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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Passageways & Portals: Rebirth, Part 7

He pictured all of this, not as if he had just seen in seconds before, but as if the memory of this place was burned into his brain. He opened his eyes and looked around. Everything was just as he had pictured it in his mind. That feeling of déjà vu came back stronger than before. The feeling of it consumed it and he found it hard to breath.
Quickly he walked through the room, reaching for the door on the opposite side of the dresser and making his way into the bathroom beyond. He didn’t need to look around, he went straight to the sink on the opposite end of the room.  Turning on the tap, he began to splash the water that came out of the stainless steel faucet on his face. Next to the sink was a towel rack with a hand towel on it, the man didn’t need to look to know it was there sense memory reminded him that it was there, so he picked it up and dried his face off.
He looked around the bathroom; it was like an inverted version of James and Ronald’s bathroom, but cleaner. There were no stray towels in this bathroom; they were neatly hung up on towel racks. The bathtub was built into the wall, not on metal legs like the other bathtub. This tub also had a shower and a maroon shower curtain pulled halfway around the tub concealing most of the tub. Otherwise, the bathroom was nearly identical to that of the boys.
The man walked back through the door into George and Dorothy’s room. As he had done in the boys’ room, he wanted to look through the window to get a glimpse of the outside. Unlike the window in the other room this window was closed. He crawled onto the bed, his knees on the pillows, and peered out the window.
Where the family was at quickly was answered, they were in the back of the house. In the middle of the decently sized backyard was George, James, and Ronald each of them were wearing baseball gloves and they were passing a baseball between them. A little closer to the house, Dorothy lay on a lawn chair in a bathing suit reading a book; it was a great day for a tan.
The man sat there feeling as though he had been here before, in this very moment. A sense of dread pressed down on his shoulders. The image below him was a happy moment, but he felt as though it wouldn’t be happy for too much longer. He wanted to shout out to them to leave, get out of here, but he knew that no one would understand that he was in their house. Somehow, he felt that he knew these people, but he didn’t know how. Would they recognize him if he cried out to them?
Before he could even contemplate that idea further, James looked up at the window. The man wanted to leave, wanted to bolt down the stairs and leave the house, but he was rooted to the spot. James squinted as he looked up at the window. He began to say something to George and Ronald, it was muffled through the window and the man couldn’t pick out exactly what he was saying. Both George and Ronald looked up at the window; Dorothy laid her book on her chest and did the same. James pointed up at the window.
Just then, a loud but distant boom caused the man and the family in the backyard to jump. They turned their attention from the upstairs window and began to look around, but the man was no longer paying attention to them. A great pain shot through his head, from his forehead to the back of his head as if he was splitting in two. He doubled over onto the bed, his eyes streaming tears. 
Shaking from the great pain in his head, he lifted his hand to his face and wiped away the tears. He forced himself back up to the window and looked out. It was hard to see through the pain, but he could tell the sky was lit up bright as a roman candle. The sight of it made his head hurt even worse, but he refused to turn away. A rumble could be heard, it seemed as though the window and the wall might muffle it but he could tell it was getting louder.
He chanced a look down where George, James, and Ronald were previously playing catch, but they were gone. He looked to the lawn chair where Dorothy had once sat but she too was gone. Where they could have gone he didn’t know, but he knew no one was safe. 
 Everything started to happen in slow motion. The ache in his head got worse as everything started to become intensely hot like the sun was bearing down on the house. A massive gust of wind rocked the house, threatening to knock it off its foundation, and blowing out every window in the house including the way he looked through. The man was sure that shards of the window and penetrated his skin, but he couldn’t feel any pain but the throbbing of his aching head. The trees behind the backyard had all been leveled and the man could see a wall of smoke coming at him. 

This was what he expected, this is what he knew was coming. In that moment, though, all he could do was hope that the aching in his head would stop. The pillar of smoke and debris couldn’t reach him soon enough, he felt as though it was taking its sweet time getting there. Then the walls of the house began to disintegrate and he lay down on the bed and closed his eyes. Everything accelerated and he was thankful. Soon the headache was gone, as was all feeling and thought.

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