Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Tower 15


The hall I entered was as elegant and mysterious as the rest of the castle.  Tall windows lined the corridor with elegant drapes hanging in pleated perfection.  Through the glass panes I could see gardens with fountains and flowers of every kind.  I moved through the passage taking in the beauty around me.
Exquisitely crafted candelabras mounted the walls every fifteen feet and beautiful wall tables with gracefully carved legs and ornate vases adorned the spaces beneath the candles.  Everything seemed built for very tall people and my thoughts immediately turned to the strange man in the tower.
He must be part of this kingdom, but where was he?  I pushed the question to the back of my mind and returned my attention to the passage before me.  I finally left the hall stepping into a large, round room. 
A fire burned silently directly across the room from where I stood.  To the left there were stone benches and chairs scattered in a chaotic, but organized pattern.  To the right I saw the most beautiful pair of thrones.  Even from where I stood I could tell they were carved from marble and inlayed with gold and silver in the patterns of grapes and vines.
The hearth across from me was the same marble as the thrones and held the same gold and silver inlay.  The mantle was placed just above my head and on it were delicate blown glass sculptures of long-legged dear with large curving antlers.
I examined the room from where I stood seemingly frozen in place.  After seeing the glass sculptures I glanced out the windows that framed the thrones and realized it was almost sunset.
I remembered the experiences from the night before and felt a surge of panic rush through my body.  The doors and gates had opened at my touch, how could they possibly keep out the dangerous host that attacked the cottage.  I looked around for the circle of safety I had been given the previous two nights, but could see nothing.
Released from the frozen awe I began searching the room meticulously.  There were no other passages behind the scattering of benches, but I quickly discovered a passage covered by a tapestry behind the thrones.  I didn’t know where this corridor would lead, but I felt very strongly I should follow it.
This hallway had fewer windows and walking along it made me even more nervous, but the unknown danger spurred me on.  At the end I encountered another large round room.  This one had no fireplace, but a grand staircase wound around the outer edges.  In the center was a beautiful fountain carved in the shape of grape vines reaching ten feet in the air.
At a ninety degree angle to my left was another opening and corridor.  I stepped toward the opening and immediately felt that same sense of wrongness I had experienced the previous two evenings.  I paused and then turned to the stairs.  Nothing happened so I began climbing.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Tower 14


I cautiously opened the door of the cottage and peered out.  There was no one to be seen and everything looked just as it had the previous day.  I examined the side of the house and could see faint signs of disturbance but nothing to compare to the sound and shaking of whatever was being hurled at the house.

In awe I turned my sights toward the castle.  There it sat in its early morning splendor, the sunrise giving a pinkish cast to the white walls.  With a deep breath I took to the road once again.  After my frightful night I had no desire to stay anywhere for the night

I walked through the silence over and around hills.  The sun moved slowly across the sky and the castle grew in size as I traveled.  I passed a few silent villages with their scattering of houses and barns and empty fields of still grain.  I fought the desire to stop and explore, listening to the deeper pull of the castle instead.

As the sun approached the horizon I finally reached the gates of the castle.  I expected to enter some sort of a city first, but there was nothing but a cobblestone road that began a hundred yards from the gates.

To my surprise I was still met with the oppressive silence and obvious absence of anyone.  I reached out and touched the tall metal gates.  They swung open silently and I entered the main courtyard.

A grid of pillars were situated evenly before me with a trellis work spanning the spaces between and thick heavy vines entwined among the trellis.  The most luscious looking grapes hung invitingly from the vines.  I looked at the grapes hungrily but they were out of my reach.  I continued on. 

The tiles beneath my feet made a beautiful path of mottled granite.  I followed the path through the pillars toward an arched doorway.  When I reached the door I examined the gold etched artwork around the frame.  It depicted tall slender ladies in beautiful gowns and elegant gentlemen picking grapes from the vines above their heads and singing and dancing to now silent tunes.

