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New Worlds

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  • New Worlds

    I came to in a formless world of light and dark grays. There was nothing to be seen in any direction. I pushed myself up on my elbows and looked down, lying on dark gray nothingness, whatever had happened to me, it did not appear to leave me any worse for wear. I slowly stood.

    “Hello,� a voice said. I turned to see a man standing behind me. His clothing was of vibrant colors and flourish. His large hat looked comical with a great feather hanging from its bandanna. He was a handsome, youthful looking man, except for his eyes... his eyes looked timeless.

    “Hello.� I answered, trying not to let the shock sound in my voice. “Who are you?�

    “I am Jhary-a-Conel, Elri...I mean Ulrich. It is a pleasure to meet you in this new guise.� he answered, with a deep bow. “ And though you may not know it yet, I am your best friend.�

    “Is that so?� I asked, a smile starting to cross my face. The man looked so comical.

    “Yes. Though I may be called by another name, or maybe, I am you there and you are me, I do not know the exact situation within your realm, but I assure you, we are good friends.� he answered very matter-of-fact-like.

    “Well why are you... why are we here? Where are we?� I asked.

    “This is what I like to call an intermediary. It appears, Ulrich, that you have fallen into a rift between time and space.� Jhary explained. As he talked, I now felt a familiarity with this little man and a kinship growing.

    “This has caused problems. Because you are an essence of the eternal champion, and you may only exist in one form in each realm, you have lost your placement.� He looked at me. “Do you understand?�

    I looked back blankly wondering if he had all his faculties.

    “Damn.� he said. “You do not know what you are, do you?� He looked perplexed. “No matter, we still must get you back to a time continuum. We will need to find a realm that you (or I as you) do not currently exist in.�

    He pulled from his shirt a small black fury animal. I heard it purr, and saw it was a cat. The cat crawled up Jhary’s arm and stretched itself on his shoulders. I noticed the thing had wings!

    “Oh no, whiskers.� Jhary laughed. “You must lead us out of here, and return Corum to his plane.�

    “What did you call me?� I asked.

    “What?� he looked at me.

    “Did you call me Corum?� I asked again.

    “Did I?� he looked puzzled. “I am sorry, I meant Ulrich.� he gave laugh. “Come, let us follow Whiskers to where you belong.�

    “Can you just not return me back to my home - the Young Kingdoms?� I asked him.

    “I am sorry Ulrich, but no.� Jhary said, with a sorrowful look. “That realm has changed with your displacement. You see… you are already there.�

    “What?� I looked at him. I could feel my temper starting to flare up. Jhary could sense it too.

    “Calm down Ulrich. I do not expect you to understand, though it would be easier if you did.� he explained. “And, someday you will have to accept it. As for the Young Kingdoms, you are there... now, and your name is Elric.�

    I looked at him. I started laughing; there was nothing else I could do. This little comical man, with such a great look of concern, started me laughing to the point of tears.

    “Jhary, I mean you no offense, and I am enjoying your company, but I do not believe you have your full faculties!� I laughed.

    He laughed with me, completely enjoying the moment. “Aye Ulrich, you may be correct! Come let us follow Whiskers.� And he proceeded to follow the flying cat. We did not stop laughing for some time.

    XVII

    We walked for what could have been days, or it could have been years. The world around us did not change. I felt a friendship growing between Jhary-a-Conel and I, and I listened intently to his stories. He spoke of many things, and many names, repeating the names Corum and Elric. He also spoke of Moonglum, Dorian, Erekose, and a strange man named Jerry Cornelius. We walked and talked, and I became aware that we had not rested or eaten anything. Yet, I did not feel the urge for such things. If it had not been for Jhary’s constant banter, I do believe the strange world would have absorbed us. We would have become part of that gray nothingness that Law created.

    As he talked, I turned my gaze towards the horizon, expecting to see the same emptiness, wondering if we even moved at all.

    There it was in the distance, a bright white gleam, rectangular in shape. And for the first time in I don’t know how long, I heard noises that were not just our voices. The sound of the sea crashing against a shore faintly touched our ears.

    “Oh, here we are.� Jhary said, as his eyes followed mine.

    “How do you know this is where I belong, Jhary?� I asked.

    “Because the portal would not exist,� he said bluntly. “Oh,� I answered, and I began to think of what was happening to me. I did not know to what world I went. The thought started to raise fears in my mind.

    We walked to the portal, and that was just what it was. It looked like an door that opened onto a rocky cliff. I looked through it and saw that a storm raged in this world. We stopped at the entrance (or exit, whichever were your views).

    “Do we just step through, Jhary?� I asked.

    “Umm... not we, Ulrich.� Jhary said, a look of true disappointment on his face. “This is not our time.�

    “I do not understand. You say we are the best of friends, and in spending this time together, I can see how we could be, yet you will not accompany me.� I said.

    “It is not that I will not accompany you, Ulrich. I cannot, not here, not in this now,� he answered. The look on my face made him go on. “You see, the planes are set in a particular motion and there are preset times and occurrences. Some may be altered, some may not... Ulrich, this is one. Know this, this world you enter may or may not be your final destination, but, we will meet before the end.�

    “The end, huh? You portend of gloomy happenings, Jhary.� I said. “Well, at least I will know you when we meet, Aye?�

    “Probably not, Ulrich. You probably will not remember any of this, or this realm. You may not remember your old realm. Only time will tell,� he said, and his mood was as gray as this world. “I may not even go by the same name when we meet...� he smiled. “Just go, Ulrich... and know that we will meet, and our friendship will be strong! Good-bye my eternal friend.� and he turned away, his little cat landing on his shoulder.

    I turned from them both, looked at the portal, and stepped through.

    XVIII

    into a new world, the weary traveler flees...
    into a new dream, the eternal hero weaves...
    always alone, but part of so many...
    always a hero, but shown no pity...
    rest o’ weary warrior, but know no repose...
    time is your cage, in its eternal stream you’ll flow...


    I knew I wasn’t in Lormyr anymore. Where I was, I had not a clue. I stood on a cliff, in a raging storm.

    in a dream, I jumped...

    I turned from the cliff and began to walk. The clouds above denied me the stars to navigate by. I decided to walk a little inland, and then walk the coastline. I knew eventually that I would have to come upon a settlement.

    I un-hooked my sword from my hip and strapped it across my back, just under my backpack. Looking down, I saw that the amulet hung outside my shirt... that was strange.

    in a dream, I was torn apart...

    Everything was strange. Why did I leave Lillith without my horse? What had happened to the child who had given me the amulet?

    Oh well, nothing appeared stolen. I would find a town, determine my location, and go back to Lillith to re-acquire my horse.

    in a dream, my skin, and hair, was as white as a corpse. I screamed into the face of a storm, my voice rising above the very tempest... held above me, in my hand, my black sword screamed louder than both...
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