The door is ornately engraved with lithographs of mountains, forests and cities. A quote on the door reads:
“So many worlds, so much to do, so little done, such things to be.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Wanting to see whats inside you turn the door handle, carved as a tortoises head. The handle clacks and the door opens.
Inside the room the flor is covered in grass on rolling hills with small shrubberies adorning the landscape. Roaming the floor are tortoises, similar to those in the Galapagos. At first glance they appear to be normal but as you focus on them each shell is unique as if it has been decorated. One tortoise carries a city on its back, another covered with farm land. One supports an ocean, another a mountain range, others carrying deserts, tundras and forests. And on close inspection these are not simply ornaments but living, breathing worlds. The cities are alive with hustle and bustle, the oceans filled with whales breaching and coiled serpents, the tundras bathed in snow storms enveloping rambling yaks as the deserts sport cacti and bleached mesas.
Every tortoise carries its own world on its back. So worlds are like you have never seen, as if they are from the future or exist only in this room. It is a sublime sight, overwhelming you as for now, you ignore the rest of the mansion and spend hours into each world, each one with its own identity and existence.
The tortoises remain oblivious to your presence.
Hopscotch (x 2)
The previous door opened to a normal room, disappointing you. You press onwards, hand resting on a non descript door handle embedded in a non descript door. (***)
The room is bare with black walls, a black ceiling and a black floor. In the blackness one thing stands out. A blazing outline of chalk made up of boxes containing numbers, covering the centre of the room. Your mind flashes back to your childhood and lazy summer days spend tossing bean bags, hopping and skipping under overhanging branches. It is a hopscotch course and it fills you with happiness and whimsy.
It would appear that the room is empty. Yet out of the corners of the room drift four spectres childlike in appearance. Gathering at the start one throws a bean bag and one by one they float in correspondence with the hopscotch course. A ghost turns and beckons you to play. Without hesitation you throw the bag, hopping and skipping through the boxes. embarking on the game makes you feel both elated and over come with melancholy. The childhood game is very pleasing but the specters remind of a time you can never return to, something that will always elude your grasp.
Never the less you indulge yourself in the hopscotch course. Its been too long since you have played.
(***) There is a raised platform, entrapped in a snow storm. Pushing through the storm you step onto the platform. Snow has been shifted into a hopscotch course, being played by figures wrapped in lack floating in accordance with the roll of dice. In the background a herd of mammoths brave the blizzard of ice.
It’s too cold for you to stay here, you have to leave.
The door is white, gleaming brightly in the light of overhanging lamps. It stands out amongst the other doors. As you open it, one of the skeletons walks by.
“Ah, one of my favourite rooms. Shall we?”
Accepting the skeletons offer for no other reason than common courtesy you enter into
It’s empty, aside from the 200 foot dragon skeleton staring you in the face. The bones are bleached, great wings fanned out against the ceiling, toothed maw awaiting visitors.
“Ah Horacio, you were the finest pet anyone could have.”
“Yes. Horacio used to wander the property and became acquainted with us. And we
became acquainted with him. Used to give visitors quite a fright.”
What happened to him?
“He got old. And he had to leave this world. Twas a shame. We had planned to
have him stuffed, to preserve his magnificence. But dragon flesh for reasons
unknown, at least to us rots at an alarming rate and before long only a
skeleton was left. So we mounted it as to keep him in our thoughts. We also
attached a name plate so we’d never forget his name.”
“Yes, yes. Anyway, are you feeling the urge to continue your exploration?”
“Well, get to it then.”
All these are rough right now so feedback is appreciated.
“Horacio” is the name of the main character in Julio Cortazar’s novel Hopscotch.
The first room is inspired by the World Turtle myth. And the second by Cortazar’s novel and the game of hopscotch. Also I don’t think the second hopscotch room works, but I liked the imagery so much I had to write it down.