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The enormous tree stretched towards the sun, its roots extending, separating, and winding for miles and miles, its leaves swaying in the nonexistent breeze. The tree seemed to call him in, enticing him to its base. His obscure surroundings fell away as he looked dead ahead, unable to tear his attention from the silent tree. He didn't question how or why the tree loomed closer and closer, but then it stopped. Its massive roots gave rise to a trunk that stretched taller than he could possibly see. He looked down.
A reflection, his reflection gazed up at him. He reached down to touch the surface of the mirror, but his hand broke through, and he immediately recognized the familiar sensation of water. His heart rate quickened. How is this possible? Without warning, he plunged down into the water, and the tree, roots, and sun fell away. He kicked his legs, swimming frantically, trying with all his might to propel himself upwards, but the fragmented rays of sunlight on the surface grew more and more distant. A steady current sucked him under into the darkness.
He breathed in the comforting taste of fresh air. Straight ahead, a tiny dot of light attracted his vision. Without thinking he ran towards the light. The black walls around him faded away, and he stepped into a blinding brightness. He covered his eyes with his forearm. While his eyes adjusted to the new light, he recognized the distinct sound of wind and felt the rush of cold air. When he could finally see, he realized he stood on the peak of a mountain, the tallest mountain in the world. Smaller spires penetrated the white sea of clouds rolling below him. All around him was endless sky, clear sky. There was no blue ocean for the atmosphere to reflect.
A rumbling beneath his feet triggered his awareness. The other mountain peaks and the sea of clouds diminished. Were they shrinking? - No. The mountain on which he stood grew and rose into the sky, past the stratosphere, past the thermosphere until it stopped and his feet left the earth, but he continued to rise. Stars and planets revolved around each other in perfect symmetry. He rose past the shimmering galaxies twisting and writhing with raw energy. Time warped, yet he continued rising in some direction or another. There was no up, down, left, or right, but he propelled forward until nothing existed at all except for blackness. And then he stopped.
He gingerly reached out his hand and broke through some kind of material. He couldn't tell what it was, but he continued digging, now with two hands. Displacing the substance he broke through the blackness and pulled himself out. Solid ground. His hands were covered with dirt, earth. Confused, he looked at the hole in the ground from which he came; it was just a regular hole in the ground. The land above was covered with green grass and panda lilies. Buzzes of insects and hummingbirds reverberated in the air.
Gradually the buzzing increased until it was no longer gentle, but a violent, chaotic noise. In a swarming cloud, the insects and birds flew away from the flowers and the land. They flew without stopping. A steady orange glow crawled across the sky. The soft orange glow turned a deep red, and a new noise erupted: fire. The burning swept over everything green, torching the grass, flowers, everything in sight. He stood in the middle of the blazing tempest until there was nothing left but flames.
The red evolved and danced into different colors: yellow, green, white, blue. There was no more violence. His heart beat softly, the fiery vortex enchanting his soul. Shadows of people manifested in the colors only to fade away as quickly as they appeared. They formed a living, breathing entity, existing as one. Screaming, laughing, whispering, and crying all deafened into an amalgamation of the voices of all people. Their voices cried out:
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