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Black Tree

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Thursday, Jul. 14th | 10:46 pm

There is a tree at the center of the world. It is black so we call it Black Tree.

It is as tall as tall things are - no thing is taller than it, no thing is higher than it. Among its branches are hung the stars. See? Once I climbed it and brought one down, and here it is.

it is a web of silver wires and cold white light and inside there is something strange and moving

Don't tell anyone, because someday the raven might want her right eye back and she might be upset about it.

The tree's roots spread out all over the world; you know it because you have seen them. Those mountains, the ones with the proud, straight backs and their ridges white with snow? Those are roots. There is one climbing up the wall, that one thin as a mouse's tail. You'll never be lost when you know how to follow Black Tree's roots.

They say if you dig deep enough into the great mountain-roots you will find a hollowness there and a dark place where there is water -a web of secret seas that enfolds the entire world. They say that strange things live there in the root-rivers - long pale people with white, blinded eyes, toothless serpents under the waters, spider-bats that sing at night, and other things too terrible to tell.

I am telling you this because you must go. Find Black Tree at the center of the world, climb it and cut one of its branches. Carve a black flute and play a song the nightingales have never heard before. Cut its bark and take a drop of amber to make yourself a mask, a mask of the face you wish to have. Of its leaves, make a pair of wings so that you may fly.

Then and only then, leap off the tree and sail to the lands of the dead. The guardians at the black gates will welcome you as an emissary of the Maker, and they will not cut off your legs as they do with ghosts.

Then and only then, if your deception succeeds, will you be able to escape with your beloved. Set fire to your flute and mask and wings, and step into the smoke. It will carry you to place where the guardians' axes cannot reach.

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properlyjaded's user pictures

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from: properlyjaded
Date: Monday, Jul. 18th - 03:30 pm

Someday, I wish I could write even half as well as you.

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