This is a story that I plan to work on soon. It’s an idea my brother gave me… he’s such a great writer. He wrote up a whole chapter to explain the idea he had. I’m looking forward to writing this story… but I’ve got to let the idea soak for a bit (and I can usually only work on one new project at a time).
The whole world looked muffled. If you’ve ever lived within a University dormitory and had to put your head under your pillow to try and get sleep or if you’ve ever heard a conversation through a wall you would know the feeling. However, Devlin blinking hard at the hazy surroundings, noted that the world did not sound muffled, it looked muffled.
Devlin was perplexed. He was standing in the middle of an open space. A foreign and unknown open space. Yet not a moment ago he had known exactly where he had been. He had been in his hotel room getting ready for the last leg of what had already been an overlong journey home.
Slowly, it seemed his eyes were adjusting. The fog that was either filling this space or filling his head seemed to dissipate. And yet he remained motionless. Frozen to the spot in which he had been standing. It was as if he had woken up only to realize he was still dreaming. He had been awake he thought to himself.
“You’re not dreaming you know.”
A quiet voice filled Devlin’s head. Devlin remained motionless. Then he started. That had not been his voice. Nor had it been the voice he often heard within his own mind. Finally he moved, whirling around on the spot where he had been planted. There, not five feet behind him, stood another man. He had his hands behind his back and was looking very relaxed. However, his gaze was fierce. It seemed to awaken something within Devlin. It was as if those flashing gray eyes were the only real things in this place. It suddenly seemed that this were indeed no dream.
Devlin spoke hoarsely. “Wh-What is going on? What happened to the hotel?”
The man stood there.
“Did I fall?” Devlin ventured, rather unnerved at the lack of response. “Did I pass out or something? Why can’t I… I mean what is this place? I MUST be dreaming, no?”
The man smiled, though it held no comfort for Devlin. Finally the man stepped forward and held out his hand. “I am called Olecksander. If that is too long, you may call me Oleck. Indeed, our time is too short for lengthy formalities.”
None of this making any sense, Devlin tried again. “Well I am Devlin. Devlin Dukart. I’m wondering if perhaps you can tell me what’s going on here. I mean to say, what’s really going on.”
“I will tell you,” Oleck said firmly. “But you must not ask any questions or interrupt me in any way for as I have said, our time is too short for this to take any longer than it must.”
Devlin blinked. “Whatever, just tell me,” he said quickly in a voice that only thinly masked his growing tension over the oddness of his situation.
“You stepped through the glass. You are no longer here. You are no longer you.” Oleck’s words were spoken softly but bluntly.
“What? What are you saying? In English ple – ”
“Silence! There is no Time!” Oleck did not look like one who would suffer another interruption. Devlin bit his tongue.
“As I said, you stepped through the glass. In the world you knew, there are so many of these glasses. They are everywhere and everyday just about every person steps through one for a period of time. You know these glasses as mirrors.”
Devlin, who so wanted to slap himself awake, stood motionless, staring open mouthed.
“Tell me something Devlin, wanting only a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ of course, have you ever looked in the mirror and not recognized the person you saw? Or have you ever, upon occasion, had someone, perhaps someone close to you, tell you that you didn’t seem quite yourself?”
Devlin, still speechlessly confused, only managed a slow weak nod. He had.
“Those were all instances of your spirit stepping through the glass. However, it is usually only a fleeting experience. Usually the spirit finds its way back to its owner in a short amount of time. So short an amount of time that the experience of being in this world is so fleeting as to be hardly even noticed. Sort of like being in the gray of life.”
Oleck paused, thought for a moment and then continued.
“You, however, stepped through a very rare glass. You stepped through the glass of the Vescoranimus. Now this is very serious. For this means that when you walked away from that mirror you became the reflection, you became the shadow. Your physical self is still out there, interacting with the “world;” however, it does so as a mere spiritless reflection of who you truly are. Have you ever wondered what happens to your reflection when you walk away from the mirror? Did you think that its world simply goes black? Wonder no more, for now you know. Now you have become the reflection and when you walked away from that glass it was your world that went black.”
Devlin coughed violently. “So you’re telling me I’m in some kind of a realm of the soul or something?”
“No,” said Oleck emphatically. “You are not. This is not a world of soul but of spirit. But listen carefully, for it is most assuredly your soul that is at stake. This is the land of shadows, the land within your world. What you don’t understand is this: the realm of the soul, say heaven and hell in your world’s eyes, is of a truer nature than your physical realm. But this world is a step down from yours. To put it simply, our world is to yours what your world is to Heaven.”
“What are you supposed to be then?” Devlin’s interjection seemed to irritate Oleck less this time.
“We will get to that,” Oleck said in a measured tone. “First, I must convey to you what is most singularly important: your very great and urgent need to find yourself. You see, you are not here on accident. The Vescoranimus have lured you here for one purpose and that is to destroy you. Before you ask,” Oleck said acknowledging the questioning look Devlin was giving, “the Vescoranimus are quite simply the devourers of the soul. They are but shadows themselves of greater terrors. They lure the spirit, the happiness, the courage, and the heart, indeed the very essence of man into this world; for here it is but a simple task for them to destroy the spirit. And if the spirit of a man is destroyed, the man himself may follow closely after. I know this is all very quick. But I must go fast for, and don’t be alarmed, they are already hunting for you.”
Devlin stared blankly. He felt as if a great fog of numbness had enveloped him.
~~~ Written by Grantland Walker ~~~