The Gates Are Open

Posted on 10 Aug 2011 in Emmeline, Imagine | 1 comment

There was a cool breeze blowing bits of my hair into my face. Normally, I wouldn’t have minded, but at this moment, the last thing I wanted was the irritation of spitting fine strands out of my mouth. My fingers curled tightly around the hand clasped in mine. His hand was warm and calloused, every time I held it, I was reminded of the alarm clock that rang at 4:30am. He worked with his hands, building and renovating old houses. I could feel his strength seeping into me through his grasp. We were lying on the grass, staring up at the campanile. The clock seemed to be moving painfully slow, as we waited for it to toll midnight. Each blade of grass seemed to press into my flesh like a thorough acupuncture session. Even through my shorts and tank top, I could feel the strange little pricks to my skin. I had contemplated slightly more sturdy wear, but it was summer in California, and anything more than shorts and a tank top would have left me gasping and sweat streaming down my spine. I turned my head to face him. His long hair spread out around him like a halo.

“I’m scared.”

He turned to look back at me with an impish grin. “There’s no need.”

But how do you explain to your best friend that the thought of other worlds was a bit much, even though you’d been living with it for your entire life?

But I didn’t have time to formulate my thoughts any more clearly. The clock began to sound. First the ringing song, then the chimes for the hour.


I laughed a little to myself, thinking that now would be a great time to recite some childish nursery rhyme, but by the time that one flew through my mind, we were already at


And I began to hyperventilate just a little bit. The fog started to swirl up around our feet, covering the base of the campanile, blocking our view until it rang


And I began to see lights at the top of the tower – steady, streaming, coloured lights. But wait, there had never been coloured lights before. And was that something perched at the top?


Right, that was something at the top, and I could see that the fog that billowed around us was actually smoke from the nostrils of this beast. No. Freaking. Way. I was looking at a dragon. I was utterly gobsmacked. And then as the clock chimed twelve, I saw the gates behind the dragon opening wide, as gravity shifted, the grass disappeared beneath us, and our feet shot downwards to the base of the tower – or should I say drawbridge?

For that is where we now were. The world in which we had lain down had simply shifted. Down was now backwards, and the tower became the ground. I stomped on the surface once, twice to make sure that my feet wouldn’t fly backwards. Derek pulled on my hand from a few steps ahead of me. His skin was already taking on an unearthly glow, and his grin had spread even wider.

“Emmeline, come on! We’re going to be late for the party!”

I sighed, looking down at what I had thought was the campanile, and forward at the quite friendly-looking dragon, shrugged my shoulders , and with a grin we were off.


One Comment

  1. Thanks for the share!