Parable of the Phantom City
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Zoe and Ruby watched as Levi and Hazel carried armfuls of firewood and kindling toward the castle. White, powdery snowflakes started falling from the sky, and Levi stamped his boots on the doormat as he shut the door behind him. A fire would keep them warm tonight and Hazel put a pot on the fire for tea. Zoe wandered off with Ruby looking for bedding material and Levi roasted the rabbits they found in the forest. After dinner, everyone settled down in front of the fire to tell stories and warm their hands.
Ruby fell asleep in Zoe's lap. Hazel grabbed an oil lantern from the hearth and went to explore the castle's upper rooms. Levi decided to power on his Interstellar Positioning System. After checking with Zoe, Hazel and even Ruby, no one seemed to know where (or when) they were.
Levi's IPS screen glowed a bright neon blue in the dark castle's dim firelight. Levi stared at the screen for awhile, unsure of what he was looking at. Instead of the usual four dimensional coordinates given for where ever (or when ever) they ended up, Levi saw a blue-rimmed clock with tassels, roses and a turquoise dragonfly in the middle. He sat down heavily on the straw next to Zoe, and stared at the clock on his IPS unit. Eventually Levi fell asleep in front of the fire.