Close your eyes and picture a two dimensional dreamscape devoid of oxygen where gravity is 4x what it is on Earth. Now take away the oxygen and insert towering structures made of bleached bones and tiny mirrored cubes. This was my Otter’s dreamscape, and along the crumbling blood-blackened paths we have walked together.
I met my Otter in late 2016, as the world was ending and our days were beginning to turn into a hellish gauntlet of hateful ideas and disintegrating democratic power structures. He was sunbathing on a patch of blue ice, slowly opening and closing his little fist as he watched the clouds pass over his concrete pen. “Otter,” I breathed softly, stepping closer to the wooden fence.
Just then a large group of school children appeared around the enclosure, shouting and jostling for a good view. In a strange moment of silence a current of psychic electricity seemed to pass through the crowd. “OTTER, OTTER, OTTER,” the children began to chant in unison, quietly at first, and then with an increasing vigor.
I picked up a small stone and winged it at the nearest child. The Otter screamed and a black tunnel tore open the sky between two pine trees. Before I knew what was happening, a shimmering orange duplicate of My Otter appeared before me and closed his fist around the smallest finger of my left hand. We drifted upward toward the tunnel, the children crying and screaming below us. My Otter paused and turned his dark eyes toward mine. “Let’s Go,” I said.
To Be Continued.