“At an old bookstore, you find a book that helps you interpret your dreams. But something is strange about it. You fall asleep reading the book, and find yourself in a dream that you cannot wake up from. What is it? And how will you snap back to reality?”
-Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: The Never-Ending Dream
And this one is a paraphrased passage from my Worldtree series!
The sun was barely peeking over the horizon and the twin moons had not yet surrendered the sky when the Elf that would soon ascend to High Priestess began preparing the ritual, explaining the process to her guest. She had desired to be alone, but she could not refuse the honor of participation to the One.
The priestess laid out blankets and pillows for comfort and, later, sleep. Upon the altar, she laid out a burner and filled it with incense. She took out all the things for making tea; the leaves smelled of mint and earth. There was no food; this was to be a fasting ritual.
At last, she took out the book. It was the High Priestess’ copy of the holy book of their people, filled with history and rites and spells.
Her guest offered to heat the tea water, and she nodded. She was not the Most High yet, and could not command all the elements. Fire would not obey her, like it obeyed her guest. From nothing, fire was summoned, and they soon shared their first ritual brew. They thanked each element in turn for its contribution to the tea: earth for growing the leaves, water for the brewing, fire for heating, and even the winds for carrying the aroma and metal for forming the boiling pot.
Next, the fire-starter was instructed to light the incense. The priestess opened the book to the Rite of Oneness, and leaned in to breathe the smoke in deeply. Her eyes watered and a blush crept up her cheeks as the drug took effect; she gestured for her guest to do the same, and began chanting.
Drunk on the herb, the chant drew them in, and they soon began to fall. Together, they plunged through the stone altar, into the ground.
Past roots and into earth, through caves of hidden water, into metallic veins that held the molten life-blood of the world.
Deep they traveled until at last they found themselves falling out of the world and into oblivion.
They turned, and against the star-lit blanket of the sky, they saw the Worldtree, whole and in harmony.
From great, entwined roots, the Worldtree stretched up through its twisted trunk, branching out and sprouting leaves upon which the world grew.
Rain fell off the edge only to be caught by the roots and drawn up to the mountains, where the rivers were born.
Sunlight caressed all of creation warmly, and the red-tinted moons added their pale glow to the sky.
As they watched the world flourish, they began to fall toward it again, and the chant grew louder and louder in their minds as they plummeted through cloud and sky, two bright stars falling to the earth.
When they awoke, it was sunset. They were slow to wake, if that is what they did; they could not be sure.
Nothing would ever be more real than the Dream: not until the One was called, millennia later, to bring about the End.