The field had been built upon and around with a series of turret-shaped, fortress-type buildings, which appeared fascinating and invited one to enter with the proviso that they might prove to be either castles or follies, depending on the exact choice of structure or method of entry. The first ones I entered seemed to be staircases into the sky, the windows of which afforded me useful views over a greater expanse of the area than had been visible from the ground. I looked around at the topiary and winding walls, seeking without knowing what I should find, but was shortly distracted by a couple of characters from an earlier world walking purposefully across the grass. Immediately I saw others, and everyone seemed to be going in a similar direction whilst also appearing to be totally independent within themselves. I felt excited at the prospect of meeting former allies and rushed down the steps to greet my erstwhile comrades, but when I reached the pair, they passed me by without even a word as if I were invisible.
I was a bit sad and wondered what to do. I decided to follow the crowd for a while, seeing as they all seemed to know where they were going. I entered the great hall with some trepidation, for the half-light, the unbalanced male presence and the murmurings of severity made me quake in my boots. I had truly forgotten that they were golden and thanks to their cunning disguise nobody there would have been likely to spot my prodigious gift.
I heard a whisper on my left and saw them beckoning me to follow into the secret entrance to the upper reaches of the hall. Beauty, it seems, brought its own form of recognition, but I did not see that, and simply did not hesitate to follow the promise, to take share of the privileged information, as we climbed the narrow wooden steps between the paneled walls into the vaults of the ceiling. Each of us held our own light within the folds of our gowns, walking carefully, half crazy with suspense and excitement at the forbidden nature of our discovery, daring only to speak in whispers and wordless communication. At a certain stage we reached our viewing point.
The hall was below and behind us on the South side, but the narrow slits in the ceiling faced into the inner sanctum of the place of worship, lit with candles, and filled with the tenor of a permanent choir, now hushed in the secrecy of some religious practice. I drew my breath sharply – this was something I had never seen before, and recognised for the first time that I may have been afraid. I returned to the open fields with some haste, unwilling to make an interpretation of my discovery at its momentous inception.
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