I think i slept for at least ten hours. I must have been tired. I awakened, and my leopard companion was right beside me as he promised. Now we walk. We’re on a quest to find Time. My leopard friend, whose name is Honore, he told me, said our quest might take as long as two months. It’s odd that i’m not worried about work. I told him this, and he said our task is important, that instinctively i know this. I look down and see that i’m wearing shoes perfect for a lot of walking. Where did they come from? I ask Honore, and he said he’d answer my questions as we go.
I ask, am i dreaming? Or is this real? How big is this ruby forest? Will we return to the tulip desert? Where does the drinking water in my flask come from? I realize i sound like a child with all these questions. I look at him, and he smiles. I tell him i’ve never seen a cat, large or small, smile.
And he responds, then you haven’t been paying proper attention, Norah. I know you have a cat, a calico named Myla. She smiles often. She and i are friends. And don’t worry. She’s safe while you’re here. She’s with your grandmother.
We walk on, and Honore leads me around an enormous ruby Sequoia tree. It’s full and perfect, but growing in the middle of our path. On the other side of the tree, just fifty yards ahead, i see a beautiful spring with the clearest water i’ve ever seen.
The is the purest water you’ll ever find, Norah.. he says. More pure than any water you’ll find on earth!
Then we ARE on another planet! The air here smells like just baked cherry pie! Like my grandmother’s kitchen!
Your grandmother came here with me one hundred and fifty years ago. We discussed when you should come here for the first time, and we agreed that now you’re ready. So, here you are. When we locate Time and the other inhabitants of this west side of the planet, she and your feline will join us.
All i can think is, now i have a million questions! I have to slow down. This is all too much. I have to be dreaming, but then.. deep down my heart, i know i’m not.
I look at Honore, and he’s smiling again. He says, let’s walk on. But first we’ll refill our flasks. I want to show you the one amethyst tree on the planet. You can listen to its heart beat. It knows many secrets, some good and some dangerous…
To be continued…