could hear the wind
rocking the trees outside. He knew it was because his
was open. Some night
s this noise would scare
him, but not
tonight. He lay there on his back, hands folded underneath his head, and took
in the night around him. A familiar dark shade of blue
room; he knew the moon
would be shining brightly on the snow
outside, had he
bothered to lean over and look out his window. As far as he was concerned,
had stopped. He felt he could lie there for an eternity
, just feeling the
simple peace of a quiet reality
He closed his eyes and relaxed his body completely, let himself sink into the
bed. As he did this, he got the strange sensation of tilting backwards, like
he was slowly flipping over. His mind wandered and he tried to imagine he was
in a giant crystal sphere, rolling and rolling and rolling down a gentle grassy
slope. The more he focused the realer the concept became, until it seemed he
could actually feel the smooth surface of the ball, and smell the fresh air of
a sunny afternoon.
Alec smiled and opened his eyes, and there he was, inside of his vision,
rendered in breathtaking detail. He wasn't surprised, nor was he worried; he
just lay back and felt his feet flip over his head, his head over his feet, and
again, and again, growing accustomed to the soothing rolling motion of the
giant rolling ball, sliding into the rhythm of it all.
Eventually, the sphere reached the bottom of the hill, and gradually slowed to
a complete stop. The crystal melted away around him into nothingness, and Alec
was left lying on a comfortable patch of grass, looking at the deep blue sky.
After a few seconds he realized that the sky was slowing changing color, fading
to… to what? Alec watched, entranced. A brilliant purple, then slowly to a
light green, then back to a pure baby blue. A blissful, carefree red, and a
Clouds floated about far above in the sky, clouds not only of white, but of
every color imaginable, and some that weren't. They flew not all in the same
direction, not all at the same speed, but in wild loops and lackadaisical
wandering lines, intertwining and blending and melting into one another.
Sometimes many would merge together and form a geometrical shape, spin around,
then burst apart in every direction at once. It seemed the sky was alive, and
exploding with a kind of beautiful intelligence.
Alec marveled at the patterns the clouds above were weaving, and reached up
and simply plucked one down from the heavens. It was a tiny, humble cloud.
Alec climbed up onto it and sat himself down comfortably, as the cloud seemed
to be made out of a fantastically soft, solid, and weightless material. The
cloud spiraled up and up into the air, hundreds and hundreds of feet, and then
began to coast amiably along. Most of the color drained from the cloud, then,
leaving it almost transparent.
Alec could now see the place for miles in every direction, and realized that
the hill he had been on was only a very small part of an impossibly beautiful
and expansive landscape. Sparkling rivers wound through sets of wide, rolling
green foothills. Taller mountains rose up beyond them, continuing off into the
horizon. Alec could spot several lakes where those rivers converged, and not
all of them were on solid ground. In the center of one a pillar of water was
flowing up, a kind of remarkable backward waterfall. Up it went for maybe a
thousand feet, whereupon the water spread out in flat waves on a single
horizontal plane, creating a thin, shimmering veil of liquid above the land,
reflecting the scene of bliss below.
Alec smiled. He spread his arms apart and dove off his cloud, flew through
the air, feeling the warm rush of air on his face as he steered left and right
around mountains, under and through a canopy of tall velvet trees, and finally
descended to the ground atop one of the largest of the hills. "I think--" he
began to say aloud, and was pleased to hear his voice echo several times off of
the mountains surrounding him. "I think I could get used to this."