I was staying at this pretty crappy motel with my Mom and sister, and I had gone out to meet up with somebody late into the night. When I got back, the TV was blaring pretty loud and there were other people in the room.
It was an oversized room, but not quite one that had separate rooms, and the other two guys who were there were friendly and all, but still loud and looked like they still had a long night of drinking beer in the room ahead of them. After going over and talking to my Mom, who was mad but afraid to say anything, I found a handwritten note (almost a letter) from the hotel staff sitting on the counter that basically said the room occupancy was 6 people and because it was a busy, holiday weekend, the room would be full regardless of only having 3 in our party…
Mad and tired, I took the letter – along with these abnormally small key fragments that apparently served to unlock the door – and went down to the front desk to complain…
* * * * * * * * * *
The place was kind of a half-diner, half-my-grandparents-house because I worked there, but my grandparents were there too and they most certainly didn’t.
I had just finished waiting on somebody who was getting ready to leave, and for some reason we were calculating the check as well as how much I was making from that particular meal at the same time. My boss wasn’t pleased because I guess he paid me different wages throughout the week and he wasn’t thrilled about giving me $20/hour just because it was a Saturday, but the lady was nice and when it came time for her to go, there was a plate of chocolate chip cookies that she had ordered that were fresh out of the oven and I was told I could have them because she had to go in a hurry.
That’s when it started getting weird!
The diner was also sort of my grandparents house because some of my relatives were gathered, including a couple of my cousins who I don’t get to see hardly enough. While I was waiting for my grandpa to come back, I started talking to my grandma about not being able to bake cookies as good as grandpa because he used some special orange butter that didn’t taste like oranges at all, but made the cookies super chewy and delicious just like when they’re fresh right out of the oven!
It was after she told me that I should just pick up a tub of it for myself at the store and give it a try that something dawned on me and I realized that despite her image being clear as day, grandma had actually been dead for many years.
After having a couple of the cookies with my cousins, the dream began to slip closer to reality when I also realized that so had grandpa…
* * * * * * * * * *
I was walking down this dirt trail that for whatever reason seemed to be ripe with animal life – particularly tiny lizards and snakes and whatnot – and even though it was dark, I seemed to be able to just reach down and more often than not, I’d have one of the little creatures in my hand after I closed it.
I kind of likened it to working at camp, and there were all sorts of other kids around me who just thought it was the coolest thing.
I started catching some of the more provocative ones, taking a particular interest in some lizards that glowed neon colors, and after I had nabbed a couple of them with plans to keep them in jars to watch them, I heard the camp ranger grumbling from the other side of the fence we were walking along and he was none too happy for me to be abusing the wildlife like I was apparently doing!
So I did what any teenager would do in that sort of situation – I jumped into my space ship and took off, hoping that he couldn’t chase me through the sky … although in retrospect it’s not like the truck that he drove could fly or anything. But for whatever reason, my ship while flying happened to go very slow, meaning that he could still close distance between us until I started putting altitude between us as well, and after going higher and higher, I knew I was finally safe just before being ready to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.
I decided to do one more fly by over the camp before leaving to see if things had calmed down, but all I could really see from my height was the shape of the landmass of Michigan and an approximation of where the camp resided many miles below.