Finding the other

“So, it turns out we have always been able to get there. I haven’t worked out how, yet – that’s for others – but I know it’s real, and I can prove it.” Jake was talking to his friend in the bar, the evening after his discovery. We won’t meet his friend again, so I shall leave him nameless. You can call him “Fred” if that would make you happier, but I am not certain that that was his name.

Jake went to sleep that evening, as excited as anyone had ever been to go to sleep. He laid there waiting to sleep, like a child the night before Christmas. He may even have been more excited than that. Maybe as excited as the night before the flight to Disney World. Of course, all he wanted to do was get to sleep, but all he could do was lay there awake, excited about the possibilities.

Eventually, and without being aware of it, Jake finally discovered that he was asleep, and that he was dreaming. Months and months of training had made him aware of lucid dreaming, and he had long been able to identify that he was dreaming, and control what he did there.

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Hope

Hope bounded over the mountain, happy to be born

Fumbling in her pockets, searching for a pen

And on some paper she wrote out details of her predicament

For her existence, temporal as it is

Results in fruition or painful banishment

Toni

The clack of nearby keyboards washed over Toni. She sat there, briefly hypnotized by the sound. A voice – the words indistinct – said something into a phone in a nearby cubicle. The sound of the voice was muffled by the material on the cube’s wall.

Toni scrolled through a Facebook feed which had not changed since she scrolled through it five seconds previously. She clicked on the next tab, and confirmed that the news headlines had also not changed. She clicked on the new tab button, and type “wiki” before the browser offered her the most-likely option, which she clicked on. She clicked the random article link, and was taken to an article about the Second Crusade.

Absent-mindedly she clicked on a link in the middle of the first paragraph, and did the same on the next six articles that appeared. Through Bavaria and Germany, she arrived at articles about the European Union. She wondered whether much time had passed, and looked at Facebook again. Nothing had changed on her feed.

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Huldufólk

The wind howled across the desolate winter landscape of Iceland. No trees to limit its progress, but glaciers to cool it, made the bite vicious. And the longer Gary stood on the exposed top of the hill, the deeper the teeth sunk in.

He dared, for a moment, to pull his glove forward to look at his watch, and slices of sharpened teeth dug into the gap between sleeve and glove. Gary knew he was waiting, but he didn’t remember how he got here, nor what he was waiting for.

Gary woke, with a start. Back in his bedroom in Reykjavik. He had moved to Iceland when the multi-national bank he worked for had bought an Icelandic bank, and he was given an opportunity to help integrate the new bank into the larger organization.

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A Hopeless Life

The heavy sky, burdened by the weight of piled clouds

Loomed and threatened the labourers toiling on the exposed hillside

A shaft of hope sprung forth and as suddenly was devoured

Ominously, the supernatural preoccupied the hopeless souls

Until from their earthly presence they were released

Amanath and Hodor

There was once a man of incredible wealth and power. His name was Amanath. He was known throughout the village that he lived near. He could often be heard telling people about faraway lands where he was also known, and where the people also feared his power. No one in the village had ever seen these faraway lands, but they knew the powerful man mentioned them often and felt that they could not challenge him.

In the same village was a man who was a sycophant and was especially weak. His name was Hodor. He would walk around the village reminding people about the wealth and power of Amanath. The other people would grow tired of hearing Hodor’s words, but knew that attacking him might make Amanath angry.

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Observance – Part 1

Ryan noticed that there was a lot going on in the world, that other people didn’t seem to see. Or perhaps they didn’t care? Whatever it was, it was like everyone else walked through the world with misted glasses. He didn’t think this was arrogance – he didn’t feel pride in this situation – he was just aware of it.

Ryan would be in a shop, talking to the clerk while the air in the room moved in waves. The surge of air from one part of the room to another looked like a flock of starlings just before they roost for the evening. The door opening would bring not just a physical reaction, but a visible one.

Similarly, he would smell the moods of people that he met. The smell would even change while he was in a conversation with a person. As a child, Ryan had assumed this was normal, but a few strange looks from others, and he had learned not to talk about it in public.

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Followed

Toby clambered and staggered through the final trees from the forest and back into civilization. The darkness of the dense undergrowth gave way to the banal, gray reality of suburban life. 

As soon as he stepped, at last, onto the sidewalk, what had happened mere moments before did not feel real. Despite this, he ran. He ran and ran until his legs started to feel like jelly. He then ran some more and kept on running until he reached the road his home was on. As he reached that road, however, he started to think. His first thought was that he was definitely running for no reason. But immediately afterward, his second thought was that he could not run home without giving away where he lived. If he did that, he would never feel safe. 

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