4- Learning to Fly in The Land of Light Without Shadow

“Why can this boat fly now, when it couldn’t before?”

Moses smiled. “I believe it can.”

“Of course you do, you’re sitting in it, and it’s flying!”

Moses leaned forward and slowly and matter-of-factly whispered in Alex’s ear, “this boat cannot fly.” The boat shuddered a little, as if it was running into rough sand. Moses’ face seemed to say the same thing as his words. His smile and eyes dropped and hope seemed to run out of him. Although still moving forwards, gradually they were heading downwards. Alex realised that Moses was right: the boat couldn’t fly! As soon as the thought crossed his mind, the decline increased into nearly a weightless freefall.

As the old wooden boat disappeared beneath them, Moses kept a tight grip on Alex’s hand. As the shock left him Alex began to panick and yell. But soon he glanced around him and saw that Moses was calm, and that the islands in the distance around him hardly looked higher at all.  If he looked at the one they had just passed he could make out that he was falling past it, but it seemed that at the rate he was falling, Alex wouldn’t see the underneath of it fully for ten or twenty minutes. What is this world? he thought. On top of that, there was no wind to really tell him that he was falling, like he would have expected. Shouldn’t the air be pulling and pushing his face in all sorts of strange ways, he thought?

Alex felt Moses’ hand start to pull on his. There was a smile on his face once more, with reassurance in it.

I can fly,” he said with a laugh. “And so can you!”

“We can?” said Alex as he fell through the blue, past the giant floating Islands, in the strange world without shadows or air. But even as he considered the fact, he felt some weight return from beneath, like the space around him was as thick as water – not empty.

“We can.” Moses nodded. The blue space gave them even more support from beneath, but they were still sinking slowly. Alex felt like he would have to tread water to stay afloat. He gave a wave of his arms or two and felt himself surge upwards, briefly. He kicked with his feet. It’s like swimming! He thought as he flew even higher.

“Yes! That’s it!” said Moses, who floated effortlessly upwards to catch up. “You are free here, to fly as you wish, as long as you know it’s possible.”

“This is great! It’s just like a dream!”

“you may have come here, in a dream,” Moses said. “But probably didn’t know it.’

“Maybe,” said Alex, looking around. “But if I did, it wasn’t like this, like I am fully here and can decided what to do, what to believe.”

“Maybe you forgot,” Moses said with a grin and a raised eyebrow, like he knew more about it. He pointed at the furthest island, the one with the largest peak, impossibly far above them. “Do you see that peak?”

“Sure,’ said Alex.

“That’s where we’re going,” Moses said.

“That’s going to take us days!” Alex cried.

“At this rate, yes,” Moses agreed. “But, we can do better… if we believe it, that is.”

Moses held Alex’s hand and steadied him by his side.

“Look closely at the peak.”

Alex looked at the far away mountain top, observing that there was some kind of building on it, perhaps a temple, that stuck out from the green that covered almost everything else.

“Up there is a round pavilion made of precious stones and marble. Six pillars as wide as rivers hold up the dome, from under which shines down the light of a diamond the likes of which your world has never seen. Do you see it?”

The picture formed in Alex’s mind.

“Close your eyes,” said Moses.

There are steps coming down from the temple. We are standing on them, looking at the perfect white stone before us. Do you see it?”

Alex nodded.

“Open your eyes!” Moses cried

Before Alex were the white steps. He looked up and above him were the massive pillars and the tall dome that sat on them.

“Wow!” said Alex. “That’s pretty cool.”

Moses laughed. “That’s the best way to get around in this land,’ he said.

“Are we going into the temple?” Alex said, very much wanting to get a glimpse of the diamond which was just hidden under the dome, from where he was standing.

“We are not able to, unfortunately,” Moses sighed. “I too have never set my eyes on the Sun Stone. It was left by the king, I mean the Great King who I spoke of before.”

“Oh.” Alex said. He was a little disappointed. He turned to look out over the realm he had entered, and was surprised to see his boat resting on the lower steps, not too far away. “How’s that get there?” he asked.

Moses shook his head. “I brought it with us, silly boy!” he said.

“How?” asked Alex.

“Are we going to spend all day talking about everything in this land?” said Moses.

Alex saw the silliness of his question. If he could transport himself by his imagination alone, there must be many other surprising possibilities there, he admitted to himself.

‘So what are we doing here then?” Alex asked.

“We are going to visit…” Moses peered down into the forest, looking for something he couldn’t find. “… him,” he said, finally.

“Who?”

“You’ll see,” said Moses. “Let’s go.’

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