Meadowcentric, A Taradiddle - By Lillow Mi

Part Four 

   We were lost on a strange planet in another galaxy and were just about to turn back when my voice, somehow controlled by the beings here, transmitted another message asking us to wait for someone or something that wanted to talk. So, we waited, sitting for quite a while, even napping at times. There was little change except the giant greenish tinted sun had set, and another large blue star had risen. A medium sized yellow sun was approaching the horizon. The surrounding country went through astonishing transformations with each new color. The blue light especially, showing huge blue glowing columns that jutted up here and there. They were invisible without the blue light and I think insubstantial as well. I saw a large flock, or is it herd? Well anyway, a large group of black dots that approached and stopped a ways from us. Then one disconnected from the group and came over, hovering a few meters in front of us. From out of nowhere a small bush appeared and began spinning, throwing off dark multi-colored streamers that dissolved after about a meter. Then a screen appeared, like a liquid movie screen and it showed a mushroom become a ball and start rolling. It rolled and rolled, always right at the camera, or whatever was recording this, until with a loud ringing tone and a pop the screen disappeared and there sat a red ball that quickly became a mushroom, standing as though it was looking at us. I think. 

   My other-controlled voice spoke, saying, “Greetings at them. We are glibbel, then glibbel can be.” There instantly appeared a forest of mushrooms in every color, some with polka dots, some with stripes and some of a solid color that changed every so often. “Zurssel be,” my voice continued and five bushes marched over and began circling in front of us, all spinning and throwing off streamers of color. Then rapturously I yelled, “Gliggits! Gligorats! Glibbel!” I didn't know what I was saying but I felt like I was saying it quite well, certainly with passion. I could see my friends watching me with round eyes. Suddenly I felt very tired and sat down. All the strange things around us slowly started drifting away, bit by bit until we were alone in an endless glass-like plain dotted with weird blue columns. Soon the yellow sun set and there was just the large blue star giving its scant light and other stars appeared in the distance. It seemed darker and gradually we fell asleep.       

   I dreamed as I have never dreamed before and always of the meadow. I kept waking up in agitation, and I noticed the others were restless as well. Each time I'd fall asleep the dreams would start, sometimes continuations of earlier dreams, but always and from every conceivable angle, about the farm and especially about the meadow. I saw mom and the Witches thinking of us and fruitlessly trying to find us in their crystal balls and tomes. I awakened to such a pang of homesickness that I nearly swooned and sat up, no longer interested in sleeping. 

   Ishmael was behind me and now he spoke, “Can't sleep Lillow?” I was too logy to be startled and shook my head no. “Me neither,” he continued. “Can't stop thinking about the meadow and the farm.” 

   “Yeah, me too,” came from several voices, including mine. I could see the giant green-tinted sun rising on the horizon just as the blue star was setting. Dozens of blue columns that were standing around us slowly disappeared. 

   “Well,” I said loud enough for everyone to hear, “it seems to me we need to get back. Something in us is pulling us back and pulling strong.” There were sounds of agreement. I looked at the rising green sun, trying to remember where it had set last night, and determined a reasonable direction to go in order to find the crystal ring. We set off resolutely, motivated in our cause. I think we'd all figured that we weren't learning anything about this galaxy and that perhaps we weren't even able to, it being too different and too distant. Right now, all I know is it's totally strange, almost I think, stupidly strange and that was pretty much it. I was ready to go home. 

   After walking for hours, we sat down to rest. Around us was nothing but flat featureless plain. I couldn't see any signs of the hills or the huge chunks of crystal we'd circled around coming in and I had a bad feeling that we were going the wrong way. I was hiding it though so that the others wouldn't worry. 

   “We're lost, huh Lillow?” Tink asked, with a worried look. 

   “Gosh, Tink. I think we . . .” 

   “Lillow, I just discovered that my flying spell doesn't work here,” Holly announced, walking up to us before I could finish answering Tink. 

   Lorna spoke from my other side, “It's so dry here Lillow. There's no water anywhere, you notice that? No water. I mean, how can that be?” 

   “We are lost, aren't we?” Nonesuch asked, looking over Tink's head at me.  

   I looked at him with a blank face, “Yes.” I felt overwhelmed. 

   “I knew it,” Gladlee hissed at Tink, who was looking at me with a stricken expression.  

   “I don't know what to do,” I continued, feeling hopeless. “I'm open to any suggestions or ideas you might have.” I looked around hopefully, but no one responded. 

