The mansion was surrounded by autumnal trees, gently swaying in the cold wind, carrying an icy hint of winter. Leaves fell all around, a swirling mosaic of passing time; the watercolours of spring, the etchings of winter and the oil paintings of summer in a lustrous array of colour; pale yellows, luscious greens and ochre reds and oranges. The colours whipped around the tempest, the flaccid leaves getting caught in random updrafts and spiralling up into the air of gently falling from the trees, silently drifting to the forest floor. The mansion itself stood at the end of a long path leading through the forest, far away from civilisation, it’s tall, unmarked windows looming over the forest. In the night the windows were dark, no light seeping through the windows and allowing nothing to be seen past the darkness, but in the day the massive bookcases could be seen in through them, holding the massive weight of countless tomes of knowledge. Inside the vast hallways of the mansion were decadently furnished, with elegant grandfather clocks, their pendulums quiet swinging back and forth like metronomes, or tables topped with vivid, crimson roses, their passionate colour reflected back to them on the polished surface. The bedrooms held huge beds all luxuriously dressed in colour, delicate silk in swirling patterns sitting on deep, rosewood frames. On the ground floor, windows looking out into the beautiful scene before it, sat the study; paintings sat in decorative frames on the wooden panelled walls, and yet more bookcases stood around the room, books scattered across the room; on tables, windowsills, on the desk, either lying on their spines laying open on the page on which it was left or sitting closed, the blank, dull colours of the covers stacking on top of each other. On the main desk a red, leather bound journal sat closed in front of the chair, the ink just scrawled on a recently scribbled on page glistening on the nib. Here, sitting pensive and in thought, sat a young man staring out at the moribund scene before him behind the protective screen of the glass, warm despite the chilling wind outside. His leather bound foot nonchalantly tapped on the wooden floor, and in his hand was yet another book. In his endless search for knowledge he learned that with as much power that knowledge brings, it brings a directly proportionate amount of sorrow. Getting lost in the vast worlds of fictional only brought the endless, undeniably imposing truth that real life wasn’t like that. So rather than living in a world where dreams no longer come true, the young man decided to detach himself from the world the world around him and retreat to the quiet sanctity of the mansion, with its endless supply of books. It was very rare that people visited; if they did they were met with curt dismissals and rushed goodbyes, the young man eager to delve right back into his books. As a result he unknowingly sealed himself off from even the minute possibility of living life as it should; full of passion and love and variety, instead occupying himself more with the words on the page rather than the wide, beautiful world behind the mansion. At night the young man would climb to the small observatory to stood at the top floor of the mansion, a clear, glass dome that held a fairly powerful telescopic, one, it was said, that it could reach the farthest galaxy in the universe, and gaze unceasingly at the stars as they rotated, unending in the heavens above. He imagined a series of mysterious, ephemeral gears endlessly grinding as the powered the godly, sparking dynamo of the universe, keeping everything in motion. He thought of the stars and how, regardless of time, they floated there in the hallow, echoing beauty of space and imagined heroes of old, like the one’s he read of in his books, staring at the same stars. He wondered what they would have thought, the mighty champions suddenly dwarfed in stature in comparison of the great span of the earth beneath the stars, and realizing small a part, but not necessarily insignificant, a part of the universe they really were. The young man felt different about the stars. He felt that they simply drifted through the emptiness of space pointlessly, moving ever onwards in spite of the inconsequentialities of the earth below. He felt people moved in much the same way; constantly moving towards something, but in circles, never really knowing where they were going but propelled by something regardless. The grand epic of sheer ordinariness carried on regardless of the heavens constantly surveillance, a massive fluke of particles colliding in the first few seconds of the universe. He imagined the cities, the people during the day moving like robots with their suits and ties, mindless carrying out their work in the cubicles like bees in honeycombs and then rushing home to dinner and TV, only to be replaced by the night people; drunks, homeless, stumbling out onto the street from beds of pain and searching for something in the night in vain, standing under streetlamps glowing like beacons in the sea, or like lanterns lit for those lost out in the dead of the night. People stand at street corners for change or chance to take them, carry them off from their lives of sheer mediocrity and grant them excitement, innovation, slowing fading away as the sun climbs over the horizon. It was this that truly depressed the young man, watching the endless shift between the mindless machinations of the day time and the sad, disenchanted hope for something better in the night. Regardless, some of these people during the day seemed happy, simply content with the hand that life has dealt with them. He sees all these people trudging through life without any kind of realization of their potential, but regardless they were happy, completely unaware of the overarching concept of pointlessness, oblivious to the apparent meaningless of, well, everything. This is what truly depressed the young man, to see all these people, all with dreams and hopes and aspirations only to never really realize them.