           With a shudder I glanced back almost expecting to see the ghosts of the court.  It was as empty and silent as before.  Taking a deep breath and summoning more courage than I ever thought I had, I opened the door to the castle and stepped inside.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sharing vs. Telling

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we get a lot of flack for sending missionaries out into predominantly Christian places and even trying to 'convert' everyone we meet.  Today in church we talked about missionary work and I just wanted to clarify a few things for any of my readers who may not be familiar with our church.  These are my beliefs, but I do try to found them in the scriptures and the words of our Latter-day prophets.

We as members of the church are asked to share the gospel with all the world.  It is part of the covenants we make when we are baptised that we will tell the people around us about the 'good news.'  I know sometimes we can be a little over zealous or not even say anything at all, but the truth of the matter is that we love the gospel of Jesus Christ and the teachings that we have because of modern day revelation as well as personal revelation.

Time and time again our leaders have counseled us to share the gospel with our friends and neighbors.  This isn't because the church wants to increase its numbers but because we should want to share the joy we have with the people we care about the most.  Sometimes our way of sharing becomes more like telling and that can come off as a negative influence.  We ask that you pardon us and know that we really want you to accept what we believe because it really has made us happy and we want everyone to be happy too.

In Relief Society (this is a meeting where all the sisters in the congregation meet together for a lesson) we talked about ways to share the gospel.  Some of the suggestions made were:

  • Mention it in your everyday conversations.  Don't be afraid to tell your friends and neighbors and family that you went to church that day and what you might have learned.  Don't be afraid to talk about your trials with your friends and how you have gained answers through the scriptures, hymns, prayer or attending church meetings or activities.  We never know who might be in need of the answer we got and who might even be able to bless us with an answer from their own experiences.  We live in a world where sharing can work so much better than just telling.
  • Pray for opportunities to share the gospel.  This can also mean to pray for opportunities to find truth.
  • Invite friends and neighbors and family members to activities, special occasions and firesides.  It could be a friend of the friend you invited who is touched by the spirit and chooses to learn more.
  • Participate in the community.  When we are willing to give back to our community and give willingly people will notice.  Many times during times of natural disaster the people receiving aid mention that the first two groups to respond besides the Red Cross are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Mormons.  (We are one and the same.)
  • This brings me to the last point I'll mention today.  Don't be afraid to explain to others that the name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Mormon is a nickname given to us when the church was first organized because we read The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ. (This is a great introduction to the Book of Mormon.)  We like to use our official name because that is who we represent.
One lady in our meeting made the comment that she tells people she knows that she is a Mormon and if they ever have any questions to feel free and ask.  She won't be offended.  I thought this was a great piece of advice.  If we have questions about a company like Apple we don't talk to Dell people we call the Apple store.  It should be the same for people who have questions about our church and religion.  Go to the source and that source is the members: me.

I find that I need to remember that when I share the gospel I don't just tell people about it and walk away.  I need to share.  When we share it encourages conversations, questions and curiosity.  Who knows the person I could be talking to might just believe exactly the same as I do, they just don't know it yet.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Wide World of Reading and Writing

I used to wonder how authors came up with the stuff they came up with, but then I started writing and I realized it is all in my head.  Though I do believe I have been inspired every step of the way I never cease to be amazed at the things that I think of when I am pursuing a story.

Often times my best friend has laughed when I come to her all excited to tell her that I just discovered something about one of my characters.  She would look at me with her 'silly rabbit' smile that asks, 'didn't you know that already, you're the author?'

But the truth is sometimes I know just as much as my readers.  When I write it is like discovering a book for the first time.  The words flow onto the page and I experience it just like when I read it, but a little slower. 

I love reading new books just as much as I love writing them.  A library to me is like a candy store to a kid.  There are so many delightful selections to choose from and you never know what adventure you will land yourself in when you open a new book.

I find myself very grateful for books and the freedom to read those books and the freedom to be able to write the stories that fill my head.  I always had a very active imagination and a tendency for the dramatic, now I know why.

