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       Eldnium, p.24

           Enoch Pyle, Jr

  Landon fell through the well surrounded by a column of water falling through with him. Curiously, he noticed that he seemed to be falling slower than the water. Eventually, however, the mouth of the well appeared as nothing but a pinpoint of light, and below him the depths of the well appeared as nothing but darkness, the water rushing downward toward a single point. But soon the darkness below began to pulse with light, and Landon saw a large, round globe suspended beneath him, shining against the black.

  He moved toward it slowly, feet first, the water around him disappearing into small trickles and drips until it was gone, and along with it the pinhole of light from the mouth of the well. He continued falling until he was moving so slowly that he realized he was floating, not falling. And he continued floating downward until he landed on some invisible surface in front of the globe of light.

  Beneath himself, he saw pinpricks in the dark. They seemed miles away, like stars in the sky. He wasn’t sure what he was standing on, but his attention was soon completely focused on the globe.

  It seemed to float in the air, vibrating gently, humming what nearly sounded like music. It was enormous in size, thirty feet across and blue like the ocean, its surface rippling and dancing like waves. Unsure of how to enter, he reached out his hand to touch the globe, but an invisible force kept his fingers away.

  Frustrated, Landon was unsure of how to enter a gate he couldn’t even touch, but his adventure with Li’an suddenly flooded his mind, and he remembered being on the cliffs at the Shores of El, and how his fingers seemed to become what he touched. He had touched the rocks, and his fingers became hard and brittle. He had touched the roots, and his fingers became roots of their own. Perhaps, he thought, he could use the same technique to help him slip through the barrier to the other side.

  He placed his fingers against the invisible barricade, little beats of light appearing beneath his fingertips. He closed his eyes, and immediately his arms began to go numb. As the sensation reached his chest, he took a step forward, eyes closed, in faith. And when he opened his eyes, he was surprised to find himself on the other side.

  He took a deep breath, after suddenly realizing that he’d been holding his breath while passing through the barrier, and he spent a moment gathering his thoughts. While doing this, he took another look at the globe and realized that he could see within it the blurry outlines of what appeared to be land and sky.

  He swallowed and stepped forward, ready to walk through the gate, but he didn’t have to. As he stared into it, its swirls of green and blue rippling before him, it opened up, tentacles of it reaching outward.

  Before he could react, it grabbed him and pulled him into the blue beyond.

  Part Four

  The Origin Gate

  The Fisherman

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