There are some destinations that cannot be sought with a map. Life is such a journey. My heart not being north-bound has led me in circles more often than not but there is no proof that the most valuable paths are linear. I found it quite by accident and I was not even traveling by submarine. I found Atlantis in the bottom of a barrel (doors are not the only means of ingress). Sometimes I hide in barrels but that is another story entirely, sufficed to say I was hiding. It is very difficult to lose track of time when one’s heart is so intent on marking its passage. I counted to a hundred, two hundred, and so on unable to avail myself the luxury of pride. I waited until my knees burned, until they locked into a stoop. When at last I rose it was with a great pop and a flash of versicolored light.
So the water is to be my coffin? The barrel where has it gone? There was no sign of debris and I had never left it only stood. Panic is not linear. I flailed. I screamed. My voice carried under water and it was the sound of my voice that at last roused me. To hear it so plainly lead me to realize that I could, despite the most improbable circumstances, breathe. I opened my eyes again and saw that I stood and beneath me were bricks, yellow as the early summer sun. Anything can be a key. Even a scream can stir one from futility.
The city was symmetrical filled with helices and effeminate curves. Opalescent, lilac, willow green the buildings were lively and meticulously placed. Instead of trees anemones the size of cars and seaweed as tall as Juniper trees lined the walkways. I hid behind the wings of a purple kelp, pinching my cheeks for wakefulness. I did not start. I looked at my hands, at the webbing between. A curse on dry land but brushing my hand through the water, I felt the purpose of resistance. Sitting down I unlaced my boots and struggled mightily to remove them. I removed my socks and jacket next. The water was light/ethereal, the temperature of my own skin. There seemed to me a number of races, each curiouser in retrospect and none who could be wholly considered at a glance.
I could slip into the stream and none could declare me a stranger. Amongst travelers there are no strangers, only stories to be told. I walked a long while and though some looked at my shoes, no one frowned in my face. I was never so lost as when I held a predetermined course. Here is a city where admittance is free, a city where the windows have no glass and the doors no locks. A migratory city, that passes through dimensions choosing denizens. I had been summoned.
I struggle with Fairytales as you well know but I thought I’d give it a go anyway!