The door opened again just as it had the first time. Without reservation I entered and glanced around. Nothing had changed, except there seemed to be a layer of dust on everything. I looked up at the winding staircase and groaned.
I still hurt from climbing the stairs before and here I had to do it again. With a deep sigh I started. The passage didn't seem to go as long as before and after a much shorter time I found myself at the top of the stairs looking across at the flickering fire.
Everything up here was just as dusty as the main floor, but I turned immediately to the tall chair and the stand where the man had put the book. The chair was empty and the book still sat on the stand. I walked silently across the thick carpet and approached the book.
The dust here was the same as everywhere else. I reached out and brushed it away, anxious to see what was there. The page was blank. I blinked remembering something had been on it before. I looked around hoping the man would return to explain everything, but the room remained empty.
Frustrated and annoyed I walked over to the bookshelves. They were still lined with the many leather-bound book, but they looked even older and more worn. I couldn't understand what was happening. Why did this place look like a hundred years had passed. It had not even been a day.
I took a deep breath trying to picture everything as I had first seen it that morning. The warm fire, the rich carpets and no dust. When I opened my eyes nothing had changed. Frustrated I moved toward the stairs. Clearly there was some sort of magic involved in this, but I didn't understand it nor would I be able to without some sort of help.
Resigned I started down the stairs. I am a practical person, but I love fantasy. This whole dream reeked
of fantasy and magic. Yet my practical brain wanted to understand, wanted an explanation. So I was determined to find one.
I reached the bottom of the stairs and left the tower. A large meadow surrounded the tower and tall trees surrounded the meadow. To the north I noticed a tiny break in the trees and what looked like a path. With a tremor of excitement and nerves I made my way to the path.
To be continued...