I’m still climbing, slowly but surely, getting higher and higher. I have 302 printed manuscript pages and at least three chapters I haven’t even started. I’ve broken 61,000 words.
“Once upon a time, there was a young girl who lived with her parents in a city made of grey. They didn’t always have enough to eat, and they were often cold, but they loved each other very much and laughed all the time. One day, the girl’s father went off to work but never came home.”
“What happened to him?” Estelle asked.
“There was an accident at the factory,” Kandace said in a whisper. She continued, “The girl’s mother was so sad, she cried and cried. The girl didn’t understand, not why her father wasn’t coming home, not why her mother wouldn’t laugh anymore. The girl began to get sad and look up to the sun.”
“A great, burning light in the sky,” Kandace explained. “It’s name is Yggdrasil, and in stories it is a giant tree made of fire. The girl liked to watch the sun, imagining it as the giant tree, imagining that she would climb its branches to another world.
“Then, her mother got sick. The girl thought it was because of the sadness inside her. She thought it turned to poison and made her mother sleepy, so sleepy, until she didn’t wake up anymore.
“Without her mother and father to care for her, the girl started to plan a journey. She would take only the most essential things, pack them in a bag, and climb the burning tree to the stars. She climbed and climbed, stopping at each world she found, but learning that she preferred to climb from world to world than ever stop.”