Week 17: a story set in a place you’ve never been to.
She knows it’s somewhere she’ll never visit physically. It’s a place that shall always live and breathe, shining out into the night, evident but untouchable. She grew up here, she knew the lands and rolling hills like she knew her own name, it had been her home for so many years. A beautiful, heart breaking escape from a place she would never be free from.
Looking out into the lawns of lush green, with the golden sun overhead against a blue sky, she sighs. The sunrays are gentle against her skin; the breeze runs through her hair, whispering secrets only for her ears, the smell of freshly cut grass making her sneeze. Birds tweet overhead, soaring and dipping, their song carrying in the winds, disappearing over green hills.
From here, she can see the place she grew up. In a small house, in the ground, a place of warmth and safety, somewhere that had been the source of many adventures and magical tales. It never occurred to her growing up, that one day this place would also become a safe haven, somewhere she could run to in times of need.
When she was younger, it had been about adventure and wonder, but now, it’s more about peace of mind. Here she is safe, untouched by the world she faces every day. Here the worlds she writes about are real, magic lives and breathes, soft and warm to all it touches. In this country, she feels like she could do anything; reach for the stars and no one would stop her.
It’s been some years, some time since she’d laid eyes on the cobbled paths and fruit stools. Her heart clenches in her chest, something tethering her here, keeping her grounded. She wishes it could be this way forever. She wishes she could stay here and never turn away.
But she can’t. For this country, this place is not real. It is in everything she sees, the books she reads, the stories she writes, the landscapes she draws, but it is not physically real. It is a place hidden within book bindings, crisp pages and dotted ink. Her secret home, her childhood, forever locked and kept safe on her bookshelf.
This place is Middle Earth.
One day, she hopes you find somewhere like this. Somewhere within your mind, just for you, behind your eyelids, just on the cusp of revealing itself to others, but drawing back in the last second, there’s nothing like it. Whatever you may think of it, it has become a home to many people, over years and years – binding together people who have never met.
And probably never will.