Pictures of Lilly

This room is carpeted with a plush aqua shag; the ceiling is light blue, and the walls are dark wood paneling. They are lined with paintings, which seem to be the only features besides the window in the far wall (and the door you came in) in this otherwise vacant room.

The paintings are without an exception of beautiful women. While each woman is different, you see something desirable in the face of every one, her features telling you that she is a woman of substance, of intelligence, of compassion, of understanding, and of ambition. You begin to realize that there are many different ways of expressing these qualities, and these particular women represent just a few of those. You also begin to rethink your ideas of love and relationships.

The window in the far wall is open, and it is large enough for you to fit through. On the other side, the scene is outdoors, but it is an outdoors nothing like that you were in before you entered this house. You can see a small river surrounded by rocks and trees, and a 20-foot waterfall slightly off to the left. Oddly enough, you cannot hear the waterfall. The scene looks very peaceful, and inviting.

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Lilly, Sweet Lilly

You are in the room with the pictures of beautiful women. Through a window in the east wall, you can see a waterfall. The door to the west leads back to the black room.

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Waterfall

You pass through the window, and feel yourself enter another world. The air is fresh and warm, but not too warm. The river is about 30 feet wide, and the crystal clear water looks like it's only deep near where the waterfall lands. It is surrounded by grey rock, but a little distance away there are trees.

You cannot see anything beyond the trees except for more trees, and you gather that you are in a pretty secluded spot. The waterfall itself is wide, strong, and beautiful. The water as it arcs out and down catches the sun and reflects every color of the rainbow. It is ever-changing, and you could sit and look at it for hours and never be bored.

You stare at the patterns in the water, following them deeper and deeper and for longer periods of time. Sometimes you are not sure whether you are watching the waterfall or sitting with your eyes closed thinking. Then you see a woman come out from the trees on the other side of the river.

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A Woman Divine

As she comes out, she sees you, and you are transfixed by her gaze. She has long blond hair that is a little wet, and her face is like the waterfall - quick and sharp, yet fluid and mellow; beautiful, with depth. Her movements are smooth and graceful, with no sudden changes - almost like the pendulum on the grandfather clock, but completely lacking its regularity. You continually have the illusion that she is moving more slowly than she does.

She enters the river right near the waterfall, then, with a last glance at you over her shoulder, she turns around and steps into the falls. She disappears from sight. Almost as an afterthought, you realize that she was completely nude.

Your course of action is clear, and you step up to the waterfall yourself (pausing to disrobe first), and stride through.

You come out on the other side, and she is there. She looks at you and smiles a greeting. The smile invites you to look into her eyes and you do, seeing into their sky blue depths and behind them, a person - whom it seems like you touch. The moment is but brief, but it seems to last for as long as you know you will remember it.

The clattering sheet of water you have just passed through shimmers and obscures your vision of the outside. The glistening rock wall behind juts out on the sides. You feel like you are enclosed in something that is almost a room.

You have just met this woman in a strange place, and social conventions say you should speak to her and introduce yourself, that you shouldn't touch her, that you probably won't be able to even consider it until a great of verbal maneuvering has passed. But the circumstances scream otherwise. What could possibly be more right than to embrace her right now?

You step towards her, drawn by the force that cannot be resisted but only ignored or transformed. She comes forward as well, and gently wraps her arms around you, looking into your eyes.

Just as this happens, however, she starts to melt away, until she is gone, and it is almost as if she was never there. Just before she completely disappeared, though, she smiled, `Look for me along the river.'

Almost about to collapse from the sudden rush of emotions you have just experienced, you emerge from the waterfall. She is nowhere to be seen. "Along the river," you think. Well, that could mean one of two things: upstream, or downstream.

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Upstream, to the Source

You decide to walk upstream towards the source and the beginning. Rather than following blindly towards wherever the water leads to, you will trace the river back to its origins, perhaps becoming enlightened in the process. Surely it is along this path that the woman will lie.

So you journey onward, wading through the water because there is no room to walk along the sides of the river. The sun shines down through the water as it runs along the bottom, over rocks and mosses of different colors and shapes. Your feet are kept cool while your body is kept warm, and your attention is occupied by the task of finding your footing on the slippery, current-swept stones. You find you are in very high spirits, and your soul sings to Nature around you.

You walk on for the better part of the day, until you come to another waterfall section, similar to the first. Here, you decide to rest on a big, flat rock that seems ideal for the purpose. The day is warm, and the sound of the water is relaxing. You soon doze off, contentedly.

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Little Miss Lover

You awake to a sweet scent and the soft touch of golden hair. She is here, and she smiles, `Hi. Were you looking for me?'

"Yes," you say, simply. You have never laid eyes on her before this glorious day, but you feel as if she is someone you have known your entire life. There is no part of yourself that you would not open up to her and talk with her about.

She is beside you, she leans over and kisses you, and the next few days are gone. In those few days, you experience a lifetime of pleasure. And when they are over, you find that you can't really describe what happened, save to say that it was nothing like anything ever before, and you thought you had already seen what all of life's pleasures had to offer.

And as you lie there at the end, thinking about this, you hear her smile, 'Whenever you are here, I will be too. I will always be with you.' And then she is gone, and so are you. You are happy, and now you always will be, in this respect. Gradually your surroundings alter, until you are no longer where you were.

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Downstream, to the End

You choose to walk downstream, towards the end of the river, the destination and culmination of hundreds of miles of meandering travels, where it joins and merges into its original source, the sea. Surely it is this way that the woman will lie.

There is no room along the sides, really, to walk, so you wade in the river itself. It is pleasant to splash through the cool water in this way, and you enjoy the walk. It is a sunny day, and you hear the sounds of birds and other small creatures all around you. One unusual thing that you notice, however, is the fact that you haven't seen any tributaries joining the stream. Usually along a river of any size there will be everything from little rivulets to large brooks flowing into it at short intervals, but you have seen nothing.

Eventually, you come to a small wooden boat tied up along the bank.

It has no apparent motor nor even a paddle, but in it, you could probably drift with the current faster and more easily than you are walking. Who knows how far it would take you, though, or whether you would be able to stop when the time came.

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On Foot

You decide that the boat was a little too risky for your tastes. Besides, you wanted a little more control over your own destiny than simply sitting in a boat as the scenery drifts by would give you. So you continue on foot.

The day drags on, and you see no sign of the woman, or of any change in the scenery whatsoever. This place is very pleasant and refreshing, but you are rather tired. You are about to go over to the shore and try to find a place to take a nap when a small young man appears in front of you. His features are delicate but handsome, and his eyes are wise beyond his apparent age. Just as you begin to resolve these details, the world begins to get blurry, and you blink your eyes to make it clear up. When it does, you are no longer where you were...

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Drifting, Endlessly...

You throw your fate away to the wills of the world and get in the boat, consenting to go wherever it takes you. As you do this, you seem to feel a tremendous weight lifting from your shoulders, a weight you didn't know was there, but you can sure feel its absence now. You untie and push the boat out into the middle of the stream, kick back, and relax.

Gradually, so you don't even notice it, you fall asleep. As you drift off, you are vaguely conscious of something in the back of your mind that you cannot identify bugging you, as if there was something vaguely inconsistent somewhere...

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By the Bridge...

You awake, and you realize you must have slept right through the afternoon and night, because it is barely light, and there is the still, moist feeling of dawn in the air. You lie looking at the trees drifting by, allowing your body turn itself on at its own gradual pace. Then suddenly you sit up with a start, for you perceive that you are no longer on a boat but on a raft, about fifteen feet square, and there are other people sharing it with you. There are five besides your self, two men and three woman, varied in age and appearance.

One of the men is old and balding, but he is tall and sturdy, with a dignified appearance. He inspires your immediate respect, for you see him as someone with similar abilities and motivations to yourself, but much older and more experienced. The other man is middle-aged, with black hair and plain features. He wears a simple leather jerkin. Of the women, one is very young, little more than a girl. She has straight brown hair extending down the length of her back, dark brown eyes, and pale skin. Her features are delicate, aristocratic. She is dressed neatly in a white buttoned blouse and a plaid skirt. Another appears to be in her thirties. Her hair is long, yellow-blond, and stringy, and her eyes, behind wide-lensed glasses, are very light blue. Light-colored freckles dot her pale face, on which a smile always seems to be playing. She has that appearance of being kind and easy to relate to. The last woman is oriental, and she appears to be about the same age as the old man. Her skin is still relatively unwrinkled except around corners, but her straight black hair is traced with grey, and her face has that slightly sunken appearance that women tend to attain with age.

Looking around at these people, you also notice that the river has become much wider - as well as slower - and occasionally you do pass tributaries now. The stillness of the air is marvelous, and you feel a profound sense of peace as you drift slowly downstream.

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Towards the Other Shore

"I think," the middle-aged man says solemnly, "That we have succeeded in transcending the Wheel of Life."

Somehow the sound of the man's voice tells you everything about him: his personality, his history, his passions. He speaks but for a moment, but you feel you have known him all your life. You find you love him as a brother.

"Yes, I must agree," answers the old man.

Again, you experience the same effect. The roughness of the old man's voice, the points at which it rises and falls and how fast it does, the rhythms of the syllables - all of these things by themselves tell you things about the man, and then you put them together to tell you other things, and then these again may be put together in different ways to tell you still more. You find this process can continue indefinitely, and you allow it to do so - in the blink of an eye - until the entire man lies bare before your perception. You could not respect him more.

"This is a beautiful time," says the freckly woman, showing herself to you as she does so.

"Yes, it is," you are surprised to hear yourself respond. You are not sure what is happening or how you have gotten here, but you seem to be on the same footing as everyone else.

"Look! The trees!" chirps the girl. Everyone looks out, and you see that the dense forest that had been lining the bank has suddenly thinned out, so that here and there you can catch glimpses of fields beyond. Soon the trees fade away altogether, and you look out upon a garden-like landscape of grass and shrubs, with occasional trees scattered about.

"It is as my grandfather used to imagine," says the old woman in an emotional voice. "Just as he used to describe..." A tear flows out of one of her eyes and down her cheek, then the other.


You drift down the river with your companions, engaged in peaceful existence. Each has spoken once while all have listened, and none feels the need to speak again. Slowly, so slowly that you don't notice it for a long time at first, you see yourselves fading away. It is not so much a progressive translucence as something subtler, like a merging. When you look at your companions their essence seems to extend beyond their bodies into the surroundings, so that you don't see them so much as a part of the world, connected with all other parts. You realize this is happening to you as well. Your consciousness expands, reality stretches...

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Return to Myalba

Eventually, all fades, but you do not. Something still holds you, though you do not know what. You exist in limbo for a time, then you (you?) find yourself in a different place.

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