The sun was just coming up, but instead of the cheerful sound of birds in the trees and bees buzzing around the flowers there was just silence. At first I didn’t mind the silence, but then it started playing tricks on my mind. I think I hear a twig breaking and I turn around looking for the intruder, but then I realize that nothing could possibly break the branches, nor were there any broken or dead branches lying on the ground.
The silence became an annoying sound that drove me crazy and I would have to stomp my feet just to create some sort of sound to reference by. The path continued on and on seemingly forever. When the sun was directly over my head I stopped to take a sip from the canteen and looked around hoping to find something to eat, but nothing magically presented itself.
I was tired of this silent, long journey through a forest that seemed almost frozen in time. I started thinking about the tower and the forest around it. There had been a marked difference. Around the tower it was as quiet as here except for the wind in the trees, but the further away from the tower I got the more noise I heard. Once I crossed the bridge the change was complete.
I wondered what had caused such a change to occur on this side of the chasm. Clearly there was some sort of magic afoot, but what? And what was my purpose here?
The questions tumbled through my tired mind. I was going crazy with the silence of this forest. I stopped in my tracks and turned around ready to go back to the tower and dream myself back to the hotel, but as I faced the forest I realized I couldn’t go back through there, not alone.
I turned back and continued on. I had taken fifty steps when I rounded a bend and found myself facing the open countryside. I could see the road trailing up and down across and around the rounded landscape. Miles away I could see a body of water whether ocean or lake I couldn’t tell from that distance, but I knew it was vast.
On the edge of the water sat a beautiful white castle. It was gracefully built, arching up toward the sky with the same lines and arches I had seen on the bridge. It was clear whoever had built the castle had also constructed the bridge.
As I stepped forward the sunlight parted the clouds sweeping the castle walls with its brilliant light. Everything sparkled invitingly in the light, but I paused realizing the pinions high on the towers only sparkled. Even in the distance I could see they were expanded out as if in a stiff breeze, but they were frozen in place.
What magic has affected this beautiful place? I wondered in my head. Clearly this was to be my destination. I stepped out of the trees and continued on the road toward the mysterious white castle.
to be continued...