The air seems so much warmer as I awake,
Feeling soft moss and earth beneath my form.
How long has it been now, wrapped up in these secret places?
I’m starting to forget what brought me here.
In this natural cleft between rock and bare branches,
I remember long rested ailments and fading woe.
Has it been days? Months? Years?
My only link to what was reality is now becoming an echo as I now exist with the Chimera.
A long draping of red moss is pushed aside revealing Rhun’s horned head,
“Come with me, Maiori,” he rumbles and I follow.
Though the path is familiar that we walk,
And I know those creatures who dance about me.
I am still a foreign entity so new to such alien eyes,
I am a weird oddity with my hairless body and strange garb.
Round gnarled roots larger than my body I’m led,
Down a new path I’ve never seen.
Questions rise within pushing the sky further from me,
as we descend into the quiet depths of Thai forest.
Crystal dewdrops hang from every surface,
Vibrating in the stillness that we break with our passage.
The air is as an early spring,
Full of life and the promise of warmth.
We stop before an ancient sculpture,
Twined with ivy and smoothed by long dead hands.
Intelligent marble eyes stare out from a feathered and beaked face,
Courageous fur-clad paws proudly reach into the air.
Two great eagle wings stretch over head,
Pointing to the branch laced sky.
With a reverence I’ve never seen upon his proud horned head,
Rhun bends to one knee and murmurs quietly.
I feel the need to lower my gaze before such a beast,
Who’s eyes command deference and loyalty.
“Rarely do such strangers to our land behold our secret gods,
Rhun whispers as we take our leave and step onto a carved stone ledge.
Before us stretches a smooth pool of clear glass,
Undisturbed by running water or tumbling stone.
“What is this place,” I ask watching as Rhun kneels at the waters edge.
“‘Tis our seeing glass, Maiori, we see long and far within its depths.”
As the Minotaur speaks he traces a complicated symbol across the water,
And before I realize what is happening my eyes are opened.
“Behold the colors of winter,” he whispers,
As the very depths of the earth open wide into oblivion.
-M. E. InkOwl