I wake to the sound of a gecko. Oddly, my first thought upon waking is remembering that I’d said I’d never heard that sound before. I realize now that I was lying, or that I had simply forgotten- how else would I have recognized it?
But I find it a little disconcerting, firstly because there shouldn’t have been any geckos in this world, and secondly because it looks like night outside. And although I do not have the time (there are no clocks in the room), I am almost completely sure that it is not yet night.
I get up to turn on the light.
I flip another switch, and another.
And I realize with a chill that there is no problem with the electricity, and that it is definitely not night. I realize that the lights will never go on because the House does not permit it. I also realize that I must leave this House as quickly as possible.
I try the door.
The knob turns, but there is a resistant force.
I push back as hard as I can. It is all I can do to squeeze myself through. The door slams behind me.
At that moment, I encounter a man on top of the stairs, another resident of this house. He is a solid specimen of a man, dark-haired, and is wearing a blue striped t-shirt.
”ENTER THE ROOM,” says a voice. It is a voice that does not seem to come from anywhere in particular. It is a voice that seems to resonate without trying, a voice that is just THAT big. It is coming from the house. It is the House.
Before I can stop him, he tries to enter the room. “Don’t,” I tug on his arm, “Don’t listen to it.”
At this, the man I know (but do not know in real life, or am possibly yet to know) starts at the sound of my voice as if he only sees me now. His eyes fill with alarm as the door tries to close with him still midway through it.
The door pushes back.
I kick the door. It is enough to allow him to slip through, and we make a dash for the main door.
“YOU CANNOT LEAVE.”
“Oh, yes we will!” I shout back. The rest of the house seems to warp around us, out of the corner of my eye. I refuse to acknowledge it, to even turn back. Nothing is real unless I believe it is so. I concentrate on the door, only the door. As long as we make it out of the door, all will be fine.
We reach the door, and together, we are able to force it open.
We run outside.
That’s when I know something is wrong. But I can’t put my finger on it.
The colors. The colors are not right. Everything is where it should be, but they are not quite their proper colors. They seem to be altered versions of their proper colors- the hue adjusted here, the brightness turned down. The saturation. The saturation is completely off.
We have emerged into an edited world. An artistic parody. I note that unlike inside the house, it is daytime. Or a slightly darker- no, duller- version of it.
We hesitate, and then we run faster than ever.
“YOU WILL NEVER ESCAPE, “ says the voice. It is not coming from the house. It is coming from the world. It is the world.