The Floating Island
I was running. Running as fast as my shoeless feet could take me from what would surely be my death if I was ever caught. The forest tried to stop me with all the trees and bushes which impeded my retreat. The fact that it was raining and night time didn’t help my situation either. Cuts and scrapes appeared everywhere as I tore more and more of the clothes they put on me. I had no idea how I ended up here, the only thing I did know is that I didn’t want to stay and no one would stand in my way of escaping.
Suddenly the earth was taken out from underneath me and I found myself tumbling into the darkness of a valley which seemed to appear out of nowhere. After cursing a few times I shut my mouth and listened as they went by. Apparently my run of bad luck was over with this impromptu hiding place and so I watched as the strange people in suites of armor walked right on by. I hadn’t really looked too closely at the people who were chasing me since, well, they were chasing me. Now that I was well hidden I could see what they were wearing. It looked like a combination of fantasy and futuristic armor with what looked like the same kind of combination weapon. Long, skinny rifles with a blade running along the length of the barrel with a tip coming out right below the muzzle. Even though they looked like they were wearing around 50 pounds of armor, they were still moving pretty damn quickly through the under-growth in their attempts to locate me. Eventually they gave up and went on to some other place when they heard some movement behind them. Luckily, that wasn’t me so I was home free to escape and end this annoying nightmare.
I made my way towards what looked like a clearing after walking for the rest of the night. I was exhausted and hungry, and just wanted to be home in bed eating some delicious home cooked food. My clothes were even more torn up than they were before and my feet were bloody and bruised from not having any shoes on. I didn’t know what happened to my clothes since I ran at the first chance I got. This seemed like one of those bad horror movies where some people take you from your home and drug you to be a sex slave or something. I don’t even remember how I got here. The last thing I remember was being at home, and… I think I had just made myself some dinner when… lights. That’s all I remember. Lights… Next thing I know I’m in what looks like was a set for some monster movie and me being in a completely new set of clothes with weird knights chasing me with strange weapons and armor… and…
What I saw as I exited those dark woods into the clearing was something I would never forget for as long as I get to live. Just something about it was so amazing that I would have never been able to believe it existed unless I saw it for myself. That was my first night in this crazy land filled with things I could never have guessed were real until I saw them first hand. That was the day I found myself on a land which was not on any map and didn’t belong in the natural world. The view I was presented with when I exited those dark woods was that of a ledge, a ledge which led into the clouds, which lead into the horizon. I found myself on a floating continent, one which was lost to the world but never left its side. I had somehow woken up in what I would have to say the strangest place I have ever woken up in, and trust me; I have woken up in some strange places. I blame tequila for that.
Overcome with the sight before me, I failed to notice the figures exit the tree line just as I did. They noticed me and began to run in my direction. Not only were these people running towards me, but others began to appear from the tree line into the clearing, blocking my only possible escape. I didn’t know what I should do at this moment. I had been running all night long and could barely think straight, let alone stay awake. Resigned to whatever fate they may have for me, I collapsed onto the ground with a thud and slowly lost consciousness as the men in the strange armor finally got to me.
I woke up in the same room which I had escaped from earlier, only this time with me being restrained to the bed. I had been dressed yet again in the strange clothes and most of my scratches and bruises from the night of running seemed to be gone. Not understanding what was going on, I began to struggle against the restraints without them yielding at all. I decided that I would just listen for a bit and maybe find a little more about this place since I seemed to be stuck here for the time being. I closed my eyes and began to focus on any little sound which found its way to my ears. It wasn’t long till I heard movement from outside the door moving towards it. I guess they finally were going to see me and maybe tell me what was going on.
Sure enough, the door opened and a person with what looks like a doctor’s coat walked in along with 2 guards. He looked a bit aged and seemed that way too by the way he was holding up the clip-board he had close enough to his face to kiss it. After examining it for a minute he set it down and looked directly at me.
“That was not the most intelligent thing to do last night, but I’m sure you understand that perfectly well now.”
“Well, waking up in an unfamiliar place after not remembering how I got here kinda makes me want to run away.”
“True, so let me say this first of all; Welcome to Avalon. Now I’m sure you have a lot of questions regarding how you got here and more importantly why, but those will have to be asked and answered at another time. For now, please enjoy your stay and get some rest. Someone will come and talk with you tomorrow once you’re more acclimated to the higher altitude.”
