“Hey! Watch where you’re walking there, big stuff!” Crap, I’ve only been on this path for a couple of minutes and I’m already engaged in conflict. Wait, no rhyme, so it’s not Shadow or Cloud, then who?
“Ya big galoot; down here!” Oh, my. There, uh, he is. He’s not very tall, just about a foot and a half and that’s all.
“I’m terribly sorry about that. I did not see you there.”
“Well, obviously; otherwise I’d hate to think of what kind of sorry sot you’d be if you’d deliberately go around trampling people. Just not very sporting, you know?”
“Oh, yes, I understand. By the way, you don’t speak in rhyme do you? And I’d introduce myself, but I’m terribly sorry, but I can’t remember my name.
They tell me that’s normal.” And I pointed at Cloud and Shadow. The fellow looked for all intents like any other fellow, except for the part about being no taller than my knee.
“Rhyme? All the time? Not if I can kill the mime, I sure as sugar don’t. My pappy did; I however, do not. By the by, my name is Thistledown, the second. My pappy, he was the first, I however, am he who is that now.
Pleased to make your acquaintance, sir.” He bowed a little bow, which might have been comical, if not for the fact that my circumstances were still very much in the land of I don’t know what.
I gazed down at the little man, and pondered my choices. Obviously, Cloud and Shadow are sticking with me while I travel through this place. But this cheerful fellow, seems much more apt to be fun and helpful.
“Tell me, sir. Can you help enlighten me as to how I got here and where here is and what’s the deal with those two back there?” I bent down, conspiratorially, trying to ask my questions as discretely as possible.
“Ahh, you are new here then, aren’t ya?” I nodded my assent, not knowing any better if that was true or not.
“Well, the good news is first, you aren’t dead.” I looked at him slightly shocked; I hadn’t even thought of that as a possibility. I shut my jaw as quickly as I could, upon realizing that it was remaining open. Thistledown looked at me askance and continued.
“Simply put, you are in a place that both does and does not exist. It is a place that exists simultaneously beside every other place, but at the same time, not so much. This place has many rules – many of which are different than what you may be used to. However, the loss of memory also denotes the added joy of trauma in getting here. Somehow, in someway, you experienced some severe trauma of one sort or another, and have ended up here, with a clean slate, ready to re-write anew.” He looked smug, with his arms crossed as he delivered this long oration. Politely, he stared at me, as if expecting a response. I nodded politely, agreeing with him, and pretending to understand what he said.
“As for them two, they’re metaphors. They represent any number of concepts as made manifest in the material world. Anything and its opposite, is essentially served as representation by those two. And yes, they are always at odds, and they always rhyme. However, they are always looking out for your best interest. Your presence here means they have a purpose. And they live for the opportunity to be purposeful.”
“Oh, cool. That makes a lot of sense, I guess. What about you? What is your purpose here?” I turned around and waved back at Shadow and Cloud, knowing that they weren’t trying to kill me and gut me so that my intestines could be converted to bow strings.
“Me? I’m just a strange little man out and about looking for fun and frivolity. However, I would be pleased as peaches to travel with you for a bit. If that’s ok with you and them?” I looked at Cloud and Shadow; they shrugged, as oddly looking as that was. I shrugged, too.
“Sure; if nothing else, spice is now added to the mix.”
“That’s the spirit, young one; we’ll go forth and give ’em what for and all that, now won’t we?”
“Uhm, sure.” I shook my head, but felt oddly happy to speak with someone at least normal sounding.