Story One – Upside Down.

Day One.

here is a curious story of my journey. once i went to a really curious place, seems that no one knows how it happened, but there was this floating island. floating islands, i know of at least two more, but before this one, the others are just plain floating islands with people living on them. this island is turned upside down. certainly, one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the place.
i head of this island once, with a lawyer from the city of law. he said that, in this place, everything was just like any other town, but the attraction force was reverse. why it was like this, why did this happened, well i’m a traveler, not a scholar.
the way to this city had a main road wide, well build and safe. surrounded by green fields, trees here and there just to make a small charm, the road had flowers on its sideways, white flowers, they grew well lined as if there was someone taking care of those flowers. i couldn’t see any traveler there, nor merchant, the road was pretty calm and empty. the wind blew gently all day long while i walked down the road. i was eager to see the upside down island. but seems that it was still a bit far.
the road was really long, but never showed signs of bad care. it was well maintained and the flowers were never out of their pattern. it leaded into the feet of a mountain. a tall, towering mountain. with a grayish top, followed by a white tip, its main body was all green, many sorts of greens and colored trees, the tunes of yellow, orange, and red mixed together with the green making a pleasant sight. by its side, a mountain same, just a bit taller where i couldn’t see its tip. but pretty sure it was also white. in the middle of those two mountains, there was a patch who went up like a ladder.
the more i approached, the more spectacular was this scenery. colored small houses, and pretty signs. white smoke rising from the chimneys, people living carefree around and they seemed to like that lifestyle. the sheep lived free, alongside the horse, cow, dogs and other animals. with only two or three boys taking care. it looked like a friendly community.
i stopped at the place, just for a bit. after all, i had to go see that upside down floating island.
” hello traveler, what brings you to this countryside? ” said a elder man, he had mid stature, seemed to bear his seventy years, his beard short and rough, he had a kind expression and a smile on his face. i smiled back.
” noon Mr. Elder. i came to visit the floating upside down island. ”
” so you came to visit that weird place? ”
” yes i did, as it is one curious thing that i must see, i cant imagine how a upside down life is. ”
” its nothing really this exiting, but if you say, you must see it. then, i suggest at least for you one thing. ” he said, with his kind old man face turning serious. ” don’t go making questions. if they say they’re right, them by all means they are damn right. ”
it was weird, by all means i had no intention of defying their lifestyle either their culture by saying there was something wrong, because, im just a traveler, and as a traveler i dont belong to their reality, neither i know nothing of their culture. instead, i believe that every city has a point. they’re living their life as they like. who am i to just appear from nowhere and try to change someone’s lifestyle? but i took the MR. Elder’s advice dear.
” by the way traveler. ” he said ” why dont you stay and have lunch with us?  there is a wagon by night that goes from here to the city, you could make use of it. ”
yeah, it was a nice idea indeed, a small break before keep on traveling and, consider the fact that i travel the world by feet, i have no transport. well, i could make use of a horse someday, or either some of those motorized bikes. but this is too much for the small me for now. i said yes to Mr. Elder’s offer, it was a chance of having a nice tasty meal and to rest a bit from a long day trip here. in truth, i was wondering how the force change was going to happen, it seemed that you would need some strength left on your body. if so, i though that it would be better to just have the rest.
the old man took me inside, his wife was preparing lunch, apparently we were going to eat a nice turkey. as we ate, a conversation went along between me and the couple.
” so, traveler, where did you came from? ” the wife questioned, her hands gently serving me a juicy piece of turkey.
” i dont remember where did i came from miss, i really dont. it looks like a fog on my mind. ”
” how are you going to return home? to your family? ” she said while serving me spoonfuls of rice in my dish.
” i dont have a family either madam, ”
” that is sad my dear, that is indeed sad. ” said the old man while munching a piece of turkey meat, he was pleased, yet a bit concerned about the fate ” dont you feel lonely? or ever jealous of people who have? ”
” no mister, i dont. i dont because the only bound i have is my journey. ” i said smiling
” that rather deep sweetie. ” the old lady giggled ” do you plan to ever settle down anywhere? ”
” no madam, to me, my life means the journey, if i stop traveling i would die. ” the turkey was really pleasant, well seasoned and well cooked.
” i see… ” the old man seemed amused. somehow, it was really entertaining for him ” do you ever consider the fact that you will age, and will not be full of energy as you are now? ”
he had a point, but also i had.
” no sir, because to me, the only thing i have is the now, the present. i may be alive today, but i will never know if ill be alive tomorrow. so, in the end it doesnt matter. and, even if i get old, i will never cease traveling the world. probably by that age i will be traveling on a wagon, not by feet anymore. so, it doesnt really concerns me this much. but thank you for yours. ”
” it seems that you really love walking around the world. i wish when i was young i was just like you. i would have seem so many things. ” said the old man. i guess he was joking, but anyway.