   Then my other-controlled voice spoke. “You must orange, go way.” My arm lifted of its own accord and loosely pointed. When my arm dropped, we took off in the direction indicated without another word. After quite a ways we came to a mushroom forest and stopped, wondering what to do next. I noticed a large orange sun was rising on the horizon and gradually, just past the mushroom forest, a circle of orange crystal began to appear. We walked toward it slowly, realizing that it became more substantial as the sun rose. We wanted it to be solid when we got there and it was. The jeewizium glowed softly in its center. I was overjoyed to see it, and together, hands, wings, etcetera, joined, we stepped into the orange crystal circle. 

Part five 

   We'd finally found the orange crystal circle with the jeewizium and together we stepped onto it. The passage was definitely different this time. We barely heard or saw the chaotic colors before we entered a giant swirling maelstrom that seemed to be circling a vortex at its center. The vortex had a bright beam of light coming out of it while everything else was whirling in. I didn't like the looks of this but could see no way of altering our course. In a very short time, we arrived at the vortex and with a ker-plump we fell in. 

   We were floating downward in a thick, viscous material that was invisible yet strongly felt. I could see the others and we all seemed to be moving in slow motion. There was no sound at all. I was surprised to have no trouble breathing but no matter how I twisted I could not see where we were going. After a long while we landed with a thump on a wooden surface, having suddenly been ejected from the slow-motion area. The air seemed normal and I could see that we were on the deck of a boat at sea, with no sight of land in any direction. I said, “Gee Whiz.” and I heard the others saying it too. 

   The deck rocked slowly on the waves, and I had a sense of emptiness, like there was no one on this boat but us. I checked to make sure we were all present then we decided to explore the boat. The others teamed up and went in several directions, each drawn by different concerns. Ishmael and I headed for what I believed was the bridge and found it empty, as I'd expected, although I still felt let down seeing it so. I walked over to the tables looking for charts or any kind of clue about what this boat was or where we were, while Ishmael searched the rest of the bridge, but we found nothing. The logbook was blank, apparently waiting for its first entry. 

   I stood behind the giant wheel used for steering and gazed ahead at the endless ocean. Like looking across that endless plain on the Mushroom planet. Golly I was getting a little tired of these endless horizons. The others were exploring the rest of the boat which was quite large with several decks. There was a lever by the side of the wheel and looking closer I saw a small chart that had a dot, then an arrow pointing forward, then two arrows pointing forward then three. The lever was set at the dot and I nudged it forward into the single arrow spot. Immediately the boat began moving. 

   Ishmael walked over and looking out the front window asked, “So, uh, where we going?” 

   “Dunno,” I replied, “but it seems better than just sitting there.”      

    Then Tink came fluttering in, “Lillow, I've been to the highest place on the boat and there's no sight of land in any direction.” 

   I nodded, unsure how to respond. “Thanks, Tink.” 

   Then Lorna, Holly and Gladlee arrived. “We looked around below deck,” Holly said. “The boat's for sure empty but it's very interesting down there. Doesn't seem to be any labels on the doors, so we just barged in and sorta figured it out as we went.” 

   “Looks like it might be a cross between a passenger ship and a freighter,” Lorna added. “Didn't see any sign of an engine or fuel tanks, so I don't know how we're moving.” 

   “Comfortable cabins and a marvelous kitchen with a well stock larder,” Gladlee continued. “I don't know what the food is though, because it's all unlabeled but it sure looks delicious.” 

   “Doesn't seem to be any writing of any kind here,” I said. “Just symbols like this.” I pointed at the arrows by the lever. 

   Ishmael looked at the symbols then looked outside. The sea was calm and the sky was blue. “Let's try three arrows, Lillow.” 

   I looked around. Ishmael sat down while everyone else had found a chair and we all seemed pretty secure. “Okay you guys,” I said loudly. “We're gonna crank this baby up, so hang on.” I pushed the lever forward, hearing a click at two and another at three arrows. There was a low thrumming noise and the front of the ship lifted and I could feel the push of high acceleration. The ship was soon skimming the tops of the waves, bouncing lightly like a flat pebble bounced across a pond. Looking ahead I could only see where we were going when the ship did a down bob. My chair, like the others, was bolted down and I swiveled around to look out the back window and saw a huge frothy wake, way too fast for a water skier I thought. 

   “Everybody okay?” I called out. I got affirmative responses from everyone then continued, “So I guess we'll just buzz along like this for a while if it's okay with you all. I mean there's no sight of land anywhere, we don't know how this boat moves or how long it will keep moving so I figured our best bet was to pick a direction and just go for it, you know?” Everyone agreed, marveling at our speed. 

