01665: Going Home (Flash Fiction Challenge 09/13)

This is in line with last Friday's Flash Fiction Challenge - Spin the Wheel of Conflict, over on Chuck Wendig's blog.

I rolled a 4 - Lost in a strange place

People get lost all the time. But I’m not sure how I managed to do that less than a block away from my house. One moment I was riding my bike on my way to school – the next I was…here.

How do I describe this place? Well, it’s definitely weird – like doped up on drugs weird (not that I've ever done that – Mom would kill me!) The point is that everything is totally crazy. The colors are all wrong and the air tastes like taffy and my head feels like it’s full of pudding. And I think it’s vanilla-flavored, too. 

It still sort of looks like my neighborhood – pretty much the same roads and almost the same houses. But then there are the purple clouds and the birds crawling on the ground and the cats flying from tree to tree while stalking little mice with little hats and tiny little shoes. There are moments when I swear that the rustling of the wind through the trees sounds like Saturday morning cartoon theme songs, but maybe that’s just me imagining things.

I've tried pinching myself a few times just in case this is all one big dream, but either this isn't a dream or the whole pinching thing just was just never real.  I tried looking for something to read but then it’s hard to find your way into a house with a decent book when every now and then the roads seems to shimmer like those heat waves you see radiating off a grill during a Sunday barbecue.

I could really use a pork chop right now. Or anything to eat, really.

I don’t know why I can’t seem to get into any of the houses. It’s like whenever I go near a door, things get ten times more freakier than they were before. The last time I got as far as touching the doorknob before my bicycle turned into a French poodle with rainbow fins and a bow tie. And whatever sound it was making really got me nervous since it sounded like Mrs. Steinberg's algebra class. 

It doesn't seem to be night or day here. It’s both of them and none of them at the same time. It’s certainly not dark at least – but it’s not quite sunny either. There seem to be stars in the sky but they also appear to be moving around when they feel like it. And some of them even come down from the sky and roll down the road.

I really want to go home. And I get this sneaking suspicion that getting to a door is the key. That’s how these things work, right? I just need to find the right door or something and then I’ll be able to go home. I think. I hope.

After I lost my bike, I wandered around a bit until I ended up at the community park. It wasn't too bad here, away from all the houses and so I actually got to rest on the swings. And I've been here for a while now, just trying to figure out what to do next. 

I haven’t seen anyone else the whole time I've been here – and  if my watch is still working right then it’s been a good five hours at least. There’s a heck of a lot of animals to be sure, but just no people. No kids or no adults – nobody. Just me. All alone.

Why can’t I go home? I just want to go home.


When  my watch starting spinning like a gyroscope, I figured that I might as well try the houses again. Besides, the chains of the swing that I was on started to change colors and I didn't want to be there when it figured out what it wanted to become in the next few minutes.

I’m going to go home, and I guess my best bet of finding my way back is looking for this world’s version of my house. It’s not like I had any other ideas to try so it was worth a shot. 

As I was running down my street, my bike came back to join me or something like that. So with it hovering over my right shoulder, I made my way all the way home. Things were definitely getting weirder as I got closer to my house – like the world was able read my mind. I think it knew that I was trying to get out again. 

But I’ve had enough of this crazy place. I’m going to home whether they want me to or not. And if things are just going to get stranger, then I think I can deal. Weird is just…weird, right? As long as nothing tries to hurt me, maybe I get press on. Maybe they’re just trying to scare me from doing what will obviously work. This world is just one big bully or something. And of course you just need to stand up to a bully in order to deal with them – that’s what my dad always said.

I can see my house now – and it’s burning with purple and yellow flames right now. The clouds are beginning to circle around it while forming different shapes from art class or something. But they’re just clouds and silly shapes and I have nothing to fear. Nothing to fear. All in my head.

Mom’s rose bushes were turning different shades of brown now. The buds were opening to reveal eyeballs – like those of a cat or something. They were all just staring at me as I opened the front gate and started down the path to our front door. 

The grass was turning into dandelions and the breeze was blowing them all around me and my bike as I got closer and closer to the door. I think I just might make it this time – the eyeballs were certainly creepy but it wasn't that bad, right? I can get to the door now – I think I can go home!

I grip the doorknob firmly and started to twist to the left.