Once Ty was settled, Andy began to walk and was happily surprised to find that he ‘knew’ exactly where he was going in that way that words can never convey; intuition some call it, others call it magic, but as it is knowledge without the need of words, what difference does it make, what we call it?
The day was fine; the sun was warm but not hot, with occasional small white clouds that drifted overhead, a slight breeze gently ruffled the leaves of the trees in which there were any number of birds; any number being appropriate to the situation, as a guess would be as good, and probably better, than trying to count the constantly moving creatures that inhabited both the sky and the trees as they flew from branch to branch singing or twittering depending upon their nature. Fern and bracken abounded among tall grasses where butterflies and other insects were busy about their day.
Meanwhile, nestled comfortably in Andy’s pocket, Ty was definitely thinking; how had he gotten himself into this adventure? But then he chuckled; he had been called into service, and one does not refuse such a call.
Andy walked down the bank of a river where mud tickled as it squished between his toes, and the water was a moving mass of sparkling light that made him squinch up his eyes it was so bright.
What captured his imagination/attention was a particularly large something moving toward them from where the river came into view to the right. He thought it must be a boat by its great size, but as it grew near, he was amazed to discover that it was a huge swan. Her body was indeed as large as a boat, but her beauty named her most definitely; swan. Her sleek white feathers were as long as Andy’s legs, and her regal neck curved gracefully above Andy’s head. She glided to the shore and looked directly at the boy. Though she didn’t speak, her expression clearly conveyed; “Come with me.”
Andy put his hand in the pocket of his pajamas where he felt Ty’s head pointed to the swan. He climbed upon her back taking hands full of feathers into his grasp surprised by their strength and the softness underneath. Once he was settled with his legs straddling her wide back, she glided out into the current; her movement so smooth, and the feel of the water beneath them, so lulling, that Andy soon fell into a deep sleep with his cheek resting nestled into the downy feathers at the swan’s neck.
Instantly a portal opened before him, and he was no longer gliding over the water with the swan but had been transported to a world he didn’t recognize. A far away voice was calling, but he couldn’t make out what it was saying, only his name repeated over and over. Something in the sound made him afraid. He felt in his pocket to see if Tyrone was still with him and was relieved to find that he was, but he no longer had any sense of direction and that made him more afraid. He was utterly lost, and the temptation to curse arose in his throat, but no sooner had he opened his mouth, than he felt Ty move in his pocket.
“Shhhh– Hssss,” was all he said.
Andy swallowed the lump in his throat, took a big breath of air, and instructed himself to be brave; just as Bily would have reminded him to be. He found he was on the edge of a dense very dark forest. He was pretty sure that the voice he’d heard calling had come from that direction. Everywhere else that he looked seemed oddly empty, like there wasn’t any object he could identify, which was at least partially responsible for Andy’s feeling of being lost. With nothing around him by which to say, that is that and this is me, he really couldn’t tell where he was; wasness always being related to what one is not. What’s left over after all else has been identified, must be me, Andy thought.
So with the help of the forest he was able to find himself, since he knew to name the place, forest, and once that was accomplished, his choice was whether to stay in the emptiness –where he would be dis-located– or go into the forest where there were plently of trees, and probably, he thought apprehensively, a lot of other things, by which he would have no trouble locating himself. Andy turned in a circle to be sure no one could overhear him, “Ty, shall we go to the forest, do you think?”
“My boy, I do believe you have already made that choice, so go on in.”
A narrow path led in where the trees reluctantly gave way; their higher branches covering overhead, so that once inside the light was barely able to make its way through. Dim, Andy thought, not dark, and neither did it feel either good or bad, not just yet anyway. There was a wood near his house where he and Billy played, but this was not play. He was on a real adventure, and the difference surprised him. In the woods at home, he could make up whatever occured to him and stop the game when he chose. He wondered if he was somehow making this up, and if he chose could stop it and find himself at home in bed. But the question only made him uncomfortabe as he realized that he couldn’t stop it even if he’d wanted to, and frankly, he didn’t want to.
He didn’t know why it was important to go on, but he did know that he was in the world of appearance & dis-appearance. And Billy was in there. If Billy was disappeared, how would he appear, Andy wondered.