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OTHERWARDS  1
1. Waldisthal  2
I.  The elf-fox shows up  Once upon a time, there was you, and you were as young as any 7 or 8 year old would be in that r...
and bend, with your eyes fixated like a scanner on one part of it at a time. Only when you turned it upside down, and drop...
The elf-fox started laughing, shaking his shoulders and letting little whiffs of smoke out of his nostrils, which made him...
   I believe you, don   t worry, there wasn   t much you could do about it either. And I   ve been through worse, what do ...
added, again, more to himself.    As much as you need   , he concluded while lighting a small cigarette. After your eyes g...
   Why not open up some of that Zeplus of yours, to get things going...I know you have Donar bark, the good one  You know ...
like they hadn   t been used in a really long time, as well as her pointless stare when she opened her mouth from earth to...
II. A feast for you and a less scary fox How pleasantly cold and tickly was the thin thread of water between your toes  Yo...
lost. So you put on your shoes like never before, hurriedly picked up Elfox on your shoulder, without waiting for any comm...
sound of glasses, some laughter, and animated conversations, obviously a pub or restaurant.    Is there a pub, or a restau...
he tried to pat you on your back, but barely slapped a vein on your neck instead, too short to reach anything else. With a...
guest as we know and should, right     and a very unanimous and loud    Yeaaah    got out of every Waldisthalian chest in ...
it. You were secretly hoping to get maybe a tad scared, like before, in the forest, when you had to run with Elfox on your...
   Baxis  Some other   fruit        What  No, no fruit, ha-ha-ha   , Crobmoix laughed full-heartedly.    It   s a living b...
boringness of the subject.    Naturally   , the butterfly resumed in an instant,    we did think of looking at other parts...
III. Two tourists Deeply buried in your thoughts, analyzing what you had just seen and especially heard from Ridlis, you w...
at you even if you turn around, so you did. To your surprise, if it would have still mattered to you, they resumed their i...
at Ridlis, who was having a hard time deciding whether to riddle everything that moved with the automatic, or rather burn ...
feelings, after all, she had killed a bunch of people, tourists or foreigners or whatever they called them here.    Poor y...
plenty of time...Plus, maybe you   ll need me again, then I get another quiz pro...I mean, you let me know something else,...
oily soil   With that blank stare on her face, all   bloody, carrying that axe and...and a piece of a rope in   in the oth...
tourists...never  Well, never since Elvixen and the fire   I really have to think things through now that you   re here, w...
IV. Your lake spot  You were awoken by a light and soft, but scratchy, sound, kind of like a kitten would make while exerc...
of you, from a little drop in the middle of a gravel-filled area, to a decently-sized, perfectly-round artificial circle. ...
the meantime. You know how to read, right     the crab added in a pouring stream of nonsense that didn   t manage to perpl...
well have a look while still standing on it, right  So, looking while still standing on the gravel you went, directly to t...
on, and, while you were sneaking your head out of the neck hole, you opened your eyes to see Crobmoix and Frau the waitres...
worlds who named themselves or others similarly to what you   ve just said, but we have no such belief in designations her...
soon you were glad to slip and slide in the woods labyrinth, and you found yourself slightly disappointed when it was    o...
   See     Wingedeyes was feeling more righteous than ever, strongly supported by the two smaller wings, used as prop in t...
   I...first and foremost   , you changed your mind and your attitude in between.    Which part of your...soul did you hav...
V. Waldisthal decides  Just about as Elfox was finishing off his cigarette, the hall was filling up with all the creatures...
Ramen and Frau now unemployed, we are missing a big chunk of our taxing income...We had a good system, why change it  Ever...
   Somebody   s around as long as they need to be around...us, for us  What don   t you understand  What do you want  To c...
   Well...yeah  I don   t mean to be innnnsensitive, I knnnow she   s your daughter, but with all the victims at the pub.....
While Elfox was reciting, you took a good look at everyone around the table, and found Scarat  n blowing kisses to Frau, w...
barely purple-blue, and much darker than outside, you instantly went to the bed, to sit on it, and let Elfox down as well....
a different name for it   you call it both soul and conscience, some mix fate and even the universe itself in it, who know...
