Materialism and the Heart's Desire

Visions of the dresses, jewelry, coats, and purses that many of Emily's friends and acquaintances had owned that she had not been able to afford flashed through her mind as she considered the possibilities that this strange place afforded.  Eager now to take advantage of these bizarre properties, Emily rose from the bench she had been seated at, took a look around, and spotted a store through a window in one of the nearby golden buildings.  In it, she could see all of the items she had dreamt of and more.  Pushing her way through the double doors, Emily immediately recognized that the place was modeled after the establishment she had worked as a sales representative (and later, sales manager) for years, a place called Hansons Apparel.  While the similarity was quite eerie, it was also convenient, as Emily was extremely familiar with the floor plan.  Finding what she wanted was not going to be a problem.

Emily's first step was to grab a measuring tape and then march into a changing room, where she stripped and examine her canvas through a mirror.  What she saw caused her to frown.  The figure in the glass was pasty and emaciated, her ribs clearly defined and even her once notable bosom was unflatteringly flat.  Her face, although still somewhat youthful, was worn and tired.  Emily's outfit was going to need to compensate for these deficiencies.

Before getting to work on choosing an outfit, Emily decided to stop by the employee locker room and take a quick shower.  Once freshened up and smelling excellent with the fragrance of some very expensive soaps, Emily waltzed out onto the floor in a clean nightgown that she had wished for and began picking through the dress racks, seeking inspiration.  This ability to acquire almost anything she desired really was magnificent.

Hours went by as Emily tried on numerous outfits and accessories and snacked on the finest wines and cheeses she could imagine.  Eventually, she found a dress that she believed met her specifications; somewhat ironically, her choice actually ended up being something that would have been in her price range.  The more she had looked at her rather frail-looking self, the more she had become determined to find something that made her look vibrant and full of life.  She ended up settling with a white summer dress that was frilled at the top, a feature that largely concealed her small chest.  As a final touch, she wished for some flowers and stuck them in her hair.  Admiring herself, she noted that she looked like someone who was attending a wedding.  She shrugged.  Weddings were certainly vivacious occasions, and present circumstances being considered, she did appear to be beginning a new life.  Perhaps the look was apt.

Emily finished her grooming by adding flowery jeweled earings, applying flowery scented perfume, throwing on some flowery(ish) sandals, and picking a flowery purse.  She also slapped on some makeup, mostly around the eyes, and brushed her teeth before she finally decided that her makeover was complete.  Having had quite a bit of fun and feeling much better, Emily strolled out into the sunlight.  Tipsy from all of the opportunities that appeared to be available to her and from the not inconsiderable amount a wine she had put down, Emily decided that her next step would be to go exploring and find the perfect place to dream up a manor with which to live out of.

So it was that she once again walked the abandoned streets of the golden city in the sky... or so she thought.  Quite suddenly, she found herself on the outskirts of town, with grey nothingness up ahead.  Recalling that the city she was in had started in a similar such condition, it occurred to Emily that this place could become a fine site for her new house.  However, if she was, in fact, in a city in the sky, just stepping out into the grey could end up being fatal, so she instead knelt at the precipice of the cloud platform she was on and reached out... and felt solid ground just a foot or so below the platform, she was on.  After pushing as hard as she could and finding that the earth (or whatever it was) did not budge, Emily gingerly stepped off the cloud into the void.  Glancing back, Emily was amused to note that the "city in the sky" appeared to actually just be a city propped up on platforms with fog machines that made the clouds.  Go figure.

Turning back ahead, Emily treaded further into the void as she began to consider ideas for what she wanted her manor to look like.  However, before anything particularly concrete came to mind, she noticed darkness in the distance and could hear a faint sound coming from that direction.  Curious, Emily decided that her house could wait, and she instead began the trek towards the strange phenomenon that she did not recall wishing for...

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