   “Seems like a good plan, Lillow,” Ishmael said. “But I don't think we can go this speed for too long. I mean it's almost impossible to walk when the ship's bobbing like this.”  

   It was easy to see the truth to that. We were skimming the water at unheard of speeds for a boat this size. It was a bumpy ride just touching the water rhythmically. After a couple hours I pulled the lever back to two arrows and we slowed to a somewhat brisk pace. It was fairly easy to walk at this speed. Everyone but Ishmael and Tink went off to other things. I had found a little hook to hold the wheel steady in one direction and we've settled in, watching the horizons. 

Part Six 

   Having found the orange crystal ring we left the Mushroom planet and have landed in the middle of a vast ocean on a boat that moves apparently without need of fuel or engine. Our hope is to go in a straight line so that eventually we'll come to something. And we will if this is Gaia.   

   We've been cruising in the same direction for six days now with still no sight of land. We've settled into a routine with me, Ishmael and Tink on the bridge, Holly and Gladlee in the kitchen and Lorna and Nonesuch wandering around being helpful wherever they can. At night we keep moving with the lever set on one arrow, then in the morning we go to three for a couple hours then the rest of the day on two, with the wheel always locked in the same direction. We've seen nothing flying in the sky and just a few murky swimmers under the water, barely seen. They've been uncommunicative. 

   I'd been drowsing in the pilot's chair, as we've all taken to doing. Between catnaps and visual meditations, we three manage to keep a pretty constant look out. Tink likes to spend time up in the high spot as she calls it, which is a basket attached to a tripod that's balanced on the roof of the bridge. It is good for seeing further and all around but it's also open to the weather. Even with the sunny blue sky we've had it is difficult to sit in that basket for very long. Tink found an umbrella to use, but for sure, the most comfortable viewing is from the bridge. There's a room behind the bridge with a sink and shower that's big enough for a couple cots so we take turns sleeping in there, but today Ishmael is stretched out asleep on a side couch and Tink is up in her basket. 

   I shook my head and stood, standing by the windows in front of the stationary steering wheel when suddenly Tink comes rushing in. “I seen a boat!” she yelped. 

   Ishmael jumped up. “Where?” we both asked. Ishmael and I were looking in every direction but seeing nothing. 

   “Up there!” she pointed frantically upward. We ran out to the walkway around the bridge and looked up. I could see a dark boat shaped spot way up high floating slowly downward, like we did when we first arrived. As it got closer it began to look familiar but then it started falling faster and faster and dropped the last bit with nothing slowing it down. It hit the water with an astonishing ka-thump that sent huge waves rippling outward. A lot of water washed over our bow and we were all knocked over. I'd recognized it before it hit though and was again shocked to find myself looking at the Flightless Grace, bobbing in the waves. We all scrambled down to the deck. Now I could see Henry standing on the front waving at us. I'd shut our engine off and the big paddle wheeler was drifting our way. Now both boats glided slowly and easily together with a soft bump. We quickly tied them together, leaving them in opposite directions, so that we were now a two-boat island in the middle of a vast endless ocean. 

   Henry hopped over to our boat, “Lillow! Wow! And all you guys! Gosh, how did . . . uh, where . . .” 

   “Hold up Henry,” I said smiling at him. “Gee the last time I saw you, you and the Commodore were tipping over the edge of the world.” 

   “I know, right?” he looked at me strangely, “And you guys were right behind us in the bridge.” 

   “Yeah, I remember.” I paused. “I gotta tell you Henry, that scene didn't look too good, you know? Falling off the edge of the world wasn't the adventure we'd hoped for and we sorta ducked out. So, how'd that end up anyway? You know, the falling off?” 

   “You just saw it, Lillow.” I must have looked stunned. “Just now is how it ended. We fell and we fell, been falling for a month I think, and then suddenly here we are, just landed.” 

   “Splash down, I'd say, Henry” an authoritarian voice behind us spoke. We turned around and there stood the Commodore, watching us over the boat rails. “More like a splash down than a landing then, wouldn't you say?” 

   “Yeah, I'd say,” I agreed. 

   “Yessir, a splash down it was sir!” Henry saluted. 

   “They'll be calling it 'The Big Splash Down' in the history books, I expect,” the Commodore spoke with reverence. Then he looked at me, “I figured you guys had taken the magic door out. Told Henry that a long time ago. Isn't that right, Henry?”  

