Lost In The Flooded Forest, Pt. 2

 

I stood, soaking wet, on the steps of an ancient, overgrown pyramid. Water lay on all sides, and tall trees grew thickly everywhere I could see. While traveling through this flooded forest for two days and a night, I had thought that I was fleeing something; I had felt some force pursuing me, relentlessly. It had driven me here, and it was here that the feeling crystallized—I recognized this very pyramid to be the hunter, the predator I’d imagined was behind me.

It had entered my mind. Some part of myself was shared by this structure, and through my thought-faculty, it had found its voice. Where the deep, green waters of the forest met the first stone steps of the pyramid, I stood, and we talked.

“Why do you stand there? It’s been long, too long. Climb the steps.”

I stayed where I was. Weariness of the last two days wasn’t the only thing keeping me from climbing those steps. “Was it you? Did you bring me here?” I asked aloud.

Wind sighed through the trees, ruffling the surface of the water, and the pyramid spoke within my thoughts.

“You brought you here. Some part of you has been here for centuries… That part of you is me. And now, our mutual need has brought us together. It’s time for you to come inside.”

To my eyes, the pyramid seemed to loom larger before me.

“There are questions you cannot answer alone, questions that have hunted you, and haunted you, your entire life. Those questions have created answers within my walls. You can enter, and begin a new life. Or you can leave this place, and I will fall into the water, and your answers will be lost forever.”

I had climbed the steps while it spoke, and I stood now at the top, before the entrance. More stairs descended into the dark interior. Within the pyramid, I could feel miles and miles of underground rooms, hallways, galleries and libraries, long forgotten. There would be no exit from this place, not for a long time. Memories of my life before this forest no longer came clearly… I knew I’d miss things, but I didn’t know what those things actually were.

I shrugged, and started down the steps. “Welcome to your new home, Howl,” I murmured to myself. “There will certainly be enough room to think in this one.”

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Howl was born in the wastes north of Hithlum, where only beasts and witches dare roam. He was raised by two old hags, Tabby and Wiles, who had an unhealthy fascination towards the literary arts. Howl now resides in a well-furnished cave off South Rim Trail, complete with an old iBook and Wi-Fi.