Otherwhere (a #31ShortHorrors tale)

She stared at the ceiling

And beyond it

Willed a scene into her head

And beyond it

What if, what else, what might have been

Alternate universes casually seen

Through the telescope of her mind

A door opened, and what did she find?

Her dreamworld far and wide

Rolling hills and snowcapped mountains

Jagged cliffs and fog

A man climbing a steep wet hill

Panting with his dog

She called out to him

Then the pup

But neither could give answers

She gave chase to the pair

Please wait for me right there!

They couldn’t hear her for the fog

And soundwaves can’t flow here

In the Dreamworld of her mind

Frustration, flowing tears

They vanished up the moldy hill

And she was frozen still

She spied another door cracked open

She entered into light

A beach of endless proportion

An ocean roared its might

Strung and stung, she wandered the hot sand

Only water pounding shore

Sharp seashells in her hand

A mirage down the stretch at last

She’d been walking hours

She ran towards her visiondream

The one with her same powers

She yelled his name, and called his pup

But he stared out at the ocean

I’m here, I’m here! She screamed at him

But he could only look on

His dog yanked at her leash, Let’s go!

And so he followed after

Never seeing, hearing, touching her

Out of reach, with bitter laughter

She walked into the cold bright waves

And never stopped until

She fell into a trapdoor

On a sandbar

And a whale nearby sucked krill

She landed in the barrio

A place she’d often been

She knew the alleys and the lanes

Rowhouses on the main

No grass but heat

No smell but wharf

She looked out on the harbor

She entered what seemed to be the house

The one her conscious warned of

She opened every drawer and door

She heard the creaks and groans

Footsteps overhead somewhere

Everyone is somewhere

Her memory served her well

Those wonderpets would never miss

A chance to ring her bell

She took the narrow staircase

How many landings? Five?

Eight, twelve, and she stopped counting

Realized she’s still alive

This house of death had never offered

Solace or retreat

And now familiar rustling

Hurried panicked feet

She hurled herself upward

Ready to meet her agony

Once more she prepared

Her goodbye speech

Count of three, I fall and flee

What’s this? I’ve finally reached it?

The casing at the top? No more steps

The door is locked

Por supuesto, how could it not?

Panic rising in her throat

They’re coming for her now

Up the countless steps behind her

She set her teeth for blows

She crashed into the attic dust

And slammed the door she thought

It swung closed slowly like a wind

Weakly fought the lock

A tiny greasy window looked upon alley below

And there he was, her target

With his little dog in tow

She banged the glass

She raged she stabbed she tried to break it free

As mumbling in the hall outside brought her to her knees

Please help me find me see me hear me

I’ve never been this far

I don’t know where the next door is

She searched the room

A bar

A country western bar with smoke

And beer and stench and sweat

She stood at the jukebox

Pulled the lever, made a bet

Her quarter clinked and roared to life

His voice in the next set.

She slouched against the chrome and glass

Vibrations traveled through her

Reality was everywhere

But she chose this nightmare

Night after night she opened doors

Seeking out her other self

The one who read her mind and

Kept it from splitting in half

Without her partner she had lost

Her own reality

Finding him would find her home

His roots, her sanity.

The real world disallowed her search

She functioned there no more

Making do with Otherwhere

And other, distant shores.

A boundary-less dreamworld

She was trapped unless she found him

In her mind forevermore.


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