I can see them spinning, the world sifting, shifting, and when the night grows so long, I can do nothing but try to add a light into this world.
Climb to the top of my lighthouse, and find the shining light. Try to climb down, and the stairs just go 'round and 'round. It may be a paradox or just trick of the mind. I could pinch you, but even in a dream you'd feel it. You know you climbed these stairs and made it to the top, but to descend... these are not the same stairs.
If you're tired, I left snacks under the lamp for you, and maybe more than that.
There's a dumbwaiter in the wall, and it will take more than your leftovers. As the doors close, it hardly feels like a dumbwaiter at all, as it plummets past depths you never could have reach on those stairs. You know it's descending, but there's no lurch in your stomach: you can breathe, you can swallow. It feels so real but some sensation is missing: the discomfort.
What is that in your pocket? I've never seen it before, and as you pull it out, I feel a strange presence, one that wasn't here before. What is that in your hand? I didn't create it, so you must have brought it with you. It's so bright, and I can't touch it, but I want it gone.
You toss it up in the air, and I reach out my fingers to catch it, but it just slips through my fingers as if I'm not really here. I'm worried it might taint my design, and you reach out your hand to catch it, but it just hangs there, spinning still but slowing, until there's a small full moon shining down on you.
A smirk, and you reach up for it again, and it becomes a coin once more, and this time I see her face, her name, in a glimpse before you slip it back into your pocket. Lady Liberty.
The doors open, and you're surprised. Good, I like that. You didn't notice when the elevator stopped descending, but you aren't startled when you step out of the old tree and into the broad field. I'm disappointed.
A rope snaps above your head, and you glance upward into the tree suddenly. A man hangs there, and I know I'm still in control. I know his face, since it's not much different from my own, though aged and wisened beyond what you ever perceived in my own.
Blood drips from a gaping hole in his side, and it slides down the tree, but he still breathes. You turn away, and look across the plain, though I wish you would return to him, you have places to go, miles before you sleep.
A farmhouse is on the other side of the plain of gold, wheat waving at you despite no breeze, but neither of us is bothered by this phenomenon. You start toward the farmhouse.
You're going to reach it faster than you think, for as lovingly as I built this landscape, even I can appreciate it for only so long. But, if you turn back to return to the tree, you will find the same trial as the staircase in the lighthouse. Still, there's no reason to try that: the farmhouse has all the answers you'll ever need.
The paint, once red, is peeling, and the wood is long dead and dark beneath, but the door opens without a squeek. A faint smell of long gone manure permeats the building, but it's not uncomfortably strong.
In one of the stalls, third from the back on the left, if I remember correctly, there's someone I want you to meet. Yes, there she is.
You'll perceive her as them, but it doesn't make any difference to what she is. She holds a cup while they lean over a trough, but they're both filled with the same water.
There's no reflection, but then, you weren't expecting one. OAR starts playing in your ears, and you dip your fingers into the water. She-They protests as you bring your fingers to your lips.