With that the old man turned around and walked through the door with the two guards following closely after him. Finally someone had spoken to me, which was great, but he really didn’t say anything really important. I suppose by “getting acclimated to the higher altitude” means that I really am on a floating island somewhere in the sky. Deciding that struggling was probably not the best course of action, I spent the rest of the day in bed trying to remember what had happened to me before I woke up here. Other than the light everywhere, nothing new came to mind. Still feeling exhausted, I feel asleep soon after I got tired of counting the clouds.
My dreams were nothing but fragmented imagery, some of it I recognized, some of it I didn’t. I woke up feeling refreshed and more alive than I had ever been in my previous life down on the ground. It was a strange, yet wonderful feeling like I could go run a marathon if I wanted to. However remembering my previous experience with running I pushed my thoughts away from that subject. Soon after I woke up I was greeted by a nice lady in what seems to be a nurses uniform. She had with her a variety of food which made my mouth water and my stomach growl. Noticing this, she laughed a bit and set the food down on the bedside table. With her task completed, she turned around walked away with the guards following suit.
The restraints they had me in were long enough so that I could reach over to the food without getting much further than that. I had been so preoccupied with everything that has been going on that I didn’t even notice the emptiness in my stomach until I saw some food. With almost animal-like ferocity, I tore into whatever edible thing they brought me and almost felt like crying because it tasted so good. Everything about the food just blows my mind when it comes to taste. The way the foods were cooked made it so that the flavors complimented each other in such a way that I didn’t think possible. This was truly something the gods would make and eat if they had their way.
While I was busy stuffing as much of the food down my throat a man dressed in military garb with medals and all walked in and sat down and began to watch me. I finally took notice when I thought I was choking. With the realization that I had a mouth full of food and a new person to talk to (and maybe figure something out) I finished swallowing and turned to him. The man had a smile on his face like he had just seen something funny and I was just going to guess that that was me.
“I didn’t want to interrupt your meal since you looked like you were enjoying it so much.”
He said that in a way where it almost sounded “cheerful” which, coming from the very militaristic man in front of me, was kinda awkward.
“Well thanks I guess…”
Not really knowing what to say, I let the man lead the conversation.
“Now that you are more used to this place I suppose I’ll tell you a little history about it. Centuries ago, using the powers that I’m not even sure about, a group of people created this island in the sky and with it they hoped to watch over the world as it grew, but never have any part in it. They wanted the rest of us to grow on our own, without the use of magic, so that they could watch how people developed. As time went by, technology began to make its appearance everywhere in the world. Science was more accepted than magic and people began to even forget that magic once was a powerful force which existed all around the world. The people here were looking for exactly that. They had realized that they were at a dead end, that they could only go so far with magic and were placing their hopes on the rest of mankind to create and innovate.”
“Today, we have an entire civilization up here which has access to magic and technology. Amazing things have happened over the course of the last 100 years, and with all the advancements made here, we can finally move onto the next phase of our plan. This involves you, but as to what you’ll be doing we’ll be keeping that secrete for the time being. As to how you got here… Well that’s also a secret that goes along with why you’re here. So until we feel like you’re ready, I suggest you do whatever anyone tells you to do. Know this, we are not your enemies, we are your friends. I know it’s difficult to ask such a thing when you don’t even know why or how you’re here, but just know that we don’t mean for any harm to fall on you.”
“There are things in this world we need to protect you from, so please let us do just that. What you’re about to go through will be tough, but needed for what lies ahead. In a bit a few people will come and take you for a tour around the city and island. They’re good people so they’ll treat you right. After that… just follow what they say and that will be good enough.”
As he finishes his sentence, the man stands up and begins to walk out the door.
“Oh! One more thing, don’t make your guides angry. Just trust me on this one.”
With that and a small chill through my spine, the man left. With all of this new information to digest, I almost don’t think my brain can take it. After hearing all of this and eating earlier my eyes begin to get heavy and soon enough I fall asleep. This almost feels like a dream, but I know that when I wake up I’ll be back in the strange, yet interesting world for whatever reason they are not telling me. Till then, sleep is nice.