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◇ ◈ ◇ Poetry(?) ◇ ◈ ◇

Past the Monochrome Cliff

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A pilgrimage by ancient station wagon is undertaken, layers of clothing to bear the New England frost and ample money brought.

An ethereal light rolls through the chamber, coalescing over the markings. A thin line forms and instantly spreads apart into an oval, releasing the pink hues of an alien territory. Her hand reaches out but shoots back — the gateway suddenly twists shut. The light bulges in space as a harsh cry bellows, the sounds of a slurry rushing in and pushing against the thaumic tumor. She runs, the floorboards murmur, the gateway splits and squirts a fountain of abyss onto the carpet.

Ida shifts through the tome-lined shelves, turning pages with the glimmer of short-lived spectral apparitions her sole companions. Each page flips by faster and faster, spells cast to understand contents without reading, apparitions paid in blood to assist the investigation. A day is gone and not a single book could identify the pool on the carpet.

A mistake. The veil lifts and her senses become distanced from her head, each sending erratic signals in response to paradoxes the brain had not evolved to understand. Un-things shifting, mindless thoughts churning in a non-lagoon, the stygian appendages dragging themselves out, flowing over her gaping consciousness and dripping along her nerves. The antithesis of reality was burning her away.

As the last morsel of her body nears the teeth the world halts, spat out of the chasm of a not-being comes a mind that doesn't belong. Not monochrome detritus born in chaos, not a mass of impossible angles, but a stranger.

It heralds from a land long since swallowed and digested, a challenger of the powers that were. It speaks wordless stories of the chaos it wrought unto the ancient masters of its realm, enough to fill a thousand volumes of lore, and yet it had been forgotten by existence. All that remains is left to decay dusty grimoires and estranged memories.

It offers paths. Paths that rush out of this gray and into yellows skies littered with abyssal stars, cities cleaved across reality, vibrant beings wandering in a hollow corpse, parasite ridden spectral masses that climb nebulae aimlessly. Homes. Dens of knowledge greater than Ida could comprehend, ones closer than she could imagine.

A rising mental terror signals the awakening of the ancient impossibilities from their short slumber, lurching their broken ideas yet again. The bodiless one blossoms open into a rose of harmony, of survival, of fullness. Fellow minds abandoned by their dimensions plead for her to enter before the beasts come to undo them.

She sweeps herself in.

The petals close around and it crunches.

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