In the hours that are mine, I build castles in the air, indulging in daydreams and flights of fantasy. I chase my train of thought down to the sunset. My dreams transcend reality. They are my refuge, my dearest pleasure and freedom. I run after things that are so fragile that the mere act of speaking of them sometimes disturbs them so much they disappear.
My castle walls seem to hold back the the fear that drives the other children into keeping their feet on the ground firmly lest they float away like severed balloons. A faint aftertaste of wonder lingers past the stench of fear.
I people my hours with the raucous denizens of my castles. They dwell where anything is possible, drunk on dust and dreams and nightmares. I add my voice to a melody that is always just beyond my understanding. Sometimes, it seems like I’ve struck a harmony and that the citizens of my imagination dance to my music.
The stones of the castles are mortared with spells from the darkest recesses of my mind. The steam of magic rises off them like mist from bricks of ice. Solid stone structures lofted in the sky, they are more Eyries than castles, floating like still feathers, and yet the wind holding no sway over them.
The wind knows that it cannot demand anything of the Seven Eyries. The ocean roils in frustration miles below. The towers of the castles reach toward the heavens like children to mothers. The Seven Eyries of Arcady seem weightless, as though hung from the stars with spiderwebs.
The Seven Moons of Arcady are slivers of toenails in the sky, fading towards land. The sun blazes its last statement from the South. Echoing the follies of so many astronomers before Galileo, the inclination is to believe that this is the center of the universe.
A sound awakens in the dank blackness of the castle cellars like the rumbling voices of Titans rising at last from eternal punishment. Sounding almost like the half-silence between a cry of pain and its echoes in the distance, the fugue is raw like the first songs ever sung by human beings and yet innocent like the silence that preceded them.
The residents start up a tilting tune to answer the primal call from beneath their feet. Lords and ladies, lordlings and princesses, blacksmiths and farriers, peasants and whores alike raise their voices in a Song that gains strength as it ages. As the sun dips and dies behind the end of the world, so does the Song, finishing with a Parthian blow on a detuned trumpet. As the last note withers in the thin air and dies, apparitions stir under the castle floors of Arcady as if summoned.
I have traveled here quickly. My eyes open in the wombs of castles as I close my eyes in that other place, so familiar and yet so vague in memory. The mists of Arcady are more real than the dirt of that other place under my feet. My castles have called, and I have come.
I am fairly certain that none of the other children have pastimes like mine.