I feel privileged to use one of my pics as a prompt for this part of the story.
They flew up a tunnel where everything was coming at them. Ted thought they were on the wrong side. The traffic comprised half human beasts that flew past them at breakneck speed. Occasionally he recognized a mythical beast but he was too scared to pay attention. It was in the very last stages that Ted realized that these creatures were more virtual than real as he passed through them easily.
Finally, they reached the roof of the castle. He found it to be full of cars and a few helicopters parked at one end.
‘Come let us join them’, Mr J said, releasing Ted’s hand.
Mr J guided Ted through a narrow stair case that appeared to be suspended in space to a large banquet hall. He could recognize a few but knew that most were from his old school. All were enjoying the party.
Somebody slapped him on the back and said, ‘little Ted still has his big belly’, Crummy – his best finger poked his belly.
He smiled and took the proffered flute-glass, ‘no tea-cups’?
The whole group burst in to laughter at the fond group memory. A loud cheer for Mr J was cut short by the entry of – flowery Fiona nick named the ‘queen of hearts’ for her Athena like qualities.
The night was nearly over. They had enjoyed exploring the castle which had subtly changed as they passed from one vast room to other. All of them were on a turret that had seemed quite small to accommodate them all but now appeared to be quite adequate. Joe – the bright, looked down on the main roof and saw a vast expanse, ‘where is the parking’, he wondered aloud.
‘More of Mr J’s magic’, grouchy Lucy grumbled.
Mr J beckoned them all from the other side. They reached there to find Mr J pointing to a silvery-waterfall across a large valley shrouded in mist though the outlines of the castle stood-out. Mr J handed a pair of binoculars to Lucy. She could see inside the castle and saw herself peering out of the binoculars from one of the turret. Each one of them took turns and saw himself/ herself in the other castle.
The silence was ponderous. Each of them waited for Mr J to explain.
‘The time for sweet meats and storm in teacups is long past; you all are no longer kids to be entertained by simple tricks. I organized this mystical journey for you all by temporarily making you forget your mineral, vegetable and animal selves so that your spirits were set free to travel in dimensions little known to humans’. Mr J concluded and watched them with a droll smile.
There was a contemplative silence as all of them privately thought of the help they had received from Mr J over the years.
‘I believe because it is absurd’, quipped the queen of hearts.
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