I watched him climb up the wooden stairs with a look of clear unease displayed on his face. Regret dripped onto me as I thought back to how I laughed when he almost ran away at seeing a staircase for the first time. We have no staircases wooden or stone in the Under-World. Everything is flat,the roofs of the buildings,the wire leaves of the tree pressed somehow flat on it's top, all except the giant stalagmite towering in the middle of the entire cave. It was a mysterious piece of rock,nobody knew what it is or what purpose it had being there.It's impossible for one to inspect it either,for there are sharp electric fences protecting it as a circled barrier 100 meters away.
Around the fence are the dwellings of the highest Proprietors and it spirals out to the next class of Proprietors to the next to the next until you reach the many retirement houses,then to the different classes of engineers,miners,educationers and the many,many farmers. After that section,are us,the Forerunners. Though Rigi said we deserve to be called the "teenagers" that we are and not something so "futuristicky" and "technical". As we continue down the spiral of economy in this dome,we meet the "Wilds",what Rigi calls children,though he approves of the term "Wilds" with a hefty laugh. Then we meet the "Humanlings" who cry and sleep,eat and poop as daily routines one can't imagine themselves having before.
Jason entered the "treehouse",and at his first sight of Rigi,he screamed.He screamed as I had when I first discovered this lone home of this weird,out-of-anything-you'd-imagine old man. I didn't even think he was human when I first laid my eyes on him. The only elders we saw were the Proprietors,but they didn't have as many folds or lines as Rigi did. I had asked him,after I had gotten over my shock of everything,
"Are you a giant piece of clothing that has been given the gift of life?"
He had stared at me with his magnetic eyes and laughed,wheezing and chuckling at my very curious statement.
He told me he had been waiting for me for a good nearly hundred years,surviving on "green beans" and self-made implants just knowing the day will come when he meets me and as he said "You greeted me with your beautiful golden eyes wide with such shock,the words coming out of your mouth so pleasant yet peculiar. *sigh* It's such a wonderful relief to a lonely old man's eyes and ears."
He had taught me well for the next 2 years to this current day.He showed me the wonders of the world he had grew up in until he fell into this cave where he had to survive with what he could. He told me,with glazed eyes about a blue "sky",beautiful-soft green "grass", tender "meat" from a neighbors "grill", "bread" rised from "yeast and flour". He told me stories,2 years of stories about "his world". His world above us,I believed him at times,but some I was just listening for the pleasure of escaping the horrendous system I live in.
He pauses,sometimes and stares at me,and I stare back with the same blank face.There's so many things I don't understand,so many things I want to experience from his world.
I was at my favorite spot in front of the "treehouse", sitting in front of a mysterious puddle of mirror-like liquid,with my back towards the "treehouse".I have never touched the liquid,and like Rigi,it never moves but never dissappears. Rigi warns me not to touch anything I have no knowledge of,which is ironic since I had entered his home without knowing what could've happened to me.
Hearing the sound of boots against wood,I got up and turned around to face a serious faced Jason. He stared at me with eyes full of focus,supposedly processing whatever he had learned up there.
"Let's go,it's almost time for our midday feeding." His voice came out small and hard before he spun off stalking into the forest. I followed behind him,slightly amused and bouncing on my steps.
But that was before I fell into the "pit" of darkness with a shriek. I fell on my bum,landing on what must've been age old dust and weirdly soft concrete. It took me a few long seconds before I gathered my bearings and stopped sneezing before looking to stare up at not a worried looking Jason,but a laughing one. Down here,I couldn't seem to hear anything even though if I reached up, my fingers would be touching the opening.
Watching Jason laugh with a look of pure pouting on my face,I saw his face turn from amusement to shock.And I realized,noticing my hair floating around me, the feeling of my feet pressed against the ground gone and absent,that I was floating.
I stared at the ground beneath me,my feet waving goodbye as I flailed.Then I looked at Jason,his face full of shock and a wall of terror. He tried grabbing at me as I floated past him,up towards the map of wire leaves above me,but his hand passed right through me.Did I die? Had I become,as what Rigi had called a ghost?
He opened his mouth to scream but nothing came out,I opened my mouth to scream back at him but nothing escaped either. I realized I couldn't move anymore,I either couldn't speak or couldn't hear or both.There were no bright lights above me like the theory Rigi had told me of about alien abduction.
I couldn't move or hear or speak,I couldn't cry for help,as I watched Jason leave his state of shock running towards and up the wooden stairs,trying to grab me but passing through me with every desperate grab he tried.I wanted to scream so badly,I wasn't only watching Jason's current movements but with every move he made,it was stopped and placed,recorded like a timelapse,displayed frame after frame like waves towards his current movement. He must've screamed for Rigi,because Rigi came hobbling out,with waves of framed movements trailing behind him.He tried reaching for my feet as I floated above them and slowly past the map of wires where I couldn't see them anymore.
Rigi,out from the treehouse for the first time that I've known of,he didn't even have time to register that fact,yet I wasn't there with him for it. Oh,how I wanted to scream.But I had to watch torturingly as the trees below me shrank and shrank below me into a circle of intricately designed swirls.I don't know how long have I been floating but before,I could get used to the floating,I shot upwards towards the stalactites,the rocky ceiling above me.
I was gonna die,I knew I was gonna die. Splattered against the rocky dome,maybe my innards slowly dripping down onto some unfortunate Dwellers head or maybe onto the roof of some Dwelling. I thought about my time with Rigi,how much he taught me,how much time he spent with me compared to the rest of my fellow Dwellers.I thought of how many times Jason has tried to socialize with me from when we were mere "Wilds" until now. I sighed as I saw the ends of the stalactites come into my view and braced for the impact that would end my days as a citizen of the Under-World.
But the impact never came,I passed through the rock into what must be a tunnel of darkness.I shot pass the darkness,pass a shining wall of beautiful glowing rock,pass a wall of hot fiery "lava", pass a wall of red stone ,pass a wall of soil and before I knew it,I hit a wall of darkness.The last thing I felt,something falling around my neck.