Happy reading to all!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Tower 13


Though I was tired I lay on the couch thinking about my strange journey so far and what could have possible left this land so desolate and silent.  There was nothing that could even begin to give me answers except for the white castle.
I rolled onto my side and stared at the fire watching the flames move in twisting patterns.  I didn’t even realize I had fallen asleep until I was jolted awake by a loud noise outside the cottage.  I sat up listening intently.  I could hear voices outside the cottage, strange unfamiliar voices.  They spoke in a language I didn’t understand.
Suddenly I heard something heavy hit the front door.  The whole house shuddered.  I crouched down waiting in fear for whatever it was to break through.  The object hit the house again, this time cracking the window.
The talking broke out again this time louder.  More voices joined encouraging whatever it was to continue its work.  I didn’t know what to do.  I started to get up but the sickening sensation washed over me and I remained on the couch.
“What do I do?”  I mentally shouted.
No voice answered this time and I knew I would just have to wait it out on the couch.  I curled up in a ball listening to the voices and the thuds.  The work continued for several hours and finally in the grey light of dawn they went away.
After this night I was ready to return to my hotel room and be done with this dream, but I knew I was in it for the long haul.  I turned back to watching the flames of the fire until the first rays of sunlight broke across the cottage.
I pushed back the blanket and slid off the couch.  No feelings halted my progress so I quickly folded the blanket and put it back on the bed.  When I returned to the main room I noticed a thin white line of dust encircling the couch.  I’d had my protection again.  I wondered what would have happened if I had crossed that line.
Shaking my head I looked around for my handy canteen.  It sat on the table where I had laid it the night before and next to it, to my relief, was a loaf of bread.  Remembering my previous day I found a knife and dish towel and cut two pieces from the bread and then wrapped the remainder of the loaf in the towel.  I tucked the bread in a handy pocket attached to the canteen and ate my two slices.  This time it tasted like whole wheat apple muffins.  I reveled in the delicious taste for a few minutes and then decided it was time to head out.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Tower 12


The road through the countryside was much more pleasant than the forest for only one reason, sunshine.  The silence from the forest carried on in the open country and there wasn’t so much as a breath of air to create a breeze.  Though the day was warm it wasn’t overbearing and the sunshine made everything just a bit more cheery.
I walked on following the progression of the sun as it moved across the sky and finally touched the spires on the castle.  I had hoped to reach the castle by dark, but the distance was greater than I had anticipated.  As the sun drew closer to the body of water I began searching for the cheerful fire and tent from the night before.  To my dismay nothing materialized.
I became uneasy and nervous.  Something about this place at night was not right.  I began looking around for any kind of shelter and noticed a small path breaking off from the road.  I eagerly took the path and after rounding a small hill discovered a tiny cottage.
I approached the door carefully looking for any sign of inhabitants.  Finally I knocked hoping the people were inside and they were normal people.  Nothing happened.  The sound of my knock seemed to echo through the hills.  I knocked again, silence. 
The light around me grew more and more dim with each passing moment.  Finally I reached out and tried the knob.  It turned freely in my hand.  I stepped inside and felt the urge to shut the door behind me.  The light outside failed as the door clicked into place.
A fire crackled in the small fireplace giving very little light to the room.  I looked around for a lantern or candle, anything to brighten the place and my mood.  After a thorough search I discovered a candle that looked like it had been sitting for years without anyone disturbing it.  I took the candle to the fire and lit the wick.
It came alive quickly burning off years of dust in an instant.  I then searched the main room of the cottage until I discovered a holder for the candle.  With my handy light I searched the cottage thoroughly.  The search took approximately two minutes. 
The cottage was a small two room building for one person or even perhaps a couple.  There was one four-poster size bed in the bedroom and a tall wardrobe.  I opened the wardrobe half expecting to find another magical kingdom, but only discovering a few ragged dresses and a thin, worn overcoat.
After searching the bedroom I re-entered the main room.  It was a combination of a kitchen, dining room and living room in a ten by ten space.  The table was pushed up under the window and with two chairs in their proper places.  A pretty checkered table cloth adorned the table with a small vase of daisies.  Everything was coated with dust.
Across the room near the fireplace was an old fashioned sofa and easy chair.  Both looked well used.  I moved next to the fire and reached out to feel the warmth.  It was even colder than the fire in the forest.
I looked around the room in wonder.  It looked like the inhabitants had kept loving care of their tiny home, but where were they?  Why weren’t they here?  What happened to them?  These questions filled my mind and an even stronger desire to find the answers filled my chest.
I knew it wouldn’t be wise to leave the cottage until morning so I took the blanket from the bed and curled up on the couch for the night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Line That Divides Chapter 4

