What an odd place this library is I think to myself as I crawl over the many floating books towards the center of the void. Then again, I suppose it isn’t much weirder than any of the other floors of the dungeon. Heck, it’s probably nicer than most of them if I’m gonna be honest. Sure, it’s a little dusty and a little too warm. Sure there’s a giant gaping hole with an infinite drop down into a screaming abyssal void. But you know what? That just gives it character. It’s like a chink on a nice vase, it tells a story.
What the story is in particular here, I can’t say. Dungeon-master says the library gets a giant hole and that’s what happens. Why? Well that’s not for us to know, guy. It’s just not for us to know. But you know what? Maybe that’s fine. Does it really matter? Maybe it just has a giant hole because the big guy upstairs, uh, well… downstairs thought it was cool. That’s fair. It’s his dungeon after all. He can do what he wants with it. The books from behind me lift away as I cross over them, before placing themselves in front of me to create a floor that moves along with me. For a moment I wonder if I should be worried about the gaping maw beneath me as the only thing separating us is a few stacks of magically levitating bound paper, but I decide it’s best not to sweat the small stuff and keep going.
At least for a moment I do stop though and take the opportunity to stretch again, feeling a strange drowsiness. A book taps me in the back as I stop, getting the message I keep moving. Rude. But as I move closer to the figure hunched over the table before me, my goo spanning the gap, I notice the taste of the smell of candy and sweets grows stronger. But it also changes and twists in my senses the closer I get, the sweetness dissipating ever so slightly to make way to something familiar; an acrid bitterness. A pungent, fermented smell like that of the red potion, like that of a wine, like the one I had as a cultist or as a spider-kin. I feel a little sick, like as with the feeling of the black-water leaving my body.
Crawling forward over the pit I hear a quiet ‘thunk’ as a book makes contact with one of the legs of the wooden table. Feeling around I wonder what now, but my question is quickly answered as more books pile up to make a small staircase leading up to the tabletop. Rising up with them I reach the top and slide on to it. One after the other they all pull away, fading away into distant shelves, sorting themselves back in. One or two stop in mid-air to shake the goo off, which I can understand, but which I also feel just a tiny bit insulted by.
Over the surface of the table I can feel loose sheets of paper scattered and spread all over the top with no rhyme or reason that I can decipher. Piles and piles of them, the taste of ink smears and scribbles over the sheets give the impression that they are full of drawings, full of words and symbols. I don’t have eyes though, so it could also just be a hundred suggestively posed drawings of the hero, so don’t take it from me. I squish forward towards the sleeping figure whose snores ring out through the air. There is a rattle and I stop as I listen to the thud of something small, that begins rolling off behind me. A single pencil that rolls across the surface of the table heading towards the brink on the other side.
The sleeping figure stirs at the sudden noise, letting out a panicked, high pitched sound that I can only describe as a sqriek, which is a mixture of a squeak and shriek you see. Suddenly I am squished flat. There is a thudding as their small body hits the surface of the table, their weight smushing me into a goo that spreads wide over the many pages as they lunge out and slap a single hand down to catch the pencil before it falls off the edge. There is a relieved sigh as they come to a halt. The body moves and then however, there is a new noise. One I know all too well. The sound of disgust. A long protracted, low pitched noise I am going to take the liberty of telling you is an ‘ew’. It’s sort of a universal thing really. Sure some languages use a different noise, a ‘blech’ or a ‘puh’ maybe; but the intonation is always the same. The fact that two small hands are scraping me off of their front is also a hint. Once again, I can’t help but feel a little insulted. I bet the thief-girl would let me stick to her if I wanted to, but that’s neither here nor there.
A moment later as all of me pulls itself back together into the perfectly lovable pile of slop that I am, I hear the newest sound. A stern, scolding voice that is talking to me with an androgynous tone I can’t place an exact form to. I want to say a human because I don’t feel long elf or fairy ears bouncing off of its frame and I can’t understand the words, but that doesn’t feel right either. It doesn’t taste like a human. I bubble. Are you going to eat me? I wouldn’t recommend it, I am not only very sparse in nutrients, but I am also incredibly unhealthy in general. Besides-
A sharp object stabs into my goo, the pencil from before with the small hand wrapped around it sinks through me in a fruitless attack. Oozes are immune to stabbing obviously. Somewhat agitated I bubble and broil, wondering if I’m going to eat this small creature now or not. It would be self defense after all. The hand writhes around inside of me, scratching the paper beneath me with the tip of the pencil. Ugh, gross. Can you get out of me? I’m saving myself for the dungeon-mast-
My world explodes with sound and light as the pencil leaves the piece of paper and the hand pulls itself out of me with a wet plop, a wet strand connecting us. I can see, I can hear. Rushing sounds and flashing colors overpower my new senses. What? Why? I don’t understan-
“Ugh!” says the strange person and shakes their hand towards me, severing the strand of slime that entwines us as one.
They lean forward, a smug grin on their face.
“I’m not allowed to, but just this once I gave you eyes. See?!” they hold out the paper towards me and uh… hmm.
“What am I looking at?” I ask now too lost to even question any of it anymore.
“It’s you! But now I added eyes and a mouth, duh? Can’t you see that?”
I do not see that. My left eye is already somewhere down below facing the table. My right is drifting towards the ceiling. The odd separation that is my mouth is rolling around upside down inside of me. What kind of horrible abomination am I?
“You don’t like it…?” they ask, almost disappointed. I feel bad, even though I feel like I should be horrified.
“Oh no, it’s great. I’m just not used to seeing real art down here, you know?” I bubble out of the mouth inside of my toxic mass. That was a lie obviously, but I’m nice like that. A hand reaches into my body and readjusts my eyes to look at them again.
“Ugh” they then say a second time, rude, swinging their hand out to get the goo off again.
“Couldn’t you have made it here as something else? Like a rat? I really wanted you to be a rat! Rat’s are so cute!” They pout.
My eyes float around as I process the oddity that is my existence. No. No, it can’t be.
“Are you the dungeon-master?” I ask.
They respond by knocking on their head with one hand and a wink.
My right eye that has drifted down again thuds against the wooden table. Is that a metaphor? No. No, that's just my life.
Dungeon-Master is a treasure to write, we'll have some nice words tomorrow! And, day I say it... maybe even some answers?