Tower of Ideas
I woke up and went to my computer, like usual. It would be the same kind of drill that I do everyday, right? That’s what I thought, but how wrong I was.
As I sat there at my computer, typing, I saw an enormous flash. Curious about this flash, I looked behind me. A mysterious door appeared out of nowhere.
Without even pondering, curiosity got the best of me, and I entered the door.
Once inside, I was in this vast field, filled with lush green grass and flowers of every color. In the distance, I saw a vastly tall tower that challenged the heights of the tallest trees. None of them could exceed the height of the tower, which mysteriously sat there in the middle of nowhere. Even more curious, I ran as fast as I could to reach the tower, which seemed like it was miles away.
As I approached the tower, I noticed that it looked just like an office building. Something like would belong in the city. But here it was, just here in the open field. Gasping for air, I entered the tower.
Still having a shortness of breath, I stood there, until I could breathe easier. As I did, I took in all the surroundings. The lobby was majestically decorated, with Italian terra cotta tiles in a black-white checkered pattern. The borders of the rooms were outlined in tan, surrounding the checkered floor. A service desk sat in the center of the lobby, with a receptionist there, busy at work.
Finally having my breath back, I approached the receptionist. “What is this place?” I asked her, desperate to find some kind of answer.
The woman looked up at me and smiled. She didn’t seemed bother at all by the asking of my question. “This place?” she said, spreading both of her arms outward. “This is the tower of ideas. You’re on the first floor.”
I didn’t want to invade on the woman’s privacy, but I had to know who she was. “Who are you?” I asked.
The woman stopped typing and looked up again. “Oh. Sorry. I didn’t have this on my desk.” She blushed, and got out a placard. With haste, she sat in on the desk. “I’m Julia.”
“That is a nice name,” I told her. “Do you have any children?”
Julia nodded. “I do have one. Her name is Cindy. She lost her cat Mittens a few months ago. She’s in one of the rooms with her new kitty.”
Then it all made sense. This woman was the same one that I wrote about in my first Think & Write! I held our my hand to get her attention. “I don’t mean to bother you again, but where are the elevators?”
Julie stood up and pointed to an area just behind her desk. “They’re right over there.”
Giving a nod of approval, I looked at Julie again. “Thanks.”
Julie smiled. “Anytime, Mr. Walker.” Julie then looked back at her computer and continued typing.
I walked away from the desk and approached the elevators. As I was pressing the up button, a nagging thought entered my mind. How did she know who I was? Immediately after I thought this, I knew the answer. “I created her!” I told myself. “Of course she knows who I am!”
The elevator door opened and I entered. Looking at the panel, it was filled with buttons. There were 100 buttons, with some other miscellaneous ones used for maintenance and emergencies.
I chose the first floor at random, with my eyes closed. When I opened them, I saw that the button to the 27th floor was lit up.
As the elevator rapidly ascended, another disturbing thought entered my mind. Where did this tower come from? And what about the field and the mysterious door? Before I could wonder any more, the elevator stopped on the 27th floor and the doors opened.
I got off and I noticed a narrow corridor. After walking down it for a while, it led to another one. In one of the rooms, I could hear a little girl screaming.
“DON’T PUNISH ME!!!!” the girl screamed.
“Stop that, Sidney.” the mother shouted. “You’re four years old and you need to start acting like it.”
I knew that it wouldn’t be best to interrupt this argument, but curiosity got the best of me. After all, I created them. So they owe me their respect.
I opened the door to find Sidney sitting on the ground, in just a t-shirt and a diaper. The mother was standing there, holding a wooden paddle.
When the mother noticed me, she sighed. “Mr. Walker,” she said. “I hate to say this, but could you come back later? Now is not a good time. Like usual, Sidney is acting like a brat. Never listening to a word I say.”
I nodded. “I’ll leave you be then, Natalie. I’ll come back later, when Sidney is under control.” Before leaving, I bended down and looked at Sidney. “Mind your mother for me, okay?”
Sidney shook her head. “No! She’s a meanie!”
I closed the door and left them to their business.