   Sure  See you     and you waved back from the bed. After Elfox left, and took the light with him, you slowly closed you...
2. Hibernalbia  42
VI.  An unfamiliarly white Christmas     When will this stupid Christmas be finally over and done with     you couldn   t ...
end of the pile, made with your friends, and some with your colleagues, last summer, during that camp. One of the photos a...
it   s Christmas. The bribes, the begging, the compromises your folks had to do just to keep you away from any consequenti...
   Yes, in Abu Dhabi even   , Mr. Guest-Borington took over in a deep and serious tone.    Well, she says they   re doing ...
   Whatever it is, it   s not reason enough to keep the child longer than necessary. Look, we have a present for you   , t...
   Don   t look at me like that  I   ve got my reasons to be...a little stressed, alright  One of them being you  You call...
   What an idea     the fox laughed whole-heartedly, and totally unexpectedly.    A dream, which would be so nice, and eas...
rather admired for its incredibly waved shapes, strange and probably otherworldly for your fresh mind. Either way you did ...
VII.  The Central Committee of Hibernalbia  You held your head in both hands, and sat in a fetal position almost the entir...
   It doesn   t have anything to do with that     Elfox shunned your answer with both paws right away.    Here is here, th...
   Oh, yes, yes, of course it is inside  I   m so sorry, here you are, freezing, and I...I forgot you   re not wearing any...
You suddenly witnessed a gooey greenish substance forming itself around you, as well as around Elfox, individually, and sl...
side of the room, the classic sofa, with the generic boat painting above it, was simply crying for a TV set on the coffee ...
   Until we will have found one...we really don   t have time  Come on, just this once, please        Ok, ok, whatever you...
scene, at the very center of the podium.    Oh, come on, Elfox, not again     you didn   t try to hide your befuddlement. ...
she lifted one invisible glass in the air, that the other Hibernalbians were seeing as well, apparently, since they did th...
VIII. An underground archive and a reading person  By the time you were far enough from the Committee to expect total dark...
crispness of the air, of the two, of him and her, sitting right at this very table to your left, talking about terrorists ...
you stumbled upon some undefined metal objects on your way, retreated your fingers loathingly when you ran across some wet...
   I have nothing against politeness   , the creature defended the concept with two arms crossed against the chest, a gest...
capture your glance, as it was, after all, of a different size, shape and color than any tomes you had come across in any ...
   I can   t go home, what   s wrong with you     you reacted with unexpected anger, mostly at yourself, upon remembering ...
would have regretted and even missed the song, the dance, the kiss, and everything else that you didn   t realize was happ...
IX. A long wake-up and a walk good-bye  The mouth of the glass fish was letting out a young and unhappy Robert Smith cry o...
You opted for the latter, and, with a brighter and sweeter substance in your hand, you started pretending to search for yo...
appropriate    you added with more heart into it, from the coffee, and from the image of the old stress-loving fox, whom y...
   Yes  You mean, like...seasons and stuff        Yes, like seasons, that   s a good comparison, I guess   , Lightpaces cl...
   We came to like it, what should I say     Lightpaces was getting defensive and pluralized all of a sudden.    You were ...
You were expecting yourself to break into a song by the time you reached the stairs, much faster than you had on your own,...
you withdrew just one.    And one more for good luck     meaning a fast kiss on the corner of your lips, and the lantern s...
   Ok, fine, I   m going downstairs, they   re waiting for me   , you imitated the rabbit, and left the tuxedo with the ar...
X. Back in Waldisthal, where you weigh more than you think With a very short, barely visible, nod, Elfox confirmed to you ...
and the inspired casting afterwards, or worse, at home. You waited for a couple of moments, just to grasp the scene, and t...
probably learn, in time, right     you tried to lighten up the mood.    Actually, I just wanted to know why we   re in a r...
