The Hag in the Tree

between the levels, inside the tree, out on its branches sits an ancient hag with one eye that’s twitchy and hanging below her neck an amulet of red with black inclusions and in each inclusion is a pit of a cavern and in each cavern is a demon in charge and its minion of red sparks that coalesce like a giant serpent smoke rising from its head and the smoke exudes through the amulet and tinges the aura of the hag and reflects in her one good eye that is black as her soul and she reaches for you with gnarled hands and yellowed talons and fastens something to your wrist. It is a wire bracelet, black and blue and shiny and spikes like barbed wire that cut into your flesh and a drop of blood oozes into your palm and blooms a tiny passage that forms until it is as if your hand is punctured and you can see through this hole into another realm and in that realm everything looks plastic and there is no magic and energy there are only forces and pulleys and inertia and momentum and it plays out self contained, like a snow globe, but there is no snow only ashes that fall from the gray circumference and it doesn’t matter because no one looks up. And you tear your eyes from this scene and the hole closes and the only sign that it was ever there is a strange rune burned into your flesh and the bracelet is gone, the hag is gone; the tree is gone and now there is only gray as far as you can see but gray undulates