The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.
'Who are you?' said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, 'I — I hardly know, sir, just at present — at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'
'What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly. 'Explain yourself!'
'I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, 'because I'm not myself, you see.'
'I don't see,' said the Caterpillar.
'I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,' Alice replied very politely, 'for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.'
April ??th, 2007
As you fell asleep that night, in the eternal twilight of the Hedge, you passed into a deeper world. You passed through the veil of sleep, through that misty, eternal, unceasing fog wherein the mind cast up a myriad images. It was an uncertain sort of thing, filled with illusions, and where reality was mixed with metaphor, and reality was only a metaphor for some deeper truth.
But guided by the dreams of prophecy -- for all that Sergei would object severely to the designation of prophecy -- you came to a more settled, solid place. It was crystal clear, rather than the usual fog of dreams, and it was beautiful, and it was horrific.
You stood, three Lost and Sergei, on a winding road high in the mountains. A few feet to either side of you was a limitless drop, sharp and steep and covered with rocks, to distant clouds below. It was an impossible sort of geography, this winding road, but then you looked up above, and saw the Castle in the Clouds. It was like those images of Neuschwanstein, more faerie-tale palace than a castle, but even the beauty of that alpine castle could not compare. Walls of gleaming marble were set with stained glass windows in brilliant colors, magnificent reds and blues and greens. It was a castle of beyond human beauty, of beyond human reality.
You smelled blood.