A small sad dwarf sat at the end of the world. He remembered his name… now what?
There, at the end of the world, a small sad dwarf stroked the flower in his coat. The world around him was bleak and dark. Smoke floated away in an army of clouds. He had remembered his name. But he remembered little else. That was a start, at least.
The ground rumbled and he remembered something happened.
The dwarf kept walking across the field of blackened, burnt earth. There was not much to see. Through a break in the clouds, he thought he saw stars. Little twinkling fires, set in an ever-changing space. It wasn’t black, as he expected. There were reds and blues, pinks and orange like fire.
He wondered if there was something out there, tucked behind those little fires. But how could he find out?
And how would he ever get there?
It seemed as if the ground was rumbling harder. Or was it he was walking toward the source of the shaking? The wind kicked up, rustling the little flower in his coat. The dwarf cupped a hand over it, protecting it from blowing away.
But the wind grew stronger. It gusted like it was angry. Angry at the dwarf? Who could say? He had to crouch over, to prevent from being bowled over. The wind kicked up dirt and dust. The dwarf squinted his eyes. He considered turning back around to where he had come.
There was nothing back there. Why should he bother?
The dwarf found a hill and climbed it. It seemed like the wind calmed down just a bit. Below, the ground was a little less burned and little less… well, dead.
Somewhere in the distance, he saw something, sticking up out of the ground. It was big, bigger than a stone or boulder. The shape was kind of boxy, with straight square walls—
They were walls! Walls of a house. The dwarf had missed it earlier, because it was almost as black as all the rest. Dust must have covered the house, but it was still standing. Could there be something inside the house? Something that could help him remember?
Could there be someone inside?
Running. The small dwarf was running. He waved a hand—as if someone could see—shouting at the top of his breath. Maybe someone would hear him. Maybe someone was there.
The ground beneath him shuddered. Stronger than ever. It shook so hard, he lost his footing. The small dwarf, who had not been sad for just a moment, tumbled down the hill. He lost sight of the house as he hit the bottom of a wide depression.
He could barely stand to his feet, the ground shook so violently. He was certain something was trying to burst through.
Not far ahead of him, the ground cracked open. Right open, like a mouth. There was a belch. Smoke and fog and dust came out of the crack. Hot steam shot up like a… what did they call them? Geysers?
It was rumbling like an angry man. The ground was shouting at the dwarf, warning him away. The crack was growing wider. It stretched on for as far as he could see. The geyser was yelling at him, telling him he could not pass.
Through the smoke and fog and steam, the dwarf thought he saw a face. Something mad, scowling at him in the geyser.
The dwarf took a step toward it, planting his foot in the dirt. “Nooooo!” came the thunder. He toppled over, rolling around in the depression.
Coughing up dust, the dwarf got back up. He took a few more steps. Rocks and stones came raining from the geyser. Some bounced off his head. Other scrapped his arms and legs. The dwarf winced in pain. But he did not back away.
Rumbles grew louder. It felt as if the whole earth was going to be swallowed by the crack. The dwarf had an idea. He stepped back. The rumblings calmed. He took another step back. It seemed as if the geyser was subsiding. Rocks stopped snowing.
The dwarf reached the foot of the hill and stopped. The crack was still there, but the rumbling and steam were nearly gone. He planted a foot behind him, crouching down.
Then he ran.
The small dwarf ran at the crack. It seemed as if the ground knew what he was doing. The rumbles began again, steam and smoke poured out like a volcano. But it was too late. The dwarf was running and he was not going to stop.
He reached the edge of the crack and jumped. He hurtled through the air. Smoke and steam and heat blasted him. It felt like a furnace. In a moment, he was through. The ground on the other side was waiting for him.
The dwarf hit the ground, bounced, and rolled for a few feet. Behind him, the geyser shouted in anger. But the small dwarf kept running.
He ran up a rising mound to see the land beyond. The house wasn’t far. In fact, it seemed much closer than he expected.
The clouds seemed to part as twinkling light shone down. The house was getting close. It was a big house. Big for a small dwarf. It had wooden walls and windows caked with soot. An old stone chimney poked out of the roof.
Catching his breath, the dwarf reached the front door. There was a handle and everything. Carefully he walked up to it, reached out, and turned. The door creaked open quietly. The dwarf took a peak, then walked inside.
To be continued…