I should start at the beginning, but how? Every story starts in medias res. This is tough. Was it my ingratitude, my arrogance toward the Muse that caused her to curse me with a vision I cannot shut out? Or did I merely go mad?
I hovered over a world that felt like home, but arrayed like none I’d ever seen before, its continents exposed to my eye with not so much as a wisp of cloud to obscure them. As pristine and crisp in its delineations as a classroom globe. It was just…all. Wrong. Not home. Not Earth. Not home. But I missed it. My heart cried out for her rolling green hills, her vast plains and meadows, her snow-capped peaks, her deserts, and jungles, and bustling cities, and blasted wastelands. I yearned for the comforts of an inn at which I’ve never slept, and a bowl of their never eaten stew, a tankard of their untasted beer, and the unsung song of a bard never heard.
I loved the beasts of her golden fields, and the fish of her viridian seas, the birds of her sapphire skies. I loved them all from the smallest creeping thing to the Great Thing I sensed beneath her seas to the Behemoths asleep beneath the roots of her mountains, whose deep rumblings pulsed right through me, even across the gulf of empty space that separated us.
I loved her people. I loved her people from the noble peasants crowned with struggle to the savage regents cloaked in intrigue, and everyone in between. I loved them in their sundry hues and customs, their shapes and tongues. I loved them at their bravest and boldest, and at their most craven and contemptible. I loved them in their laughter and their tears and their rages and their throes of passion.
I loved them, one and all. Unseen. Unknown. Unawares.
I loved them.
I love them.
Their world cries out to me in the wind whispering across fields of grain, in the subterranean rumblings, the oceanic burbles and plashes and drowsy murmurings of the deeps, the swoosh of murmurations in the heights. I feel their seers peering, hearing, sensing, seeing in their entrails and toning in tongues alien.
Impending doom hangs over their world.
I hover over their world.
I love them.
I must do something. But what? And the vision ends. But it never ends. It invades my sleep. It steals my shower thoughts. It haunts me and casts its shadow over waking life like a Photoshop layer set to low transparency, almost lining up with life, but not quite. Never quite. Never quite enough. And I know if I can just get them into phase, if only they would line up just so, there’s a way to rend the veil between here and there. There’s got to be. They’re in trouble. And only I can save them.