The Lost

There is a library.  Once, it held all within the world and without it.
Once it was the world.  Once it held the souls of countless worlds, the dreams of countless minds birthing more worlds yet.  Once the path was open, sunny.

Perhaps it still is.

Builder would know. But she does not speak. No one knows her name, just her chosen vocation–she is the builder of doors and of worlds.  The gatemaker and keeper, key of keys.  Sometimes she is a shadow, hidden deftly in order to hear a tale.  Other times she is an actor, watching the dreams leap up from the audience to meet the play.  She harvests the best of them, a skilled reaper; a canny housekeeper, she tucks them away for later construction between the pages of already built world dreams. Like petals or seeds, they drink in the life oozing between the pages until they are plump and fat, ready to roll out into pages themselves.

When the pages are rolled, the Builder’s favorite task begins.  The binding.  The delicate dreams are sewn together, hundreds, thousands even if they are fine enough.  Then the folios are glued into a cover made of starhide, and when the book is done the starhide blushes red with life, and a world is begun.

The library, lost or found, contains every volume Builder binds.  No matter when you find the library, all the worlds that are and will be are there, if only you can find the volume.  But finding the volumes is hard in four dimensions, when books can overlap, take the same space.  You might draw what you believe to be the same volume as when last you’d visited and find instead some alternate tale told therein, some almost familiar world awaiting you.  For when you open Builder’s books, you open worlds.


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