It was a lovely spring day.
The birds were chirping, the flowers blooming, and somewhere in the far distance, a man was peeing on the faces of a Mother and Father who were taking a break from their daily tasks of parenthood for an erotic and romantic weekend at their local Super 8 Motel.
Miles away from that mess, Perriwinkle Funkhouser was walking along the sidewalk. He had just experienced the worst Ulpher driver he ever encountered and barely escaped with his life.
But at least he was still alive.
As he was making his way to The Funeral Home, he withdrew from his pocket the vial that he found in the demolished Ulpher ride.
The vial looked like a Smurf-sized travel shampoo bottle and contained a dark-green liquid inside its clear casing. Perriwinkle twisted off the teensy cap and gave the mysterious concoction a quick whiff.
Instantly, a rush of panic found its way into his body and down his spine. Also, he could have sworn he saw the visage of a deformed dog-like head after blinking his eyes a few times.
“Well that’ll put hair on your chest and get you a great 401 K,” he joked to himself.
Perriwinkle quickly stowed away the vial and continued walking to his destination. He almost forgot the entire reason for being outside after just one sniff of the robust elixir in his pocket.
Earlier that day, he received a phone call from an older woman telling him that his Mother had passed and that he needed to go to The Funeral Home as soon as possible.
“When did that happen, though? Also, why can I hear a description of my day?” he thought to himself.
Just then, an ominous man wearing a green jacket bumped into him and walked away briskly. Perriwinkle instantly checked his pockets and noticed the vial was gone.
Still in his eyesight, Perriwinkle rushed to the man who pickpocketed him and began screaming.
“HEY! GET BACK HERE! YOU STOLE MY…”
He stopped himself short of announcing to everyone in his general vicinity that someone just stole his drugs right as the thief skrrrr’d away.
Perriwinkle sprinted towards the man in the green jacket to retrieve his precious vial.
“Why is it precious to me?”
The green jacket man ran through a couple holding hands and rounded a corner into an alleyway. Perriwinkle dodged the flustered couple with yellow sweat on their faces and darted into the alleyway in close pursuit.
The green jacket man hopped on a nearby dumpster and attempted to climb a fire escape.
Yet he wasn’t quick enough to get away from good ol’ Perriwinkle, who jumped up to clasp the shoe of the thief with one hand while yanking his jacket down with the other.
Both men rudely fell on top of the dumpster and rolled off it, with Perriwinkle still holding on to the green jacket.
When he gathered enough strength to raise himself up, he noticed the empty green jacket in his hand. He looked both ways down the alley to ensure it was not some sort of magic trick.
“Did he just disappear out of thin air?”
Perriwinkle gazed at the crumpled jacket folded over in his hand as he questioned every thought he ever had.
Once he returned from the realm of thought, he scoured the jacket for his vial.
After finding it in the left breast pocket, he chucked the jacket in the dumpster and centered his entire universe around the small glass bottle in his hand.
With just one sniff he was able to hear things he never could before, but what would happen if he drank any of it?
Throwing caution to the wind, he twisted it open, dabbed a few drops on his tongue, and submitted himself to the will of the vial’s bizarre nature.
It only took a matter of seconds before he could feel himself soaking into the pavement.
He looked around the alley and could see twisting gyroscopes of light emerging from the brick walls in a beautiful spectacle of color and grime.
“There it is again. Where is that voice coming from?”
Perriwinkle sloshed his way through the viscous concrete over to one of the balls of light. As he made his way, he looked down at the mysterious pair of hands in front of his stomach.
“I control these things, but have they always been just mine?”
A whirlwind of critical thoughts followed in this question’s wake but Perriwinkle didn’t have enough time to ponder on them since he was too enchanted by the moving wad of light hovering over his head.
Upon closer inspection, he could see tinier versions of multicolored gyroscopes rotating within the center of the larger one floating above him.
Perriwinkle felt like he was gazing into the code that structured all of existence. The longer he peered into the rotating patterns of light, the more he felt like everything in his entire life had been a lie.
He closed his eyes in an attempt to retain what he was seeing, but when he opened them again he could only see the same shadow of a creature with floppy ears and a deformed face.
It appeared to be the same lifeform that Perriwinkle had seen in his dreams from earlier that morning.
Then it finally hit him.
He dropped to his knees and looked up at the purple sky filled with green clouds as the explanation to his existence unraveled itself to him.
Everyone he had ever known or loved, including himself, were all part of a fictional universe created by this strange dog-like being that he kept seeing in his dreams.
When he saw the strange beast in his dream scribbling away at a desk, Perriwinkle was actually watching the formation of the world he currently lived in.
This revelation hit him like a sack of bricks, causing him to double over and plop his head on the sidewalk in front of him.
“This is all a lie. I’m not truly real and never was.”
He knew that in order to reclaim any sense of agency in his life he would need to find and confront the dog-like humanoid from his dreams.
“But how am I going to do that if it apparently controls my every move?”
When he lifted his head from the cold concrete, Perriwinkle was amazed at the sight before him.
He was kneeling in front of the entrance to The Funeral Home.
To be even more continued…