I awaken on a bed of lavender scented sheets and pink cherry blossom petals. I feel sleepy, like i didn’t wake up on my own. What or who woke me up? I sit up, rub my my eyes and take a look around. My bed lies in the middle of a circle. A circle made of giant yellow tulips with stems six feet tall. At first, I think i must be outdoors somewhere, but i’m not. The tulips appear to be growing out of the hardwood floor in my living room. I guess i’m still sleeping and dreaming. I try to shake myself awake. I close my eyes then open. Nope, everything is the same.. the bed and the tulips, plus this time i look to my left, and i see a raven. A raven who’s four feet tall. He’s exactly the height to peer directly into my eyes. I shiver and get goosebumps. He says in a deep voice, come with me, Amie. The Fate you’ve been waiting for is this way. He extends a wing toward me. His eyes twinkle, but i feel frightened.
I look to my right and there’s a coyote watching me with gleaming eyes and a sly smile. He says, no, come this way, Amie. I can lead you to Fate AND Time. The coyote and raven begin to argue with each other. I’m stuck in the middle. I try to get up off the bed, but i can’t move. And even if i could, which side is the right one?
All at once, the beautiful tulips surrounding me begin to wilt, then shrivel. The petals dry, drop to the floor and become black dust. I start to shake and feel sick. The raven to my left shrivels and turns to dust. Then the coyote laughs right before he fades away.
I awaken for real this time. I’m still shaking, and i feel nauseated. Now i’m in my own living room in my own apartment on my own couch. Thank goodness! I see it’s getting dark out. How long have i been sleeping? What day is this? I look at my grandfather clock, and the time says 7:15. I’m hungry. I feel like i haven’t eaten or had anything to drink in ages. I don’t recall lying on my couch for a nap. I close my eyes, try to calm down and get my bearings. I open my eyes, and i can’t believe what i see. Six foot tall tulips have grown a few feet to the right of the couch. Red this time. My grandfather clock says 12. It’s midnight. I’ve lost my mind. There’s a leopard, yes, a leopard, sitting next to the giant tulip patch. He says, hello, Amie. I’m Kafka. I’m here to escort you to Neptune. My brother Honore and your cousin Norah are already there. Time and Fate are there somewhere. And you’ll be safer there than here. This place has become dangerous for you. And i think, am i awake? Am i asleep? Am i just plain bonkers? At least now i don’t feel sick to my stomach and afraid. Add to that that i was just lately thinking how same old same old my life has become. This would be anything but boring. So.. I wonder how we’ll get to Neptune? …
To be continued