Check out the next chapter of The Line That Divides.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Tower 11


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...
 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Tower 10


I got as comfortable as I could on a medium sized rock next to the fire and ate the bread thinking as loudly as my mind could shout, “If I turn into a frog, this is your fault.”
I listened carefully to the silence around me hoping to hear the voice again, but not too disappointed when no one answered my thoughts.  The bread was deliciously soft and warm.  It tasted like whole wheat, but the grain was meatier and more satisfying than any wheat bread I had ever eaten. 
After I finished the bread I found a canteen in the tent next to a cot.  I took a long drink realizing I was much thirstier than I had originally thought.  When I finished the whole canteen I pulled the blankets back from the cot to check for bugs or spiders or anything magical that could bite me. 
Finding nothing I climbed under the blankets and fell asleep.  I totally expected to wake up in my hotel room and go through another day of flying, but to my surprise I woke up the next morning in the tent.  Sunlight was trickling through the rock hard leaves of the trees and through the opening.
I stretched and yawned and crawled out from under the blankets.  I had slept soundly and surprisingly warm and comfortable.  I put my shoes back on my feet and reached for the canteen.  As I lifted it I remembered that I had drained it the night before, but I found it was still full.
I shook my head gratefully reminding my brain that I was in some sort of a fairy tale and that things like this were going to happen, a lot.  I took a smaller sip this time not sure how long the magic canteen would last today.
When I left the tent I saw the fire still burning cheerfully and another loaf of bread on the metal plate.  Hungrily I reached out and picked it up.  Offering a prayer of thanks I took a bite expecting the meaty, delicious meal from the previous evening.
This time, however, the bread tasted like the most delicious orange roll I had ever eaten.  It wasn’t too sweet, but it felt like I was actually biting into an orange.  I chewed slowly reveling in the sensations that delighted my tongue.  I spent at least ten minutes devouring the bread and when I had finished the last crumb I was sad and annoyed with myself that I hadn’t saved some for my day’s journey.
I put the thought out into the expanse that another might be provided for my journey, but nothing appeared magically for me to take.  With a sigh and a mental reproof I grabbed the canteen and slung it across my body.  I couldn’t complain, I had water which was more than I had the day before.
            I started toward the road and stopped glancing down at the ground where the tiny white flowers had been the night before.  The flowers were gone, but in their place was a thin line of fine, white sand.  I rather liked this form of magic.  I wasn’t a big fan of things that appeared or disappeared at random (except food and water of course).
Seeing the sand replacing the flowers was comforting.  Though the magic of the flowers was probably gone a residual feeling remained with the sand, like a reminder of something good.  I stepped over the line of white sand and made my way back to the road.

to be continued...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gratitude vs. Entitlement

Today in church we talked about looking at our lives with the attitude of gratitude instead of an attitude of entitlement.  Nowadays people have such an entitled outlook on everything. 'Well I deserve this new car, I deserve this job, I deserve a big house even though I can't afford it.'  We think that just because we live in this day and age and in a town, city or country that allows, that we deserve everything life has to offer without actually working for or appreciating it.

I was reminded that instead of complaining about the things I think I deserve I need to show gratitude for the things I have and have been blessed with.  I have a job that I actually love right now.  Yes, it's a challenge right now, but I am grateful to have the job.  I complain about many things, probably too many things and it has to stop with me.

I have the ability and agency to choose how I am going to act and react.  No one on this beautiful green earth is forcing me to do or say anything.  I have the choice to be grateful for what I have and to appreciate the friends and family I have been blessed with or I can choose to be ungrateful and complain about the things I think I should have.