   “Yessir, you did. I remember it well. You said they'd scurried through that door like . . .” 

   “Ahem,” the Commodore interrupted. “I remember what they were like, thank you.” He turned to me, “In any case the door won't work Lillow. Ever since you guys ducked out, it won't open.” 

   “We must a tried a dozen times,” Henry piped up, then stopped at seeing the Commodore's icy gaze. 

   “We did try on several occasions,” the Commodore continued in crisp tones. “But it's quite stuck and not a one of my crew have been able to un-stick it.” 

   “You slammed it pretty hard, Lillow,” Henry chirped. The Commodore and I both gave him a stern look. 

   We decided to try the door again now that we've all settled, so to speak. We weren't doing anything else and it did seem like a nice way home if it worked.   

   We all gathered around the door in the back wall of the Commodore's ship. It was a pretty good-sized group with the seven of us along with the Commodore's Pigeons, maybe a dozen or so. No way to be sure. Suffice to say it was a pretty good-sized group. 

   Ishmael, being the strongest out of both groups walked calmly up to the door and grabbed the wheel with both hands and twisted. Tried to twist I should say as nothing budged. He tried it again this time seriously putting his back into it. Nothing. I was considering what to do next, maybe a few of us on it or perhaps a crowbar or lever of some sort when I spotted a bent crowbar in the corner. 

   Seeing my look, the Commodore spoke, “We've tried everything I could think of Lillow, including crow-bars and levers. Why I even considered asking a crew member.” He gave his crew a dubious look, as they skittered around, oblivious to his comment. 

   Just then Tink walked up to the door. She concentrated for a moment, then felt around under the wheel. “Oh my,” she muttered. 

   “What?” I asked. “What'd you find?” 

   “It’s got a lock Lillow.” 

   “Huh? I never heard of any of these doors being locked before. What's going on Tink?” 

   She gave me a worried look, “It's Cosmic Lillow. You remember Cosmic Law from Fæirie School, don't you?” 

   I did but just barely. “Remind me,” I said. 

   “Well, if your portal goes outside the universe it'll lock. It's automatic to make sure there's no way back.” She gave me a worried look. “It's 'cause portals outside the universe are dead, I think.” 

   “Oh, well,” I said, “we never left the universe. Just the galaxy. Try it again.” 

   “No, we're outside the universe Lillow.” She looked somber. “It's definitely locked.” 

    

Part Seven 

   Hoping to escape this vast ocean we found ourselves in we tried the magic door that's in the back of the bridge on the Flightless Grace, the Commodore's boat but couldn't get it to open. Tink said it was locked because we were outside the universe. Well I did not like the sound of that, being outside the universe and all, so I asked Tink, “What does that mean? I mean how do you get outside the universe?” 

   “Didn't think it was even possible,” Ishmael muttered. “Not while you're alive anyway. I mean the universe is life and . . .” he stopped, realizing what he was saying. We all looked at each other with very wide eyes. 

   I looked at Tink, “Okay. How do you know it's locked? Show me.” 

   She walked up to the door and put her hand on a spot under the wheel, a spot that wouldn't be visible at a casual glance. “Right here,” she said, moving here hand back and forth over a small area. I put my hand on the spot and could just barely feel a slightly raised circle with a slash across it. Like this Ø. It was not really visible without close scrutiny and physically touching it. 

   “That's the lock?” I asked. 

   “No, it's just the sign. You know, like a warning light that tells you the door is locked.” I must have looked confused. “The actual lock” she continued, “is a natural thing that occurs whenever something leaves the infinite universe.” 

   I think I was more confused than ever, “How can you go past infinite?” I asked. She just shook her head. Well, I wasn't going to accept getting locked out. That was all there was to it. 

   “Commodore, could I have a word? I asked. 

   “Oh, well yes, of course Lillow. What's on your mind?” 

   “Getting home, that's what. We gotta figure a way to do it but I just can't see any way right now. I'm not getting any ideas. How 'bout you?” 

   He scowled, “I've been thinking of that very thing for the entire month we were falling through that interminable ether.” He looked out the bridge window. “Now we're in the middle of a giant ocean. Everything's changing all the time, Lillow.” He shook his head. “Just how big's this ocean anyway?” He looked at me, “You guys been here long?”  

   I told him everything that had happened, starting with the jeewizium at the Fæirie Ring and concluding with their falling out of the sky. 

   “Hmm. Doesn't sound good. Six days speeding in the same direction, you say?” I nodded yes. “Pretty big ocean,” he muttered. “Always changing, Lillow, always changing. I needa think on it.” I nodded and led our group back to our boat. 

