Prologue: Falling From One World To Another
In a small town, that was so far out of the way that it lacked anything considered relevant to the world at large, there was a park that no one entered.
Most residents of the town, except the oldest, had no idea why they stayed away. But they all continued to, out of some unmentioned tradition.
But one child, a boy of ten, didn't think much of traditions. He wanted to play in the park, and why wouldn’t he?
It had swings, and slides, and a sandbox, and roundabouts and lots of other stuff.
His parents were always telling him he needed to go outside more, and stop watching so much television, and yet one of the most child-friendly places in the town was forbidden? What kind of sense did that make?
It was with this mind-set that the child found himself sneaking out of his warm comfy bed late at night so that he might play in that park.
He walked through the halls of his house silently and without effort, he’d been sneaking up on his parents for years in the vague attempt to scare them out of their wits.
Unlocking the front door was also easy, because his dad always left the key in the door frame despite his mom’s objections.
He grabbed a pair of shoes, from a shoe rack placed ever so conveniently next to the front door. He put them on and walked out the house.
When he was outside he shivered, the cool night air chilling him to the bone. He considered going home and changing out of his pyjamas, but refused. He knew that if he went back he’d either be caught or he’d just go back to sleep.
He closed the door behind him.
The town, as previously mentioned, was small. So small that the boy only had to walk for ten minutes before arriving at the ‘forbidden’ park.
It was surprisingly easy, all things considered. The street lamps were on, so he knew where he was going. The park wasn’t fenced off, or locked in any meaningful way. Apart of him figured it looked normal because if it didn’t other people would do exactly what he was about to because they just had to know what was in the fenced off park.
This boy had never really cared for reverse psychology, he enjoyed more straight-forward attempts to get him to refrain from doing things.
He walked into the park, and a childish wonder overcame him. He’d never been in a park at night before, regardless of the fact that he’d never been in park period. The novelty was enough to wake him up completely, even if his eyes said otherwise.
The first thing he did was jump on to the swing set. He’d never been on one personally, but he understood the mechanics.
Lean back, kick out your legs, lean back again and then rinse and repeat until you’ve truly experienced the full terror of a swing set.
And that’s what he did. He laughed as he went higher and higher, and screamed as he started coming down. After a couple minutes he stopped swinging, heart pumping as hard as it could, adrenalin coursing through his veins.
This was what they were keeping him from? This place was forbidden? He truly couldn’t understand those adults and their strange rules, this place was awesome!
He decided in that moment that he would play with everything in the park before he died, and he was sure that’d achieve this goal.
Without another thought the boy went towards the sandbox. He didn’t have any toys to play with, or any sand castle buckets, but he was sure he could find something fun to do with the sand.
Then a brilliant idea appeared in his mind. He’d pretend to be a dog! He loved dogs, because they got to bite things and dig up stuff, and he could definitely do at least one of those things right here in the comfort of this forbidden park, without prying eyes telling him that it was strange or weird.
With a grin, he walked up to the sandbox and started digging. Shortly thereafter sand found itself firmly under his finger nails, but he didn’t mind. He was enjoying himself, just digging a hole.
He wondered how deep he could make this hole, how far down it would go, and then he started thinking about a cartoon he watched just the other day.
In this cartoon some kids with shovels had started digging and had ended up on the other side of the world.
He was sure he could do that as well.
So he dug. And dug. And would you believe it, he dug some more?
He had gotten fairly used to the feeling of sand passing through his fingers. He absently noticed that he had actually created a quite impressive hole in the ground.
His train of thought derailed at the sudden pain of his nails scraping roughly against something that was unbearably smooth.
This caused a fairly unpleasant shock to pass through the boy’s body. He stopped digging so that he could nurse the wound. It wasn’t anything serious, he’d just pulled the nails back slightly. His hand would be fine, but that still left a question.
He glanced down towards the bottom of the hole he was in, trying to find the spot where he’d stop digging. This task was made redundantly easy by the blue glow beneath him.
He blinked his eyes once, then twice, before wondering to himself how he’d ignored a blue glowing light that was coming from below the sand.
He wiped away some sand, this time using the palm of his hand. Whatever was below him was, as previously mentioned, was ridiculously smooth. Like glass, or a mirror, a cut gem perhaps?
He’d cleared away so much sand that he could now see his blue tinted reflection. He smiled to himself, before winking as well.
He was going to whistle at his reflection as well, but this thought was cut off by the blue light. Its glow intensified to the point where it was blinding. All he could do was cover his eyes with his hands, and even then he still saw spots, blurry images floating beneath his eyes.
He hated that feeling.
Mercifully, he didn’t have the time to grown used to it, as the blinding light was replaced with darkness.
He opened his eyes, unable to see anything. He quickly cast his gaze above, then he felt his soul darken. He couldn’t even see the stars above him.
Then, giving his already muddled mind something else to juggle, he felt the ground beneath him give out.
Then he was falling.
He screamed at the top of his lungs, till his throat felt terrible.
Despite his terrible situation, he thought back to the warnings.
His parents, his classmates’ parents, his parents’ parents. They’d all passed down the message, from generation to generation. Don’t go into the park. It’s not safe.
He wondered if the warnings were there because other people had fallen like he had?
Then he laughed a laugh that sounded delightfully unhinged.
This wasn’t the time for such thoughts. Before something else could cross his mind, he ended up fainting from the shock.