” but Mr. Elder, if you did, you wouldn’t had meet such a beautiful and caring wife. she even cooks like a professional. you’re a lucky person to have such passionate wife. ”
the couple smiled, they looked at each other, may i be sincere? it wasnt much pleasant, although my idea was right, the outcome of my words were unpleasant to me. not that they werent cute together, but try to understand. really… try to understand my point here.
anyway, after such a pleasant meal, i said, the meal was tasty, i never had such well cooked turkey in my entire life, but then, lets not comment on it alright?
i spent my day looking at the small village. what i learned about the village was, everyone in this village came from the floating island. they didnt seemed to have any special reason or whatever. they all looked happy in that colorful small village at the mountain’s top. nobody had a bad face, well, it was a beautiful small place after all.
night came, and the lights of the small village were lit. the lanterns where also colorful, with patterns resembling scenes of the small life at the village, seriously, it made me feel like there was some kind of festival going to happen, and it did happened.
not a official festival, it was more like a small party where people drank, danced, chatted during the night time, it was really enjoying. i also danced a bit with them, a experience that i must never forget. then when it hit the middle night hour, a wagon came from the main road. coming from the upside down island. it was my transport.
” hello Mr. Conductor, may i have a word with you? ” i turned to talk with the man in the conductor seat
” yea, what is it? oh, you’re not from around are you? ”
” no sir, i am a traveler who seeks to see the upside down floating island. ” i said with a smile on my face.
” so do you want to visit our city? well, you can come with me, i shall take us to the place. its faster and safer anyway. ” he seemed to return the smile, i really couldnt see, his face was kind of fixed. which was funny. he was small and round, his head covered by a stylish dark green cap his clothes also as of an officer. his very figure was funny, but he seemed to be a gentle person.
” thank you Mr. Conductor. ” as any polite traveler, you must learn to thank everyone, for everything, be it a small or a big deed, just remember that everyone likes to receive at least a thank you.
as we went into the road, it started to go up the mountains, as a ladder, sometimes i felt pressed against the wagon’s seat, which was a bit of unpleasant. the Mr. Conductor laughed every time
i complained about it. he was clearly joking around.
the road was quite charming to be sincere, as we went up the road turned left to the higher mountain. the roadside was full of small lanterns, giving a comforting dim light to it. i wondered just who set those lanterns up. my curiosity was stronger than me and i fell defeated by it. i had to ask.
” excuse Mr. Conductor. ” i said politely
” what is it young traveler? ”
” by chance, is it you who lit all those lanterns? ”
” by the roadside? no, this one wasn’t me. ”
” so, you’re not the person who is responsible for those lanterns? ”
” no, i just drive the wagon forth and back to the city. its my daily task. to go from the city, bringing news into the village and asking if someone needs something from our insides. ”
” is that so? ” i said, a bit curious about, sure this place had a some mysteries right? the main road, full of white flowers in a row, the colorful village, those lanterns and the upside down island itself.
” it would be better call me Mr. Caretaker than Mr. Conductor. since my job is really to take care of the small village down at the mountain’s feet. ”
” now thats too late to change names Mr. Conductor. ” after it, we laughed, but my curiosity didnt faded out. i was still wanting to know who was responsible for those cares at the road.
” by any chance, Mr. Conductor. do you know who is responsible for these lanterns? or for the road before the colorful village? ”
” no, sorry i know nothing of it. it is said that two brothers who lived at the city left, seeking for new things to do out of their lives, they went on a journey. but before one could start, he feel in love with the mountain, when he found that it was really dark at night. he went back to the city and learned how to make candles. after it, he settled outside the city, into the mountains, and put lanterns all over the road. going every noon to the start of the mountain road, and lit then until the city gates. by the way, no guard ever saw the man. ”
” curious… ” i said.
” indeed ” he responded.
” so, what about the road before the colorful village? ”
” well, remember it was two brothers? ”
” yes i do. oh! ”
” yeah, he feel in love with the surrounding and settled down there, its said that from where the white flowers start, if you wander a bit to east, you will find his house, he keeps taking care of those flowers. but its said that he only goes do it by the morning. by the morning he goes to the colorful village and start taking care of the flowers until noon hits and then goes back to his home. ”
” curious… ” i said
” yep, indeed. ” he responded.
” how old, exactly are those stories? ”
” oh, well. it was my grandfather who told me those when i was a kid. so i really dont know, but seems that they’re rather old. ” he said, as if it was nothing. ” why do you ask. ”
” … just out of curiosity. ” i responded
” you make too many questions young traveler, have you ever thought of being a scholar? ”
” nope ” i said
” oh well… ” with a sigh he said. as we keep moving up the road. the scenery was beautiful, before i could notice i was high in the sky, i could see the land as if it was a quilt made of different colors of patches. the silence didnt lasted long though, the Mr. Conductor had some questions to do.
