I remember waking up that morning with visions of a perfect world still dancing in my head.

Colors and shapes came slowly into focus as angelic whispers drifted further and further away, until the sweet taste of inner peace was just a hint of longing on the palate of my memories. A fleeting promise of something treasured long ago, or an elusive hint of something yet to be. "Hiara pirlu resh kavawn" the voices sighed and then were silent.

I opened my eyes, gagging on the bitter taste of foam rubber reality. The bed lunged as I tried to sit up. I grasped and I clawed, trying to reach the edge. Finally, I threw my legs over the side and fell back in exhaustion.

"I don't have a water bed," I suddenly realized. And as soon as that thought started to materialize in my groggy mind, I noticed a naked blue foam rubber mannequin leaning over my bed as if to kiss me good morning. A warm stream of water spurted out from beneath the sheets and hit me square in the face.

I fought the waves and leaped onto the floor. Wiping the water from my eyes, I saw to my utter horror that I was in the furniture section of some fancy, deserted department store.

"This is a dream, isn't it?" I mumbled out loud, but the naked mannequins that seemed to be standing all over the store were silent.

I tried to take stock of my memories to determine whether or not I was dreaming, but I couldn't for the life of me put my finger on anything tangible to convince me one way or the other. Remembering the teasing tastes of heaven and hell still lingering in my mouth, the thought flashed through my brain that maybe I was a mannequin who had just now come to life. And as hard as I tried, I couldn't find anything in my mind to convince me otherwise.

I quickly felt my body. I felt real. Flannel shirt and old faded blue jeans, with a hole in one of the pockets, and no money. Too pathetic to be a mannequin. Nope, I must be human.

That's the last rational realization I made that day. I plugged the hole in the water bed with a piece of gum someone had stuck under the night table, and carefully made the bed I must have slept in.

All the while, I tried to remember why I was there, and where it was I was supposed to be. As nothing much came to mind, I waved goodbye to my silent blue friends, and slipped out the back door into the alley.



The End.

I repeat, this is not the end. If you're reading this; a) to find out whether this book is worth reading or b) to find out what happens to our hero, and whether he ever finds his destination, then you won't find out by reading "The Final Chapter."

The Final Chapter is just the first chapter, so please, turn back to the beginning and read it the right way.

Thank you.


Your Narrator.


Love Is All Around
( Chapter 38- MP3 song demo by Lyndon DeRobertis)

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