As I walked down the corridors to the elevators, I saw a teenage woman walking toward me. Who is this woman, and what does she want?
The teen girl was gasping for air and looked desperate. “Mr. Walker,” she said, gasping. “I need your help.”
I still didn’t know who this girl was. “How can I help you and who are you?” I asked her.
The girl frowned. “You know me!” she said. “I’m Holly. Now I need your help. Somehow, I ended up on this floor. I need to get to the 47th floor. Can I go with you?”
I nodded. “Feel free to. I’m still trying to figure out how this place can exist….”
Holly looked at me weirdly. “What did you just say?”
My face then blushed. “I’m sorry. Did I just say that out loud?”
Holly nodded, as we both approached the elevator. I pushed the up button and we both entered.
At random, I chose another floor. I chose 62, with my eyes open this time. Holly pressed 47. The elevator doors closed and began to ascend.
As the elevator ascended, I noticed Holly getting younger by the second. “Are you aware of what’s going on?” I asked her, who now looked eight.
Holly nodded. “Yes, Mr. Walker. But it’s just a dream.”
The elevator then reached the 47th floor. Holly was now a five year old. “Thanks Mr. Walker!” she said, as she left the elevator.
I nodded as the elevator doors closed again. It then went up to the 62nd floor and opened up again.
To my surprise, Holly was standing there again, now in her early thirties. She ran into the elevator and pressed the close button.
“You need to hide me from those creeps,” she begged me.
I threw up my hands in frustration. “But I just got here!” I shouted.
Holly shook her head. “But it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to let those creeps perform experiments on me. Now tell me. Are you going up or down?”
I raised my hand towards the ceiling. “Up,” I told her. “And aren’t you a dream anyway, in a clone’s body?”
“That’s what they say,” she said. “And you’re with them, too? Well, I can’t really argue with you, considering your position. Now quick. What floor?”
I thought for a moment. “Hmm….”
“Hurry up!” Holly shouted. “Just pick something!”
Finally, I pressed the button I wanted. “85,” I told her.
Holly shook her head. “I don’t want to go there.” Holly then pressed 72. “I’m getting off there.”
The elevator then ascended and I waited. Holly had nothing to say, so the ride up was quiet.
Finally, the elevator reached the 72nd floor. Holly got out promptly and waved at me. “Thanks Mr. Walker!”
“Anytime, Molly….I mean, Holly,” I said, smiling.
The elevator door closed and it ascended to the 85th floor.
When it opened, I got out. As I did, I heard a crunch. I looked down and I realized that I stepped on a leaf. When I looked up, I realized that the whole floor was filled with leaves. Leaves of various colors.
As I wandered down the leaf-filled corridor, I saw her. It was a small girl, with long orange and golden hair. Her complexion was golden, and she wore an autumn-colored dress with leafy sandals on her feet. A bright glow emanated from her. When I approached the girl , her back was facing me.
The girl turned around and smiled. “Do you like it,?” she asked me. “I made all those leaves, just for you.”
I smiled, looking around at the colorful foliage that lined the floors and walls. “It’s wonderful, Autumn.”
As I was about to leave, I turned around and suddenly remembered something. “One other thing,” I told her. “Did you enter the egg yet?”
When I asked that, Autumn looked very nervous. “N-no I haven’t, Mr. Walker. I mean, it looks like a beautiful egg, right? I-I’ll check it out, someday….”
I quietly sighed. “She won’t even go near it,” I whispered. I then turned to Autumn one last time. “No need to hide your feelings, Autumn. I know you hate that egg. Hopefully, ‘someday’ will come….”
Autumn nodded. “Someday?! You’re right about the egg. It will never happen, Mr. Walker! Never!”
“Bye Autumn,” I told her.
“NEVER!” Autumn continued shouting. “Never! Never! Never! Never!”
I ran back to the elevator and pressed the up button. I entered again and looked at the panel. I knew where I was going this time. I pressed 87. The elevator went up two floors and opened again. I walked out to find another maze of corridors.
As I walked down one of them, I heard the sound of a very happy girl. I followed the sound and knocked on the door. “Hang on, little Jess. Someone’s at the door.”
