The Otherworld

He laughed in delight. How absolutely beautiful, he thought, how absolutely wonderful! He turned and headed for the bottom, the sparkling bubble stream following him, passing through giant ferns, startling the tiny creatures that lived there. He reached for one of the tiny creatures and held it in his hand, examining it intently. He wished he could talk to it, wished he knew what it was thinking, what it was feeling. As he swam away, several large creatures darted in and attacked the tiny figures, tearing at them, shredding the flesh. He watched in horror as a cloud of blood and flesh and viscera rose around him. He woke then, sweating, and knew it was no dream, knew he was not the swimmer or the attackers, but one of the tiny creatures whose duty it is to obey their betters or be crushed.

The dark black water, placid, still
The surface smooth as milk
Invited all who had the will
To gain the furs and silk
From Samarkand along the road
Where spices filled the trees
Where men with giant footsteps strode
And weary, took their ease
But in the water dangers lurked
For dreams turn dark and true
Where creatures vile already perked
Would share not dreams with you
And should you be untimely waked
By your own silent scream
Your cry for water goes unslaked
As in another dream
You see the otherworld you left
The world of powerlust
Where shaven heads of men are cleft
And dreams are turned to dust

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