Rabbit Hole Day, 2012

Posted December 22, 2012:

Looking back on life after the events of 2012 is a bit like looking down into moving water; everything is blurred and confusing. It’s not clear what was real and what wasn’t.

The day it all happened, my dog came home with no more hair on his body. Once a bouncy puff-ball, he was suddenly a long, thin, ferret-looking creature, and the cat was terrified.

At first sight of him, her tail grew extremely large, and she stood on her tip-toes hissing and spitting. The dog was visibly alarmed to realize that he was not actually himself anymore, so he spent the rest of the day on the couch, his little face hidden beneath his paws, and his bald body shivering under the ceiling fan.

Then the worlds ruptured.

As I was trying to comfort my dog, I looked across the room at my TV and saw a strange image – it wasn’t like a television show; the set wasn’t even turned on. No, this was more like staring through a window that had cracked open. Only the window was shaped very strangely. There were several triangular shapes all put together in a circle, almost forming what looked like a pinwheel.

Through this odd window I could just see into another world. I stood, adjusting my glasses and peering into the television. There was something there. I saw people wandering to and fro through a market square, only they didn’t appear to see me. As I sometimes do with reality shows, I automatically assumed a passive interest in their lives. Where were they going? What were they doing?

BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG, BONG

It was twelve o’clock, according to their town tower. With a shock, I saw every member of the town stop and turn to face the tall clock at the center of their village. They didn’t move. For several minutes I watched them watching the tower.

And then, at 12:12, one person – the one who seemed near enough to touch – turned and focused his eyes straight on me. I jumped back and caught my breath.

He pointed into my house. The rest of the villagers turned to face me, as well. They pointed.

I cleared my throat and tried to calm the pounding in my chest. “Wh-what do you want?”

My dog stood up from the couch. He barked three times and then leapt through the television, into the alternate world.

“Sprocket! Come back here,” I called, but it was too late. He had entered their dimension, and the window had disappeared.

Later the next day, I awoke to the sound of my cat crying. She was pacing back and forth at the front door, meowing so desperately and pitifully that I was certain she’d broken a bone. I picked her up. She was fine.

But she continued to cry, and she began to reach out at the door as though she were trying to open it herself.

I opened the door.

Instantly her cries ceased as my dog bounded inside, with just a little more hair on his body this time, and he licked the cat right on her face. She purred.

What a strange day.

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