Excerpt from the manuscript of Josh Flagstone: Travelers of Now and Then
And things they seem, have become stranger still. In an effort to extricate myself from this most peculiar of situations, I had become aware of another in a like predicament.
At first I thought him a warden of this place and thus held my distance lest I be discovered. I followed him to one, final door, a door which, as it happened, did indeed leave the bizarre and meandering shop only to deposit one into an out of doors that was stranger still. No sooner were we outside then my supposed captor took steps to obfuscate himself among this unexpected landscape. Still, his trail did lead me to the base of what seemed a magnificent and naturally occurring throne made of a moss-covered, decaying log. It was here that I discovered the journal, which he had hastily hidden but moments earlier.
Were this place not queer enough reading the journal has left me quite ill-at ease as I realized that I am both the discovered and originator of said book. This is indeed my journal, meaning, that I have in-fact been following myself through this place, or, more accurately, another version of myself.
It was at this point that my thoughts returned to the letter that had lured me to this place, and on this quest, to begin with. There were, it did say, clues to be discovered and travelers –stranded it would suggest- to be rescued. It did then occur to me that I had stumbled upon the first of the clues and travelers to be found in this place and that indeed they were one and the same. Further, that they were none other than me. Or rather the “other” me whose progress I had shadowed. However, if I were to rescue him I would first need to discover his whereabouts and convince him that the two of us would do well to work together.
Then I was distracted from my revere by a sudden realization: The tree stump throne, as I had named it, which, from afar seemed nothing more than a decaying stump while my fancy formed it into the likeness of a throne, now indeed seemed much more of an intentional construct. It was as if my fancy had changed it from a trick of the eye to a throne, albeit one of stump and moss, but a throne fit for some forest lord nonetheless.
(To be continued)