She said: "Close your eyes and imagine you were in a room. Describe what you see, hear or feel, everything that seems important."
Igor closed his eyes.
Instantly it was as if he had left his body and observed himself from nearby. His expressionless face reflected no feelings of his own, he looked as if he waited for something to happen, exploring the environment using his remaining senses. He was asked to imagine being in a room and to express whatever he saw in it. He saw himself doing what he has been asked to do and returned into his body satisfied, taking the position behind his eyes again.
The portion of a white wall appeared before him. He saw no beginning and no end to the wall, just it's whiteness. He looked slightly upwards and saw the ceiling which was as white as the wall was. A thick border of dark, almost black colour divided the wall from the ceiling and it looked like fashioned of dark wood, treated by fire and protective lacks. The edges of the picture he saw were smooth and both the wall and the ceiling bordered to a dark grey void there. He started feeling other things in the room and he knew their identity and whereabouts even if he saw nothing but the wall. He didn't see a window, but he knew there is one to his left side. In a similar way, he knew the dark wooden door to be behind him, at the end of the wall to his right side, opposite to the window. He sensed a wooden shelf in front of him, placed at the wall just below the borders of the image he saw, and for the moment he could see it's top. The floor was grey in color, divided from the wall in much the same manner as the ceiling. There was a large wooden garderobe behind him, opposing the shelf before him. He also knew that a black piece of furniture, something that looked like fashioned for home entertainment devices was behind him, on the window wall in front of the large garderobe.
Suddenly, the smooth borders of the image vanished and he saw the whole room. It was nothing amazing, as he saw that his senses served him well. Everything around him was as he imagined it to be before he actually saw it. Now he clearly saw the silver-coloured HiFi amplifier and a similar tape deck in the small shelf behind him and knew he was right about the entertaining purpose of the furniture piece behind him.
The only exception was a strange vase fashioned of black glass residing on the floor near the window. It contained an artificial plant with few large leaves made of the same glass as the vase. It was the only peace he didn't sense before, but could clearly see it now. He moved towards the unusual thing, as to see it better and caught a glance through the window. He was at one of the upper floors, about fifth or sixth, he judged. He saw a part of the dusty field and a building with dark windows on the other side. It was sunny outside and he judged the time to be about four hours before sunset. He noticed that he knew the orientation of the room; the door was on the west side, the window on the east and he faced south as he stood in the middle of the room.
The strange vase with it's plant attracted his attention again. He didn't know the reason, but he felt it to be the only important thing around. He glanced down at it. The whole thing was barely reaching the height of his belly and only the high placed leaves where higher than the bottom edge of the window. He observed the thing, unsure about what to do. He noticed the color at the bottom of the vase to be slightly lighter than at the top, just as the joints between the leaves and plant's body were. For a moment he thought to recognize a pattern, an art of some sort engraved into the vase, but he wasn't sure, just as if the vase escaped his eyes whenever he sought for more detail. How odd, he thought. Without seeing it, he knew what would he see if he would open the door and glance out. He knew what would he see if he would lean out of the window and look on any side. Everything around him fell to his analysis and revealed little importance, but this vase was different. It fought back his attempts to take a better look.
He came to the window and leaned out. Everything was as he expected. The buildings, the sky, the trees. And it was empty. It was no more than twenty-two degrees outside and the light wind blew gently over his face. There were no people outside and the environment was silent, save for the sound of the wind touching the leaves. He knew he is alone here and even if he searched everything hundred kilometers around, he would find noone. He knew the facts and none bothered him. He decided the place to be boring and turned back into the room. A sigh came from his mouth.
"This is my world", he thought. "This is what I created, but I don't rule here. I feel no danger, no fear, but still there are few annoyingly strange things around." He glanced at the vase. "You are present, but I didn't place you there" he said. "You are a vision of another or a product from the depths of my being I never saw or understood."
He started feeling boredom and a slight anger was reflected in his gaze, not because he was bored, but because he was getting angry about himself for not doing anything to change that.
"This is my world", he said again. "And for no particular reason, I wish to go elsewhere." He fell on his knees to take the vase in his hands and stood up holding it with one hand, like a child. "And I shall take you with me, for you are interresting and you don't belong here." He knew this is his universe, created by his mind and being one of powerful imagination, he knew he can do anything. He had the unlimited power to see and feel what he wished, but still, even if his mind was strong enough to produce visions which were as real as anything else to him, it was not entirely controllable. He could never determine all the details. He waved through the air with his free hand, as if casting a magic spell and he vanished, leaving an empty room and an empty world behind.
Igor looked around.
He was standing in a different place, holding the black vase in his hand. It was another room, but totally different than the previous one. It was a huge hall, shining in gold and brown. The ceiling was high above his head and he judged the distance to be no less than seventy meters. The floor was polished, shining in a colour of full and warm wood, thick brown with a note of gold. It was wooden, but it was extremely stable and didn't produce a single tone when Igor walked over it. At the western side of the great hall was an extremely large window with ancient ornaments and invisibly clear glass. The window started as low as the floor and rose at least sixty meters high, ending in a semi-circle form. The sun shone through the glass and threw clearly shaped shadows on the floor. Two large, green plants were placed at each side of the window and he knew they are alive, real flora. They grew from large, round formed earthen pots, each as heavy as ten men. He saw beautiful emerald woods outside and stepped forward to put his black plant on the floor near the window and take a better glance.
It was an amzingly beautiful sunset outside. Thick emerald forest spreaded as far as eye can see, vanishing on the horizont. He saw clearings upon which a healthy green grass was growing, small hills here and there. He saw a wonderful light-blue river ending in a waterfall whose end was too deep to see and the sky glanced in halftones of orange and blue, enhancing the natural beauty outside.
