Her frustration was increasing at a dangerous rate. No matter how many steps she took, the mountains were no closer! That little silver disk in the western sky, however, was another story. Was it getting bigger or nearer? She really couldn’t tell. Sighing, she took a few more steps.
Suddenly she was enveloped in peaches and greens and yellows and browns, as if the mountains had surrounded her and taken her into their depths. Had she been transported there? And how? She wore no collar, gave no permission. And she was protected by the apple amulet she had received for her birthday three years ago, it had yet to fail her. (Her sweetheart on the other hand, had no such protection, and continued to fend off daily attacks from Others.) Turning slowly, she realized that yes, she WAS inside the mountains, but they had no substance, as if they were merely the ghost of mountains built long ago. She took one hesitant step, then another. Everything seemed in order.
Everything but herself, she realized, as she looked down and saw that she was a shimmery white cloud. Maybe the amulet WAS failing, she had seen this phenomenon happen to her friends, but not her. She checked the amulet to make sure there were no chips or scratches, anything that might reduce its power, but it looked as lovely as ever, unmarred by her touch. The answer to her appearance lay elsewhere.
The silver disk! She couldn’t see it anymore, inside these phantom rocks. She began walking; her sense of direction was completely gone now, she could only hope that she was walking towards the disk and not away from it. A glow began to take shape over to her left, she angled slightly and kept walking. Her sight was becoming compromised now by the glow, it was so bright. She fiddled with her amulet and the glow thankfully lessened. Stopping again, she let the shapes coalesce. She’d never seen anything like this - the disk appeared to be made of dozens, no hundreds, maybe thousands of tiny glass beads, all hovering together, moving yet not moving. She reached out to touch it but an invisible barrier prevented her - she couldn’t feel it, yet she couldn’t touch the disk either. MORE frustration!
And she was STILL a shimmery white cloud! She inhaled and exhaled slowly, trying to calm her annoyance. That didn’t work. She counted to ten. That didn’t work. She prayed to the gods of the apple amulet. THAT didn’t work. This called for drastic measures.......