I have had the stone for a while. Esse, once called “The Svartalf” in my earlier writings, had claimed it to be a key for entering spaces he had set aside for me. But after I successfully took the doll back from him two years ago, I interacted less and less with him until by the second half of 2017, I had not interacted with him at all and I wondered if he was now relegated to the past.
Sorting through my things as I continue to settle in the new apartment, I found the stone in my collection of wooish objects. A thumb-sized piece of granite that was originally light gray when I first found it, over the years it has darkened slightly from the handling. The seemingly smooth surface is unpolished allowing light to sparkle from the mica rich stone.
As I sat in my chair, reminiscing about the shenanigans stirred up (and put down) by Esse, I held the stone securely and thought of him. How much of the past will come with me?
The gust of winter wind nearly pushed me off balance. I opened my eyes as I pushed back to resume my crouching posture. Furs and leathers shielded me from the prying gusts but nothing kept the snow from biting my face. I remained still to allow the confusion to settle in my mind.
Only two things occupied the small clearing in the dense forest. Myself, and a massive mica-rich granite boulder. The boulder had collected significantly more snow than my shoulders, though if I remained here for much longer, I had a chance to take the title.
I shivered, and my breath fogged the air before me. I knew I was not physically in this wintery scene, but I wanted to remain as long as possible. It has been years since I was last in the Forest of Shadows. Years since I was at the boulder that served as a door to Esse’s realm.
Another shiver shook me, and as my fists tightened I felt resistance in my left hand. Without opening it, I identified what I held by the shape of it. “Esse’s Thumb.” The granite keystone. I lifted my left fist as if to offer the keystone to the boulder.
The boulder cracked vertically. Without sound, it split from top to bottom. No snow fell from it as it divided itself. Even though the two halves did not move, I knew all I had to do was touch it to be transported through. The way was open.
I have not forgotten Esse, and it would appear that Esse hasn’t forgotten me.
The winter intensified its inspection of me. I am not prepared for this environment. I pulled my arm back under the layers of furs and leathers and shivered until my teeth chattered.
I wanted to speak, but it was too cold to breathe much less make a word wasted speech. I could only shiver and grin at the completeness of the vision and the implication of the boulder’s presence.
A gust poured itself on my face, buffeting me with increasingly heavier and wetter snow. After I lowered my face into the furs I was wearing, the sudden blizzard helped me remember how to leave this state by pushing me out of the vision.
I opened my eyes. The brightly lit room is cool but I shivered as if nearly frozen. I looked around at the bags of stuff still waiting for my inspection and judgement. The piece of rounded granite was warm in my fist. If sixty seconds had passed on the clock since I closed my eyes, I would be surprised.
I know things are not going to be the way they were before. My path and practices are being rebuilt from dirt. I have recognized that many of the structures I had relied on before will not serve me now because my circumstances have changed that much, that fast. Entities that I initially saw with one appearance were already wearing others that contradict accepted lore before the move. How much more then will they change after.
I have no idea what Esse is other than
an asshole Esse.
I guess I have some catching up to do.