The snow drifted sideways on the other side of the living room window that was dressed in a kaleidoscope of lights, nestled in garland. My eyes followed Caleb’s truck as it plowed down the powdered street away from my house. He had gotten his license not long ago. During the drive to my house, he drove carelessly as he sung the wrong words to the radio through the clouds of thick smoke that we both exhaled. I wasn’t sure whether to blame the swaying of his truck on his lack of driving skills or the fact that he was high. I told him to chill out because the roads looked slippery, but before I could finish my sentence, he glared at me with heavy pink eyes as he pulled up to the side of my house and told me that I was hallucinating because he was the best driver in the world. I jabbed him in the shoulder, called him an asshole and got out of the truck.
Aaron, a dorky kid I’ve been friends with since elementary school, was at Caleb’s house with us earlier. When Caleb tossed his little bag of weed on the table, Aaron looked uncomfortable and suddenly needed to pick up his sister from work. He wanted to have a study session to study for our final exams that were coming up before winter break, but Caleb’s new habit, or as Aaron called it, “his new phase,” distracted us. With all of the new experiences and changes in our lives, the three of us weren’t handling our first semester of college well. Especially Caleb. He barely made it out of high school. He graduated because they wanted to get rid of the schmuck.
As I closed the blinds, my cell phone vibrated across the dresser beneath me. When I went to grab it, I lost my balance and knocked over the Christmas decorations my mother set up on the dresser. I knelt down beside some stupid looking smiling snowman and a posed plastic reindeer sticking its ass in the air and placed them back on the dresser. Aaron sent me a text asking about homework for our history class. I jabbed at the letters on my screen with my thumbs on my phone’s keyboard, picked up the snow globe spiraling around the wooden floor, and placed it on the red and white cloth that laid over the dresser. When I shut the ceiling fan light, the green glow of the nightlight reflected off the walls. I stumbled through the hallway that smelled of pine and went to bed.
I dreamed of colors. Frozen blue flickered into shimmering purple, shimmering purple blinked and I saw icy white.
I couldn’t breathe.
When I woke up, I was lying on my back in the snow, but I wasn’t cold. I was warm. I held my breath. I didn’t try to breathe because I knew that I couldn’t. I gripped what felt like handfuls of sand. I felt my heart accelerate. I had to breathe—I tried to fight it but I couldn’t. I opened my lips and a cool rush of moist air plunged its way down my throat. I screamed nothing.
My body felt relaxed.
But I couldn’t move. I breathed heavily, staring up ahead, but I didn’t even know what I was looking at.
My fingers tickled the white that was sprinkled around me, and when I looked at my palms, shiny diamond-shaped glitter glistened off of them. It had a bright purple tint that stung my eyes after looking at it for more than a few seconds.
I rubbed the back of my hands across my eyes before I got to my feet. That’s when I noticed I was barefoot and in my blue plaid boxers, wearing my white t-shirt. That was what I wore to bed the night before. I brushed back the hair in my face and had a look around.
“What the hell is goin’ on?”
I squinted my eyes.
I stepped through the snow that didn’t crunch, but swirled up to my knees then fluttered back to the ground. I was caught off guard when I heard a bark. I hesitated before turning around. When I did, I focused on a gray and white, wolf-like dog. Its bushy tail curled over its back and its ears stood straight up. It wore a wreath around its neck and attached to its red harness was a green sleigh. I stared at the dog, alert in the distance.
“The hell is that dog doing?” I mumbled to myself. “What do you want?”
The dog sniffed the air. A growl rumbled from its chest.
“Come here,” he demanded.
I leaped back, dumbfounded. Then I laughed and held my head. “Holy shit am I high.”
The mutt came prowling toward me. I bolted away but didn’t get far. I smashed into a foggy slab of glass. I laid flat on my back and began gasping for air when I realized where I was as my fearful eyes crawled up the curved wall. The dog wearing a wreath dragging a sleigh, the purple-tinted sprinkles of snow, the curved wall. I was in the snow globe on the dresser in my living room. I saw the top of the bookshelf through the foggy glass wall. It was enormous. I got to my feet and pressed my sticky hands against the glass. I saw the couch down below. It was 10 times its size. I touched my knees, my legs, my ankles, my torso, my face.
My body had shrunk.
I heard the scrape of the sleigh and the rattle of the dog’s paws close in on me. I sprung around, arms outstretched, knees slightly bent.
The dog stopped in his tracks. His blue eyes shot to the side, but his muscular body still pointed at me. I glanced over to see what he was looking at and felt my heart clobber my chest. A polar bear wearing a red scarf began to gallop over to us. I felt my confused body give up and I planted my face in the shimmering snow. Read More