Valley of Eternal Promise
Upcoming “Return of the Queen”
I entered through the Gate and stepped out upon the warm soil of the Garden in what seemed like one motion. I caught the streak of Burton’s cat running through the gate behind me. A question occurred to me. I reasoned, how could this be Burton’s cat? The creature would be ancient beyond possibility. Yet, the cat existed, and I had never questioned its existence.
The rest of my companions followed me. It was a journey like no other Gate had provided. A thunderous crack sounded as the Gate closed behind us with a finality that cut me off from my first home forever. I wondered how much time had passed. Dozens of years? Thousands, tens of thousands of years? A fraction of a second? I would never know. For a moment, I was disoriented, not knowing whether I was Claire or Wendy. I heard Gilbert laugh behind me and whirled to see my good friend standing naked, sporting a full, white beard that reached halfway down his chest, and holding no more than fragments of the bag he had been dragging by a rope.