July 2- edition
Peter found the little door in the crevice of his love seat when he was looking for the remaining 35 cents he needed to buy a Happy Meal. Pennies. Nickels. Whatever. Juste enough to get those 6 nuggets and fries to tide him over one more night until his pay was deposited. One side of the couch was fine; he found a dime. The other side had a piece of wood screwed in, with hinges and everything. After he had knocked on it and nothing happened, he turned the knob and felt a fresh breeze puff from the opening. Getting his shoulders in was the tricky part. And when he rested a palm on the warm surface right below the door, the change fell out of his pockets and rolled down the stairs. While his eyes adjusted to the light his head followed the sound of the coins until they spun, and stopped next to the foot of a short, green gentleman. The thing gave Peter a scare and he slipped the rest of the way out of the door and broke all the stairs as he fell. Rubbing his head he croaked out a Hello, but the oh kinda lifted up like a question. The green thing blinked a few times before it spoke, ‘Og’. One word. A word Peter had not heard for 15 years. Og. Not since he had returned home from finding his brother Pollywog. He realized, then, he never became that Garbageman. He realized he never really became anything, but someone who dug for change in a couch for Fast Food. “I’m sorry,” he said to the green thing. “Do you remember me?” It again, said “Og.” And out from the shadows stepped more and more green things. They said Og. Over and over. Some screamed it. Some cried. Some mouthed it, with no sound. The word vibrated in his chest and caused his heart to beat erratically. His ears hurt. He wanted to call his sister Paula and apologize for not calling her on her birthday, but his phone had been cut off for months. He looked up to the hole, too high to jump. He looked at the braying, green things. Home? Where he was no one, or here where he was, well, not home. He raised a hand, and said, "Og."