The journey (the dream) continues. Evander sees the glorious city of Irigoy; he is tasked with a perilous mission. This chapter is a series on the interpretations of a character’s recurring dreams, all taking place within a fantasy world that our dreamer has invented.
To clarify. I invent Evan. Evan makes up a fantasy story. Evan dreams about it. I describe an interpretation of his dreams. Sound annoying? Just read it as its own story. I hope you enjoy.
Evander’s journey passed as quickly as noon glinting off a river. He watched the forest whip by and great city gates raise metallic cloaks.
He looked around. Behind him the calm deciduous forest stuck up proud and green. Evander and Elincia stood on a dirt road leading to massive iron gates, adorned with ornate bronze statues and curving silver spikes like thorny vines, surrounded on both sides by towering stone walls.
“The gates to the city of Irigoy,” Elincia said to him. “No one enters or leaves without express permission.”
“From who?” Evander asked in wonder, straining to see the shadows and forms of buildings amass behind the dark bars of the gate.
Elincia did not answer: instead, a small man appeared atop the tall stone tower to the gate’s right. He spun a crank like a ship’s wheel and the gate began to open, shuddering and creaking with mighty gasps of sound and wind streaming out towards them. The gates clanged ajar, suspended by invisible rope. They revealed a line of massive willow trees adorning a cobblestone path into Irigoy. At the end of the path was a lavish building of many colors—sloping terra cotta roofs of many layers, each adorned with gilded curls. Alabaster cylindrical towers bulged forward and painted arches receded, leading to an interior courtyard.
Evander stepped forward without Elincia’s word—she followed him with a caring smile. Pulled by a tugged-taut sense of curiosity, he moved with swift skips, gazing past the willows to see rows of castle-cottages, stone buildings draped with patterned rainbow rugs of pink and blue. Elincia kept close behind him as they swept into the grand central building, beneath its gaping arches.
Inside a thousand columns abounded a seemingly endless grid. In the center the frequent columns gave way to a great vaulted dome where steady sun poured in through high skylights, creating misty blanched spotlights on a floor made of glass. Evander gasped as he noticed the glass floor and stared through it—a blue river processed beneath. As he watched white foam curl over its gentle surface, strange shadows caught his eye—human heads bobbing in the current.
“Enemies of the state,” Elincia said, tapping her sandaled foot. “Abusers of resources. Don’t worry. They’re outsiders.”
Evander’s eyes stayed glued to the drifting heads below, shiny with wetness. Evander and Elincia continued on to a marble floor and the river passed out of sight. Evander raised his head: they had wandered into a grand dining hall. A large wood table centered the hall and peculiar guests chomped away at sumptuous food piled high in twelve of fourteen chairs. All sides struck his senses: simmered veal and stew and steamed corn and autumn squash and frosted pastries and sharp citrus fruit wafting beneath his nose, the cavernous ceiling and the golden light refracted across its feminine curves, drifting down to sea and coral colored wall mosaics of superb titans and angels charging, arms held in salute, words and choruses of welcome, twelve diners speaking four different languages, sounds gentle and coarse gnawing at his ears; they wore cloaks and hats dark as soil and scarves and jewelry that gleamed like the leaping of sunlight off a stream.
“Igthparenddaldsc,” a man said, gazing with a knowing expression into Evander’s eyes.
“Meefooozche!” guffawed the wizened old man next to him. He pointed a feather-long finger at Evander’s forehead. “Beeshnies!”
“Indeed,” Elincia smartly replied. “They’re asking if you’re the one.” She turned to Evander and gestured to a seat at the table’s head.
“I sit… there?” he asked, swallowing. The delicious scent made him only want to sit and stuff his face. He stepped towards the chair, purple velvet and golden ringlets about the legs and arms.
A woman with an angular face that contrasted with the voluptuous curves of her body turned and put a soft hand on Evander’s chest as he passed. “Titties,” she said.
Wide-eyed Evander nodded and took his seat at the tables head. As soon as he raised his fork all the guests stopped eating and fell silent.
They watched him with eager eyes. Evander froze with his fork in mid-air.
Only the old man dared break the silence: “Ohoo?” he gasped.
Elincia, in the seat to his right, nudged him. “They’re expecting you to say something,” she muttered to him.
“Oh,” Evander said, voice mousey. “Go on. Keep eating.” He raised his voice. “Go on.”
The guests all glanced at each other with curious eyebrows elevated and returned to their meals and debate.
Elincia leaned over to Evander as he begin to stuff his cheeks with food. “That wasn’t something,” she whispered. “You need to give a speech.”
“About what?” Evander asked. He put three orange slices into his mouth, followed by a strip of bacon.
“Whether or not you will accept your duty,” she said. She placed a raspberry between her own lips and ate it. “We’ve been expecting you.”
Evander nearly choked on cabbage. “What duty?” he replied.
“We need you to help us find Prince Hirum, the one, true hero,” she said. “Hey, stop eating for a second and look at me. Now.”
Her stern turn in voice made Evander drop his fork and shift towards her. Her green eyes burned with flickering incandescence, a natural voltage from within. In a flash, one of the eyes suddenly turned hazel.
“My Lord Hirum, crown Prince of Irigoy, is prophesized to save this land from certain doom,” Elincia told him. “Cruel and evil nations surround us: Gaal of plain-lands to the south; Mitos of mountains to the west; Piris of tundra to the north. Their aggressive militarization is a threat to world order. Hawks and spies inform us that Mitos creates dangerous weapons and sacrifices people they deem “lesser” to dark magic. Any moment they could choose to flood our peaceful lands. And yet an ancient prophecy tells us of a way to evade a baleful end. The Hero with a silver sword and waterdrop eyes, one who has suffered and known, one who has a heart of wings. Hirum fulfills this and yet he is missing. You must help us, Evander.”
Evander searched her face and could see no malicious intent, no willful deceit. Is it my path to take part in such a… legend? he wondered to himself. Can my weak heart find the heart of wings?
“Why me?” he asked.
At that moment a rather large man slammed down his goblet on the table. “I can’t wait any longer!” he shouted. “I must know, boy! Will you aid us?”
Silence washed over the table. But this time Evander did not hesitate to answer.
“I do not know how to help, but if you tell me how, I will.”
“Thank you,” Elincia said, holding his shoulder tight as the twelve guests shouted in surprise and joy. “I think you can do great things for us.”
“We must get you to Sannisar at once!” declared one.
“Ajgathruxluxtux!” gargled the old man.
“Stiff cock,” whispered the woman.
“Quinton, will you take us to Sannisar?” asked Elincia.
A thin young man stood, dressed regally in knight’s armor, shining iron and silver pads and adornments over white pima shirts. He had short-cut blonde hair, big eyes, strong cheekbones, and skinny shoulders.
“Yes milady. Sannisar is this way.”
Elincia nodded for Evander to follow. Evander leapt up and jogged after Quinton, who waited with an open door at the room’s opposite end.
“Pleased to meet you, Evander,” he said with a firm nod. “Go on inside.”