PART ONE“As I was arriving at the conclusion of my shadow's self-concluding, I was unwarrantably misplaced amidst the other antiquated manila-coloured folders by a rather uncomely and brazen chap! Imagine my completely complicated rantings, not to mention the fervour brought on by this little scenario of my shadow. Oh, you should definitely meet her, she's positively concrete in her lucidity. In fact I'm quite of the mind that you'd interact infamously! But to return to the insights of the tall men with the reddest beards, I was in a state of fractured euphoria. The stiff pages were peeling down all around, but solely in the study. It was UTTER perplexity! As I sought to overcome this hill of towering forks, or maybe they were sporks, I don't remember, I was besieged by the most unlikely of antagonists: a tawny gazelle. It's inset, azure eyes sped through me as if I had been gunned down by a microscopic version the largest ultra-death ray of loneliness the universe, and a scant few galaxies outside it, has ever seen in the 18 seconds of it's existence on the astral 747 commercial plane. I knew it's thoughts, and it knew mine - which didn't help the situation as neither of us could understand said thoughts.
“But a young woman behind me sneezed, and a very intricate and delicate sneeze at that. She had ventured hundreds of kilometres from the safety of her cherished big-time university, the type that produced the lowliest of the vilest rot that can be disclosed in these turquoise days. Yes, she was to be a lawyer. She had come from a small triple-parent home, the splendid glistening waterfall of a dwarven marine biologist, an incredibly attractive smokin' hot corporate CEO who was a volcanologist in her spare time, and a dominatrix. Life had been reasonably respecting of her, and she had held sway over many a fabled disc-jockey. She spent an ascertainable amount of minute seasons among the others of the town. May all that is simply atrocious befall Mr. Henry, and his waltzing unclothed across his yard! Bless his shins! Indeed, all was as it should have been, as evidenced by the colouring books. Until that one single day. Thursday. A day like any other, though all were deceived (except the sanitary department, who were able to see through the bullshit). She was just heading toward the casino when, out of the glowing shrubbery, an elf appeared! She had always thought she would be prepared for this kind of thing, but it was not so this day. Paralysed in the swoon of it's indifference, she could do naught but stare at the increasing translucency of it's essence. The finely drawn eyebrows arched above the flashing aqua eyes as it approached her. Sheer terror. A hundred thousand aphids descending from her temples down her perfect, pale skin. She knew. It was about to happen. Now. Why, of all the times? Why now? And then it was there upon her. A stream of silvery tendrils of energy arced through her body as the elf took it away from her. The moment seemed to last an eternity, a mixture of the lowest low and the highest high. It was exhilarating and what could only be described as orange. And in an instant, it was over. The elf gliding away; she, left there in a state of pure undulating staticity. As the thing left her field of vision, she regained sway over the mechanics of her parts. She fell to the foam of the path and began to weep tears of laughter. Never had she experienced a more traumatizing plot twist. Minutes passed before her strength returned and arms reached down to pull her up. She thanked the good Samaritan who had helped her to her feet, and set off on her personal journey. None before her had ever attempted this, not even in the time of Gurmot Ehltnivac. Despite this, she was an ever burning flame of golden determination, presentable to any circumstance.
“She tried to act inconspicuously after sneezing, so as to not disturb our battle. The great gazelle wished her luck in getting her favourite glove back. That elf was indeed a despicable entity for taking it. With that, she continued along among the winding dunes. Her slender figure was swallowed up by the behemoth of the horizon.
“We resumed our struggle. I grasped the very air to my left and hurled it at my beastly opponent, a passing glance as the missile struck it. My attempt was all for naught, maybe even in vain. It's horns elongated and shot outward, arcing, and then plummeting back down, to crash through the sand. The ground was then permeated with tremors, the shaking building and building. And then silence. All was still in that second. And at that the gazelle erupted volumes of searing energy, culminating into an enormous triskelion before dissipating just as quickly. I understood. I treaded off, following the petite footprints in the sand…”
PART TWOThe clammy spider leg fingers of exhaustion held tight. She had travelled too long through the dreariness of that granular hell. And that part was over. Presently she was in the midst of a brilliantly blinding grove. The black of the leaves almost unbearable. But she could fend off the spindly digits no longer. The earth reached up to her and she was lost.
