On the elevated stage, James saw a mysterious patch of light. He looked up at the dangling spotlights peeking out of wads of old stage curtains and was shocked to discover that the light was not, as he had imagined, being emitted by one of the old spotlights. The light was, unbelievable as it sounds, emanating from from the spot on the ground. As James came closer, he realized that the humming sound which he heard was probably being generated from whatever was causing the light; some kind of strange machinery perhaps.
James hoisted himself up on the stage backing the auditorium. He stared curiously at the mysterious light that came out of the ground. The hum had slowly grown to a pitch where it almost split his eardrums but James seemed to be dazed by the light.
James. He heard his name. James. The sound seemed to come from inside the light. He knew following the sound was not a rational thing to do but he couldn’t control himself anymore. Reason had flown out the window. His only desire was to be in that light.
Squatting just beside the shining spot, leaning closer and closer, he didn’t know when he lost his balance and started plummeting into the brightness, into its emptiness.
James felt hard and sharp things scrape him as he continued to fall through space. The light was exceptionally bright when he tried to open his eyes. He saw a bright shade of green enveloping him. His fall suddenly halted when he hit the solid ground. The pain shot through him and he groaned where he lay. James managed to open his eyes to see specks of green hanging from the sky. He turned painfully to his side and when he opened his eyes, he saw two figures like trees standing beside him.
“He is not dead.” A deep voice said.
“He does seem quite injured” A female voice said. Shall I administer treatment?”
“Wait.” The deeper voice said. “He is rousing.”
James groaned as he sat up. “What just happened?” He winced at the pain that shot through his leg. “I don’t know what exactly is going on but I know Ebony is behind it.” He mumbled.
He stared at the strange environment along with the strange people who stood in front of him; a young woman and an old man.
Apparently, he was in the woods, he couldn’t explain how but he saw bright yellow bursting sunshine and washing down in rays through massive green leaves. Yup, I’m tripping. That is what is happening. He craned his neck and saw a wall of a tree, the biggest tree he had ever seen. It was so solid and tall that it appeared like some sort of polished brown battlement with luscious leaves shimmering in the sun. Everything was bright, in the distance, he heard the chirping of birds and scurrying of woodland creatures. Definitely tripping. Must be the fumes from that abandoned floor or something.
He focused on the pair who stared at him from a few feet away. The old man was the crustiest old man he had ever seen. His skin seemed so dry and crusty that he felt that picking at it would cause it to shed like scales. His long beige beard touched his knees and he wore a robe that looked like dried leaves which had been sewn together.
The girl beside him rushed to his side and crouched touching one of his leg. “Bless the ancient ones that I see the chosen one with mine very eyes as he descends from the great tree to save us all.”
“Descend? More like plop. Oh, Saerrie, you make it sound so graceful. Dreamy eyed young saplings like you love so much the magic of old talk especially in the midst of war. Be careful. You may be wrong and he could simply be one of the humans who have used the dark magic to make himself appear from the Greattree. Be cautious with him.”
James blinked at the girl. She was the cutest thing he had ever seen. This must have been a heck of a hallucination. Her face was perfectly round, her complexion; pink and plump and almost glistening like some fruit. She had pink hair too and pink lashes that were so long that they tickled his nose from where she crouched a few feet away. The best metaphor James could use to describe her was a cherry.
“I do believe he is the hero of prophesy, Elder-Tree. And he needs our help. Look at how he watches me, he must be in shock. And the leg, it is quite a mess.”
“It is not our place to assume. We must report what we have found at council with Green Lady and Her Majesty, Queen Naiad. He must not be trusted. Bind him Saerrie and I will tell of our findings to the queen.”
“I feel so bad to treat him with so much dishonor. Can I treat his wounds at least?” The girl pleaded, her abnormally large eyes glistening with tears.
“If you must.” The crusty bearded man said as he walked briskly away. I will call your brother Eariad to come help you. Do not be swayed for humans are the most deceptive.”
James didn’t say a word. He still couldn’t comprehend what was going on so he resorted to silence. His thought was that whatever hallucination he was having would fade away with time as long as he didn’t acknowledge it.
To be continued…