That’s probably the easiest way to describe what the door to the Grand Overlook Suite opened to reveal.
It wasn’t a rope bridge though; it was a glass bridge that looked a little like a rope bridge. Where wooden boards should be there were uneven shards of transparent crystal – though which I thought I could see the twinkling of stars – and where rope should support them there was a kind of crystal vine that crept around it all in a way that suggested life.
That was the first thing I saw.
The second thing was the room.
The bridge arched over nothingness, extending though it to a crystal room that hung from a ceiling of nothingness by chains of glass. It looked like a chandelier in an empty darkened room, but through its crystal walls I could see fires blazing in transparent fireplaces and TV’s flickering with their simulation of life.
Then I saw the view.
It drew me though the door and onto the crystal.
Under me I felt the bridge settle, here and there I heard a crack as if it was breaking under my weight.
Beautiful terror filled me to overflowing, an acid wash that would leave nothing but perfect bleached bone in its wake.
I looked out over what could only be Eternity, what I thought were stars were not stars, but pockets of memory that I could only presume were my own. I could not see them, they were too far away, but still I knew what they were and what each one held. I knew that the bright one to my distant left was of my mother, its distant brightness emulating her distant love for me, while on my right was a closer star with its aura tinged with red that I knew contained my ambivalence towards the father who abandoned me.
I took a further step across the crystal and heard Radu follow behind.
There I saw the memory of my Grandfather, and next to it – almost one with it – were those of my Grandmother. Around it was a little cosmos of dust, each a star in its own right, but each eclipsed by those great dominating forces.
Both of them were gone now, my Grandfather long ago, my Grandmother so recent I was forbidden to visit her deathbed; but here both shined bright.
A rose red star was my mother-in-law, it winked cheekily as she would have in life; and the more I looked the across Eternity the brighter pinpricks of light presented themselves.
I was halfway across the bridge and I had not remembered taking a single step. Behind me Radu urged me forward, nudging me with his nose in a way I’m certain he thought was gentle. It wasn’t, the nudges’ made me stumble forward and step by step the room loomed large, the chandelier turning into an iceberg of crystal.
The first step into the room sent reverberations up my leg to my spine, the semi-transparent flooring beneath me surprisingly solid after the slight give each step gave me across the bridge. Radu’s claws tapped as one, a staccato cymbal beat across the crystal. I looked at the floor in his wake, half convinced I would see the crystal form a spider-web of cracks, but there was nothing.
I looked up, then around, my feet unwilling to move further, for the moment I was rooted and only my eyes wanted to wander.
The walls appeared grown, the floors were like a frozen pond, everywhere was the slight imperfections that only nature could provide. The light was a phosphorescent thing, the light of deep sea creatures or the moss on caverns that never saw the light of the sun, a living light, a light made of breath.
This is what Heaven must look like, I thought, and then I looked out over the void with the memory stars lighting the heavens around me and I wondered if it were more a hell of my own making.
posted by Alan Preece
on November, 26