Away, away through the world, the lost girl wandered. It seemed to her, given the suspiciously large amount of time that had somehow managed to roll around behind her in lieu of her wanderings, that she’d been moving forever. Days upon days upon sun-kissed beaches, breathtaking mountains, and a crucial amount of exposure to the ways of life that she had been told, when setting out on her journey, would provide a cataclysm of explosive inspiration and lead her on the path to the meaning of life. Certainly, if said meaning was to spend one’s entire life going around in circles searching for.. said meaning, then she was doing very well. Now, stood on a ridge overlooking a lagoon so blue it was as if the horizon were a mirror reflecting the sky, basking in the warm temperature of a perfect paradise, she’d just about had enough of it.
So, she went to the nearby tourist information office, which also sold jet skis to unsuspecting travellers at ridiculously overblown prices, given that they all, without fail, broke down after reaching the centre of the lake. The officials at the office claimed it was all part of the experience. Standing amongst enough leaflets that a reprinting order would terrify a small forest, sweltering under the heat that the lazily spinning fan overhead only served to move in her direction, the lost girl rang the bell on the counter, and waited.
After a few moments, there was movement from a pile of broken jet ski parts in the corner, and they slid aside as an impossible tall man with an impossibly long beard and some sort of tribal headdress emerged from underneath, where he had apparently been napping. This enigmatic vision lazily wandered over to the counter, and asked the lost girl how he might be able to help her.
“I’m searching for the meaning of life,” she said. “Do you have any pointers for me?”
“As it happens,” the man said mysteriously, “I do. In this region there live three wise sensei’s, all of whom claim to be in possession of the enlightenment that you seek. One lives to the west of the lagoon, in a tree. One lives to the east, in a cave, and the other lives to the north, in a temple hidden amongst the mountains. They all understand their own meaning, and would gladly impart their knowledge unto you if you asked them.”
“They have different ideas of meaning?” The lost girl asked.
“They do,” the man said with a chuckle. “Surely, one of them will be able to help you. If you like, I could rent you a jet ski so that you can get there faster?”
The lost girl declined politely, and left the man’s office. Outside, she spun on the spot randomly, and opened her eyes to find herself facing west. Destination decided for her by the strange workings of fate, she set off in search of a man in a tree, and whatever he might be able to tell her.