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Deal 1321: Dancehall

The door dropped me into the woods. Not necessarily unusual, but not where I wanted to be. As I make my way towards where I hoped my destination lies, I find myself dodging over and under dead trees, and trying to stay on what seems to be a game trail.

Then the first frog passes me. It is going flat out, making long, low hops that cover a lot of ground, fast. Then a second frog. And a third. That one pauses on a log to say something, but I can’t understand it. It leaps away before I can ask, soon to be replaced by numbers four, five, and six. Each in turn pauses and say something, but between the forest noises and the panic settling in, I understand none of them.

The game trail leads to a crack in a rock face. I see no choice, so I step in. Now I’m out of the woods, but still lost. A steady stream of frogs is changing before my eyes into a stream of chickens. I’m afraid to look too close, lest I discover that the individual frogs are becoming individual chickens. The chickens are still muttering, and it is resolving into music. I briefly envy their easy musicality, then remember that they are chickens.

I follow them down the trail into an old dance hall, where they cluster near the stage where they somehow find instruments and assemble as a dance band. The band leader has a familiar looking bushy tail, but is also blowing his heart out on a hunting horn.

Losing myself in the music, drift around the room, eventually finding myself at the window.

A surge in the crowd behind me knocks me out the window. I would ordinarily expect an abrupt defenestration from a dance hall to be much more traumatic. But I merely fall about ten feet and land lightly in my bed.

Shrugging, I roll over and go back to sleep.

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Deal 1319: Caged.

Most people are lucky enough to find only one door.

I’ve found this one. I know it is a door. It is in an impossible location. My key fits. But I’m hesitant to step through. Do I deserve this chance? Who am I to be chosen?

But despite the doubts, I know deep down that I’m not going to just throw away this chance.

This time I feel sure I am called, but I remain concerned because of my doubts. But we all know how this is going to end, so I grit my teeth and step through.

There is no floor on this side.

I fall for what seems like forever in a grey world that seems like the inside of a cloud. I can hear birds calling occasionally, but see nothing beyond a few feet.

Blink.

Now I’m standing in an immense room filled with birdcages. Most are empty, and most are small. But a few are larger than I am. The one in front of me is gilded, with decorations on the decorations. It is not particularly furnished. The door stands open.

I step in.

Blink.

I’m no longer sure I can go back.

Blink.

I’m stuck here.

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Deal 1318: Outlook cloudy.

It always starts with a bird.

This time, it was bird after bird after bird. They just kept streaming at me, around me, over me, through me, ooh, that tickles!

Birds flying through me ought to bother me more, but it seems to be something that just happens.

I remember being clumsy, when I was awake. But now, I just float here and watch it all.

The birds keep coming. First it was swallows in a full-form swarm.

Then it was an echelon of geese. They cut through me like I wasn’t even there.

I should fear the geese more, but I can’t seem to bring myself to fear anything anymore.

From my vantage, everything but the birds is so far away, below me, and unable to touch me.

I can just watch, and maybe send a bird or two for help.

The only real problem is that my nose itches. And I’m pretty sure I don’t have a nose any more.

Any more.

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Deal 1317: More Doors

As my quest continues, the doors seem to be everywhere I turn. But so far almost none of them have opened to my key. I have not given up hope of returning one day, but even I will admit the prospect seem grim.

Then I punched the button for the elevator. The door opened and I stepped inside.

That’s when I realized that I had never seen an elevator on this level before. The door closed behind me, and the elevator car went totally dark.

A light came on in the distance, and I knew that I had to prove myself by running to it before it disappeared. I would have made it too if I had seen the chasm. As I was falling seemingly endlessly, I replayed the whole journey looking for a better way forward.

I landed well, and realized that the chasm was actually a cliff, and I was closer to my goal.

I also realized that I was no longer sure why I was so set on catching the light. Glancing over my shoulder revealed that the light was a projector, and my image was projected on to the cliff face. With commentary. And suggestions.

The only way out of that trap was to change my goals and never look back. I decided then and there that first chance I got I would step onto stage dressed as Prince and perform.

That was nearly absurd enough to break me free. It did allow the light of the projector to show me a door hidden in the rocks at the base of the cliff. Surprisingly, my key fit the lock and the door opened.