By Mark Figueroa
A tower stuck out of the ocean, piercing the clouds.
The tower was seen by few and discussed by even fewer.
It extended into the sky like a chimney from beneath the sea.
Clouds in the distance pressed against an invisible wall circling the tower.
The waves slept and the breeze suffocated.
A Gyre (a Mantlean entity | Click here to learn more about the Mantleans) escorted me around a glass walkway surrounding the exposed tower. She pointed at the large entrance to the tower.
Unholy darkness. A candle on the wall flickered for a moment.
The Gyre pointed again.
I looked at her, avoiding where her hand was directing me.
Her big black shroud covered most of her features, except her wild, protruding hair. She grabbed my sleeve and pointed again.
I refused to look.
The Gyre escorted me to the doorframe.
A timeless, breathless silence seeped from the tower.
The Gyre looked at me. Her face was young and harmless enough, but her eyes were cold.
I looked away.
She grabbed my sleeve and pointed again. The Gyre frowned. She had no nose or eyebrows. The Gyre shook me and insisted that I follow her into the tower.
I stood still.
The Gyre pulled my sleeve again, and I shook her away.
She looked puzzled. Somewhat amused. “He is there,” she said, pointing at the entrance again. I didn’t respond. “Wait here,” the Gyre said.
She disappeared into the darkness. I looked around and surveyed the scene again.
Perfect weather surrounded the tower for at least seven miles in all directions. My head raced : Where was I? How did I know what a Gyre was? How did I get here? Why couldn’t I feel anything?
The Gyre returned with a scroll.
She unraveled it and handed me a pen made from a finger bone.
The document shifted in and out of focus.
My hand shook against the paper.
I woke up.