Chapter 5

I walked into the waiting room of a Ms. Smith. The room was sterile, tidy, and modern. Hard edges, simple shapes, and negative space; a geometric taste that said future without actual signs of progress. I tasted the air. There was nothing, and my feral heart called out from my chest; I knew I couldn’t live in a place like this. The air lacked texture.  My spirit would die here, while my body carried on breathing in air without character.

I sat down on a rectangle. On a table to my left was a pile of squares–magazines about sports, politics, consumer reports… I tossed one after the other to the side. The desk attendant glared at me. I was introducing entropy into the system.

A landscape photo caught my eye on the National Geographic, and I pulled it from the bunch. Snowy mountains and rebel green hills, photos of streams shot and rendered to recapture the motion lost in the still; I leafed through pages of green and blue, spherical Earth in squares, while I waited for my name to be called. A desert photo drew me in. Vast and empty, I pried open the edges of the photograph with my mind’s eye and wandered in. I removed my shoes and dug my toes into the sand, massaging them with the warm grains. The sunlight glaring high up in the sky, I cupped my hand above my eyes and scanned the horizon. I invented shapes on the blue backdrop, my spider-mind using its many arms to paint characters and scenery where nothing was before. Camels exchanged humans in a bustling bazaar, whilst boars bartered soda tops for colored tapestries and more. There were rodents running errands for their crocodile masters, who sat atop crates and traded stories for gin. The scene was living, breathing and it morphed with every second, and the more my eyes wandered, the stranger it became until-

“Henry!” My time was up.

Next Chapter


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