Beyond the Edges of the Menagerie

I was afraid. Troubled. I couldn’t understand what was happening, where I was transported. I couldn’t handle my own existence. I hyperventilated, passed out, and awoke safe and sound in my own bed. I spend days, so many days, meditating and trying to access the inner workings of my mind. The place I visited in my dreams held no words, no answers or reason for its visitation on my mind. There were no thoughts about my normal life, nor my family and friends. Not the coffee shop at the corner I regularly attended, not the demanding life of a doctor.

I wanted something different, something so I could get away from all of it.

My eyes had been opened. Into a magical world, beyond our reality. And beyond our dimension.

My many visits showed my wondrous things. Nightmarish to an extent. Extraordinary.

Beasts that looked as if crudely spliced together. There were beings based on the basic structure of humans, but contained mercury for blood, translucent skin with veins of neon–cherries, amber, chromes, all the hues rolled into one, separated by time itself. They stood tall, misshapen when compared to ‘normal’ existence. Yet they acted in the same manner, living in futuristic domains and tamed under peace.

Outside their safe cities were crucible lands. Water wasn’t liquid, mountains hovered thousands of feet high, and the trees were living steel, hardened and twisted into breathing monstrosities. The marshes, crimson and like jelly, chewed the sunlight away. The creatures below stayed vaguely hidden, only seen because of their ebony eyes and glowing skin creating subtle vibrations in the gelatinous substance. Tiny growths, plants of some sort, lined the top of the red gunk. They stayed fixed and appeared as a connected community of systems, like synapses in the brain. A nervous system.

Ten, maybe eleven, creatures fluttered about the crust, fairy-like beings with skin similar to the murky depths. Their organs pulsed under thin neon skin with every movement of their butterfly wings. Bulbous, round eyes made the womanly figures appear frail. Obviously a trick. I had the privilege of seeing two of them fight. They sprouted golden talons and obscene fangs, tore each other apart, limbs and pieces tossed aside until one remained, beaten close to death.

I traveled beyond the marshes. I was compelled beyond my fears. I wanted to watch the new world, to be the first human to find dimensions unseen.

Bones came to life and reformed amalgamations of creatures. Sand burst into living cyclones. They created destruction and multiplied in the dust. Beast rotted as they walked–fifty feet tall, tentacles dangled from their stomachs, and saliva melted the ground below. Giant bugs morphed into different carcass forms. Appendages grew, bulky, sometimes with stingers, made for fighting, made for eating, made for hunting.

As I sprinted through a forest of metallic trees, each one tried to grab and integrate its existence into mine. Oddly, I felt at peace.

Yes, I had to fight to survive. And, yes, I expected to die. But, it was worth it.

A different world, a different dimension, contained the unimaginable. It attracted me every hour and every second of the day. It called to me. Its inhabitant beckoned me.

I halted at the edge of the floating mountain and watched quadruple suns rise. All vibrant colors, harmless to the creatures, a perfect world.

I could feel my coworkers trying to wake me from my dreams, but my sleep was stronger and deeper than they could ponder. I couldn’t allow the beautiful canvass to be swept away. Not again. Not these ice covered dunes.

I was going to live. If only for a few more hours, hopefully an eternity beyond the edges of the universe.

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