      I'd been watching the clouds gathering on the horizon with interest. This was the biggest cloud accumulation I'd seen since we've been here. I was interrupted by Henry who came to tell us that the Commodore wanted us moving again, if possible, in the same direction we'd been going. I thought that'd be easy as our wheel was locked. We just needed to turn the Flightless Grace around, match speeds and away we go. Simple.  

   We started unfastening the ropes that held us together. Our plan was to have the Commodore drive the Flightless Grace in a big circle and come along beside us so we could continue in the same direction. I hope we haven't drifted too much from our course, but really, would it matter, I thought? Any direction is good when nothing's in sight. 

   We got the Grace free and pushed her away. I was watching the big wheel in back slowly begin to turn when I was pushed back by a strong gust of wind. Then the clouds covered the sun and the day turned dark and very windy. I could hear it whistling past us. Suddenly a huge flash of lightning erupted nearby with a thunderous crack and it began to rain hard. We hurried inside to watch the Flightless Grace turn around except it was getting hard to see with this wind kicking up the water. Then we saw a giant wave wash over the Grace's decks and she began to flounder. It quickly became apparent that she was sinking and we soon had bedraggled Pigeons landing on our deck. We helped them inside amid a battering rain and howling winds, then watched as the Flightless Grace slipped down into this fathomless sea. 

   Fifteen minutes later the storm died out and the skies turned blue. Now with the Commodore and his crew added to our group we proceeded to travel in an unwavering straight line to who knows where? Henry and the Commodore began spending their time with us on the bridge while their crew stayed with Holly and the rest in the passenger areas. 

   I was watching the horizon when I thought I saw a speck of blue move in the blue sky. Then it came closer until I could see it was the giant World Bird, Avis the Bluest of Blues, winging easily across the sky. He's very hard to see as he's exactly the same color as the sky. Even his feet and beak. All blue. But I knew it was him. Who else could it be? We'd worked with Avis once a long time ago in Joten. None of us know for sure but we all pretty much think he's some kind of god, so seeing him here was little disconcerting but heartening at the same time. It was difficult seeing where he flew, matching the sky color like he does, but I do think he circled overhead at least once. Then nothing until I noticed a flicker of blue in the distance, off where I'd first noticed it. After a short while I began to think I'd imagined the whole thing. 

   Later when Ishmael and the Commodore were with me on the bridge, I noticed the flicker of blue again in the distance. I nudged Ishmael, “You see anything blue flying up there? I was thinking it might be Avis.” He squinted his eyes and peered at where I pointed. 

   Then I saw a flicker of movement a little lower on the horizon. “What's that?” I yelped. 

   We forgot about the blue Bird and focused on the dot, which soon became apparent. It was a Bird, just a silhouette, but a Bird, and it was flying our way.      

Part Eight 

  We have been stranded on an endless ocean in a place that is somehow outside the universe. I noticed a flickering on the horizon and it soon became a Bird's silhouette coming our way. We hurried down to the deck to watch the distant Bird approach. Its flight was like a dream with images repeated and movements made hazy. By the time it landed we all knew who it was, as would anyone from Elvenstead. It was the Dawn Robin Redbreast, glowing in waves of silver, blue and white. She sat serenely smiling. Then she spoke. 

   “Oh, my farmers, brought here 'cross the border, here to the waters where the great ones sleep. Eternal these waters that hold you afloat there, eternal the dreams that flow from this deep. 

What hast thou my troopers, gone roaming sublime? What hast thou that come here, it's long yet your time?”    

   As usual I wasn't totally sure of what she said, but I think she was basically asking why we were here. 

   “Uh, hello,” I said, “Well, uh, gosh, we just kind of fell here while jeewizium traveling from another galaxy.” I hoped that was okay. She was silent for a very long time and seemed to be concentrating. Then she spoke again. 

“I have prepared a passage to where you belong, next time you're here is when you're all done.” 

   Then she disappeared. We stood there, gently swaying on the bobbing deck, awash in amazement and wondering what had just happened and what would happen next. Well, if next was anytime during the rest of that day, the answer was nothing. We went to sleep that night with no answers. Despite our predicament and unchecked curiosity, we all fell easily asleep. I knew this because I was one of the last awake, finally feeling a deep sleep overtake me. Since we'd stopped moving and the water has been calm with no land in view, we've posted no watch and everyone slept that night. 