The door opened and I saw a young woman standing there. She was in her late twenties, with a younger girl standing next to her.
“You must be Jessica.” I told her.
Jessica smiled. “And you must be Mr. Walker!” She shouted. “Nice to meet you! Well, I already know you, but nice for you to visit!”
The girl looked at me and frowned. “Who is that?” she asked Jessica.
Jessica looked at her and smiled. “Oh. That’s Mr. Walker. Say hi to Mr. Walker, little Jess!”
The girl look up at me and smiled. “Hi Mr. Walker!” she shouted.
I sniffed the room and groaned. “Don’t you have air fresheners?”
Jessica gave me a look of embarrassment. “Sorry about that. I just changed her. One moment.” She ran and quickly came back with an aerosol can of bathroom spray. She then sprayed it around the room. “There. Now Mr. Walker. Are you just stopping by?”
I sighed. “Actually, I’m just exploring this place. I don’t know how it got here. I’m actually leaving now. Have fun with your younger self!”
Jessica nodded. “I will. Say ‘goodbye Mr. Walker’ with me, little Jess.”
The girl looked at her and nodded. “Bye Mr. Walker!” they both shouted at the same time.
I went back to the elevator and pressed the up button. I then went up to the 97th floor.
The elevator door opened and I got out. In one of the corridors, I saw a girl with a fairly large stand. It read in neatly written letters “Charlotte’s Cider Stand”.
When I saw the stand, I immediately ran up to the girl. “Hey Charlotte!” I shouted. “How goes the cider business?”
Charlotte looked up and saw me. “It’s going really well, Mr. Walker. Would you like a glass of my cider today?”
I nodded. “Sure!” I told her. “How much?”
Charlotte pointed to all the signs, which were all neatly arranged throughout the stand. “My cider is 50 cents. Refills are a quarter. Donuts are a dollar. Five dollars for a dozen. Or, you could have some of my pastries. Two for a dollar.”
“I’ll just have a glass of your cider, please.” I told her.
Charlotte poured me a glass of cider and handed it to me. I gave her 50 cents. “Thanks for your business, Mr. Walker” she told me. “Have a wonderful day.”
“You too,” I told her.
I walked back to the elevator with the cider and pressed the up button. I entered it and looked at the panel. 100 was the highest floor. There was no other floor after it. Shrugging my shoulders, I pressed 100.
The elevator doors opened and I stepped out. The floor was an enormous room, lavishly decorated. A desk sat in one corner and a king-sized bed sat in the other.
To my surprise, my muse was sitting there on the bed, looking impatient.
“What took you so long?” she asked me.
Her question confused me. “What do you mean?” I told her. “Were you here the whole time?”
She quickly nodded and sighed. “Of course! Why did you bother to go to any of the other floors? You should’ve came here in the first place!”
I looked at my muse. Her size was not any different from the last time that I saw her. She was over twice my height, and getting very thin.
“If I knew you were here, I would’ve come sooner!” I told her.
“Never mind that,” she said. “How about feeding me for once? And no. These tiny crumbs that you call ‘Think & Writes’ do not count. They are barely enough to keep me going!”
“What about ‘The Golden Leaf’ and ‘Inner Child’? Those are larger, aren’t they?”
“They’re not enough!” she yelled. “I need real food, like that ‘Zachary Willowbrook’ story that you stopped working on. Can I have more of that?”
“In due time,” I told her. “Be patient.”
I then looked at the room I was in and frowned. The scenery did not make any sense to me at all. Enough is enough. Why is this here? “What is this place?” I asked her.
“It’s the Tower of Ideas,” my muse promptly answered, in a matter-of-fact tone. “I made that door, field and this tower because I was starving. There’s 100 stories here. Enough to sustain me for now. I’ll do this again if you don’t feed me. I’ll just eat leftovers.”
I shook my head. “No.” I told her. “No leftovers. Now get inside me and I’ll continue creating.”
My muse smiled. “Okay. Start making with the food.”
And with that, my muse dove right into my head and became a gentle mist.
