She rose from her bean bag chair, seven feet long and nearly couch-like in its suede perfection. She sipped her mocha latte from an ornate and terribly gaudy mug she had purchased on a whim at a garage sale a few years ago and cinched her kimono belt tight at her waist as she approached the door. She peered through the peep hole and froze. Her eyebrows shot up in surprise and she immediately cast a disparaging glance down her underdressed body and thought, I am not ready to answer this door.
She looked again through the peep hole, just to make sure her eyes weren't deceiving her, and again what she saw sent an odd sensation fluttering through her torso. She tried not to stare, but her disobedient eyes lingered way too long at the peep hole and all she could do was whisper, "Whoa."
She backed away from the door and called out, "Who's there?"
The voice responded instantly, "Lily Shearer? I am here to help you."
Lily scowled. Help her? Help her with what? She looked into the kitchen, at the disassembled dishwasher, and asked, "Are you here from Best Buy?"
A soft chuckle, "No ma'am."
"Well then, what are you here to help me with?"
"It's kinda personal. I'd rather not speak in the hall -- if that's okay with you."
Lily put a finger to her chin and considered, open the door or call the cops?
"Uhh, I don't think now is a good time. Can you leave a card or something? Maybe we can... reschedule."
"Lily, let me be frank. I am your guardian angel, and I am here to help you get over this existential funk you're in. Now are you going to open the door for me or what?"
After hearing a sentence like that, Lily's first instinct was to assume she was hallucinating, obviously. She looked at the java in her hand and wondered how closely the chemical make up of coffee resembled LSD. Or maybe it was that damn mug! It was probably made in China, and the lead paint was currently seeping into her bloodstream and bringing her closer to death with every pump of her heartbeat!
Sanity took hold and once more she placed her face to the door yet again. She looked through the lens and blinked away the incredulity of the image before her, through three inches of pine.
Standing there, dripping Lily's hallway, was none other than...