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A (Not So) Normal Day
She stopped the car, ignoring the horns; it was over. Completely over. She restarted the car and pulled back into traffic, ignoring the tears steaming down her face and continued on her way home.
Three blocks down from her apartment her car suddenly veered to the right, crashing into a white picket fence in some ones lawn and went hurtling into a black void that she was sure hadn’t been there two seconds before. As she tumbled through the blackness with nothing but her old beat up car for protection, she wondered if this was the end. Right now not much seemed too important, she wasn’t even all that scared at the idea of dying.
As rapidly as she had entered the void, she was abruptly out of it, alive. She had landed in a desert, a barren wasteland with little more then sand and a few shrubs to offer any protection from the elements. Without thinking about it she got out of her car and started walking. Nowhere in particular, just walking for the sake of walking because she had no idea where she even was. For all she knew she could be anywhere in the world, or perhaps not even in the 3rd dimension anymore, but the eighth or ninth. Maybe she was even in another galaxy or realm. For all she knew anything was possible with the kind of day she was having.
It had all started that morning when she had arrived late at work for the 5th time that month, her boss had been upset and without further ado laid her off until further notice. On her way out to the parking lot her cell phone had started to ring. When she pulled it out she saw it was her boyfriend calling. Answering was the second thing that had gone wrong that day. He had broken up with her, which was why she had been crying on her way back to her apartment.
That was why what was going on now failed to surprise her. If she could be fired from her job and break up with her boyfriend in less then 20 minutes anything was possible.
As she continued to walk away from her beat up old car she began to notice small changes in the landscape. First she began to notice more and more vegetation, green vegetation, not the brown stuff common in deserts. Then she started to hear the sounds of a gurgling stream somewhere off in the distance. It sounded so nice and inviting that it wasn’t until that moment that she realized exactly how thirsty she was. Heading towards the bubbling sounds of the water she began to move farther and farther away from her car. Eventually she got to the point where, if she looked back, the denseness of the foliage would have hidden it from view. So intent was she at finding the source of the water she didn’t even notice the sudden change of landscape from desert to jungle.
On and on she moved deeper and deeper into the jungle looking for the water. Finally, after what felt like hours of searching, but was really less then thirty minutes, she gave up and sat down on a nearby boulder, throwing her purse to the ground in frustration. Looking around she realized for the first time the vastly different change in landscape that had occurred. And she realized that this definitely wasn’t a normal place. If she had ended up somewhere on earth, it was impossible for desert to just change into jungle.
Then for the first time since entering this strange new world she thought about her car, and realized that she had lost it. She had no idea which direction she had come from, nor how many twists and turns she had took upon the way. If somehow she managed to find her car again in this maze of a jungle it would be a miracle. She looked around her in despair, perhaps hoping for some clue as to which direction she had come in. But it was all in vain for the unforgiving jungle yielded no clues for her to follow. The only thing she could do was get up, pick a direction and hope beyond all hope that it was the right way.
Just as she was about to set out in a random direction, she noticed the bird, not just any old bird, but a bird colored every color imaginable. It was blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple and every shade in-between. Unbeknownst to the bird, she began watching it. It slowly was revolving in a half circle on the lower branch of a great tree. She was almost sure that the bird had not been there a minute ago, for surely she would have noticed, it stood out even in the multicolored jungle. As she stood there watching it the bird must have felt her presents because it suddenly turned to face her, it’s black beady eyes boring into hers. It sprang off its branch and before she even had time to turn around and scream, careened into the side of her head, knocking her out cold.
The next thing she was aware of was the fridged cold surrounding her. She had no idea what had happened and everything from the past few hours was a fuzzed out blur. Sitting up she realized she was in the middle of a snowstorm. She couldn’t make out hardly anything and her vision seemed frosted over and hazy. Slowly, slowly she was able to pull herself up to a standing position, but walking was another matter. She didn’t know how long she’d been laying out in the storm, but she was having trouble feeling her fingers and toes. A bad sign if she remembered correctly.
As she began to creep her way forward, sketchy memories of what had happened began to return to her. She remembered the black void, the dead and dismal desert, then, the bright and colorful jungle. She also remembered the bird careening into her skull and knocking her out. Still, she didn’t know how she had gotten to this frozen wasteland.
Then, in a brief reprieve of the tumbling wind and snow she was just able to make out a dark shape in the distance. Whatever in was, it could be some sort of shelter from the cold. Heading towards it the blasting snowstorm resumed and she could no longer see the shape. Hoping she was still going to right direction she continued.
After some time, just as she was beginning to lose hope that she was ever going to find it, she bumped into something. It was her car! Here in the middle of the violent storm. Quickly she got inside, not even thinking about how it had ended up in a place like this. Almost as soon as she managed to shut the car door against the buffeting winds she feel asleep.
When again she awoke, she found herself curled up safe and warm in her bed back in her little downtown apartment. After several moments she began to remember her day, or, she amended, her supposed day. For now she suspected it had all been a dream. It had certainly been weird enough for a dream. A world of ever changing landscapes and strange creatures that tried to kill you. On the other hand it had been quite vivid and easy to remember every detail, something she wasn’t known to be good at remembering.
She got out of bed, and began searching for her purse to grab cell phone, so she could figure out the date and time. If it was Monday morning everything was a dream, if it wasn’t… then everything must have happened, though she couldn’t explain how it had.
But no matter how hard she searched her purse wasn’t anywhere to be found inside her apartment. Finally she grabbed a bathrobe and her slippers and went downstairs to search her car. The second she steeped out of the apartment building and saw her car parked against the curb she realized that her dream had been reality. Her car was covered in snow. It looked ridiculous in the sunlight surrounded by shining cars.
Still holding out a sliver of hope that it had been a dream, she walked up and began brushing the snow off her car, still determined to find her purse and phone. Suddenly a thought crossed her mind and she remembered something, that, until this second she had forgotten. In the jungle she had thrown her purse to the ground in frustration just seconds before the strange bird had knocked her out. The reason she couldn’t find her purse was because it really was in a strange jungle in a strange place and the reason her car was covered in snow was because it really had been in a violent snowstorm in another world.
The intenseness of this realization hit her with such a force that she ended up sitting down on the side walk. She needed time to think everything over. Time that apparently she really did have since she no longer had a job or a boyfriend. Pulling herself up she began to head back into her apartment. It was time to begin to try and sort through everything that had happened in the past twenty four hours.
Oh well. It was time to admit it, her life was strange and it wasn’t going to change soon.