A bus exploded down the street, and as the van careened toward the zombies I began to question how much sense it made that one in the middle was doing the twist.
Then I opened my eyes. My shoulder hurt. I was in the same position as when I fell asleep, and I spent at least a full minute trying to move to where I was no longer in pain. Stupid weak body, needing refreshment and then whining about the results.
Finally, I was standing groggily in the middle of the room, blinking. I picked a shirt off the floor, shook it, and pulled it on, covering my chest. Then, I found a pair of pants and slipped them over my boxers with a yawn. I checked my hair in the mirror and tried in vain to make it look somewhat presentable. I needed to find a world with a barber soon, or be content with growing my hair out. It just looked shaggy.
I steeled myself and faced the bedroom door, checking my pockets for my trusty Swiss Army knife. I never knew when I might need it, the way my life had been working for the last month or more. It’s so hard to keep track of time when it refuses to be strictly linear.
I put my hand on the doorknob and took a deep breath. I opened it slowly, standing behind it at first, a lesson I’d learned the hard way just a few days ago. I peeked my head around the door and sighed from relief. No tigers today.
I stepped cautiously through the doorway and shut it tight behind me. As soon as I removed my hand, it disappeared. I had nearly suffered a heart attack the first time, but now it seemed perfectly normal. All I had to do was find it again somewhere in this world before nightfall. I had yet to learn what would happen if I didn’t find it in a single day, and I was pretty sure I didn’t want to know.
I looked around. Today, I’d landed in a nice, calm, grassy meadow. A few daises or some other yellow and white flowers were at my feet. I saw a grazing horse a ways away, or it looked like a horse at first. I started walking toward it and it lifted its head and stared straight at me. I was shocked to a standstill. This was no horse. It had the beard of a goat and a horn protruded from its forehead. Was I on Earth? Clearly, wherever and whenever I was, unicorns were real.
* * * * *
This journey started without any seeming cause. One day, I woke up, same as usual. Still rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I opened my bedroom door and stepped out. A step or two later, I felt dirt underfoot. A few glances in all directions confirmed that I was not in my house, nor in any building. I was, in fact, on a path that looked upon inspection rather like a wagon trail.
That was a pretty exciting day. I realized later that the elaborate dream about the wizard and the magic cloak and the fish that I’d had the night before wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t a dream at all.
After that, every day I opened the door and walked into a new world. Every day I found myself in a different place, and there was no knowing how long this curse would last.
Note: This is a short short story I wrote a few years ago. I’ve decided to occasionally put such things here, because this is my blog and I am the boss. I really want to get back into fiction writing, but it feels as though I haven’t been in the right state of mind for some time. Probably the only cure is to just do it.
2 thoughts on “Travel Log of Mr. Berry Baksi”
I like it. The line about the body needing refreshment and then whining about the results made me laugh. I think you should get back into writing fiction.
Thanks. I do, too. Maybe this weekend I’ll find time to write up some adventures of a grizzly wizard.