You didn   t, however, need the elf   s instructions, you found your way through the forest maze easier than with anybody ...
opportunity, and privilege, to rise above everyone   s expectations, and to prove our ability to redeem and, yes, even ove...
species that may be contacted until such date, will follow their usual routine, unless new events prevent such.    After t...
you were wishing to perceive anything besides your own thoughts, the dark around you started to shake, not like in an eart...
above your temporary crypt seemed to continue its rays in the almost perfectly round edges of the hole, but all you could ...
you of the scribblings on a similar conch, now probably lying in some corner of the Fort, in a much colder environment.  8...
3. Elhouazat  83
XI. Two daystars in Elhouazat  You couldn   t decide if the chronic and sharp head ache you were deeply and suddenly feeli...
escape from something possibly dangerous or at least unpleasant. You looked at Lightpaces for a way out, but your undergro...
couldn   t tell anymore if it was sarcasm or honest curiosity that was driving the vertical bird.    In a way   yes   , Li...
gotten closer together in the meantime, if that was possible at all. It looked as if they were going in opposite direction...
thoughts in between two of some random threads of sand, which only slowed down the talking, as well as the walking.    It ...
   Yes, well   I don   t know how to tell you this, but   we are just about to reach   you know   , with a short gesture f...
Even though there was, indeed, only one    room    under the generous round ceiling, it was divided in dozens, if not more...
XII. Sensual rhythms and sexual cats  It took only an exchange of glances with Lightpaces for you both to agree to sit on ...
   What show  Ha-ha   , the stork laughed in earnest all of a sudden.    There   s nothing to miss, this is just something...
uniforms, right in the middle of the carpet, right in front of the drummers too. They were wearing a resemblance of underw...
touching different parts of your body, at a rate given by rhythms you could not withstand. All that was asked of you to do...
hand. You were only distracted from your own excitement by the shrills and shrieks of fellow hands-holders, also scurrying...
switched your tone when you remembered that you were, after all, talking to a complete stranger.    Aha-ha-ha   , the stra...
to wonder if it was the Bakzah that made you forget the reason you had entered this perverted building, the dance or the d...
   I don   t think so   , Lightpaces answered.    It happened a long time ago, while Ridalia was still around, it actually...
XIII. The two of you on the carpet  After a couple of seconds of gawking behind the two birds in love, you turned to Light...
say   , you added volume to each rhetorical repetition,    I fast-forwarded the best years of my life only to please you a...
cells that birth entire universes. Like   this one   , Lightpaces tried to conclude with both arms spread wider than your ...
   Well, they   re not really the only ones   , Lightpaces continued,    there   s   more gathering up there in the Fort, ...
you.    I can   t imagine what you went through   there   I still don   t know why and how it   s come to this   I haven  ...
in   metaphors. They are trying their best, though, you saw it for yourself, there   s   was a long list of amendments to ...
   Yeah, you   d better do something about that, it   s getting annoying   , you wouldn   t let up.    Besides, I think yo...
XIV. Ridlis and the sun come to Elhouazat     Where did they go     you felt you had to ask, looking at the dark sky.    T...
contextual, yes, but still, as precious as the warmth and soul-less-ness of the sun. You see now     Lightpaces seemed to ...
two evil presences, not just one. It was as if your bloodstream was filled with the sound of the hurricane and of its horr...
   At least now   , the fox said mysteriously, then started shaking her head with more passion and speed, as if wanting to...
your underground partner smiled to the fox while standing up.    But I was expecting a little more preparation than this  ...
   Tell me, though   , you melted her fire.    This    dissociation   , why did it have to happen  I mean, wouldn   t have...
grabbed your hand and looked ahead, so you looked too, and went straight on, even though you could swear you were going to...
XV. The rain and the archive  The sand was becoming wetter and softer under your feet, making the skipping by the water pu...
clattering, and only hoped for all this to be truly over and to be back home, warm and dry.    If you need to change, you ...
After very subtly nodding in affirmation, who knows to whom, Lightpaces closed the eyes and inhaled long and deeply throug...
   Aha   let   s say so   , you said without any conviction.    Yet you   they marked this   event, which wasn   t even th...
   No  Not at all   , you replied as stoically as you could muster.    What do you mean, my stories, but for them  How doe...
suffocating, as you would expect in such close quarters, but spreading supernatural re-healing powers of lavender and mint...
on the ground. You quickly went to the oven and grabbed your pants and underwear from the wire they had been hanging on, a...
