( x-posted from my tumblr )
- You wake up on the bus, your skin sticky cold from the dirty window. It’s dark outside. Was it dark when you got on? How long ago was that? You don’t know where you are; you’re not sure where you were going.
- The little boy hands you a ragged, handmade story book. All of the pages are blank. For now.
- You find scraps of paper, and scribbles on the walls. The legend tells of Stray Dog. Stray Dog gives kids sweets. Stray Dog kidnaps kids. There’s candy on the floor; where are the children?
- The children greet you by name. You’ve never seen them before. They don’t bother to introduce themselves; you already know who they are.
- The children put you in the box with your dear friend. Your dear friend is in the bag. Your dear friend isn’t moving. The box is.
- You wake up on an airship. The airship is shaped like a whale. The whale is made of metal and glass. It swims between the clouds.
- Money is obsolete. The currency of choice is Red. Red crayons, red roses. Red all over your dear friend. Red all over the bag. Red all over your filthy hands.
- There is candy all over the floor. You eat it without question. They come in unpopular flavors, like “Dirty” and “Old”. You eat them, anyhow. You’re sick from the sugar.
- The airship is massive; it’s impossibly large. Up and down the stairs, down to the belly and up through the blowhole, and all of the children are gone.
- You search for the children. You can’t find them. The children are lost, the children are hidden. You are all alone on the metal whale, floating in the stars.
- Animals roam the halls. Grotesque configurations. Rabbits, goats, pigs. They’re all wearing suits. They’re all holding weapons.
- The children are behind the door. The door is locked. You ply The Door with gifts. A beautiful butterfly, but it’s not enough. A battered rabbit, but it’s not enough. The Red Bird of Happiness, but it’s not enough. An unmarried mermaid, but it’s not enough.
- Scratchy music plays constantly. All of the rooms are empty. The record player is broken. The music is inescapable. It plays endlessly in every room.
- The children stop talking when you approach. They look at you with those cold, expectant eyes. They lift their dresses, and bend their knees. They smile those wise, knowing smiles. They ask if you’ve found what you’re looking for yet; something dear to you. Well. Have you?
- The Door is unlocked. Your dear friend is in the bag again. You deserve to be gobbled up.