   The next morning dawned as always. We were skittish, wondering what would happen. The Dawn Robin Redbreast had promised us a passage home and we were eager to go. The Commodore, Ishmael, Tink and I continued to occupy the bridge. Nonesuch and Henry have become friends and wander around together. Two more days have passed this way. On the third something appeared on the horizon. As we approached it got larger but we were unable to determine what it was. I'd stopped the engines and we floated slowly toward the thing. It was brown and resembled more than anything a fat parsnip sticking upside down out of the water. It was sagging a little at its tip but was quite large where it entered the water, maybe three meters across. We sat looking at it for quite a while. How could this parsnip like thing sticking out of the water help us? It was the only thing we've seen so it must be our portal, but how? 

   Ishmael and the Commodore have gotten a dinghy down and were rowing around to view the other side. 

   “There's a door around here!” Ishmael yelled. 

   The Commodore flew back and landed on the deck. “Gotta door around there Lillow,” he reported. I couldn't see any way to get the boat around so all we could do was load everyone into the dingy then row around and try the door. So, we did. The door was a round door like we'd traveled through before. Doors like that usually lead to other dimensions similar to the one by the pantry in our kitchen. I reached up and warily began opening it. What if it wouldn't turn? But it did and opened revealing a staircase leading downward. There was no way to dock the dinghy so Ishmael and I held onto the door frame on either side while everyone climbed in. I was the last one in and quickly looked back before the door closed. I was shocked that there was no sight of our boat or even the dinghy. No way back, I thought. Darn, this better be a way out. I followed the others down the stairs. 

   They had gathered at the bottom waiting for me. When we were all present and accounted for, we set out. We were at the beginning of a long, long hallway, dimly lit by some unseen source. There was no end in sight. Gosh, we must be under that endless ocean with bazillions of tons of water overhead, which means, pretty much, that this has got to be a portal. Feeling hopeful I led the troop at a brisk pace. After a couple of hours, we stopped to rest, then again, a couple hours later. This hall was maddening. It was perfectly straight and absolutely featureless, about two meters across and maybe three high. We could see it disappear into a point in the far distance for as long as we've been walking. After a few more hours we came to a wide place, like a circle with the hall going through the middle. It had chairs and a water fountain and we all gratefully collapsed. I could see that the hall continuing on the other side was as endless as ever, so I proposed we take a long break here, get some sleep if we could. As soon as we were all settled, the lights dimmed of their own accord. I didn't know whether to be upset or not but I was asleep before I could give it any more thought.   

   Sometime later the lights came back on and we awoke. I felt pretty refreshed despite sleeping on the floor. Looking around I could tell the others did too. We were soon underway again. We had traveled around five hours with one break when we came to the first door. There was a strange name on it and we knocked but got no response. Then I tried the knob and it was locked, so we continued on. We passed several more with no one home when we came to a door marked 'Ossep'. I stared in shocked disbelief. That was Windy's name, Ossep, and Windy and Addy lived behind a door just like this in a hallway also just like this. I wondered if we should knock, especially given that if this is Windy's place then the way out was pretty close, and the meadow was just a short ways beyond that. As I pondered, the door swung open and there stood the famous Darnalong, Windigale Ossep, grinning wide with sparkling eyes.    

   “Happy day Lillow!” she chirped. Then looking past me, “Oh! Well, hello you all. Gosh what a bunch.” 

   “Hi Windy,” I answered. “We just got back from a long trip and were passing by.” 

   “Well I'm so glad you knocked!” We hadn't. That I knew for sure. 

   “Gosh, well, just thought we'd say hi! Hi Windy! Good to see you! Well, wouldja lookit the time? Be sure and tell Addy hi! We gotta run!” I started to turn away. 

   Windy grabbed my arm, “Nonsense! Why, you must come in and say hello to Addy.” She turned to the others. “You can all go. Nice to see you, so long.” She pulled me in and slammed the door. “Lillow, Addy'll be so glad to see you and you just wait until you hear . . .” 

   “How long's your hallway Windy?” I couldn't help it. She'd pulled me in and my curiosity was piqued. 

   She stopped and gave me a strange look, “No one's ever been to the end, Lillow. Why on earth do you ask that?” 

   I smiled, “Just curious,” I turned and walked to the door. “Windy, I really do have to go,” I opened the door and there were my mates, even the Commodore and the Pigeons, waiting. “We just got back from another galaxy and I need to see the meadow.” Her eyes got round. “So, come by later, to the meadow, and I'll tell you the whole story.” I closed the door and returned home, to the meadow. 

 

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