Parcen Ellt was staring about the massive cavern he had fallen into, in a way of speaking, observing the gargantuan crystals rising and jutting all around him. He was also listening to their music, a subtle, but once heard very audible symphony of tones, vibrations. It sounded lovely, actually. But despite the sights and sounds, Parcen was still on the floor of a very deep cave, and he needed to find a way out.
He climbed up one of the huge slanted crystals as if climbing atop a fallen tree, so that he could peer up into a basin ahead on the other side. The music of the crystals was very loud here around this lowest part of the cave floor. It swelled and pulsated, calling Parcen down from the blue crystal he strode into the darkness.
There, Parcen found dozens of little holes like the one he had fallen through into the cave. Looking into each, he saw totally different worlds; still the island chain, but from impossible angles and into impossible places. He saw the deep, pellucid depths of the ocean, swimming with fish, out of one hole. Another was clouds, drifting by along with the occasional gull. Another looked on at some birds washing, another was a window to a mushroom empire.
"Hmmm," Parcen wondered, the only vocalization he could manage. He was trying hard to keep a grip on himself. "Listen, Parcen," he said to himself sternly, "just for now, you're going to have to accept that there is a completely different world out of each of those holes. It isn't possible, surely, but considering that will only drive you batty. Just pretend it is possibly, and explore around, and hopefully we'll wake up soon, or whatever toxin was in those purple fruits will wear off, and we'll be sane again. Okay?"
When he waited for his own reply, Parcen worried that he might be too far gone already. Nevertheless, he chose to explore the seemingly most comforting of all of the worlds available through the holes in the cave: he squeezed through and out of the humming crystal cavern onto the soft sands of an orange beach. Tall trees with huge, flat leaves rose up from the sand to throw patches of shade onto the beach, and Parcen jumped from pool of shade to pool as he made his way, as the sand was searing hot from the glaring sunlight.
A pink-hued mass of sea-stone, pocked with many tidal pools, was where Parcen found five juicy fish, which he cooked on the searing sand. As he ate them, staring out at the gently rolling waves, he thought about how good the fish was, and that if all that was happening to him were a dream, that it wouldn't taste so good, so real.
"Well," Parcen sighed happily, "If this is madness, I'm none the worse. And if I'm dreaming, there's no worry. I guess the strangest possibility of all is that it's real. If only there were someone else here, I could talk to them and see if they saw and heard the crystals, if they fell through the roof of worlds like me." He ate the oily skin of his fish and then stretched out for a nap.
"I wonder what a dream is like, when you're dreaming?"
TO BE CONTINUED