A Change In Plans

I’ve just been welcomed to the moon, but something doesn’t feel right. The instructions i received by text said i was to go to Apollo’s apartment, and he and i would journey together to Neptune to find Chronos, who has been missing or lost for ages.  But.. what happened is, i opened my hall closet door and ended up in this bizarre place.  The border collie who brought me what i thought was money said plans have changed. I feel nauseated and tingly again.  I look down at the satchel i’m carrying, and glance back, but the dog has vanished.  I look at my satchel, and see it’s glowing purple. I hear a voice. It’s a man’s voice.

Go ahead, Daphne. Open the bag. It won’t bite. I promise.  There’s something special in it, meant only for you!

I look around, but i see no one. I only see the red shimmering trees, and i notice that i’m standing in lavender colored sand. I feel that opening the satchel would be like opening Pandora’s Box, or sex with my ex-husband. Great or shitty. I never knew.

In the distance i hear what sounds like ocean waves crashing on a shore. I still feel ill. What i want to do is turn around and go back where i came from. I need to lie down. I want to be back in my apartment, on my couch, drink a gin and tonic, and maybe watch an episode of How to Get Away With Murder. Or maybe an episode of Survivorman. I’d survive with Les Stroud anytime anywhere. In fact, i wish he were here right now. He’d know what to do! I’m going nuts! First i think this whole thing is a dream. Then i think it’s not……

The voice repeats, Daphne, you’re not paying attention! I said, open your bag!

Who are you?  And where am i?  I want to go home!

You can’t go home, says the voice. He sounds more creepy every time he speaks. You were led here for a reason.

I don’t like being led. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way, and you haven’t told me who or where you are. Show yourself!

Nothing but silence. I hold on tight to the satchel.  It feels empty. I reach behind me with my left hand, and i find the doorknob. Yes! This is my closet’s doorknob.  I keep my hand on it and look around. I don’t dare take my hand off.  What kind of place is this?  At first it looked beautiful.. now it looks frightening. I’m twenty five years old, and i want to call my mother.  She always tells me what i should do, what i should have done, and what i should do twenty years from now. My heart is pounding. I blink a few times. Nope. Not awake. I have to be dreaming. All at once, a jaguar lunges out from behind one of the red sparkly trees!  He says, quick, Daphne, before Mars comes back!  Open the door, and we’ll go through it together!

So i do it. I’ve no idea why.  A big cat just told me what to do.  I’ve no time to ponder that, a talking cat, but i turn the knob. The door opens easily. I fall backward. I still have the satchel. The jaguar gracefully leaps through.  The door closes automatically. I feel more than a little put out that i don’t wake up on my couch. I vow never to drink gin again, but as soon as i think it, i know it won’t last, just like my marriage.. ten months.  I brush myself off and stand up. I look around, and the magnificent jaguar has vanished. What is it with these disappearing, talking animals?  The next thing i realize, is that i’m not in my hall in my apartment. I think, what now? Will i ever wake up?  I have a nagging sensation that i won’t, that all this is real. I’m no longer holding the glowing bag. I look down, and i see a box on the floor next to my right foot. It’s a wooden box. It looks expensive and has carving on its top. It’s of a jaguar and a hunter.  I go to brush off my jeans again, but i’m not wearing jeans. I’m wearing a blue velvet gown, and there’s an adorable tabby cat purring and looking up at me like he’s seen me before. Then he winks. I feel tingly again.

I start when a woman comes up behind me and says, your highness! Just what have you been up to?  Your mother will not be pleased!  And why is your jewel box on the floor?  You are in trouble young lady! As always!  You need to be ready for dinner in a half an hour!  Apollo will be here promptly at 8.

to be continued next wednesday!

M. Raynes


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