Which Other Portland?

This story is a continuation of ‘The Twenty Fourth Sapphire’   🙂

My wardrobe malfunctioned. My wardrobe or my ring, i’m not sure which. My Bichon, Edmund is as confused as i am. We did everything right, or so we thought. We stepped into the wardrobe in my office-apartment back in Regular Portland.  I said the magic words, the fox heads to his den, and we were supposed to end up in Other Portland, Universe 3365. But, this place is unfamiliar to us.  We arrived by elevator on floor number twenty two of some kind of office building. We stepped off three minutes ago, and we’re still standing in front of its closed doors trying to figure out where the hell we are. Maybe i got the words wrong?  Instead of the fox heads to his den, perhaps i should have said, the cougar heads up a tree, or, the house husband heads to his kitchen, or the crow heads to his nest. No. I’ve been an agent at the Agency for over seven years. I should know the correct words. Then again, maybe i should brush up on the employee manual. I’ll do that when we get back. If we can get back. If i can figure out how to get back. Once i figure out why we came to this place instead of OP 3365, and where we actually are.  I’m responsible for Edmund. He’s my constant companion. He goes where i go, and now i’ve got us lost.

So far, a half dozen people have passed us in the hallway. They’re heading toward a place to the left, and none has acknowledged our presence. Are we invisible?  The elevator dings behind us, and the doors open. I say, let’s go Edmund! We’re not staying here. We board, and Edmund barks twice. The doors close, but the elevator is still. Is it waiting for me to say something?  I’m still wearing the Twenty Fourth Sapphire ring. I need to make a decision. Now i’m flustered, and my mind is blank. I say, so Edmund, how about i take us to Tulip Island?  But then i think, that’s not what Venus wanted. You really don’t want to piss off a goddess.. even the Goddess of Love.  I can explain when i talk to her next. Right now, i want to get Edmund and i to a familiar place.

I decide. I choose a random button out of the four on the right panel that says, Tulip Island, 1965. At this point, i have no idea where this will get us. Not sure it will even take us to the Island. I’ll try to contact Venus when we get to wherever. I don’t like surprises, but the joke’s on me.

Edmund gives me a trusting look right before the light goes out. The only things visible are the buttons which are now shining bright green. The button i pressed now says OP 8813. That’s also Other Portland, but it’s not my intended destination. I look at Edmund and say, what do i do, sweet Edmund?  His eyes shine in the dark. I can hear him shake out like he’s just had a bath. I take a chance, close my eyes and concentrate. Now what did the manual say about situations like this? What are the right words?  Is it a statement or a question?  I squeeze my eyes shut tighter like that will help me remember. I think i remember. I whisper, when will the rabbits do their homework? I don’t dare open my eyes, Edmund is silent and the elevator remains dark, but it’s moving. It’s going up.

The doors open after a full minute. Edmund and i step out and into an enormous parlor like room.  A woman rushes toward me. It’s Kristine! Edmund barks and whirls all excited. Kristine says, Farley!  I’m so happy to see you my love! It’s been five years. I thought you’d never get here! Then she gives me a passionate kiss, tongue and all. My head spins. The kiss has a big effect. But this is Kristine! Though she’s clearly not the Kristine i know. Where have we ended up?! Will i ever know?

M. Raynes


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