One Picture, One Story
Sam slouched on the living room sofa and turned on the TV. He was glad, as usual, that the school day was over. He turned from channel to channel, barely letting the sound come on before moving to the next. Finally he settled on some ADD infused after school cartoons. His stomach rumbled and he pulled himself off the couch and walked, feet dragging on the hardwood, to the kitchen for a snack. His mother hated that he ate so much, You’ll eat us into the poor house! she would say when she caught him rummaging. Sam didn’t care too much as her and his Dad were never home much anyways. They were always out at some fundraiser or some other high society bullshit and when they were home they were too busy with business stuff anyways. Somehow Sam managed to get by, failing grades and all, without too much difficulty. He knew he was far smarter than his grades showed, but he couldn’t get himself to care enough to pass. He would rather get lost in some imaginary place in his mind, finding new frontiers or battling some horrifying beast, then get caught up in textbooks and grades.
After grabbing a bag of potato chips, All Dressed were his favourite, he lay down on the old brown sofa and stared at the bright, fast moving characters on the TV. Something moved in the corner of his eye from the direction of the kitchen. Sam glanced over lazily, but saw nothing so he turned his attention back to the screen. There it was again. Something moving through the door way to the kitchen. I must be tired. Sam thought to himself. No one was home, but he got up and checked all the rooms anyways. He locked the door as he made his way back to the couch. Suddenly a blur of colour raced around the living room and through the kitchen door. Sam tripped over the oak coffee table, spilling his snack as he fell. Who’s there?! Sam sat still, but heard nothing. After a few moments he gathered himself and began picking up chips from the floor. He swore at himself for being so afraid as he walked back to the kitchen to dump the dirty food in the garbage. Instantly the forms of two children appeared in front of him. They let out a joyous squeal and in a burst of blurred light they zoomed around the house emitting sounds of laughter that echoed throughout the grand halls of the centuries old home. They appeared in front of him again as he stood frozen, joining hands and dancing in a circle around him. Come play! said the taller figure and they disappeared as if they had never been.
Sam stood motionless for minutes upon minutes trying to make sense of what had occurred. The world spun around him and he felt the floor beneath him give way. He floated there as if caught between dimensions, fearing his mind was lost. He flailed erratically hoping to free himself from what had taken him. He saw figures through the wall as if he was peering through the morning fog. Come play! Come play! The children’s voices rang clear as a bell.
Suddenly, as quickly as it began, he found himself lying on the couch, chips in hand, watching cartoons….