***It had been eight days since his encounter with his blue-eyed adversary. Allan was not even truly certain why he had taken to following this woman. There was just something......something right about her. His curiosity had to be sated. More easily accomplished without the meddling of that sandstorm. He would have shouted at it to make it cease its disruption, but his maw was too preoccupied with finding the water that it didn't have. That was the past though, a very difficult aspect of all things to change. Few creatures could be found here. Odd, deserts usually were home to an abundance of life. Granted, this one didn't seem to have snakeroots. So much blue; a darker shade than most others.
Allan was focusing too much on the scenery. He had to get back to finding her. But how? There were no tracks left. He scanned the endless grey in all directions. One patch of sky to the left was a striking lighter grey; more than that, to him, it felt that that was the way he was supposed to go.
***She reclaimed her consciousness. The surroundings had been altered. Everything was bright and warm...
***Allan found himself in a forest of expired carpenters. It seemed half a miracle that the corpses remained upright. "Perhaps it’s the ebony leaves clinging to them," he said to the lime-coloured button of his shirt collar. It offered nothing in response, though it did vomit a glare at him which had a suggestion of a hatred of cherries. Unoffended, this blob of masculinity trudged onward, accidentally stepping on a hammer, which of course caused a micro-fracture in the underground colonies of snail teeth, as well as the implosion of a nearby bumblebee.
Despite the complete lack of evidence to the contrary, Allan joyfully knew that he was ever so close to that aberrantly veiled enigma of the most praised taupe caged within his orifices. He stumbled about for thirty more symmetrical hours.
***“Where are you?” she bellowed with the ferocity of an immature seahorse. She assumed someone must be responsible for changing her clime without even having the courtesy to inform her with a long distance email from a contaminated island in the Venezuelan Isles. No response, excepting a dry wheeze expelled from a magnificently pumpkin-hued shrub. She stood up, weary of the ox tongues composing the ground tickling the small of her delicate back. She was greeted with a, “Hullo there, Snorbles!”
“H-hello,” she said meekly.
“I’ve not seen you in an orange-clad age, Snorbles, my obtusely acute friend.,” issued from the puss-dripping lips of an insanely refined looking chap straight out of the Dark Ages-themed comic spread of a demented Presbyterian high on sawdust.
“No,” replied the sparkling woman, “I’ve been too terribly busy running errands for the Marquise of Lunderdanty. This exchange of vocalizations continued for quite some time, literally boring to death a rough-skinned wood elf. A mechanized Swedish nurse quickly inhaled his ashes.
***At last he arrived at his destination. It was a hideously deformed wall of wriggling shoestrings. It had a visage akin to a hag who’s spent too many twilights washing avocados with a taxidermist’s kit. Pinned to it’s supposed neck by thirty-two toothpicks dripping with the blackest gall was a sign. It read: “Where there’s a will, there’s a wading pool”. Now there’s a notion, Allan mused with the selfsame expression a general of the Azores might have worn after putting down a group of splendid fortune tellers.
“Indeed, indeed,” intoned a voice from above his left shoulder which sounded strikingly similar to his cousin Muriel who worked at the all-night ulna shop. “Mudcakes! Is that you?” exclaimed the questing lad. There was a general hissing noise and the sound of hundreds of thousands of clay animation figures charging a well-to-do corporate executive. The stringy wall burst open, showering Allan with day-old honeydew melon rinds.
And there she was, speaking animatedly with a sketchy-looking beast, her hands strangling an imaginary person Allan guessed was her sister’s future boyfriend. He had finally found her. His quest was over. “I’m here!” he exclaimed, startling the woman’s companion into jumping through a conveniently placed window. There was tissue paper everywhere. The mechanical nurse was not amused.
“WHO’S THERE?!” she demanded while looking directly at him. Sensing that something was amiss, she added, “I’m not blind…much.”
Allan began to explain how he had come all this way, as if drawn to her.
“You may call me Sousaphone,” she said regally. “Will you help me track down my adversary?
“Never,” beamed Allan. They set off down a tunnel made of tunnels, for the man who jumped through the window had said the wicked elf went that way…