JE: The Hermetic Garbage of Jenny Everywhere Act IV, part I
mrfantastic7 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 26 15:22:53 PST 2022
Wrestling open the trap door in the floor and marching down the stairs,
they made their way through a series of cramped, twisting, unlit
tunnels. A hot pink witchlight summoned by Glendalf showed the way ahead
"So," said Glendalf. "I supposed I should ask. Do you know where we're
"...not consciously, no" said Jenny.
"Ah," said Glendalf.
After what felt like years, they came to another stairway leading up.
"Can you tell what dimension this is?" said Glendalf.
"Nope. Can you?"
"Haven't the foggiest."
"Funny you should mention fog," said Jenny. Above, the fog was
everywhere. Through it they could see some looming trees and a river,
but nothing beyond that. It was almost as if they had returned to
Faerie, but the scent of the air and the feeling of the wind on their
faces was different.
"This must be a Limbo realm," said Glendalf. Jenny immediately knew that
this was right, from the dreamlike combination of sharp vividness and
vagueness. This was one of those zones of indeterminacy that existed in
between the more coherent states of hypertime. Some of these dimensions
were beneficent and peaceful, others were hells and abstract nightmares,
others were endless stretches of grey fog that went on forever.
"Yeah. Well, at least we're safe from the Wild Hunt. It's harder for
them to get in here, and ARCHONET too. These realms are between and
outside of of Cosmos and Chaos, Redoubt and Faerie."
"Good," said Glendalf. "Maybe we can actually get some rest. How are you
"A little more like myself every moment, but not all the way there yet.
"Well, I'm alive, I suppose."
They found a cabin in the woods nearby. It was perfectly kept, with a
crackling fire in the fireplace, but there was no sign of anyone there.
"I wonder whose dream this was," said Glendalf. They both knew well that
Limbo dimensions often grew out of peoples' dreams, taking root in the
indeterminate non-space and giving it form. They'd explored such
"I hope it's a good dream," said Jenny. "I've lived through enough
They laid Octobriana on the bed. She started snoring like a
thunderstorm. Gandalf started a bit--it wasn't totally unlike the sound
of the Wild Hunt Riders' engines. But Jenny found a cabinet with teacups
and made some tea that had been in their pack, and they found themselves
relaxing, feeling the gentle winds of Limbo blow. In time, Jenny herself
laid out a mat on the floor and went to sleep, the first time she'd
slept since all of this started.
Jenny couldn't remember her dreams when she woke up. She had a vague
feeling of running around corridors and looking for something that was
always out of reach.
When she pulled herself out of bed, Glendalf was already up and had made
a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs. They ate quietly together, still
too overwhelmed to talk. Then they saw Octobriana begin to stir on her bed.
She shot up out of the covers and looked around. "Where am I? What's
happening?" she shouted.
Glendalf and Jenny rushed over to the bed. Jenny put her hands on
Octobriana's shoulders. "It's OK," said Jenny. "We're safe. They can't
get us here."
"I..." Octobriana focused all the anger of her eyes on Glendalf. "I
needed to fight. Why wouldn't you let me?"
"You wouldn't have had a chance to survive," said Glendalf. "Better to
save your fighting until you can win."
"Yeah, it's not like we'll have any shortage of punching later," said Jenny.
Octobriana sighed. She was not convinced. But she got up to eat her
share of the breakfast.
"So, here we are," Jenny tried to small-talk. "Nice place, huh?" She
received no response. They were all still fairly rattled and exhausted.
"It's been quite a week," said Glendalf. Octobriana nodded.
"But we made it," said Jenny. "We made it." Glendalf smiled dimly.
She was starting to feel a lot more like the old Jenny, who was able to
find the best of things even at their worse. Slowly, her sense of peace
and confidence and power over the situation increased, though she still
feared in her heart that another obstacle could shatter it.
"Good eggs," said Octobriana through a mouthful.
"Well, I have a suspicion we are in a stalling-for-time part of the
adventure," said Glendalf. "We'll just have to sit around until
inspiration of some sort strikes one of us."
"Sure," said Jenny. "Don't suppose this place has a television?"
"No, it's all a bit cottagecore, I fear," said Glendalf.
Octobriana was sitting by the fire looking into the flames. "Hmm," she
said. "Some music?"
"Sure," said Jenny, fishing around in her bag. "Don't suppose any of you
are in the mood for a symphony on kazoo?"
"No," they both said in unison.
"OK, gimme a sec." She looked around in her pack some more.
She pulled out a sort of glowing blue cube, a theriamen. She'd picked it
up on Troynovant long, long ago, in an adventure in a timeline that may
no longer have ever happened. The cube floating in the air before her.
Gently her fingers touched it, caressed it, and eerily beautiful
electronic sounds, hopeful and mournful, filled the room.
All three of them fell still and silent, the tension they'd built up
slowly leaving their bodies. Suddenly, Octobriana began to cry. Jenny
wanted to stop, but some knowledge held inside her told her that this
was good--that Octobriana was letting out the tears she'd been holding
so long inside her.
The song came to an end. A deep silence filled the room, broken when
Glendalf started clapping. "Bravo, well done!"
"Indeed," said Octobriana. Jenny sat down beside her, relieved.
Octobriana slowly reached out her hand and her fingers brushed against
Jenny's. Jenny cautiously touched them, drawing Octobriana's hand into
hers. She felt Octobriana's tension further drain from her body, and
some of her own drain, too. All the fears and anxieties about the state
of the cosmos were ebbing away, and the touch of Octobriana's hand in
hers filled Jenny's mind and heart.
"Ah," said Glendalf. "You know, I'm thinking I should go outside and
scout out this dimension for a while. I think you two would appreciate
Jenny giggled. "Sure!" she said.
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