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World 9 (Felix the Cat)

World 9 (Felix the Cat)

There are many different kinds of worlds.  Some worlds are lush and vibrant; full of life wherever you look.  Some are filthy; caked with dirt and grime, with the occasional splash of blue or green being the only color.  Some are hi-tech, either being brilliantly lit with neon as far as the eye can see or being broken, dystopic renditions of our own future.  Others still resemble a children’s wonderland; they’re colorful and a bit cutesy, almost like a living cartoon.  These, however, occasionally hide something best described as grotesque, which is something that few would expect.

I visited many worlds with such a dichotomy.  The one that I’d like to discuss today had its horror concealed in an unexpected place.  The world itself was very cute, and so were its inhabitants, but my journey led me to explore outer space.  I landed on a planet that was unlike any I’d ever seen before.  The happy landscapes had given way to something not quite horrific, but bizarre, and no less jarring.

My surroundings were vaguely reminiscent of the ballads I’d heard about Planet Claire, though I didn’t see any trees around.  The skies were deep red with thin clouds of magenta.  Despite this, the stars still shone brightly, though they were tinted orange by the strange atmosphere.  This was made even more cryptic by the shadows of mountains seen in the distance; they were barely visible – as though through some sort of thick mist – which would suggest that the stars shouldn’t have been visible.  The ground beneath me was covered in some sort of goopy blue substance, and beneath that was a layer of green rock.  There was the occasional pit filled with a bubbly pink liquid.  Just watching the bubbles burst was entrancing; it was almost like some sort of cosmic soda.  Of course, drinking such a thing isn’t really a safe idea, so I passed it by.

After staring in wonder for a while, I moved on, only to find my surroundings to be even more bizarre as I traveled.  Strange creatures roamed the ground, but that’s a constant to any adventurer.  It was the airborne inhabitants that really had me confused.  What appeared to be orange space octopi floated in the air; their tentacles thrashed, but they were otherwise stationary.  Some were by themselves, some were stacked upon each other in midair, and others still had signs sticking out of their heads.  It was almost as if they weren’t truly organic life forms, but I had no real way of knowing that.  The air itself had strange features of its own.  There were what appeared to be clouds at first, but upon closer inspection, turned out to be silhouettes in the sky.  They were white, and came in one of two shapes.  The first shape was that of a balding old man with a large moustache, which moved up and down.  The other shape was of a cat, whose appearance was feminine in nature; it would spout the name, “Felix” with a little heart below it every so often.  As for what they truly were, your guess is as good as mine.

Even the rock formations behaved erratically.  There were boulders of a light salmon color bouncing through the landscape, which appeared to be electrically charged.  They didn’t appear to be meteorites of any sort, but rather something native to the planet.  I was unable to discern their origins or chemical composition, however.  There were also rock ledges that floated through the air, but those are hardly out of the ordinary to most adventurers, at least those of use who have been around for several decades.  I eventually reached something made of metal; it was a series of golden-colored blocks with faces etched into them, which appeared to form an edifice of some sort.  The faces were both of the old man in the sky and what appeared to be some sort of bear wearing a hat.

I dared not enter the fortress, but it did have me a bit curious.  Perhaps it was the strange nature of the world, perhaps it was the thought of what kind of person would want to colonize such a hostile environment, or it may just have been the stern faces etched into the strange metal.  Whatever the reason, the world’s beauty was in its natural landscape, so I’d felt that my journey here had finished.  I headed home, pondering a strange thought: what is it that truly defines the boundaries a world?  Of course, a world can be very small – such as the bottom of a pond in the middle of the forest – but can the definition of a world extend further than that of a single planet?  The words “world” and “planet” are used so interchangeably that it becomes something that is difficult to answer.  Personally, I would say that it can; to me, a world is a self-contained area.  That containment can be within geographical boundaries, but it can also be within a path taken.  Since my travels led me from one planet to another, I’d say that for the duration of my trip, that area was my world.  One could also say that each different region was a world of its own, and I’d agree with that as well.  To make something of a strange analogy, worlds are like folders on a computer in that they can contain several layers of themselves; worlds can be within worlds just as folders can contain other folders.  For such a word, a loose interpretation of its meaning seems to be the most accurate, even if it lacks precision.

 

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