Glad you could join us for the next sunlit episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
To Elliot’s great relief, the ancient priestess’s heart did not explode. Step after step, gasp after gasp, rest after breathless rest, she made it to the top. Standing with her eyes closed in light filtered green through the trees, her shoulders heaved with each ragged inhalation.
“You’re right,” Elliot said, “it’s marvelous.” Watching her ravaged breathing, he added, “I could just stand here and soak it in for hours.”
But it took only a few minutes for the High Priestess to recover.
“What do you see here?” she asked as they followed the emerald light being pushed by the spreading carpet of approaching night.
“Green.” he replied.
“Well, no. Moss, rocks, worn paths.”
“So you can see history?”
Puzzled, Elliot almost asked what she meant. Instead, he took a closer look at the smooth stone walkway he slid along. How many feet had passed this way? How many creatures had breathed this sheltered air? How many might have died here during battle or laughed here during peace?
“Not exactly. But I can see the results of history, and I can imagine what happened. It must have taken ages and tens of thousands of people to reach this point.”
“You and me. Disappearing sunlight. Growing darkness. Like every day before this, and…” The sun was vanishing, but the light was beginning to dawn. “And every day till the end of time.”
Chuckling, the High Priestess grinned, “So you plan to live forever?”
“No,” he laughed, “but I just realized I’m not at the end or the start of anything. I… We are in the middle of everything.”
“What does that look like?”
He closed his eyes and stopped thinking. “Like a house without walls in an unmoving wind.”
“And what are you, Elliot?”
His heart was beating in his brain, filling him, the Sunset Cavern, the world outside with the rhythm of time. Managing only a whisper, he answered, “A moment that never ends.”
Pausing at the top of a narrow stair, the High Priestess smiled. “Perspective, my dear friend, it’s all about perspective. I find this place rejuvenating. If only it didn’t take so much effort to get here.” She exhaled a long, slow sigh. “The reason I wanted you to see this now is that we have much to accomplish before dawn, and you will probably never return.”
Elliot’s forehead wrinkled. “That has a foreboding sound to it. Would you care to elaborate?”
“No. We need to move on.”
As a stream of lights flowed up the stairwell, they descended into the chamber below.
To be continued. . .