But my key ring contains many keys – the one for the office, the one for the car, the one for the other car, and the one for the mailbox. The key for the house, of course, and the key for the storage room.
But no, I’m using the correct key- it’s the only one that has red tape on it – red tape I placed there so I’d always know which key to use when I arrived at my front door.
But still, it doesn’t fit in a rather, now that I look more closely, misshapen lock. In fact, the doorknob doesn’t even have a lock, per se, but seems more decorative than anything else.
I knock lightly on the door, which I’m also just realizing is a bit different than it was when I left the house just four hours ago. He changed the door, for heaven’s sake? Admittedly, this one is better looking, with a deeper wood stain and some fancy brackets on either side.
“Whoosh,” the door opens with a light sucking sound as if air has just escaped – either from the inside or the outside. Hard to tell, since some breath escapes from my lungs as I stare at the…thing in front of me. What the hell is it? More bear than dog, although it has long blonde fur like a golden’s, a long tail that wags, and soft brown eyes. However, it stands tall like a bear or, I guess, a human, and it emits a sound between a bark, a yelp, and a ‘Hi!’.
The thing stands at the front entryway as if expecting a greeting in return.
“Who, I mean, what, are you?” I stammer.
The four-foot long tail swishes harder, and on two tall paws it moves aside so I can walk in.
But where are my furnishings, and what happened to my home? The hallway is painted florescent lavender with mystical three-dimensional, or are they four-dimensional, paintings arranged in a pattern all the way down the hallway. The living room is bare of couches or chairs or end tables and instead, one large screen takes over the wall with a laptop on a small stand facing it.
I turn and face the creature still wagging its tail, and it now says, I swear it says, “can I get you anything?”
“A splash of water,” I mumble to myself, thinking I must be dreaming, and a visit to the bathroom sink and some cold water should get me out of this surreal nightmare.
Instead the..thing… walks up to me and pulls out a long pink tongue, which it begins to lick over my cheeks.
Ah, my splash of water.
I hear a titter, like tiny glass over brick, and turn to see a small, egg-shaped human female walk over to me from the kitchen. “I’m sorry, Gertrude tends to take people literally,” the lady says.
“Gertrude?” I wonder out loud.
The woman rolls more than walks toward me and offers a child-sized hand with a thumb and one finger. “Gertrude is our pet, of course. And you are?”
“I live here,” I blurt out.
The egg lady titters again – her shape prevents a true belly laugh. “That’s impossible, my dear. We’ve been here since 2214.”
(Images courtesy of Google.)