They entered into the cavern; though upon entering it, she realized that the cavern wasn’t the big, dark, damp, empty cavern that she had expected to see. To say that the place was enormous was like calling the ocean pretty big. The ceiling, lit up in a gentle blue glow, was as tall as the sky. On other sides of the entrance, stretching further than her eyes could see, great brazen pillars the size of mountains bridged the space between the smooth marble floor and the ceiling. She at first wondered where the light was coming from – and then realized that the pillars themselves were radiating a golden light. The place looked like it was built for a giant king, yet the steps before them were made for human feet.
“Wow,” she said, not realizing that her mouth had been hanging open this whole time. Her guardian was silent. He knew this place, and had been here many times, after all.
“We should go,” he said, urging her on.
“What is this place?” she turned to ask the man. “What are we to do here?”
“This place,” her guardian began, “Is where Fate had once resided, while she lived. Had she been alive, there would be no need for us to come here; not that we would be able to, anyhow. As for what are we to do here, the most correct answer would be anything. We can do anything here.”
“Anything?” she asked, beginning her slow descent down the marble steps. “I’m afraid I don’t follow.”
“This is The Beginning,” his voice came from behind her, “Where your world was created. This is the source of all things, or so it was. The Creation. The Nexus of Choice.”
“The Nexus of Choice?”
“Indeed,” his voice now came from in front of her; and she almost tripped and fell down the last couple of steps when she found her guardian suddenly standing at the bottom of the steps. He then raised his hand before him, and like a stove, orange flames leapt out of his fingers and danced in the still air.
She stared at the ember flowers. “You said you couldn’t do that before,” she pointed out.
He nodded. “But now I can. See, now,” he said, and withdrew his hand, allowing the fire to drop to the ground, where it broke into a thousand glittering rubies.
“In here we are free of the limitations and laws of the world,” he explained, looking back up at her. “Here is true freedom. You have the choice to do anything you want.”
“You mean if I came in here sick, I could simply choose to be not sick?”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“You can choose it to. Try.”
She did, and suddenly it did make sense that someone could just choose to not be sick.
Her guardian pointed into the distance, where there stood another set of steps, leading up to a platform from which a bluish-white light seemed to be spilling out of. The light, with all the grace and gentleness of a floating feather, was escaping from the middle of the platform in spirals, and above the platform, at seemed to spin outwards – away from its source, falling in a lazy arc before settling onto the steps of the platform, where it glowed for a little bit before it dimmed away and disappeared.
“That is where we need to go,” her guardian said, “Where Fate kept her tome. You can’t see it, but it still lays open. There still is hope.”
“It’s so far away,” she said. “It’ll take us at least an hour to reach it!”
“Oh, you of little imagination,” he chided. “Come, let us choose to be there.”
And so they were. Beneath the soles of her shoes, the swirling light continued to emerge from solid ground and escape into the air, falling like water sprouts from a fountain, only much slower and brighter. Between her and her guardian, a giant tome – big enough that she would need both her arms just to turn a single page – floated. It did not bob in the air as she imagined floating things to; but it simply hung there, unmoving. The open side faced her guardian, so she had to step around to see the contents of the page.
“See, this is where the writing stops,” her guardian pointed to the top-left corner of the page on the left, where ancient letters she could not comprehend were beautifully written. She supposed that she could just choose to understand the words, but then he continues: “Some have tampered with the book, but that is where Fate’s writing ends. With the creation of man.”
Her eyes glanced down the page as large as a wall, and true enough, there were scribblings, and none of them in the language nor the handwriting of Fate. There were the writings of kings of old passing death unto their enemies. There were men who bestowed power upon themselves. There were people who wanted to live forever.
“Why hasn’t anyone written for peace on earth?” she asked, averting her eyes from the angry letters scrawled into the page. “If this tome has such power, why wouldn’t any one of them write a happily ever after into the story of mankind?”
“You know what we had to overcome to be here,” he said slowly, then sadly. “All the people who have ever made it so far made sacrifices. They fought their way through. Used all their cunning to get their way. Such people are usually fuelled by desire: for revenge. Power. Riches.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that the people who wished for peace and happiness have never fought hard enough for it.”