Now I know this may sound like a rant, but it is more of an appeal to my better nature to lose the selfish feeling of entitlement and replace it with a deep sense of gratitude.  In the scriptures we read:

20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the athanks and bpraise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and cpreserved you, and has caused that ye should drejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
 21 I say unto you that if ye should aserve him who has created you from the beginning, and is bpreserving you from day to day, by lending you cbreath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own dwill, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your ewhole souls yet ye would be funprofitable servants.
 22 And behold, all that he arequires of you is to bkeep his commandments; and he has cpromised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth dvary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do ekeep his fcommandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
Mosiah 2:20-22

How can I possibly feel entitled to anything when I know that everything I own, that I have worked for and loved has come to me through the grace and blessings of the Lord.  I deserve nothing for I am indebted to the Lord for the very breath I take each moment.  And yet even as we turn to him with a sense of gratitude he pours out the blessings.

So my appeal today is to look at our lives with a sense of gratitude for the things we have and understand that no matter how entitled we feel "he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are adust...But the amercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him...Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord."
Psalms 103:14,17, 22

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Tower 9


I walked for what felt like several more hours when I heard a sound in the forest.  This surprised me because I had gotten used to the silence surrounding me.  I stopped in my tracks and listened.  It was a faint crackling noise, like leaves crunching beneath someone’s feet. 
I whirled around searching for the source, but seeing nothing.  I continued on carefully searching the trees and bushes as I walked.  The noise got louder and I slowed my steps moving cautiously. 
Ahead I saw the faint flicker of a light in the trees.  Anxiously I moved toward it.  It looked like a fire, but again the colors were off.  Instead of the cheerful yellow glow from a fireplace it was a brighter colder color, like the sun on a foggy winter morning.
As soon as I reached the strange fire it got dark very quickly.  I reached out my hands and felt the warmth from the fire.  I examined the wood.  It looked like ordinary wood, but I noticed that it burned differently.  It was like looking at the fake logs of a gas fireplace.  The logs burned and yet they didn’t.  Shaking my head I glanced around.  A tent had been set up in a flat, grassy area and a small loaf of bread sat on a metal plate next to the fire.
I stepped back.  This was way too convenient for my taste.  I was certain the moment I sat down or ate a morsel of the bread I would turn into a mouse or something.  I turned away from the cozy campsite to return to the road, but stopped suddenly.
A terrible feeling struck me in my stomach and uneasiness gripped my heart.  I tried to moved but I felt frozen to the ground.  It was then I heard the voice I had been hoping to hear since this whole dream started.
“It’s not safe on the road, you should stay here,” he whispered.
It was the voice of the many from the tower.  I turned around expecting to see him standing next to the fire.  I was still alone.
“Why?” I asked quietly.
“Stay in the circle.  You are protected,” his voice whispered ignoring my question.
            My eyes immediately scanned the ground.  At my feet I saw several tiny white flowers spaced evenly.  I followed the line.  They made a complete circle surrounding the campsite.  I had not even noticed them as I stepped into the camp.

I took a step back and felt an instant relief from the terrible feeling, but I still felt uneasy.  A sense of being trapped crept into my mind and settled in comfortably berating me for even thinking about approaching the fire.
“You are safe here for the night.  Just trust me,” he whispered answering my thoughts.
“Who are you?  Where are you?”  I asked hoping, but not expecting an answer.
“Soon,” he whispered back.
Deep down I knew the voice would not return that night.

to be continued...

