Post by ParamountKeymaster on Mar 7, 2020 13:30:01 GMT -5
A comforting serenity.
An all-encompassing silence.
Evan lay still for a minute or so, then he slowly opened his eyes, barely moving a muscle otherwise. He couldn't see anything. The world around him was completely dark and fathomless, a black veil surrounding him from all sides in a way that was somehow both haunting and comforting. He didn't want to leave it. He just wanted to sleep.
Then, with a small, airy gasp, Evan jolted upright, catching his breath in a fit of panic. The drowsiness faded entirely as his mind became alert. He desperately looked around, trying to see through the darkness, to find some landmark or evidence of his location. No such luck. He couldn't even recall how he ended up in this strange abyss.
Gradually, a soft light appeared, shining down on him like a spotlight. Glimmers appeared in the empty space like stars in the clearest night sky. Strangely, though he could feel a physical ground beneath him, he appeared to be sitting on nothing. An invisible platform within the black.
The odd environment quickly fell to the wayside as the memories came crashing down on Evan. The hunt for Rainflower. The caverns. The Elder Beast... The last thing he could recall was being dragged kicking and screaming into the beast's maw.
Post by ParamountKeymaster on Mar 7, 2020 13:44:23 GMT -5
Evan warily glanced around again. No one else seemed to be there with him, and in hindsight, he wasn't sure why he bothered looking. That voice sounded as if it was being projected from all directions.
He stood up on shaking legs, pausing to inspect himself. No injuries, no cuts, no bruises. The only thing he had carried over was the excess weight. However, as he stared down at himself, he noticed a strange, subtle, purple mist that was slowly rising off of his skin like vapor, drifting into the void.
Okay... One thing at a time.
With a nervous expression and a slight crack in his tone, Evan lowered his arms, stared into space, and addressed the looming voice. "Um... Hello?"
Post by ParamountKeymaster on Mar 7, 2020 13:51:12 GMT -5
"Uhh... Yeah?" Evan's eyes anxiously flicked back and forth, more so out of discomfort than in any sort of search. It still wasn't clear who was speaking to him, but he suspected it wasn't God. He couldn't imagine God sounding so much like Catbug. "How- How did you know that? Where am I?"
Post by ParamountKeymaster on Mar 7, 2020 13:58:43 GMT -5
"Well, yeah, I am..." Evan awkwardly rubbed his neck and focused his eyes on a single star above him. Hearing Rainflower's name was somewhat encouraging, but at the same time, a disquieting revelation dawned on him. "Are you... the Elder Beast that... ate me?"
Post by ParamountKeymaster on Mar 7, 2020 14:06:38 GMT -5
A perplexed, somewhat flustered expression crossed Evan's face. "Well, when people see a big, screaming monster trying to eat them, they tend to get a little defensive. Normally being eaten results in... death. I'm honestly not convinced that my experience won't end that way."
Post by Pink Moon Wolf on Mar 7, 2020 14:11:29 GMT -5
What?? No, you're not gonna die! I just swallowed you 'cause you're all grumpy that you're fat and Rainflower can fix it but you can't find them. Now you can talk to them about it and I can eat up your bad mood! Then you'll feel all better!
Post by ParamountKeymaster on Mar 7, 2020 19:48:30 GMT -5
Evan pursed his lips and scowled, irked by the blunt explanation behind his current mood. Sure, based on the tone that the beast telepathically spoke with, it was clearly young and naive, but he still wasn't fully comfortable with that particular f-word. Looking down at himself, his scowl softened with curiosity when he noticed that the purple vapor was pouring off of him in a much greater quantity following his pouting episode, and in a weird way, as he acknowledged this... he was already feeling better.
"Alright, so..." Evan looked back up at the stars. "I can understand the concept of you feeding off my negative emotions, but... how exactly am I supposed to find Rainflower in here? Are you saying...?"
Evan's face dropped into his hand. Everything made sense. Stupid, infuriating sense.
Post by Pink Moon Wolf on Mar 7, 2020 20:54:46 GMT -5
Yeah... Yeah, I did... M'sorry. They were really stressed, and this usually helps them feel better. I didn't mean any harm, I promise! But... now that you're here, you can tell them what's going on! Here, let me help you!
Post by ParamountKeymaster on Mar 7, 2020 22:02:52 GMT -5
"L-Look, I- YIPE-!!!"
The mist suddenly started billowing off of Evan like smoke from a raging fire. The purple haze quickly obscured his vision, rising into the void and spreading out to form a wispy cloud. As the negative energy was practically ripped from his being, Evan was overwhelmed by a feeling of weightlessness, as if the intense updraft would lift him off his feet at any moment. It was startling at first, but then it felt exhilarating. Exciting. Liberating.
