I opened my eyes.
Green leaves obscured the bright blue sky encrusted with a huge crescent moon and thousands of diamond twinkling stars. Wait. How it that possible? It was 11 o'clock when I left. The dark leaves turned into towering hedges all around me, blocking the way ahead. Behind me, several footsteps embossed into the lime green grass. Leading towards where I found myself. Could they be mine? No. Obviously not. I'm sure I'm just dreaming. No of this is real. At least I don't think it is. Afterall, how could it be?
The footprints lead back to a Brobdingnagian oak door blocking the way back, was it the way back? It had a large golden knocker in the shape of a lion's head with a large copper ring stuffed into its open mouth. Eagerly, I ran towards it and tried to push it open. Nothing. I tried to pull. Nothing. Must be locked. Strangely, the door didn't appear to have a frame or anything else to hold it erect or indeed to keep it closed for that matter. Feeling rather foolish, I held the ring in the lion's mouth with my right hand and rapped upon the door. I waited. A tiny oaken window slid, opened by some unseen hand. A high-pitched voice spoke: "No. This is back. You're headed the other way. I'm under strict orders not to let you out. Now pick one of the paths and get going."
Did the door just talk?
Again, feeling rather foolish, I replied "but there's no path! There's just this door and a massive hedge the other side walling me in." I turned around to check this was still the case. It wasn't. in the place of the towering hedges three paths: one thick was brambles and thorns, far too dangerous to walk for one who doesn't know where one is going; on the far left, a sunny path clear of all debris or obstacles, very easy to navigate even without a compass; in the middle, a path with a few thorns and brambles and fairly strong light, I should be able to manage that one. I turned back to the door. It'd vanished.
Now there were many beautiful plants and flowers in every color imaginable. Some had no pollen. Some even appeared to have faces. What's going on? Where did this place even come from? Roses in blue and lilies in bright green and massive doors don't just come and go as they please. Do they? Something caught my eye as the moon light shone: A huge clock face. With a gaping crack down the center. A void. Large black roman numerals indicating the time, it had three black hands which weren't moving. Why aren't they moving? The clock must be broken. Why hasn't anyone fixed it?
Across from the broken clock, a large long wooden table dressed in a blue and white cloth with many colorful cups and saucers upon it. Four large cushioned arm chairs sat around. A top the table, by the arm chair closet to me was perched an envelope with my name sketched upon it in black ink. How can they know my name? I picked it up and peeled open the red wax seal and read the quickly scrawled hand writing;
"Nor left nor right you have to go,
Never follow the path you know,
Day is night and night is day,
Prey you find your way,
If more is gained, then less is lost,
Meet me at The Place, whatever the cost."
I shoved the note into my pocket. Mulling the words over, it made some sort of odd sense; left nor right. What's left nor right? The middle. I have to take the middle path. The unknown one. What's ThePlace? That's something I haver to trust ill find out before its too late. Walking briskly, I started off down the middle path.