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CHAPTER TWO: A 50 CENT PLAY TOY
That one kick, and the dome popped like a cork from the floor, dwindling into the size of a plastic gumball machine container as it flew. The container landed right in LJ’s hand, encapsulating an also shrunken Dom inside its shell.
“Great. Just great, Vic. Now Dom’s turned into a 50 cent play toy.” LJ said.
Vic tapped on the small plastic capsule to get a better grasp at what lay behold. Astounded, she stammered and then couldn’t speak.
“Easy. You’ll hurt ‘em,” LJ said.
Vic came in, pulling LJ into her aura. “LJ,” Vic paused. “Look down at yourself. You aren’t even really there.”
LJ looked down at his body. Now, it only consisted of the material that made up a neoprene pool float. He wondered how it could possibly be; as far as he could tell he felt just fine, even with the absence of a proper body.
“See, I told you,” Vic said.
“I am too here, Vic! I still got my head on, don’t I?”
“Dom, from now on, or at least until you return to normal, your name will be ‘gumball Dom’,” LJ said, smirking, deflecting Vic toward something more than his own affliction.
“Yeah, and what’ll we call you? Lil’ Jimmy’s head on a pool float?,” Vic joked, slapping LJ on the back.
LJ grimaced. He despised when someone touched him, much less a slap, where he couldn’t see, when someone called him ‘Jimmy’, and much, much less when they put a Lil’ on the front. LJ slipped gumball Dom inside his neoprene body, away into a comfy crevasse, safe and sound. It seemed like the natural thing to do, he thought.
“There, safe and sound,” LJ said as he patted his cushy side.
Then came somewhat of a poor realization. No, it didn’t hit him like a ton of bricks or even one brick, it hit him rather like a soft and stormy rain cloud not-quite-ripe to burst with downpour. Himself, Vic, Rom, Marlon, the strange man behind the privacy glass before he cast his first magic spell all seemed superfluous now. Yes, even Vic. Judging from the way the room kept moving they were floating, either in some kind of body of water or through the sky. Just like Dom did some moments ago, LJ recalled recent events trying to line them up with possibly going to sleep and not waking up. Maybe he was actually dreaming and didn’t die at all. Last time he remembered sleeping was at the FireSpot campsite and he did awake from sleep, he was sure of it. Even so, he continued to search for answers, naturally.
Ah-hah! Eureka. The card; the eight of diamonds. That must have been it. It had hit him in the face in his dream and then appeared by the campfire. The product of dreams. LJ reached to his pocket to get the card but there was no back pocket, only a squishy, smooth mass. He reached through his body right where he had put gumball Dom inside, and rummaged around. His gun was nowhere to be found. But, yes. There it was, the eight of diamonds, exactly what he was looking for. He pulled it out, took a glance and put it back inside. On second thought, was it the card’s fault all this was happening? Or perhaps the card was lucky and that was the reason that they had saved Dom and made it here at all. Possibly all of it, futile notions.
Now, a soft green-glowing hole, where Dom’s pod was, gazed back at LJ and Vic with a warm smirk. They took a quick moment to discuss and wonder where the hole in the floor might lead, whether traveling through it might or might not lead to their demise and most importantly, hopefully to a way out. Climbing in, which would lead further down, was not the way to go. LJ and Vic wanted to go up, back to the Mitsubishi Lancer so they could escape this thing and bring Dom back to his comfy home, where he belonged. Surely everything would come back together in Dom’s rock star life if he could just make it back home and get back with the band?
“Stick yer arm in that hole, Vic. Make sure it doesn’t eat it,” LJ said.
Vic chuckled. “This is like a big fun house or something. Oh sure, you want me to stick my arm in there? And what’ll you get for your efforts? Boyfriend of the year award? At least if it toasts your neoprene arm off, or it leaves a swath of chocolate pudding all over it, then maybe you can still have your real arm back when we make it out of this hell hole,” Vic replied.
Vic or LJ couldn’t see anything past the opening, not what was in it or where it led to. Vic slowly put her hand towards the hole, feeling for temperature changes or other anomalies. None, except the green light was so extraordinary it swallowed her arm whole.
“You go in first, LJ,” Vic said, softly. “Is it a portal?”
“There’s no telling what’s on the other side,” LJ replied. “I got one more. Have you ever acted like you understood something, but you really didn’t?”
“No. Never. That is a recipe for disaster,” Vic ran her fingers along the rim of the hole. “LJ, don’t portals always suck you in, though?” she questioned him with a slanted tease. She knew what kind of answer to expect back when asking such a half-baked question.
“Not always. Haven’t I told you this before? Nothing doesn’t exist and neither does always. They are bad words as far as I’m concerned, worse than all the four letter cuss words. I want you to give me one example where always exists. Show me where nothing is! I want to see it. And Honestly, I’m not sure if it’s a portal. I think it’s obvious if we don’t go through it, we will die,” LJ said and then disappeared into the green-lit hole.
“I know where nothing is. Check between your ears, idiot,” Vic whispered to herself and then jumped into the holey-abyss after LJ.
© 2020, S.D. McKinley
Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley