Of all the ways to become a Traveler, one of the simplest and least spectacular (although no less unheard of for that) happened to a being named Ánderwo during a stormy afternoon. The force of the tempest was intense enough to turn his entire city into an inhospitable seabed.
As the story goes, Ánderwo had spent the whole day curled up in his bed, under the sheets, sheltering from the cold air which he was not prepared for, as the usual hot weather of the city of Éntas had dissuaded him from buying warm clothes. At some point he poked his head out and looked out the window above the desk; just as he thought, the clouds kept out the sunlight and the only natural light in the entire city came from sporadic lightning, followed almost always by the superb response of thunder. Convinced that he couldn't or wouldn't want to do anything that day, he hid his head back between the sheets. The freezing air passed through the window pane and the wind pummeled it, making such an annoying noise that it didn’t let him sleep. What went through her head during those annoyingly cold hours is pure conjecture. Her emotional state must be very similar to that of a prisoner being tortured by preventing him from sleeping while he is forced to relentlessly reminisce about his past crimes. He felt the exasperation of the slow passage of time; his head was stuck with a single thought that wouldn't go away no matter how much he tried to fall asleep; a fierce feeling that his body was squeezing him and his head was heavy. He couldn't bear to see, he couldn't bear to hear, and even the air that kept him alive made him angry; the feeling of not being there, of not being anywhere, and yet being trapped everywhere.
Whatever his condition was, the Traveler must have found something interesting, because at some point he decided to break his silence and called him in a fatherly voice:
The young man stopped all mental activity. His muscles, stiff from the cold air, felt suddenly warm. His sense of touch became so acute that all his other senses almost disappeared, and his spine took on the rigidity of marble.
"Anderwo, don't be scared."
The voice had taken on a slightly ironic tone, perhaps even burlesque. The Traveler was trying not to laugh at this exacerbated fear, and consequently his initial sweet tone almost faded. That change didn't lessen Ánderwo's fear, though it did spark a curiosity in which his survival instincts didn't allow him to ponder about that situation for long.
"I come from another parallel universe." The Traveler returned to his protective tone, like a god communicating with his creation. "I was just passing by as part of my endless roaming through realities, and felt the desire that lurks at the core of your deepest thoughts." And since Ánderwo did not come out of his warm shelter, he continued: "I know you have read stories about us Travelers, whose experiences from time to time fall into the heads of the beings of this world through what you call imagination or dreams, and then you take them as products of your own invention. I know that you do not want to feel you only receive the experiences of other beings, but that the idea of living everything imaginable yourself burns you inside and makes you feel imprisoned in your own body; in fact, you are directly relating the physical confinement to which this storm is condemning you to your abstract confinement, and the combination of both at the same time is unbearable for you. “Right now not even death would be a relief, because death, as it is said, is nothing more than an extension of this same state of isolation in which I am not with myself, but in which I cannot escape from myself either. I hope it is not like that, I hope death is a liberation”.
Ánderwo's first reaction, after hearing from that being the concepts that at some point he had come to conceive inside his head, was to accentuate his fear, but soon astonishment and indignation for that mental reading arose in him, as he felt invaded in the most sacred thing that every thinking being has. The result was that, with a slow but steady movement, he removed the sheet from his head and took a look: no one; the room was still inhabited by all its furniture with its books and other objects of use and decoration, but no visible source of the strange voice.
"I've decided to stay invisible, if you don't mind. I like to be like this most of the time." The Traveler's voice sounded condescending.
A new fear made Ánderwo forget his previous astonishment and indignation; he did not return to his refuge but rather opened his eyes wider as if by doing so he could see better, and a great number of other thoughts crowded his brain in no functional order.
"I'm not a hallucination," said the Traveler, reacting to Ánderwo's hypotheses, "I'm not malicious either, nor do I intend to make you experience any misfortune. I have come to offer you the fulfillment of your desire: just say what kind of reality you want to travel to, and I will immediately take you there."
It took a while of silence for the situation to finish building calmly in Ánderwo.
"A Traveler?",he asked.
"A Traveler like those you once read about in some fictions of your world; beings that are non-limited to a single reality, but have virtually an infinite number of them in which to exist. I want to make you part of that too. I want you to become a Traveler. I will give you the freedom to travel to other realities like me.
Ánderwo got up and sat on the edge of the bed, still with suspicion in his eyes.
"Why do you want to do that?", he asked looking at the ceiling, where for a moment he had the impression that his invisible companion was.
"My reasons are not important," said the Traveler as if mocking himself. “What does it matter if it's because your intentions have caught my attention, out of boredom, out of pride in turning someone into a traveler or just because I feel like it? Don't make that face, Ánderwo. I know you are thinking that, if my reasons are not very convincing, or if there is some evil purpose in me, it will obviously affect the result of this experience I am offering you. It is true, it is not impossible that all this is nothing more than a ruse to deceive a poor sucker with incredible promises; you are right to suspect that some ghoulish fate may await you if you accept, and anything I do to try to demonstrate my pacifism could very well be part of the ploy. You cannot even be sure that I will endeavor to be a faithful and trustworthy guide for you. You have everything to win and lose, Ánderwo. The decision is yours after all; just tell me no, and all I have to do is go to the universe where you said yes. But you must know some conditions in case you accept my proposal. First of all, you will not be allowed to return to a previous universe; once you decide to leave a universe, you will not be able to go back. Secondly, although I will give you advice during your travels, the decisions and consequences generated by you in those worlds will be your responsibility; I will not save you in case you need it, I only guarantee that you will never have an authentic death, because I will always keep your existence alive so that you can continue traveling. Finally, in case you want to leave this project, you are free to do so whenever you tell me, and I will return you to this precise world and moment, as if this entire game had not lasted the blink of an eye. I let you choose then, you can take as long as you want.
Many hours later the storm continued to accompany Ánderwo's violent musings. He barely changed his position sitting on the bed. Four or five times he went to the bathroom; many other times he looked for something to eat and drink; for a period of half an hour he paced back and forth in his room; for fifteen minutes he flipped through some of his college books and notebooks; ten minutes he lay in bed staring at the ceiling almost without blinking; he slept wrapped in a cocoon of sheets for about an hour and had dreams that were more like unpleasant sensations in his body. But most of the time he just sat on the edge of the bed, sometimes holding his head in his hands; sometimes thrown backwards; sometimes hunched forward; sometimes tapping the ground with his feet.
Since it is not in our story's interest to witness the world in which Ánderwo rejected the Traveler's proposal, let us better witness the world in which he accepted, for reasons as variable and insignificant as the Traveler's reasons for wanting to make that offer to him.
Ánderwo kept a distrustful look on his face, similar to that of a cat cautiously accepting food offered by a stranger; his excitement remained hidden under the shore of his conscience and little did his gestures and body language betray him.
"Which universe do you want to go to now?" asked the Traveler, with the emotion that he imagined Ánderwo must have been feeling inside.
Ánderwo still took awhile before giving his answer, and it almost sounded as if he were making a humble wish before some extinct god of the past:
"I would like to go to a world like this, but one of a smaller magnitude, to feel what it is like to be like a god."
Let us now imagine that, when Ánderwo disappeared from the room, time stopped: thunder and lightning froze; the cold air no longer blew; the storm wind turned into a statue. This is how reality will wait for Ánderwo in case he decides to return to it. For the rest of the beings of that world other than Ánderwo, time will follow its normal flow. He will be the one to have disappeared forever in case he chooses never to return.
ParalefikZland es el principio de que todas las ficciones son libres y descentralizadas de toda realidad. Las realidades se bifurcan y crean infinitas variaciones. Esas historias son atestiguadas por los viajeros, y eventualmente expuestas a los seres de los demás universos. ParalefikZland no es una historia, sino todas las historias en todas sus infinitas variaciones. Es la ficción y la realidad en sí. / ParalefikZland is the principle that all fictions are free and decentralized from all reality. Realities fork and create infinite variations. These stories are witnessed by the travelers, and eventually exposed to the beings of other universes. ParalefikZland is not one story, but all stories in all their infinite variations. It is fiction and reality itself. Read more about ParalefikZland.
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