Livia's Notebook

The Journal of the Walk, Monday, April 15th

Yesterday, I finished crossing the red mountains that the old witch and her talking ants warned me about. As they said, the mountains were steep and boiling hot, and what animals did live there made for tough, dry meals. The ground was so hot that, even though my thick sandals, it felt like I was slowly climbing a mountain of lava.

I know not why those mountains are so unforgiving (though the witch thought that it was due to some old, imprisoned Demon throwing a tantrum, and her ants said that it was due to all the mining and blacksmithing that creatures below are doing), but when I cleared them, the ground was much cooler, though there was still no vegetation, other than the grass on the ground, which looked like it had been trimmed by something.

I met no animals as I walked, and since I could not hear my friends, the birds, I grew uneasy, feeling that there was something hiding someplace and that, whatever it was, it would not be kind to me. For three days, I walked like this, and the landscape around me never changed. Nor did the temperature or the weather. The sky always looked like a dead piece of open ocean, and it was always warm, but not overly so. They were the kind of perfect spring days that makes one wary and unsure.

In the middle of the third day, the land opened up, and what looked like a black ocean stood before me, though it was not completely black. There were all sorts of swirling colors in the ocean, all in an ammonite-like shape. There was a cluster of golden, salmon, and bluish-green colors in one spot, and in another, there was a group of milky-white, brown, and red colors.

Thinking that these were strange creatures, I stepped away and directed my attention to the only tree growing beside the ocean-so much so that it’s head was tilted directly over the water. There were odd, round fruits growing from it, all protected by a thick, smooth rind the color of narwhal’s flesh. Curious, I carefully reached over and plucked one of the fruit off so that I could cut into it and see what kind of fruit it was.

As I did so, a cluster-one that was full of orange, purple, silver, and yellow lights-collided with another cluster that was full of pink, peach, and blue lights. Some lights vanished in the impact, and others flew off on their own, but, eventually, the two clusters became one.

I stood there for awhile, amazed, and then, sure of what this lake actually was, I pulled a thick knife out of my pack and tried to cut the fruit open. While the rind was smooth and easy to hold, it took me a long time to slice it open, but when I finally did, planets and stars came shooting out, just as I thought they would. Thankfully, the weight of the fruit did not change, but I still had to put it down and move back to save my eyes.

Everything was bigger than a thousand mountains, and while the light from the stars was painful, it was also incredibly beautiful. It was like watching a silent firework show, only there was no noise. Everything in the fruit-planets, stars, asteroids-quietly floated up into the sky until I couldn’t see it.

The whole event took an hour, and when it was done, I rubbed my eyes and went to look down at the ‘beach’ again. This was a universe that was too far down for me to really see. The tree grew universes (or perhaps it only grew galaxies), and when they were ripe, they fell down, broke open, and mixed with what was already down there. How the tree and hole came to be there, I do not know. Perhaps God (or the Gods) planted it here for some reason.

Marveling at the wonders before me, I took a fruit as a keepsake and moved on.

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