The story so far:
Suen opened his eyes to find that he was face down in a puddle of mud. He pushed himself up so that he sat on his ankles and noticed that he was covered in the brown stuff, with some twigs and immature leaves uncermoniously perched at odd angles. It was then that he noticed he was naked. His pupils expanded as the adrenaline shot through him caused by his shame, and he quickly covered up his private spots with his hands. He sheepishly crept out of the clearing and into a more densely packed congregation of birch trees. He was so busy being modest that his next thoughts were sudden, unexpected surges of consicousness flowing into words: "Where am I?"
He gathered some leaves and branches and fashioned a covering for himself, and when he was satisfied, he crept back into the clearing, the soft, unweathered soles of his feet sensitive to each granule of dirt. He hoped for some clue of where he had been, some evidence of why he came in the first place. Alas, nothing. He heard flowing water to his left, so he decided that perhaps that was as good a place to begin his search as any.
As he clumsily waded his way through brush and low branches, he took note of his odd surroundings. While there were the birch trees and various bushes that he knew by sight if not by name, there was a vivid abundance of plants and fungi that he did not recongize. Likewise, the air was heavy with morning dew, and the sun was at such an angle as to illuminate floating specks of dust and pollen, like pixies dancing in the rays. The air smelled sweet, like honey and milk at once.
Suddenly, the tree cover stopped, and he found himself at the riverbank. Only, the river ran with a crimson liquid that reminded him of red wine, rather than the crisp blue sustenance that he had so wanted and expected.
The next sight took his breath away.
On the other side of the river was a golden plain. Galloping towards the wine river were a score of black horses, but they looked more like ponies than horses. The equine miniatures had grey manes that flowed like smoke through the honey air. There was one that was slightly larger than the rest that led the pack. Once they approached the river, they slowed to a trot. The lead horse looked at Suen with black eyes that suggested a wisdom unlike one he could ever hope to possess.
Suen, my friend, how I've missed you!
Her voice was inaudible; her words merely thoughts that were not his that came into being like the floating forest pixies. Above all, it was a shock - he did not recognize her.
"I...have missed you too..."
The other horses were already dipping their snouts into the wine river, drinking up for what he was sure would be more galloping across the plain. The lead horse's eyes narrowed, and she snorted and reared up slightly.
Suen, I know you do not recognize me. In fact, I can see that you do not even recognize yourself. But do not worry - I can sense that the erasure of your memory was not complete. Rest, and I think that you will soon remember what you must.
"Memory erasure...? Excuse me, I don't think I understand..."
Look at yourself. You are a man again. And yet I was able to recognize you by your eyes alone. It has been a long time since you carried your shadows.
Suen drew in a long breath. "I apologize, I know we must have been great friends but...this is all so very strange. How can I understand you when you are not speaking?"
You can understand me because you want to. Because long ago we were comrades, and because comrades of any species can communicate if they simply will it so. However, if I am not mistaken, that is not true in the world you have been in. I'm sure you will understand again, in time. I'm also sure that you have much to tell me of your time in...the tower. I want to meet you here again. For now, I will say only this - something has changed here. This river used to run south, but now it runs north. When the course of the river changed, so did its color. We noticed that the birds and the foxes could drink of this wine colored water, and so we have had no choice but to follow suit, but we are leery of its unknown effects. Although it seems harmless at the moment, I have my...
The horse stopped talking, or perhaps Suen stopped thinking, but both were startled by the wolf that sprung from Suen's side of the river, from the forest. He was easily twice the size of any of the horses, which meant that from paw to shoulder blade, he was the height of Suen. He opened his great jaws and closed then around the flank of one of the smaller horses whose snout was almost totally submerged in water. The rest ran, their smoky colors suggestive of the way in which they disappeared into the plain - wispy and light. The wolf flung the already dead horse to the side, and looked directly at Suen.