The Emerald Spire (ištrauka)
I am. I know that I am. But to place one’s own identity in the current space of time is truly elusive. I am. I know that I am. Awoken on a hill or a plateau of glassy obsidian by shinning warm evening triplet suns. The sky above is so blue and dark, a sapphire of suns and clouds that are seen on its surface. Such a dark sky for such a bright world and land. The land is Aurelian; it appears sandy, grain-like and pure gold. The radiant land almost luminescent is seen around this oversized glassy obsidian pedestal on which I awoke with no memory of what happened before my... My what? I cannot accurately pinpoint the event that has taken my memory, or maybe it has given my memory? I do not know and I truly wish not to know. I am conscious, I can see and I can realize. I can hear, oh do I hear, the whistling wind like the distant as much as nearby flutes of more primordial nature whistle in my ear, the crash of waves as the sound of drums and background rumbling of the watery body nearby, but the wind. Oh, the wind, it is the music. I hear it and it feels like it hears me as well, my heartbeat, my breathing, the motions of my limbs and of my body as I stand up. For a moment, I surrender myself to it. It blows on me, my skin slightly tingles from the cool wind. It feels as if it is the first time that I am experiencing the wind upon my skin, in my hair, on my face, caressing me. It is strong. So strong that I lose my footing and fall, face-first unto the obsidian glass below. As I roll around on my back I can feel the wet touch of blood on my wrinkled and furrowed forehead. It hurts, and the sensation of pain is so pronounced that I close my eyes and wander up high into the sky, absorbed by it. I feel it, thus it proves to me that I truly am. I am. I know that I am. My first thought has a firm base now. I feel pain; I feel sensations as the wind touches me and as the orange suns embrace me in their all-encompassing warmth. I stand up and once again I am nearly blown down to the ground by the wind. I shield my face with my hands and I carefully look across the horizon surrounding the black pedestal. All I see is gold dust and sands in front of me, but when I turn backwards, I spy with my eyes a great lake or a sea nearby and a city radiating on the shore.
The city looks ancient. Spires of gold and emerald rise high into the skies reflecting the light of the evening suns dazzling my eyes. Blinded momentarily, I almost trip. Leg muscles not used to the strain that the wind is inflicting upon them and a general mis-balance caused by the brief blinding. But I hold on, barely. I look at it again; the sight blurred and magical at the same time, as if dreamlike and unreal like a mirage, but material and present here and now at the same time. Standing tall and strong against the winds of this Aurelian desert, the wind does not relent and I feel that it is getting stronger and harsher as the minutes, nay, the seconds pass by. I feel a storm coming. The clouds gather, but strangely enough, they disperse above the ancient city. Without a proper shelter to shield me and protect me against the scourge that is the wind and the coming storm, I would surely suffer, possibly even die surrounded by the golden sands below the gathering dark clouds of the sapphire sky. The next course of action is to seek momentary escape from the coming storm. Such a choice is not a choice at all. While looking for a way down from the ebony pedestal, the sky darkens as the triplet suns of this unknown land descend behind the borderless sand into the darkness beyond, bringing light to it and ushering the coming darkness to the lands surrounding the city.
I slowly make my way down the platform. No visible route or road is leading up from the city to the obsidian pedestal. If there was any it long has been covered up by the golden sands. Oh, the sands! They burn my feet with every step and the sensation of it is as welcome as it is scorned. While the pain brings me to an ultimate high it also brings me an intensely uncomfortable feeling and the need to get away from it as fast as I can. The golden sand-like grain has been warmed to scolding heat by the suns that are visible no more. It is still bright, but the air begins to steadily grow colder, while the city remains a pure bastion of light and luminescence. It is hard to look at the city without shielding one’s own eyes. Drawing nearer, I can see a tall wall surrounding it and a gate which became my destination upon discovery. The walls are as golden as the spires and the sands, maybe a little paler, but it is to be expected from years of battering rays of the suns beating down upon the stalwart city before me. Approaching it, I notice its largeness; it seems more massive than when it first appeared. Huge hourglasses are visible in some spires and some spires have onion domes, while others shoot up as spear tips high into the sky and others spirall high, mystically entrapping the eye. I do not notice this at first, but as I get closer and closer some spires and constructions of the city emerge as lacking in maintenance and as a result look as if they will soon fall or crumble. Nevertheless, the city is radiant, and it is the only haven that I have at this point. Ancient it is, timeless even, or so it appears and I venture forth with steady steps even though there is a certain sensation gnawing at the back of my mind, a certain anxiousness… or is it fear? Fear of the city that whispers that I should turn back and weather the storm in the open air of the scorching, golden desert sands or on the obsidian pedestal. The thought persists, but I dully ignore it with every step on the cooling sands.
After a painful trek I finally reach the gates of the outer walls. Luck truly smiles upon me because the gates are open. Beautiful decorations of crystal emerald are embedded inside the open gate speak of the incredible artistry only achievable by the grandmasters of the craft. The commission of such an artistic expression must have been incalculable. The gate itself seems to be sculpted out of a certain stone. I touch the emerald patterns ingrained in the gate. As I draw my finger through the crystals, they crumble suddenly into green dust and I recoil, momentarily surprised and frightened, but more so fascinated by this display of temporality before my eyes. Even the immemorial stones crumble to nothingness and dust. The dust quickly disperses in the wind, lost forever in the golden sands and desert plains devoid of life. I linger, eying the disappearing dust for a few more moments before stepping forth through the decaying gate into the city.