…from the case files of detective Pagasmo…
Happiness was drifting amid the clouds generated by human ingenuity and sampling their ideas and dreams. Or it was until a discordant note entered the flow. Someone had disturbed the epistemological center.
On the other side of dreams, the vault of imagining floated amid clouds of creativity. She’d found the door and so had others, but none of them had mucked around with the mechanics of the place. Only those born with the unique gift of cloud-walking could reach this place, and none of the Nefelibata would risk ruining it. But there was someone here who didn’t belong.
Hopping onto a passing cloud, she rode it searching for what had disturbed her explorations. A cloud formation ahead provided a clue. It was in the middle of reshaping itself from a flower to a dancer twirling a ribbon:
She flew closer and noticed letters and numbers extruding from the clouds. What was this? The wind tore at her, pulling her toward an invisible cyclone vacuuming up thoughts. But this thing wasn’t supposed to be here. The Epistemological center didn’t steal thoughts. It collected them, weaving them into the luminous fabric of all knowledge so its light could never be extinguished.
Someone was going to pay for this outrage. As she thought that, ideas flocked to her. Plans considered by a dozen writers down on earth plonked into her head, thanks to her connection to the Epistemological center. Still more ideas alighted on her shoulders and billowed out into ethereal wings. A figure strode toward her, and she dove at him. Her feet struck him, and he went down, landing with her crouched on his chest. At a glance, the clouds threw up restraints and they arced over his body, pinning him in place.
“Who are you? Answer me.”
She didn’t bother to complete her threat. Instead, she stretched out a hand to the invisible funnel siphoning off something to her right. It responded by shifting its base. Poised to engulf his head, it hovered.
“You’ll pay for this little girl.” He spat at her, and the clouds beneath him parted. Tumbling, he fell back toward Earth. If he were what she feared, the fall wouldn’t kill him. As she peered over the edge, she watched him land on another cloud. He stepped down a chain of schematics dreamed up by an architectural team far below. He never once looked back.
And she had no way to bar him access to this place. Blowing her fringe out of her eyes, she sat back on her heels. She waved her hand and redirected the funnel back to his victim and reversed its flow. Once it finished returning what the man had stolen, she dismissed it. She pushed to her feet and walked over to the prone man left in its wake.
She shook her head. “Close but…I’m a Nefelibata–a cloud-walker. And you don’t belong here.” She held out a hand to him.
“Detective Pagasmo,” he said taking her hand.
She nodded but didn’t give him her name. Who knew if he were in league with the Nefelibata she’d just kicked out. Better to wait and see just in case the whole thing had been a performance put on for her benefit.
to be continued…
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More Nefelibata: Nefelibata, the Cloud Walker
More Detective Pagasmo stories: The Boxes Are Doors, Descending into Trouble, Epistemology, Novitiate, Lulled by Rhymes, News, Clues and Howitzers, Mixed Media, No Truth in Quotes, Haiku Hunt, Random Risks, Freeze Frame, The Mark of Destiny, Detective Pagasmo in Playing Dead, Detective Pagasmo.