I can’t believe I made it back. I feel like it’s been so long since I was home, let alone sat in front of a computer. I feel like I was only away for a few minutes but I think I was away for much longer. Days? Weeks? Months? I’m not even sure. Time is confusing on the other side. Let me start at the beginning.
It was a beautiful August morning. The air was clean and crisp and smelled of dewy earth and sweet sunshine. The birds were happily chirping their morning greetings and there was just enough breeze to gently dry my freshly washed hair. I readied myself for work, grabbing an umbrella because the weatherman’s forecast predicted a chance of rain. I started along my commute when I noticed a large animal sauntering near the highway’s onramp. I slowed my vehicle to take a look at the creature. Holy donuts! The gentle giant was an AFRICAN LION! Seriously, like straight from the Lion King-type of lion.
(queue the Circle of Life song)
I immediately got out of my car (I forgot to put it into park so it ended up going into a ditch and spontaneously combusting, but that’s a story for another day) and bravely approached the lion. I was so curious! I was so lost in my thoughts that before I knew it, I was face-to-face with the beast. The lion stopped walking and sat in front of me. It’s head loomed above mine and I could feel it’s warm breath move my hair. I was taken aback from its beauty. The lion’s golden fur looked surprising soft and it’s main was fluffy and groomed. I wanted to touch him. I slowly reached out my hand and watched how he responded to me. He touched his big snout to my out-stretched palm and sniffed my hand. Stunned and afraid to move, I didn’t give any resistance when he grabbed the umbrella from under my arm, leaped up, and started running toward the woods nearby.
“Come back here, you!” I managed to yell and without a second thought, I ran into the woods after him.
I don’t remember what happened after that exactly. I do remember running for a long time, long enough that my lungs and muscles burned. I remember seeing flashes of his golden fur and followed as best as I could, but he was always ahead of me. Before I knew it, everything around me became hazy. The beams of light that fell through the treetops started flickering, almost as if the sun was dancing across the forest floor. I looked down at my hands and they appeared almost transparent, fading in and out right in front of my eyes. I felt the ground beneath my feet shift somehow and when I looked up, I was surround by vast dunes of sand. The lush forest I had just been in was gone and I found myself in a desert.
Describing this sandy abyss as, “hot,” is an understatement. I was immediately drenched in sweat (although all of the running didn’t help with that either). I had to find shade – quickly! I looked around. Where the hell did that damn lion go with my umbrella? I spotted large tracks in the sand and headed in that direction, unsure of what I would find next.
To be continued…