The world around me flashed and changed as it had done when I arrived here through the book. And once again, suddenly, everything stopped. I was indeed still in the walled garden, but it was different. There were no blossom trees, only small crisp autumn leaves laying unsteadily on the floor. There was no path, only thin sickly grass laying all around. There was still a fountain, but it was filled with a sticky black tar that seemed to slither in a way that somewhat reminded me of a snake. And there he was. His cloak swept along the floor as he walked towards us which too seemed to slither and hiss along its path. It was then that his piercing eyes fixed on The Nameless One. They suddenly acted as spellbound and wearily preceded to play the harp. My heart began to beat faster and I found myself meekly backing away from the man with the piercing eyes. This was the most scared I had ever been in my life. He held out a willowy pale hand to greet me. I did not take it. “Good evening. You, I have not seen you here before.” He whispered in a softly calm mocking tone “Oh, I see.” he said fixing me with a cold harsh stare “you know Uriel, don’t you? You are here to complete the work he could not.” I didn’t know what to say to this. How could he know Uriel? “I am afraid, I cannot allow you to do that.” He stated. With a self-congratulatory flourish of his outstretched hand, he pulled the book from me and allowed it to slip into the midnight folds of his cloak.
What was I to do without the book?
He stared me in the eyes and I felt his gaze burn right through my very soul as I stood there before him. I could not see myself but I believed I must have looked to him as his willing victim as I waited before him, not even attempting escape. Knowing better of it. Then my eyes skipped to the fountain central to the garden. What was that liquid? He caught my gaze with his own and stepped another silent step towards me “That is my life force. I live from the energy used in imagination. Imagination is such a strange thing.” He hissed “It looks like ink.” I whispered back “because of course your life force is from the energy used in imagination, for you are imagined. At some point, someone must’ve imagined you. I’m imagining you. You are only here because I believe you are. It is not the imagination that runs in your veins, it is merely ink. Once, someone must’ve written about you.” I finished triumphantly “Well, you really are a very bright girl for your age.” He smirked “but you know me to be real now, therefore in your mind and before you I shall always exist.” “Not if I imagine you differently. I can charge you.” “My dear, do you know who wrote me?” I shook my head “Professor Uriel. He wrote about a tragic hero called The Shadow Master when he was scarcely older than you. This creation of his had the power to consume the energy used on the imagination and live forever. So slowly, I began to take over his other books. I could not be stopped. I cannot be stopped.” Then it hit me. It was never the power of writing in the book. The power of the imagination was having the thought and writing it at all. The book was not the answer. I was the answer. My mind is the answer to destroy The Shadow Master.