"Protected... Always... Semimetal" I woke - I think - with those words in my mouth. I was in an odd state of mind and the words tasted strange in my mouth. I was not speaking a language of my country and I had somehow lost my accent. All I remembered was that I had accepted something from a friend last night. But what?
I walked, feeling disembodied until I found three people whom I recognized somehow as countrymen. I asked them if the place where we were was part of our country. They nodded silently, yet I did not feel reassured. I asked the first if he was from this place. He signed that he came from the area directly south.
"Where?" I asked.
In reply he filled my hands with pieces of gold. "How many are there?" I asked, because they swam before my eyes and I could not count them.
"Entre cinq et cinq cent," he said.
I asked the second. He came from some distance to the north east. For the name of the place, he took a stick and wrote this on the ground:
I nodded, puzzled. The third countryman came from even farther to the southeast. When I asked for its name, he took a piece of chalk, drew a circle on the ground and sat inside it twitching.
Although none of this made sense these seemed like reasonable responses to me. The land grew hazy and I heard a booming in my ears. I realized we were near water. I asked them if they knew what had done this to me. They nodded.
The first wrote a word on the ground but as I looked one of the letters twisted itself into a different shape. I read "armoire". I think the letter that changed was near the end.
The second wrote his word. Again, one letter changed and I read "Avis".
The same happened with the third. "Pinocchio" was his word.
"What place is this?" I asked. They all spoke at once and the words ran together in my mind like this:
I pointed to the body of water. They gave me the same answer. A city nearby. Again the same.
As I looked at the city a woman appeared at my side.
She said: "It's mine. He gave it to me just over a thousand years ago."
"Who?" I asked.
She sighed and said: "Rudy, Rudy, Rudy."
When she said that, my mind cleared and I realized where I was.
I tried to say her name: "Irme..." then I awoke in truth.
Where was I and what did my friend give me to put me in this state?