Gradually, the stream of vapor petered out, slowing back into a gentle flow. The extracted purple energy was washed away, raining down like shooting stars, leaving a multitude of colors in their wake, avoiding Evan altogether.
"Whoa...!" Evan grabbed his head, wobbling in place with a dumbfounded smile. "That was... That was a rush! What did you...?"
Evan quickly lowered his arm into the center of his vision, anxious to assure himself he wasn't just imagining things.
The bones in his hand... his flexors... his biceps... he could see them again!
A soft gasp wheezed through Evan's throat as he pulled his arm away and looked down at the rest of himself. His gut was gone. His slim figure had been restored. His toes... oh God, his toes were right there in plain sight!
"Heh... HEH...!" Evan stared at his feet for an unprecedented amount of time, smiling with his mouth wide open in pure joy. "You... How did you...??"
Post by Pink Moon Wolf on Mar 7, 2020 22:07:16 GMT -5
I can make all sorts of cool things happen in here! You can too! It's only pretend, though. You'll still be fat when you leave. B-But I don't want you to be upset about that now! I want you to be happy! So go on, go find Rainflower! And have some fun while you do!
Post by ParamountKeymaster on Mar 18, 2020 17:04:37 GMT -5
"I-I think I get what you're saying," Evan replied with a slow nod and a meek smile. Sure, it was a little disheartening to know that his restoration was only an illusion, but it would become real enough once he found Rainflower, and it seemed like he was closer to that goal than ever.
He looked ahead. The endless black void was transforming. The colors began to blend together, forming shapes in the distance. A spiraling, luminescent path stretched out from beneath his feet, trailing into the glow on the newly formed horizon.
He grinned at the stars once again. "Thank you. I think I can take it from here."
With that said, Evan took off running, descending the shimmering loop before sprinting headlong into the light. The shadows faded behind him. The mist trailed from his form like an aurora.
So he could make whatever he wanted appear in this realm? Well, no sense in passing up that opportunity...
Soon enough, just as he had predicted, Prospit appeared. The golden towers and hallowed streets enveloped him, the heavenly glow of Skaia shining down from above. Evan slowed down for a moment, taking in the shimmering visage of the city from his dreams with a rapt, eager smile. He looked up into the blue sky, tilting his head with curiosity. In one of the clouds, he saw the familiar terrain of Summer Snow Valley in such intricate detail that it almost felt like he really was there.
With merely a thought, Evan lifted himself off the ground and flew into the sky, rising above the skyscrapers of the golden moon, immersing himself in Skaia's atmosphere. He gazed around as he made a beeline for his home, invigorated by the shapes and images in the surrounding clouds, from his friends and family to the fantastical lands they had journeyed through together. Then he dove straight into the picturesque scene of Summer Snow Valley.
The image in the cloud took on a three-dimensional shape. The mountains stretched out beneath him, sunlight sparkling on the snowy peaks, warm, pine-smelling air drowning his senses. Pure, comforting, dreamlike bliss.
That bliss quickly gave way to excitement. Evan wanted his snowboard, and as he so wished, it appeared in his hand. He smoothly transitioned from a self-sustained glide to a freefall, then to a well-practiced slide down the mountain. Riding his board and the waves of adrenaline, he weaved through the trees and propelled himself off the natural ramps formed in the snow, laughing all the while. When the snow turned to grass, he leaped off his board and continued to fly down the slope, arms spread wide like a skydiver as the world sped past him.
He sailed above the valley in a high arc, disappearing into the forest on the other side. Here, the terrain started to shift once again as the deciduous woods of his home turned into the forest that surrounded Bonsai Village. Evan gradually slowed down and perched atop a familiar house, staring out in wonder at the colorful garden that was Kisono Fields, beyond which he could see the quaint oriental town that he had grown so attached to. A wistful sigh escaped him. One of these days, he and Swift needed to just move out here...
After simply staring at the gorgeous scenery for a moment, Evan blinked and leaned forward, slightly confused when he noticed that the scene had changed again in a way he had not anticipated. The trees at the edge of the garden seemed different. Taller. Bizarrely colored. Twisted in unnatural yet whimsical patterns. Wind chimes and dreamcatchers dangled from the branches, dancing in the breeze. Pink bubbles rose from the canopy and into the sky, slowly streaming from a conspicuous treehouse nestled in the branches.
"Hm..." If this wasn't his meal ticket, Evan didn't know what else to make of it.
Quickly but cautiously, Evan dropped down off the roof, snagged himself a bright blue kakuyaku fruit off a nearby bush, briefly paused to munch on it, then proceeded to moon-jump over the garden and into the orchard. He effortlessly bounded off the ground and up the tree trunk, clinging to the opening of the treehouse and peering inside...