Boating In The


  by Bonzai Yak

  112 pages

Chapter 4: Territory Characteristics (part c)


We got so confused there was nothing to do, so we kind of gave up and sort of let go. We wandered around up and down those blocks in an aimless way, not trying to make a map or a reason. Without much ado we kind of slipped into the Territory without really trying to. And all of a sudden there we were in the most amazing place. We later named it the Pirate Grotto, but when we first found it the first thing we knew was the sound of water. It was raining that day in the everyday world, but in the Pirate Grotto the sound was more like the echo of drips dripping down in an underground waterway.

We were carrying our boats so we clipped them together and started to paddle. It was beautifully quiet and wondrously strange to be slipping along on that gentle current. The Grotto was bathed in a luminous glow as we coasted through. The soft dripping water that fell like a mist from the roof of the cave merged with the sound of the small lapping waves our boat sometimes made as we brushed past the walls of rock. A number of Pirates were working there, doing all sorts of mysterious things that we couldn't quite understand. Crates and barrels were piled up high outside large doorways which led back inside to various secret hideouts and lairs. A beautiful plum tree with blossoms in flower grew out from one wall and added its light to the glow of the Grotto. We slipped in beneath it and paused for a while to see what was going on.

The Pirates didn't seem to mind at all. They noticed us there, but they seemed unconcerned that we'd entered their strange domain. At the time it was hard to see why that should be, but looking back now it seems to me that whoever discovers the Pirate Grotto is simply accepted there, if you find a way in then you must belong because there you are. Another idea that appeals as well is that maybe they didn't see Francis and me in the usual way. It looked like they looked right through us you see. They saw our shape and they knew we were there, but I think we weren't all that substantial to them. They looked a bit strange to us themselves; the way that they were was more solid than us. It could be that Pirates are more than they seem, or maybe we're less than we seem to ourselves, it seems either way to me.

Whatever they were we were just passing through, so we pushed off again from the plum tree wall and after a timeless journey our boat coasted in to a large docking place at the end of the Grotto. Our boat could go no further than this. The water continued, but the hole it flowed through was much too small for a boat to go into. There were a number of tunnels going into the rocks, so we left the docks and explored them a while. A very strange experience, we had just been walking these same sidewalks in the everyday world just a while ago without even guessing that same location was a home to tunnels and passageways. And all the time we could feel the weight of the cliffs overhead even though we still knew their location was over a block or two away. Strange to be inside such a thin passageway, usually only the width of a sidewalk in the everyday world, sometimes even much thinner than that so we had to slide sideways or crawl to get past some place where the roof had caved in. We could see the shape of the everyday world as well as the shape of the Territory at the very same time.

So that's how we first came to realize where those extra few blocks really were. They were underground underneath the cliffs, tucked away inside the island. In the everyday world they were spread out flat horizontally, and that's what made them so hard to see the way they are in the Territory. Now I can't make a model in 3-D form so you'll just have to tuck them back underneath yourself. Look again at the map below. All those blocks marked C are actually underground spaces beneath the cliff tops marked A. The peephole alley I've marked as D, the Pirate Grotto runs E to F. I even drew in a few of the tunnels so you'd see the way that they go.


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