a short fiction by Joshua Brown
"Lie next to me." The words were cold but refreshing.
"Lie not to me." The words were soul crushing and mind numbing.
I felt my brain being bashed in by a baseball bat, over and over. I turned off the TV. I still felt a throbbing sensation but relief flooded in. I looked down at my hands and saw a wilted sunflower. It wasn't dark in the little room I was in but the shadows were threatening. There was a door painted bright pink in the center of one wall, I knew I had to make it through the door before I lost consciousness.
I turned the handle again, restlessly as a hungry teenager looking in at the refrigerator. Nothing happened. It was a beautiful gold plated handle, with delicate etchings in the plating surrounding.
Trees were painted on the walls, and if you looked closely you could see animals painted into the leaves. In the center of the room was a dark chandelier hanging from a very tall ceiling, probably 20 feet high, but it was dark as well, impossible to know the color other than the brownish black color that appeared to the eye.
I screamed. High pitched and clear, my voice disappeared into the walls almost as if absorbed by water. I banged on the door, you could see gray smudges from my sweaty hands left on the bright pink paint.
"Please." I whispered.
The door swung towards me, nearly knocking me off of my feet.
Sunshine flooded into the room and I stumbled out of my murky prison. There were clouds, light and fluffy. I was on a suburban street. I turned around to look at my prison but it was gone, all that remained was a cozy mailbox with a sunflower painted on it.
I opened the mailbox and all that I saw was a postcard with a picture of a hammock. On the back was an address and the word "Welcome."