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Deal 1323: Quack

Asleep, the music gave me strength to hope.

Awake, it was always concerning. For music, as we are all taught from childhood, is forbidden here.

But the music in our heads cannot be punished. Unless it leaks out.

So dreaming of music is always welcome.

This music was strange. Discordant. Trapped in just a few notes nearly repeating, with a tone that was reminiscent of an ill duck coughing. Yet the more I listened to it, the deeper it drew me into its spell.

After a dozen repetitions, it begins to make sense. Or perhaps I am going mad.

No matter. This is clearly a case where the only way out is in.

Quack. Quough. Quack.

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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 1306: Its a small something

The song was stuck in my head, and I was going to be hearing it all day. But that wasn’t what was most annoying.

It was stuck there because I was doing a good deed and helping a friend.

I may have helped distract their kids for the afternoon.

But spending more than half that time stuck on a broken ride while the theme music track plays at what feels like increasingly annoying volume and while the kids finally achieve their dream of memorizing the lyrics and choreography is just the icing on the cake.

My only consolation is that at the end of the day, I get to return the little parrots to their home, where they will inflict their new learning on their parents.