Uncanny Valley

Somewhere in the heart of the land is a place where sky is a distant reality. For there is no sky here. If you look up, you will see roughened stone, as hard as granite and as white as Antarctic snow. Its surface is eerily reminiscent of the ocean frozen during a storm.

Such a sky is supported by impossibly wide, impossibly thick rock formations. They are so wide they are unfathomable. They beggar any attempt at description. They seem to be made of the same substance as the “sky”. And for most of that place, those formations are the only sight to be seen.

The ground is uneven and rocky.

All is still and gray.

The air smells like fresh chalk dust. Not the worst possible smell. Some might say it’s bittersweet and nostalgic. But it is a tiring smell after one has walked through so many miles of smelling nothing else.

But if you are patient, if you can brave the chalk scent and the pervading silence, if you can keep walking onward, you will be rewarded.

No one knows how many miles it takes to get there. The distance is always changing, never remaining the same. Some say that it’s because the place isn’t real. It’s a hallucination or a most uncommon dream.

Whatever the case may be, if you continue walking through the silence, you will reach the shore of a lake. Some say it’s an ocean. Some say it’s merely a pond, a puddle, a spot of water in the landscape.

The lake is safe and dangerous, easy and hard to cross.

Only one person at a time can cross it. Two at a time is simply not allowed.

Cross the lake and see it.

Cross the lake and you will see it.

A valley lush with green and vibrant with life. Delicate deer run through the meadows. Colorful birds sing like wind chimes, sing like bells, sing like angels, sing like Heaven’s light. Flowers bloom with audacious glory.

If you choose to seek this fabled land, be sure to do it before December 27. For on December 27, the land shifts and turns and switches places with the sky. What was once up is now down and what was down is now up. What was once the sky melts into a storm-tossed ocean, crashing and raging against its boundaries. What was once the ground becomes a world out of reach. The deer somehow adjust to living upside down. They romp and run and live as if it were the most average day thing. The trees grow. The flowers bloom….all upside down.

All upside down until March 26. Then, the ocean freezes and the storm ceases. The ground shifts and reality returns to how it should be. The frozen ocean is the sky and the grass is the ground.

So? What do you think? Do you want to seek out this world with me?

https://caroljforrester.com/2022/01/01/speculative-fiction-prompt-january-2022/#more-16840

4 thoughts on “Uncanny Valley

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      When I saw that picture, it was so breathtaking, I just had to write a story about it.

      Thank you so much for starting up this prompt again.

      Like

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