I should be afraid, Kendra thought. That was all she could think. That she should be afraid. But what she was, instead, was mad.
Mad at the old museum guy for dumping her in this room. Mad at the green man and the gargoyle dog for bringing her here. Mad at the sky woman for getting the blue junk on her. Mad at Mr. Tandy for giving her the job in the first place.
Mad at her mom and Dr. Morgan for either making her take her medicine in the first place or letting her get away with skipping it.
I donâ€™t even know how much of this shit is real. Like, where am I now? At home in bed? In the topiary garden, lying on the grass? In a hospital somewhere?
Kendra turned a full circle, looking around the office. Everything still appeared to be fully formed, fully â€œreal,â€ as if she could reach out and pull a book off the bookcase or touch the crow or stick her head into the fireplace orâ€¦
The fireplace. When sheâ€™d traversed the room before, feeling the â€œflatnessâ€ of the illusionary furniture and walls, the fireplace had still been there. She hadnâ€™t noticed it becauseâ€¦ well, because it had been normal. Itâ€™s hard to notice normal things when everything else isâ€¦ not.
It was a pretty big fireplace, and so she didnâ€™t have to crawl to get under the mantle, just duck down a bit. She went to grab the mantle with one hand for balance, only to be reminded that it, though, wasnâ€™t realâ€¦ just â€œpainted on.â€ She held the wall instead, and peered up into the chimney.
See "The Side Ways" main page for details on the entire project, or if you'd like the password to read sections beyond "Chapter 1.1: Stray Girl."