” say young traveler, why do you travel? ”
” i dont have a answer to this question, i travel as if it is my life. ”
” so, you say you depend on it? ”
” its not like it. ”
” so, can you stop traveling? ”
” no, thats something i cant do. ”
” why? ” the Mr. Conductor looked at me with a frowned face. as if he really couldnt get what i was saying. was it really this hard?
” because, if i stop traveling, i wouldnt be a traveler anymore. if i am not a traveler, then, what do i am? ”
” hmm… you could be anything you want. ” he said
” then i want to be a traveler. ” i responded right away. smiling. we couldnt hold our laughter.
” so, where are you going after here? ”
” well… that i do not know, i will let the wind decide. ”
” have you ever ate pasta? ” the Mr. Conductor came up with this.
” yes i did. why the out of place question? ”
” because, there is a nice city who is specialized in cooking pasta. i was there on vacations, they’re all masters! ”
” is that so? ” i feel ashamed of it. i got so exited about the pasta city, that i could turn my way just to rush there and taste some of their work.
” haha yes! ”
we chatted long about pasta, about kinds, textures, sauces and how you get dirty with sauce when eating them, i learned about what kind of grains make a nice pasta and we also discussed tomatoes.
ok, the road was alright until now. but then it started to look, really weird, i was feeling that my body was being pressed in weird directions. with time, i noticed that the road was slowly twisting, and we were not on the mountain anymore, but on a floating road. i looked in all directions looking for the island, and just when i looked forward. there it was, a floating island, upside down, if you dont get the picture, imagine a floating mountain, and put a green plains on its under side, as if it was going to get smashed if the mountain fell. believe me here, it was stunning. eve more, because there was a city on it.
” there we are Traveler, welcome to Petra. ”
” so, this is Petra, the upside down island city? ”
seriously, those where majestic walls, made of some black stone with carvings who resembled the colorful village’s lanterns. the gates, man how can i describe the gates? they where made of some dark blue ore, ornamented with carvings of two bears, in the eyes of those bears there were two enormous blue gems, both all lit. the towers were pieces of art, in each one’s top, featured were a lion with wings of a angel. made of the same black stone as the walls. the main arc had a sentence it read.
” The right is for the few ”
” what does it means Mr. Conductor? ” i asked him.
” it means that not everyone can be right, but only a few folk. ”
” this sounds nice. ”
” indeed, hahaha, its the saying of my people, how could we be wrong? ” he keep on laughing.
suddenly i remembered the Mr. Elder’s advice. yes, i understood him that time.
then we stopped the main office. im a traveler after all, i need to make some registrations.
” welcome to Petra traveler from the upside down world! how many days are you going to stay? ”
” i think, two days are enough. ”
” just two days? are you sure? ”
” yup, just two days are enough. ”
as i made my registration, they didnt asked for anything extra, like guns knives or my inventory. the inside of the city was beautiful, houses were dark blue, with roofs made of a grayish blue also. the lanterns standing high all over the city, shining with big gems on its tops. such stunning beauty, i really wondered why did Petra had so few visitors.
soon as i wandered the city searching for a place to stay, a woman came curious to me. asking the following:
” how is it traveler, to live in a upside down world? ”
i got puzzled.
” excuse madam? ” i said politely.
” dont you came from the outside the island? ”
” oh, i see. ” i stopped… looked to the… ground? and then asked ” its… nothing special, really. ”
” you sure? ”
” well…  now that you said… you guys dont see the sky, do you? ”
” we do see the sky. ” she responded. and then she pointed to the… i guess she pointed to the ground. yes, it could be called sky. but it wasnt quite que sky. it was more, the ground but there was pieces of the sky, oh, man its kind of annoying to explain. there was sky, just a small stripe of sky around, if you looked directly up, all you would see was the ground. so either, look up, look down, you’re looking to the ground.
” say miss, do you see the stars? ”
” sometimes we can see the stars. we even have the stargazing festival, you should come to see it someday! ”
remember me that, i love festivals.
after it, she didnt talked much, and left. i went to a inn, it was late already. and i was tired. it was a long day, and this conversation left me confused. not long, i found a really nice looking inn, also cheap. the building was same as all the others, dark blueish, but the lights of the place were blue as all the other gems, just a bit more lighter. something was different there thought.
the signpost saying Inn was written upside down. so it took some seconds to read the thing.
after i entered the Inn, i was received by the inn lady
” hello, young traveler, how can i help you? ”
” a room for two days please? ” i said.
” alright. anything else? ”
” i guess… no, nothing thank you. ”
” please, sign here. ”
as i expected. everything looked ok and fine until that moment. when writing at Petra, you must write upside down also… well at least it was upside down for me.
after getting to my room, i realized something. it actually didnt felt upside down for the people there.