“I think your clock is broken?” I looked up at the steadfast hands, still pointing to the 3 and twelve. “I arrived here an hour or so ago, and the Sun was getting low, so it must have been roughly 6 in the evening then.”
“I don’t need a clock- it’s of no consequence to me. it’s always 3o’clock in my mind, is that not also the case in yours?”
“No…I don’t follow.” All I had heard of any implication was that 3 in the morning was held by some as the easiest hour to shift between the physical, astral, and other planes.
“Regardless, Time does not pass in the way you likely believe it to. You’ll find in this place- in particular and hereafter- that the Sun rarely rises or sets at the Time you would expect, or hope. Neither does the Moon any longer chase the Sun or follow in its “proper” path. Hell, I’ve seen daylight last for a week straight, and darkness for months. There is no prediction nor observation of Time’s manner of passing; in most places you’ll find it three times as fast, and in a few- just half. So there’s no keeping track of Time; it simply goes as it wills, with or without us- and stops for very few.”
I stared back incredulously.
“Is this belief why you previously thought that I had been walking for days- because it had only been less than one. I was just exhausted when I started…”
“I’m not here to convince anyone, and if I were- well, I wouldn’t.”
The man was clearly either insane, speaking in riddles, or both. Harmlessly so, but in the same.
But he also knew things that I could not account for.
I picked up another seed from the table, a light green one. I decided that whatever I saw next would determine for me which he was. I reminded myself of all the different ways in which I had already died, in order to quell my anxiety, and popped it in my mouth.
This time I immediately noticed the shift, and was conscious of the fact that I was quickly overcome with drowsiness.
I opened my eyes to find myself lying on my back, squinting up into a grey torrent of rainfall. Rising, I beheld that familiar low sky of heavy clouds, feigning a black pitch. I stood in a vast glade against the trees, of which was a field of mostly dead grasses up to my knees. The rain poured down in angled sheets, silencing every other sound or thought. I thought to bring to mind where I was, but I could not remember how I had gotten there or where I had been before.
I brought my eyes back up from the dirt to notice a very distant break in the abyss of clouds, through which a single ray of sunlight broke through. Looking back out across the field, I then noticed someone sitting down in the grass, their back to me. My inquisitive nature brought me to tread forward through the muted grasses, mixed with all measures of thorns that had been rendered nearly harmless in the rainfall.
Slowly drawing nearer, I made out long, wavy hair of a shade impossibly undecided between red and black. I made my way around to the side, standing silently, but she did not avert her eyes from her fixed forward gaze. I could not tell if she was looking amidst the trees or looking somewhere inside.