I ran into the forest. The wind plays with the trees, tickling the leaves into falling. My feet squelch into the soft, wet mud as I run. In and out my foot goes, breathing into the earth. I can see the tree roots lingering just above the surface, probing.
I begin to dig. I’m digging until I get to China.
The deeper the hole is the more the roots groan out to the open air, missing the comfort and solace of the dense, compact earth, the damp coolness of the soil. The wind finds itself bouncing off all corners of this hole, looking for new friends to play with. The roots groan and retreat further back to other parts of the soil. I dig deeper and deeper until I reach the inner core of the earth.
There he is.
He sits on a plain, wooden stool staring into the centre. A looking glass of pure magma.
“You’re finally here”. He doesn’t bother to swivel around. He knows who I am.
“I’m trying to get to China”.
“You’re about half way there”.
“Oh? I suppose this is the centre of the earth”.
“Would you care to sit?” Another wooden stool materialises out of thin air beside him. He didn’t need to wait to hear my response. I sit beside the careworn old man.
“Look at this my son, before you continue your journey”.
I stared intently into the looking glass. Images began to appear. Simultaneously the past, present and future are all played out at once before me. The whole world and multiple others. People of many races and many species busy in their minds, in their lives. In under a minute I was exhausted, as if years had been torn off me.
“Have you had enough?”
“Be on your way, know that I am always looking out for you, son. Always” He said without looking at me. I felt it his hand on my shoulder.
I continued the dig. As I emerged the wind was nowhere to be found. The trees were quiet. I walked out of the forest in search of people.