Back in the lifeless room, you helped yourself to the first cold can, and started randomly clicking on stuff on the comput...
4. Yakunaqua  121
XVI. The water  In the perpetual autumn covering the crowded, unrestful streets of the capital, you had spent too many yea...
into consideration, you did sneeze a curse in your native tongue when the train came to an abrupt halt, like an emergency ...
for the fastest run of your life, as the murky fluid was quickly and dangerously approaching you. Fortunately, the doors o...
time, you don   t know who might be listening   , the winged creature remprimanded you from two huge blue eyes on a tiny b...
   What   s an    interpreted        you were fascinated by the conversation more than by the situation.       They    tho...
were talking about, how is that   cat involved     you tried to bring it back to triviality in this armpit of the green mu...
tunnel vision, that everyone and anyone seemed to be sucked into, never to be heard from again. I never heard from Ramen o...
and back to right, with the uttermost concentration, as if the noise was rather white, compared to the green backdrop, and...
XVII. When the soil breathes, fly downwards   Either they were completely naked and had grey skin, or they were wearing so...
ordered, probably, something in the general direction of its back, as another grey being came blazingly hopping through th...
trying to break the smile that was only enlarged by your words on the dragonfly   s face.    We   ll see   , she laughed e...
voluptuously rustling, first through a single stick, the one you were already focusing on, but slowly joined by the rest, ...
had suddenly shrunk into the few aromatic sounds, more compact and diverse than anything else ever, before or after. As if...
yours  eyes and fists fixed, you still didn   t know where Lightpaces ended and you began. You couldn   t stay in both sta...
You unintentionally ended up on your side, in a fetus position, when the rocking stopped, and you looked at Wingedeyes, wh...
XVIII. A quiet quartet marching through the marshes  Out of that fetus position, you awoke on your back, with both arms an...
   Yes, we really should, as close as we can   , the raccoon mixed up his adverbs in the rush.    We have to get to the Ex...
You would have loved to complain a couple of times, like when coming upon a reed left carelessly snapping behind Wingedeye...
Amlereim, however, without me, I don   t know   well, without us   , he added with one ear and half of the face towards Wi...
like some radial cacti, with needles wider than an eagle   s beak, completely red, but arranged symmetrically and neatly i...
so don   t try impressing me with your worldly knowledge, peeled off miscellaneous types of heads, even radio ones     the...
actually, thinking of the wicked fox, more empathic and selfless than any    normal    character you   d ever met, at leas...
XIX. Exit through the Blacksmith  You were still watching Daremothis being tortured by the colored tentacles, a thick one ...
   We   re not good to anything     the fox curbed your confidence before you caught your breath.    Why not        First ...
   Yes, I will     you awoke from some dream you had fallen into, imagining a rudimentary 2-D map of the Subterranean, whe...
though, but you did suddenly ran out of a banister to track, and found yourself in a smaller market, encircled by identica...
clue as to what to expect now in Hibernalbia, it will probably take a while until all the damage Daremothis has left behin...
   I was afraid of that   , you verbalized something in the end.    Yes, well   it doesn   t matter   , Ridlis went on und...
   Oh, I almost forgot     Ridlis lifted a paw so abruptly up in the air, you thought for sure she was going to slap you, ...
XX. You can   t delete something with a name  You stared, for a while, at the traces left by your fingers, all 10 of them,...
clue except for the object she gave you as a souvenir. You had completely forgotten about the shell in your pocket, so you...
of drawings and inscriptions to enter your eyes and nostrils, your pores and scars, through your ears and open mouth  and ...
burst out into a cat-walk, if only to spite the many turned busy-nosy-nobodies faces from the tables, as if they were firs...
be guided on the non-descriptive path between willows and birches, then bushes, smaller and shorter, then crouching like g...
and the rest included. As if the gods had heard you, your wish was granted in the blink of an eye, before you had time to ...
burning sensation behind them, deep within your head, deeper than ever, whenever you were trying to follow it. Therefore, ...
do now, when getting out of the tub, what you will dry off first, and why precisely in that order. With a new-found self-a...