house of mirrors

Plate I: "Vision in a Moonlit Field"


ACT I: The Journey (The Fool)



- In which the boy sets off on a walk to discover new things


On a moonlit mid-summer's eve, not so long ago and not so far away, a boy went for a twilight walk in the wooded fields beyond his town. Walking brought new sights and smells. Lightning bugs and furtive fawns danced together to the sound of crickets in the long meadow grass.


Walking further brought subtle tones of turquoise, purple, and deep crimson as the deepness of night advanced over the last struggling remnant memories of sunlight. Here stranger creatures moved in the faint darkness at the edge of the senses. Odd shaped cloven hoofed beasts stepped, horned and toothed, clothed in sharp quills and armor, silent warriors of the unseen. The insects rose in an earsplitting chorus, thick and oily with a scent of webs and scaled wings.


Walking still further into the lateness of night brought a startling sight ahead in a moonlit clearing. Here, pristinely presented, stood a fantastic house with a sign on it: "The Metaphysical House of Mirrors: All Travelers Welcomed". From afar it glittered as multi-faceted stars, a vast jewel glimmering in the coal dust of night. Holding his breath and approaching, the boy found its bright paint indeed covered ancient stone and timbers, a place wizened and aged past its fanciful patina.


Holding his breath again and approaching still closer, the boy saw strange shadows dancing on the facade to the sound of reeling calliope music. Flashing, twittering lights playfully called him to enter. With a tentative shyness, he moved forward, driven by an unquenchable thirst borne of some deep, dangerous impulse he did not quite understand. Here the boy found himself standing in that entrance, and departing from the broad, simple night sky. At the gate, a mechanically laughing clown automa handed him a ticket for the price of two cents and a lock of his hair. The journey out of darkness had begun.