by Gene Wolfe.
Read by Kane Lynch.
Originally appeared in Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy, edited by Al Sarrrantonio.
This is what William Wachter wrote in his spiral notebook during study hall, the first day.
Funny dream last night. I was standing on a beach. I looked out, shading my eyes, and I could not see a thing. It was like a big fog bank was over the ocean way far away so that everything sort of faded white. A gull flew over me and screeched, and I thought, Well, not that way.
So I turned north, and there was a long level stretch and big mountains. I should not have been able to see past them, but I could. It was not like the mountains could be looked through. It was like the thing I was seeing on the other side was higher than they were so that I saw it over the tops. It was really far away and looked small, but it was just beautiful, gold towers, all sizes and shapes with flags on them. Yelllow flags, purple, blue, green and white ones. I thought, Well, there it is.