar
The wildlife was nonexistent, or at least excelled at hiding
The former, perhaps, because nature refused their providing
There were no seeds, nor berries, nor fruit of any kind
The threat of no food in the village either did indeed cross my mind
And yet like any other hero I continued to step on,
Indubitably determined to reach Thasanludence before dawn
Eventually the trees opened up and the sky softly poked through
A dirt path manifested along the sea’s shores for me to pursue.
Beneath the mountains in the distance I saw Thasanludence dwelling
Though I hoped the lack of life outside would not be foretelling.
I arrived at Thasanludence as the sun was falling
Happy to arrive, and immediately heard my calling
Not in the air, of course, but in the people: wide-eyed
So confused — or terrified — to see me, ushering me inside
The dark outside, they cried, is not safe!
The shadows would come again soon, and with them a Wraith
I went with them inside, into an ivy-covered sanctuary,
Pleasantly surprised to discover we shared the same vocabulary.
The night would be a long one, for there were no beds
Nor was there warmth, for blankets need threads
I shared my jacket with two kids from next door
And through their cold faces I could see thanks galore
When they had warmed I proceeded downstairs
Uninformed of the nightly storm or the city’s affairs
Inside we played cards and bade our sweet time
For we were not to go back outside until the safety bell chimed.
I had gathered my things, a night was enough
I was ready to hunt, but first to do stuff
A quick stop at Mayor Tim’s home with fact in my swagger
I introduced myself as a hero and brandished my dagger
We exchanged words and I learned of the situation
The Wraith — a Baku — desperately needed ligation
I stood in the door with the stance of a slayer
Secretly smelling the goods of the baker turned mayor
To seal the deal before I left I remembered the church’s library
And shared what helpful knowledge I had to help this society.
I taught Tim and a naysayer what to do with their abundance of Shutt
My instructions were clear but perplexed them somewhat:
Strip it down to the core and lay it out etched
Then separate each strand and keep each one stretched
A lack of living things may make bones more valuable
But there may be more living things if winter were solvable.
Friction on this rugged rock wears away at nature’s plan
Letting you shape the bone as best as you can
Grind it longways, delicately, and into a spine
And when it is ready, thread through it your vine.
You will make clothes and you will be warm
And when I return from this storm I want you reformed
Mayor Tim nodded and I left on my way
But before I slip away there’s still one thing to say
Although your water seems fated yours, it is unfortunately not
Before you learn about cures, you lot aught to listen
The water is not yours, and until yours you must observe
You must use these stones to clean it before you can serve
It’s in your best interest, and may look strange to you now
But until you invent the dentist you must always vow
Just scoop your water into here and give it a moment
This filter will keep you safe while your elderly knit
Thasanludence will be a fine village, you’ll see with time
Better and better as you progress through life’s nursery rhyme
The walls of Thasanludence stood bravely against the unknown
Protecting those within its walls from any unnecessary display of bone
The Baku, however, is what truly frightened them
Passing through not time and space but dreams and the brain stem
An Eater of Dreams, a killer, a devourer of hopes,
Certainly seems quite the beast from the reactions of these folks.
And yet it’s allegedly recycled in body, a chimera medley
A bear’s body, rhinoceros eyes, a tiger’s feet, and an oxen tail
And with an elephant’s nose comes a memory without fail
A memory so vivid the Dream Eater seethes hate
Forced into hiding by those it predates
A glorious beast indeed, an unfortunate aggressor
I plan to hunt down and vanquish this creature,
I’ll free this town of its oppressor, then conduct life as a teacher.