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Tower 8


The road wound back into the trees and it wasn’t long before the bridge disappeared.  The forest remained quiet as I traveled increasing the nerves in the pit of my stomach.  I looked up trying to track the sun, but my view was completely obstructed by the tall trees.  It seemed darker here in the forest, but I wasn’t completely sure.
One thing was certain, I wasn’t about to spend the night on the ground in a fairy tale forest from my own, obviously overactive, imagination.  I really didn’t think I had any control over the circumstances, but if by some chance I did then I prayed some sort of shelter would appear before I was forced to crouch in a ball beneath a tree.
I walked on annoyed and yet curious.  The trees were enormous, towering hundreds of feet above me.  They reminded me of the Red Wood Forest in California, yet they were different somehow.  I moved closer to one and examined the trunk.  It had the appearance of bark, but the color was off somehow.  I reached out to touch it and pulled my hand back in surprise.  Instead of a rough texture it was smooth, like silk.
I touched it again running my hand up and down the surface.  It was hard as granite, but silky soft to the touch.  The surface wouldn’t give at all.  I moved to a branch and examined the fir needles.  They looked prickly, but they moved against my fingers like heather.
With a sigh I went to another similar tree and found the textures to be the same.  Perplexed I tried a different tree.  This on looked more like a beech tree.  Its bark was rock hard like the fir trees, but it felt more like velvet than silk.  The leaves also had a velvety feel to them though they were more solid than the fir needles.
I tried to pull a leaf from the tree, but it wouldn’t budge.  My brows knit together in determination as I pulled again.  It remained firmly attached.  I scanned the ground looking for any dropped leaves and found none.  This forest was definitely unique.  I left the trees my attention completely taken from the road.
I examined the bushes and flowers finding the exact same circumstances as the trees.  Everything was rock solid and unmovable, but still incredibly soft to the touch.  I figured I could run into a tree and though it would hurt my blow would be softened by the textures.
Shaking my head I finally continued on.  I couldn’t see any noticeable change in the light around me and I hoped that would remain the case until I left the forest or found a place to sleep.

to be continued...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Knitting

Well today, instead of spending time writing and continuing my novel journeys I decided to pull out the good ol' knitting loom and play around.  It was such an easy process and I ended up making a hat and a scarf, something I have wanted to do for quite a while.  I had a lot of fun adding to my winter accessories and will probably do more in the future.  Thus instead of a continuation of a story I have created the story of some yarn and their journeys through the loom and into my new scarf and hat.

I think it is a good thing to explore and do something creative with a different part of my brain.  So if you plan on watching TV get a small loom and create something fun for yourself or a friend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Tower 7


I stepped back carefully swallowing the nauseous feeling from the height of the cliff.  I looked to the left and could see nothing but trees and the sheer drop into the mist below.  The path turned to the right following the edge of the chasm until it came to a bridge.
The bridge was a grand affair rising in graceful arches high above my head.  It was wide enough to fit a car but I supposed in this fantastic world I was experiencing it would be a coach and four.  It arched out into the chasm supported by a fantastic layout of what looked like iron or steel trusses.
I searched for the other side but could see nothing but the rising mist.  At this point I was well and ready to go back to the tower and wait for something else to happen.  I wasn’t about to waltz out onto a bridge that I didn’t know how old or structurally sound it was.  The astonishing height of the bridge and depth of the chasm was enough to keep me firmly on the ground.
The deep urge to continue struck me again, but this time I was going to be stubborn. 
“If you want me to cross it then you’d better show me how stable it is and provide someone who will cross with me,” I said stubbornly.
I fully expected to wake up at that point, but I stayed right where I was waiting.  At this point I could see the sun dipping toward the western horizon (I assumed it was west).  It was still warm and felt more like early afternoon than evening.  I waited for another half hour and watched as the sunlight illuminated the arches of the bridge near my side of the chasm. 
Slowly but surely the mist began to burn away in the afternoon warmth.  I still couldn’t see to the bottom, but now the entire bridge was visible from where I stood.  It had to be at least a mile wide and several hundred feet tall.  The trusses on both sides were anchored deeply into the rock walls of the chasm arching to the center.
The bridge was suspended between two solid towers grounded firmly on each side of the chasm.  The structures were made of a mixture of stone and the iron or steel that matched the trusses.  Long chains attached to the top of the towers and dipped down near the approach in the center.
I studied the structure for several minutes before deciding whether or not to cross.  It looked solid enough and new enough that I shouldn’t have any problems crossing.  The rails of the bridge were high enough to block my view of the chasm below giving a bit of added comfort to the situation.
With a deep breath I stepped onto the bridge.  I had gone about a hundred yards when I remembered the fairy tale of the troll bridge.  With a shudder I tried to push the thought away.  This didn’t seem like that kind of fairy tale situation.  I hadn’t encountered monsters of any sort so I felt relatively safe.
I continued.  It felt like an eternity before I reached the other side of the bridge.  When I turned to look back the mist had risen up obscuring the other side.  I closed my eyes, grateful for the sunshine and nervous for what might be ahead.