The short introduction to a short novel.
You hear merry laughter which seems to have a hint of ravenous lunacy, but you see nothing but the darkness that surrounds you. Darkness as eternal as the night sky herself. Then the laughter breaks. Although you should feel a bit uneasy by the situation, you feel oddly at peace in this darkness as though you were simply resting with your eyes shut, and your mind idly dreaming nonsense. The silence abruptly ends as a man’s voice comes but its origins unseen.
“There are great dealings in this grand universe that no single man can ever come to understand, but it is with my greatest effort that I try to make sense of these baffling truths… this utter madness. I’m… I’m sure you have been told your own world’s version of creation or natural laws in order to best make sense of all these occurrences. I’m sure there have been people trying to explain why an apple always falls down and not up, or why the Sun seems to journey from one side of the sky to the other and miraculously reappears the next morning on the opposite side it had disappeared. And I’m sure they’ve come up with great explanations. They always do. I should know. I’m one of them.
“Ah, but I also tell you that that which you cannot see does not mean that it is not there, and that the unexplainable does really exist. And it is here where the madness of all truth lies. Divine, perhaps… cold logic, never… irrational confusion, always. I may sound a bit unhinged, but I assure you I am not. I am simply a lost man in a maze given the arduous task of mapping it out. The problem here is that the maze is forever changing and growing, therefore when I come to place I had thought I had already mapped, I realize that it is not as I remembered and something slightly different might now be there to be rediscovered.
“Hahahahahaha… I know, it sounds crazy. But maddening as it is, it is my never-ending task. It was one I chose for myself and it is the most fulfilling. At least for me it is. You might think you would have to be a lunatic to take up such a task… I guess I must be one.
“Oh, but what is the matter with me. I am jumping ahead of myself and starting my tale midway, and backwards might I add. I’d imagine you might be wondering who I am, and why I am ranting on and on about the universe. Well, if you’re not… you should be. After all, I am the storyteller here, and you are the one is search of a story and do I have an amazing one for you. I know you’re going to love it, especially if you’re the type who likes the sort of tale that takes you into a world a bit familiar but unlike your own. One that truly existed in a distant part of a younger universe but has regrettably been forgotten through the passage of time. There is much one can learn from this world. This is no short story or for the weak willed. It took a lifetime to be written, and it should take a life time to be told and heard.
“Well, enough is enough. Take a look here so we can get on with this tale.” A small pool of water held in a shimmering crystal bowl appears before you as the storyteller finishes.
The water seems unclean and murky. At first you are reluctant to approach the bowl thinking a frog or snake might suddenly burst out attacking you and covering you in its slime, yet nothing appears to be moving in the water. You decide it is safe to approach the bowl. Slowly. Carefully. Now looking into the bowl, a vague image takes form on the water's surface. The storyteller begins his tale.