He felt a presence of another being near him and turned his head towards the source of the turbulence. He saw a young woman dressed in a long blue dress which touched the floor as she walked towards him. She stopped at a distance and smiled at him. Her long blond hair fell down her back and her young face shone together with the sun. She had a thin golden chain fixed around her head and a piece of triangle-formed metal with few small blue stones in it fell down her brow, the lower edge ending almost between her eyes. He looked at her and smiled back. Everything seemed so peaceful, so reassuring, as if the ancient walls welcomed him and offered protection and calmness. He looked through the window again and followed the flight of two white birds who glided in the air above the trees. They looked like seagulls and such was their flight. Easy and relaxing, an art for itself. Igor looked at the woman again and saw she enjoyed looking at the elegant fliers as well. As if sensing the change in his looking direction, she turned to face him and their eyes met again.
"Olya?" he asked softly while his face revealed a slight note of surprise. She said nothing and he wasn't sure if this is really her. He wouldn't expect the faceless girl to appear here, but on the other side, it wasn't a thing to wonder about either. He stepped forward and stood right in front of her. Looking in her deep blue eyes, he reached with his hand and slided with his fingers through her hair, touching her head gently. He wished to touch her lips with his, not of desire or passion, but rather to enhance the feeling of peaceful beauty ever present in this alien world. He wanted to feel the warmth of her kiss and he wanted it not at the same time. He knew all of this is but another vision fashioned by his mind and this girl is also a part of it. He knew he was the endless might within his realm and everything here, including her, would be and act as he wished. Exactly this was the thing that bothered him. He wanted to give her an own mind, a power to decide on her own. He wanted to give her a place equal to his, but he didn't know how. Here, he was a young God having the power to create, but lacking the knowledge about how to use that power to his satisfaction and he wanted to be surrounded by others who could feel satisfaction as well.
He hugged her and they both turned to face the window, enjoying the beauty of the sunset outside, feeling the endless peace within their hearts. It was as if they were born here, as if this was their eternal home to feel peace within and to die for. Igor thought about how the Gods must feel when they create their universes, what drives them and what makes them happy? How do they do all of it? Are there any Gods? He was a God here as much as anything else and he wanted to feel common as any mortal. He wanted no world to control entirely, but a world which lives and moves and keeps it's logic misterious to everyone, including him. He wanted the sea whose waves he must learn to understand and follow, recognizing and taking advantage when offered. He wanted the woman in his arms to feel his warmth as much as he feels hers and he wanted her to be able to act according to her own judgement about it, to have her wits and her secrets, to live and be the master of her own life. He wanted some action and indeed, he possessed the power to create some.
The peace of the moment was disturbed by the distant sound of the riders approaching. Igor threw his gaze towards the source and saw a group of horsemen galloping towards his castle. They were approaching from west and their details were masked by the shining sun which was right behind them, hanging low over the horizont. The large door of heavy wood placed on the other side of the great hall opened and a man in armor entered the room.
"They are coming, my Lord", he said and stood stand waiting for instructions. Olya's eyes met Igor's again and he gave her a warm smile. He turned to face the guard who brought the message and moved towards the door.
"I saw them" Igor said. "Let's go down and learn the reasons for this unexpected visit. Have the waterskins brought and the meal prepared, they must be exhausted."
"Aye, my Lord" came the reply and the guard went off to do as he was bid. Igor and Olya followed through the door and stepped down the large marble stairs built in a half-circle and leading down.
"It makes me feel uneasy" Olya's voice sounded anxious. "What could it be?"
"Their fastriders reached the western outpost a day and a half ago carrying the message about their coming.", replied Igor. "That company outside was just about reaching Silverpass in the west at that time. If they are here now, they must have been riding their mounts to exhaustion without rest to reach us as fast as possible."
Olya looked at him. "Whatever they want, it seems important."
"Yes, it does" answered Igor as they reached the bottom of the stairs. "The message sounded urgent. But Earl Barris did this sort of action before when he wanted no more than to spend an evening around the fire drinking ale and singing ballads." He grinned at her. "It can as well be the same cause driving him this time."
She retuned the grin, looking reassured. "Then I hope the chief cook had allready prepared the barbecue down in the garden, for I am hungry as well and wouldn't complain about the party either."
"Hehehe", Igor laughed a short, cutting bark. "You can bet I am going to wolf away a good portion as well and perhaps be an ale-filled body to carry away by the end."
They came through a large gate which was the main entrance to the castle. The lands were peaceful and trouble was an alien here which resulted in lack of defensive constructions like those far in the west. The castle had no high walls with archers atop and no waterpool surrounding it. It was no rare ocasion that the warriors from the west celebrated with the people here, but they led their wars at a great distance, never bringing a slightest faint of it when they came. Nevertheless, sentries were placed and hidden far in the woods alerting at any approach and a remarkable army of warriors served the house. It was more a habit of a good estate management than a real need and the men at arms spent their days practicing instead of fighting. They stood outside the gate as the riders approached, slowing down. The slowdown was sign enough for Igor.
"See for some music and other amusements organized back in the garden.", he said to the guard who stood next to him. "I think I want some fun at the dinner, regardless of what brings our visitors." The riders came to stand before Igor and Earl Barris dismounted, an ear-to-ear grin on his face. "And get the ale instead of those waterskins!", shouted Igor back to the guard and came forward to greet his guest.
She said: "It is believed that when the people imagine a room and themselves in it, they reveal their feelings about their own death and about how it would come to their lives."