Fever Dream I

Garrett has been standing there for who knows how long. He speaks Portuguese at 4:30. It’s 4:30. The wrong 4:30. So he speaks Mandarine. It sounds like Tv static when he opens his mouth. Every time he speaks, his face turns another shade of green. There are infinite shades of green, you notice.

Baffled at the thought, you turn to tell your mother. Your mother is sitting on a bench. Her legs are crossed. She wears a infinitely green dress.

Your mother, on the bench, can’t move. She’s stuck in place. Maybe stuck in time, you can’t tell. The color of her eyes bounce around like googly eyes. That’s not your mother, you realize.

Garrett, who is fluent in Russian, puts his hand on your left shoulder. You hear Tv static. You understand the static. You now know his credit score is 771. That’s pretty good, you think. Better than yours.

“Honey, did you turn off the oven?” the universe asks you.

“Yeah, I think so?” you whisper to yourself.

“Do you know so?”

“I know so.”

You know so. The oven was left on. A cloud of smoke is seen in the distance. Worried, you walk over to the smoke. It takes three steps. Your home is on fire. The wood crackling and the TV static fight in your ear. You still have to turn the oven off.

A firetruck arrives. At least 10 firefighters exit the firetruck. They run on your lawn with their big boots. They slow down like they stepped in molasses.

The closest firefighter to you, Gregory, speaks to you.

“Did you turn off the oven?”

“Yeah, I’m about to.”

You turn to your burning home. You take a step onto the molasses. Your legs seem to be cemented in the molasses. You break free only to take another step in the molasses. You’re stuck again. You travel what seems to be three miles. It was actually six.

You’re in the house now. The fire now burns like infinity–never-ending and green. The fire doesn’t burn you. It keeps you warm. The crackling crackles louder. The static statics less. The fire creates a tunnel that labyrithns around you home. At the end, an oven.

You know you know your house inside and out. As you walk the labyrinth, you come across a fork in the house. You pick it up. Afterwards, there’s a split in possible paths you could take. There’s a left and there’s a right. Right away, you take the right path, which was the left path.

There, an oven lies.

You walk over to the oven. The white machine roars like a bandsaw. The oven has four knobs that each control an oven top. The leftmost knob is cranked to MAX. Reaching over with your hand, you grasp the knob. You crank it to MAX. More infinity releases and engulfs everything and anything around you. But it all stays the same. You realize infinity is everything. You grab a knob. You crank it to MAX. You add to the entropy.

You awake.

It was a fever dream, you realize. You turn to your significant other. They’re asleep, but maybe they’ll comfort you. Lord knows you need it. You reach your hand over and shake their body softly.

“Are you up?” you ask.

She doesn’t budge.

-H. G. Salas

 

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