Cities In The Sky

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Looking up at the skylands floating over their heads in the midst of misty clouds, Christopher and Vix laid side-by-side in the luscious, green grass of the prosaic world below. As the gentle breeze rolled in from the mountains to the east, the skylands swayed gracefully with the wind before slowly drifting back to their original location, secured in place by the ancient chain that had been constructed centuries prior. Vix rolled over onto her side and looked at Christopher, who was leaning back on both elbows and still studying the underside of the floating kingdom.

“What do you think it’d be like?” she asked, glancing back up toward the sky. A flock of Goldbills flew high up in the atmosphere, singing a song that slowly wafted down to the two lovers watching them.

Christopher broke his gaze to curiously look at Vix before asking, “You mean, to live up there? Or to be magic?”

“Both,” Vix replied after a moment of thought.

Christopher took a deep breath, imagining how his life would have been different if he had been born enlightened. Since childhood, he’d heard stories and fairy tales borne out of the transcendent floating kingdom of Lumen depicting powerful wizards conjuring amazing new inventions, adventurers traveling the world on the backs of dragons, and the bravest warriors in the land rescuing princesses from the depths of unimaginable wonders. Although they were just stories, a part of him questioned whether that was truly what everyday life in the skylands was like, or at least could be.

“I think it’d be amazing,” Christopher fawned, returning his gaze to the mass of earth held in the sky with archaic magic. “I wish there was some way we could go visit and experience what it’s like for ourselves. People say Lumen’s the most beautiful place in the world.”

“Yeah, that’s what they say,” — Vix stretched say — “because earthbounds aren’t allowed to go visit.” She smiled, rolling closer to Christopher to tease him. “They could say anything they wanted and I bet you would believe it!”

Playfully, Christopher pushed Vix away with a smile and defensively proclaimed, “No way!” She toppled backwards into the soft grass as a gust of wind tossed her hair into her face. Laughing and shaking her head to break free of the raven-black coiffure that now encased her, she noticed something seemingly minuscule free-falling from the far edge of the landmass above.

Suddenly serious, she pointed to Christopher and shouted as if she were seeing her first star falling from the heavens, “Look!”

For a moment, they both watched until the object had fallen completely to the earth below, obstructed from view by the hills to the north.

Vix asked Christopher, “You saw that, right?” She maneuvered herself back to her original sitting position in the grass, propping herself up on one elbow as she pointed again towards where the object fell from and clarified, “Something falling?”

“Yeah, I did.” Christopher was silent for a second and closed his eyes, trying to visualize the object again in his mind, wondering what it could have been. Another breeze, this time chilled from the cool waters on the other side of the mountains in the east, overtook the two lovers and covered them in pimply goosebumps. Accompanying the wind — although it could have just been Christopher’s imagination — was a low howl that seemed to originate from far, far away. Opening his eyes to gaze back towards the skylands, he asked, “What do you think it was?”

“I don’t know,” Vix shrugged. “It’s supposed to be such a beautiful city, I guess they have to get rid of their trash somehow, right?”

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