On this floor, I noticed a computer sitting on the desk. When I sat down, I noticed that the latest ‘Think & Write’ was already typed. At the end of it were these words:
To my master,
I made this for you, and for me. This is to honor your dedication for 100 days. Congratulations on reviving me.
I then looked at the directory.
The Tower of Ideas – Directory
Floor 01 – Farewell to a Friend Floor 02 – The Mysterious Blond Floor 03 – The Fight Floor 04 – Dreaming While Awake Floor 05 – Dream Girl Floor 06 – The Perfect Game Floor 07 – Leaving the Colony Floor 08 – The Parched Land Floor 09 – Unable to Awaken Floor 10 – Paradise’s Clever Disguise Floor 11 – Deadline Floor 12 – Storm at the Summit Floor 13 – Butterflies Floor 14 – Returning Home Floor 15 – The Bright Wish Floor 16 – Windfall Floor 17 – A Dream Come True Floor 18 – Birthday Wish Floor 19 – Crash and Burn Floor 20 – The Laundromat Floor 21 – Faster Floor 22 – My Muse Floor 23 – The Gift of Time Floor 24 – The Chance Floor 25 – Soup of Ages Floor 26 – Presentation Day Floor 27 – The Punishment Floor 28 – For the Fans Floor 29 – No Parole Floor 30 – Sunburn Floor 31 – Saying Goodbye Floor 32 – Dead End Job Floor 33 – Ice Cream My Way Floor 34 – Gaming Junkie Floor 35 – Man of the Forest Floor 36 – Room Service Floor 37 – Closing Time Floor 38 – Another Night at the Movies Floor 39 – The Forbidden Secret Revealed Floor 40 – A Second Chance Floor 41 – From Riches to Rags Floor 42 – A Good Read Floor 43 – The Pest Floor 44 – Heart-Shaped Circuit Floor 45 – Remembrance Floor 46 – The Perfect Cup Floor 47 – Benjamin Button on Steroids Floor 48 – One of Them Floor 49 – Unfinished Report Floor 50 – The Flood Floor 51 – White Collar Toast Floor 52 – The Family Blessing Floor 53 – Last Day on the Beach Floor 54 – Human Time Machine Floor 55 – Summer’s Last Stand Floor 56 – The Colors of Autumn Floor 57 – Lending a Hand Floor 58 – Night of Pain Floor 59 – Advancing to Boardwalk Floor 60 – Shopping List Floor 61 – Captured Floor 62 – The Experiment Floor 63 – My Muse II Floor 64 – Barriers Floor 65 – Autumn Lawn Floor 66 – A New Shade of Gray Floor 67 – From X to Y and Back Floor 68 – The Shoes Floor 69 – The Promotion Floor 70 – Outcasts Floor 71 – The Usual Floor 72 – A Lucid Reality Floor 73 – Raising Avery Floor 74 – The Cider Stand Floor 75 – Out of Time Floor 76 – The Golden Leaf Floor 77 – The Golden Leaf: Part II Floor 78 – The Golden Leaf: Part III Floor 79 – A Different Set of Feet Floor 80 – Inner Child Floor 81 – Inner Child: Part II Floor 82 – Inner Child: Part III Floor 83 – Inner Child: Part IV Floor 84 – The Golden Leaf: Part IV Floor 85 – The Golden Leaf: Part V Floor 86 – The Perfect Costume Floor 87 – Inner Child: Part V Floor 88 – Sea of Autumn Floor 89 – Autumn Snapshots Floor 90 – Pile of Autumn Floor 91 – No More Leaves! Floor 92 – The Other Clone Floor 93 – When I was Alive Floor 94 – A Heart for the Northeast Floor 95 – Candy Record Floor 96 – Leftover Candy Floor 97 – Pursuing the Dream (The Cider Stand II) Floor 98 – Nonstop Floor 99 – Catching Up Floor 100 – Tower of Ideas
After that, I smiled, thanking my muse for creating this tribute.
To my master,
I made this for you, and for me. This is to honor your dedication for 100 days. Congratulations on reviving me.
©2012 K. L. Walker