How long could it have been since he started on his long journey through the Neverending Story? Weeks? Months? Years? He had once read about a man who had spent just an hour in a magic cave. When he returned home, a hundred years had passed, and of all the people he had known as a child he remembered only one, and he was an old old man.
Bastian was aware of the gray daylight, but he could not make out whether it was morning or afternoon. It was bitter cold in the attic, just as on the night of Bastian’s departure.
He disentangled himself from the dusty army blankets, put on his shoes and coat, and saw to his surprise that they were wet as they had been the day when it had rained so hard.