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Into the ceiling I slammed, hard

Or rather — the ground? Thoughts jarred

Down had become up and up? Down

Adrenaline begging me to lift myself off the ground

A concussion of percussion played a jig in my ears

And the world I thought I’d known blurred as my eyes filled with tears

But the phantom pain I anticipated never came

And I picked myself up gently to tentatively continue life’s game.


As the world around me grew perspicuous

Its intricacies revealed perniciousness

And yet it felt to me like a calling:

No more squalling and no more crawling

The world awaited me through a gigantic metal tunnel

A bridge between two world through which I now funnel

An adventure was afoot — one the world unknowingly needed

I stood from the ground and through the tunnel proceeded.


I emerged into the world from a sea of sublime greens

A world visibly in the past and oblivious to machines

Nature had overstayed its welcome

To some million kinds of plants the world had succumbed

And yet nowhere in it was life vibrant or even present

The silence was palpable among the absence of scent

Could this be a dream? It certainly seemed plausible

To fall through the sky to another world was certainly impossible.

But no, as strange as it may feel,

I was one hundred percent certain that this world was real.

Remnants of a church loomed nearby,

Though its inhabitants were likely bone dry,

The architecture, however, was a feat of great skill

Holographic paint mixed with the dreams of mentally ill

From on high statues screamed episcopalian

But to me the profound blue hues whispered something alien

The inside was gorgeous, empty save for irrelevant memorials

Every stone in the wall carved with intricate pictorials

People used to worship here, that much was clear

But where have they gone? What made them disappear?


If some higher power were involved, those people would surely be safe

Perhaps that is why they are gone and I’m here a waif

Lost and forgotten, wandering the world alone

Doing everything I can to make my name known.

Ah, yes! A library, an athenaeum of known names!

In front of those names, more importantly, repositories of flames

Knowledge on fire, my brain engulfed in translation,

I thoroughly skimmed through each book for information annexation.

My strength, wit, and usefulness are sometimes a lucky carousel

But my memory for facts is ‘naut but unparalleled.

Ghosts and goblins and goats and ghouls,

Surviving by trapping without proper tools,

This world’s atlas, before it went ashen,

How to get boys with tips on your fashion.


At last from the atlas I had less stress

With new knowledge my eyes fluoresced

A village was nearby, and likely to have residents

Self-compounding confidence echoing hopeful resonance

So out the church I embarked on a trek through Memna to Thasanludence

Atlas in mind, knowledge fighting prudence

Surely someone is out there, at a prime location next to the sea

And so I left the church standing tall, at one with nature, behind me.

Through Memna forest I traveled, eyes peeled for oddities

Natural or unnatural, noting the strangeness of this world’s qualities

The wind, for example, chose not to blow through the trees,

But instead constantly downward, trying hard to bring me to my knees

And the trees themselves were just as bizarre,

Each one sporting lacerations running down their length, a remarkable scar

The wildlife was nonexistent, or at least excelled at hiding

The former, perhaps, because nature refused their providing

There were no seeds, nor berries, nor fruit of any kind

The threat of no food in the village either did indeed cross my mind

And yet like any other hero I continued to step on,

Indubitably determined to reach Thasanludence before dawn

Eventually the trees opened up and the sky softly poked through

A dirt path manifested along the sea’s shores for me to pursue.

Beneath the mountains in the distance I saw Thasanludence dwelling

Though I hoped the lack of life outside would not be foretelling.

I arrived at Thasanludence as the sun was falling

Happy to arrive, and immediately heard my calling

Not in the air, of course, but in the people: wide-eyed

So confused — or terrified — to see me, ushering me inside

The dark outside, they cried, is not safe!

The shadows would come again soon, and with them a Wraith

I went with them inside, into an ivy-covered sanctuary,

Pleasantly surprised to discover we shared the same vocabulary.


The night would be a long one, for there were no beds

Nor was there warmth, for blankets need threads

I shared my jacket with two kids from next door

And through their cold faces I could see thanks galore

When they had warmed I proceeded downstairs

Uninformed of the nightly storm or the city’s affairs

Inside we played cards and bade our sweet time

For we were not to go back outside until the safety bell chimed.


I had gathered my things, a night was enough

I was ready to hunt, but first to do stuff

A quick stop at Mayor Tim’s home with fact in my swagger

I introduced myself as a hero and brandished my dagger

We exchanged words and I learned of the situation

The Wraith — a Baku — desperately needed ligation

I stood in the door with the stance of a slayer

Secretly smelling the goods of the baker turned mayor

To seal the deal before I left I remembered the church’s library

And shared what helpful knowledge I had to help this society.


I taught Tim and a naysayer what to do with their abundance of Shutt

My instructions were clear but perplexed them somewhat:

Strip it down to the core and lay it out etched

Then separate each strand and keep each one stretched

A lack of living things may make bones more valuable

But there may be more living things if winter were solvable.

Friction on this rugged rock wears away at nature’s plan

Letting you shape the bone as best as you can

Grind it longways, delicately, and into a spine

And when it is ready, thread through it your vine.

You will make clothes and you will be warm

And when I return from this storm I want you reformed

Mayor Tim nodded and I left on my way

But before I slip away there’s still one thing to say


Although your water seems fated yours, it is unfortunately not

Before you learn about cures, you lot aught to listen

The water is not yours, and until yours you must observe

You must use these stones to clean it before you can serve

It’s in your best interest, and may look strange to you now

But until you invent the dentist you must always vow

Just scoop your water into here and give it a moment

This filter will keep you safe while your elderly knit

Thasanludence will be a fine village, you’ll see with time

Better and better as you progress through life’s nursery rhyme


The walls of Thasanludence stood bravely against the unknown

Protecting those within its walls from any unnecessary display of bone

The Baku, however, is what truly frightened them

Passing through not time and space but dreams and the brain stem

An Eater of Dreams, a killer, a devourer of hopes,

Certainly seems quite the beast from the reactions of these folks.

And yet it’s allegedly recycled in body, a chimera medley

A bear’s body, rhinoceros eyes, a tiger’s feet, and an oxen tail

And with an elephant’s nose comes a memory without fail

A memory so vivid the Dream Eater seethes hate

Forced into hiding by those it predates

A glorious beast indeed, an unfortunate aggressor

I plan to hunt down and vanquish this creature,

I’ll free this town of its oppressor, then conduct life as a teacher.