Have you ever wondered what was down at the end of the garden? You probably haven’t. Michel never wondered either. Like most of you, he knew what was down at the end of his garden. A grave for his goldfish, Rocky, which had probably already been dug up and eaten by the neighbour’s cat - Michel had never checked for fear that it was true - a fence and beyond that a driveway. Maybe you don’t have a garden, perhaps you have a patio or a balcony or nothing at all, so all this talk of wondering what could be down at the end of the garden may have absolutely zero interest for you whatsoever.
However, maybe you should wonder, maybe Michel should’ve done so too. For if he had, then maybe none of this would ever have happened.
“Mum! Dad!” Michel yelled and screamed as he was thrown and spun around within the pitch-black, tornado-like vortex. His hair shot up and rocked from side to side as the skin on his face began to move like a wave pool.
What was happening? Was this real? Michel blinked his eyes repeatedly, expecting to wake up in his bedroom at any second. Nothing.
“Help!” Michel screamed.
Was he in some kind of sick dream like that feeling you have that you’re falling out of bed?
“Mum!” Michel shouted as loud as he could.
Suddenly, the lights were turned way up and he landed with a little bump on something soft in a very, very, very long, bright white corridor.
Michel felt his head and body, checking for broken bones. Of course there weren’t any, it was just a dream that he couldn’t wake from. Probably his cousin wasn’t missing either. But the bump felt so real. What kind of dream was this?
“Get off me, you buffoon!” a voice shouted from beneath Michel.
Michel jumped up and turned around in shock. His eyebrows met his hairline and his jaw met the floor. The voice seemingly came from a plump, old Basset Hound with big drooping ears that was wearing a British racing green coloured cardigan. Michel stared, mouth so wide open that a train could’ve confused it for a tunnel. Michel surveyed the area quickly. There was nobody around except him and this dog. The voice couldn’t have come from the dog.
“You haven’t died, have you?” the dog asked.
Michel was naturally speechless.
“Hello? Another moronic alien, I fear,” the dog said.
Michel rubbed his eyes. The dog was still there and he was still in this corridor. He re-examined his head again. Was he dead? Is this some kind of afterworld? No. It was not possible. Michel touched the white, concrete walls; they were cold. He bent down and felt the floor. It was all so real.
“I say, it is quite rude not to answer when one’s being spoken to. Even ruder not to answer to your cultural superior.”
Michel stared at the dog.
“Deaf as well as imbecilic,” the dog said.
Michel reached out and touched the Basset Hound.
“Hold on there one second! Are you clean? Get your hands off me at once or I shall report you!”
The dog felt real. But a talking dog? Maybe he was hallucinating?
“I must be dreaming or something.” Michel held his head. He was dizzy and sat down against a wall.
“I can bite you if you’d like? I’ve had my tetanus shot,” the dog offered.
Michel’s eyes widened and he quickly moved away as the dog inched his mouth towards Michel.
“Stay away! I don’t know who or what you are or what’s going on but just stay away. Mum? Dad? Someone!”
Michel got up and ran a little down the corridor.
“That’s it, leave me here,” the dog moaned, still sprawled on the white tiled floor. “You just drop on me from out of nowhere, don’t even ask how I am and then run away when I could’ve suffered any number of injuries.”
Michel spun around this way and that. On each side of the corridor there were doors, illustrated with images and with signs on them. This was insane.
‘Toilet World’, ‘Granny Planet’, ‘Spaghetti Universe’. Each door was about 10 feet apart and illustrated and labelled with the most peculiar names and images. Toilet World had a door covered in pictures of happy-looking toilets, Granny Planet had a door covered in pictures of angry, old biddies walking with the aid of walkers and threatening people with walking sticks, and Spaghetti… well you get the idea. Michel began to sweat profusely. He felt ill. He was ill.
“Spaghetti Universe?” Michel paced back towards the dog.
“Everything made out of spaghetti, I hear,” the dog said.
“Where are you from, Scruffy?” the dog asked.
“Please stop talking to me. I don’t wanna get any crazier than I already am.”
Michel put his hand to his forehead. He was burning up. All this couldn’t be happening. He steadied himself against the wall then turned to the dog. Suddenly, everything went blurry and he collapsed to the floor, next to the dog.
“Hello? Hello…” the dog’s voice trailed off.
© Copyright 2017 Elias Zapple. All rights reserved.
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