this is true...mostly
The overcast sky threatened rain and gloomed over their heads as Eddie and Sylvia trudged down the path through the woods.
"I'm telling ya, it'll be fine" said Eddie. "It's warm and dry there. We'll have a bite to eat, get some rest - it'll be just fine."
"I'm just not sure it's such a good idea" she said in that wee small voice of hers that he adored so much. "It's so far from home, and we've never been there, and we don't know anybody there... What if there's trouble? What if they have a cat? You know how I don't like cats. What if it's too crowded? What if they don't have anything to eat? You always get grouchy when you don't eat regular and I won't put up with that - I just won't. Oh, I just don't know..."
"Just relax, kid. Like I said, lots of my family's been there and they tol' me all about it. There ain't no cat. There ain't even a dog. And they put out a real nice spread - really prime stuff. You'll love it. You've never ate anything like this before - I promise."
She had the biggest brown eyes Eddie had ever seen and that cute little nose of hers made him smile every time he thought about it. Okay, okay. He had to admit she had a little bit of a mustache, too, but so did his mother and all his aunts. It ran in his family and just made her seem to fit in better. As soon as he saw her that first time, peering out at him with those deep brown eyes, peering into his very soul it seemed, he knew she was the one. They would move into a place of their own and start the family he'd always wanted - a big family. He guessed there'd been a time before he wanted a big family but now he couldn't remember it, didn't know what he'd wanted then, but knew that's what he wanted now - seemed driven by it almost. Well, not really almost. 'Driven' probably was the right word for it.
The last light of day faded out through the tree tops as the dark oozed up from the low places, crept in around the edges. Moisture hung heavy in the air as the humidity slid right up to just below 'rain' and got stuck on 'cold and clammy'. But up ahead was light and warmth and the closer they got the more inviting it looked.
"See? Here it is! Just like I tol' you", said Eddie. "Just go right on up and turn right at the top. I'm right behind you. And watch your head! There's a low place just around that corner."
"I don't know," she said. "It seems kinda dark in here" and then the aroma found her. That delicious aroma. It caressed her. It swaddled her. Her tiny feet seemed to float across the floor as she breathed it in, closed her eyes, and drifted toward its source.
"It really is just like they said" Eddie whispered to himself with a little sigh of relief. "C'mon, Sylvia. Let's take this little private dining room here. It'll just be me and you, babe." He pushed open the door and led her toward the food that awaited them.
The door to the little private room closed behind them and went 'clink'. It wasn't loud. It wasn't ominous. By itself it didn't seem dangerous or alarming. But Sylvia had never heard a sound like that before. And when she backed up to the door, it wouldn't open - seemed to shut even tighter. A shiver, a premonition maybe, swept through her. She said in her wee voice, more plaintive than adorable this time, "What was that?"
And then the world went crazy. A whole wall opened up and light flooded in. A spotlight blinded them both and fear froze them in their tracks. The treacherous meal with its tantalizing aroma lay forgotten on the floor. They cringed as sound engulfed them, bellowed at them, boomed in their sensitive ears. Their private dining room, the very room itself, began to rise up into the light. It rose, stopped, rose again. It swooped and swayed, buffeted first one way and then the other. They crouched together in terror. What else could they do?
And then it was dark again. But the room still swooped and swayed and jounced. Their hearts beat nearly out of their chests and they might have died of sheer fright but for one thing: they breathed up most of the air in the tiny little room like someone having a panic attack breathes into a paper bag to calm himself. Eddie thought surely it couldn't get any worse. Sylvia figured it would just keep getting worse until they were dead.
After what seemed like ages but was probably no more than a minute or two the motion stopped - briefly. Then their world was literally turned upside down. The room rolled and the wall became the floor. Then the room rolled again and the ceiling became the floor. And then, finally, salvation appeared - well, maybe not salvation, but at least an opening - because when everything went upside down the door suddenly released and flopped open. Through the door was nothing but black - emptiness - nothingness. Eddie hesitated but Sylvia charged right through the door and disappeared into the emptiness. Whatever lay out there they would face together so Eddie leaped through the opening after her.
Back at the house I slathered peanut butter on another cracker and slid it through the little one-way door into the no-kill mouse trap. "Jeez Louise!" I said to Mary. "That's gotta be a new record. That makes TWENTY-EIGHT mice we've caught and released into the woods in the last 10 days. I sure am thankful they love peanut butter so much and have left my cookies alone!"
Ray & Mary
aka Flotsam & Jetsam, The Wandrin' Waters
"Not all who wander are lost."