Terra Incognita

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Emma often wondered, unlike her family, what the purpose of the movie is. “Is it really fatal if I turn away for just a second?” she asked herself. “And even if it is, is the life of this character that important?” She did not dare to voice these questions, for no one ever spoke, but she really wanted to know something beyond the gloomy room they had been stuck in all their lives.

Mystery / Adventure
Age Rating:

The Price Of Truth

Emma often wondered, unlike her family, what the purpose of the movie is. “Is it really fatal if I turn away for just a second?” she asked herself. “And even if it is, is the life of this character that important?” She did not dare to voice these questions, for no one ever spoke, but she really wanted to know something beyond the gloomy room they had been stuck in all their lives. Nothing kept Emma from leaving the room; nothing except her fear. However, her desire for answers was sincere, and the desire intensified with every passing day. Emma had a strong intention, and it was the power of her intention that changed everything, for, one day, for the first time, the door of the room opened, and a man entered the room. No one moved. “Wake up,” he said. “You’ve been sitting here forever.” He repeated: “Forever. For all of eternity, you’ve been sleeping.” They couldn’t see nor hear the man, but they did feel his presence; however, they perceived their savior as a threat, and therefore they ignored the man: they kept staring at the screen. The movie was just too important. No one had told them that the movie is important, but they were convinced that it is. At that point, Emma’s doubt about the importance of the movie was greater than her fear, and that is why she decided to turn her head toward the presence she felt, but she also felt frozen because of a thought, which kept telling her that, if she moves, she will die. “It’s okay, Emma,” said the man to reassure her. “You can look away from the screen. You can stand up.” At last, she stood up, and, with tears in her eyes, she fell into the man’s arms. “Well done, Emma. You’re waking up.” She turned around, and, for the first time, she saw her family staring at the screen: her brother was crying, her mother was laughing, her father was angry, her sister was wallowing in guilt and shame. “What are they doing?” said Emma in shock. It was the first thing she ever spoke: “What are they doing?” “They’re sleeping. Just like you used to sleep.” “But it’s not real, it’s just a movie. We have to wake them up.” She started screaming: “Wake up!” The man interrupted her, “I’m afraid, they’re not ready, Emma, but you are. This was just your first awakening. Your journey is not over yet.” Finally, Emma said what she wanted to say all her life, “I believed that this movie matters, but it doesn’t, does it?” “Not ultimately, no.” She fell on her knees, and started crying with her face in her hands. “That’s a great relief, is it not?” said the man, putting out his hand. “I’m Liam. Let me show you what’s real. You wanted to know, remember?” Emma ceased crying, and with the help of Liam’s hand, she pulled herself up. “Will they be okay?” “Yes, no harm can happen to them.” “Then please show me what’s beyond this room.”

Emma and Liam left the room, and started walking down the dark and cold corridor. “Most people don’t realize what you’ve just realized. You are fortunate, Emma.” “Why can’t everybody leave?” “They can, but they won’t, because they don’t want to know what’s real. Those few people who do want to know get up and leave. It is rare to have the desire to want to know, it is rarer to leave the room, it is rarer still to leave the house entirely. Most people who leave the room get lost in the house of illusion. They don’t go all the way, but I want you to see what’s beyond the veil, Emma.” “But my family—” “What family?” interrupted Liam. “Those sleeping and dreaming people in the room that we have just left? Don’t worry about them. They’re not your family.” Emma clenched her fists. “How can you say that?” she said. “They are just an illusion. Every illusion you get attached to will make it harder for you to escape.” “Maybe I do not wish to escape. Maybe I like it here.” “No, Emma, you don’t. I know it, and you know it, too. You are just terrified.” Emma moved closer to Liam, and, in a state of wonder, she looked around like a child. “Were you in one of those rooms as well?” asked Emma. “Everyone begins there. Some people become guides and help others. You were desperate for answers, and you were ready. So I came.” The walls started moving in intricate, intriguing, and impossible ways; phantasmal shadows appeared, disappeared, and appeared again. Emma got even closer to Liam, and started clinging to his arm. “Do not fear illusions,” said Liam to calm her down, but Emma looked away, and hid her face in Liam’s arm. He came to a halt. “We can’t continue like this. You must see through the illusion. You cannot hide from anything, no matter how terrifying it may seem, if you are to leave this house.” Emma hesitated. Liam tried to reassure her. “You’re more courageous than you think.” At last, she faced the corridor and its cunning tricks, and the instant she looked, everything that scared her disappeared: it was not real. It became apparent to Emma that none of her fears had any basis in reality; that fears are illusions that vanish when she was willing to look closely. “Do you now understand why so few people want the truth?” “But everyone says that the truth is their number one value.” “Their version of the truth is just another illusion. Few are those who want the actual truth, for the price is far too great.” “What’s the price?” asked Emma. “By the time you reach the exit of the house you will have forgotten the room and your family, you will have forgotten even me; you will not remember that this house ever existed, and when you move through the final doorway you will forget even yourself. Emma will evaporate, for that, too, is just another illusion. You will be annihilated, and make no mistake, it’s a point of no return. The price of truth, then, is everything.”

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