All I could see was a blank canvas, shivering slightly like water caught in current on a duller day. It held a musty aura, soft to blink through, filling my ears with the essences of clouds and the whispers of raindrops.
However wonderful the mist and the idea, I drew my head away from it, so that I could eye the couple cautiously.
“If I go in there,” I tested the air, tongue darting like a snake’s taste, “I will come back out?”
“If you choose to, certainly. Everything is up to you once you enter.”
“Okay, I’m ready.” I hugged the soft dress to my body, as if it could provide some protection from my fear of the unknown. The woman gestured lightly with the hand that wasn’t holding the door open. Foot by foot, I crept closer to the instrument of desire. The invisible breath of wind caused the hairs on my neck to float above their usual standing, creepily there.
“Wait!” I called, inches from taking my leap into the second-life. “How do I make my dreams appear?”
“That’s the best part,” soothed the woman; “you simply bring them to mind.”
“All right, then.”
My voice once again caught my throat and sweetly refused to make any further comment. The door beckoned.
Finally, I let the invisible smoke take me through into the world within the box, a world that was utterly empty of the kinds of ornaments that made life what I had seen it as before. It reminded me of a bubble room, of a sphere with no exit. The door folded to behind me, leaving nothing but a soft ‘thump’ as I loosened myself from the outside world of footsteps and questions begin to disappear. Too, my curiosity seeped away dreamily, as I was keeping myself away from the guilt of wondering; I still wanted to get to know this newfound magic of the mechanism, but the other side of the veil held no judgment of mine any longer.
And, when I entered, no thoughts occurred to me that happiness might cease to exist were it a constant entity of life. Instead, I investigated the reaches of this happiness generator.
I had taken off my shoes when I had changed, and the floor was unusually cold, running rife with electricity that hummed somewhere out of reach- or perhaps just in my imagination. It could not have been a through-draft that pulled at the lowest hem of my light dress, but, indeed, something rustled it.
Walking along with nothing by directional thoughts to interrupt the sweet silence of the Dimension, I began to notice another discomforting feeling, where the constant walking wore out the soles of my feet and the joints of my ankles weakened from the country run I had done earlier.
Although I couldn’t quite grasp the memory of why I had taken that run, for now fuzz obscured even the thoughts that were telling me what moves to make, I knew the little answers of needs: that I must not let the pain even germinate.
“Chair.” And a white chair appeared in place for me to sit on. I stared at it for more than a moment, before I slid down upon it. Comfortable though I was, this ‘Happiness Machine’ had an eeriness to it. As soon as I had expressed such thoughts, they began to sap away, as if I had lost some grasp of emotional short-term memory. Where I must have felt ‘uncertainty’ there lay a positive feeling buzzing inside my mind.
“Anything I want?”
Inside the Happiness Dimension, temptation held only a hand bearing luscious fruit; temptation could not be wrong here when I could only conjure pleasant images when thinking about it. And there was something I wanted more than anything: a different life, a different partner than the farmer-boy.
I closed my eyes, waiting, wishing.
In less than a second that I could comprehend, the Dimension around my chair rippled and shimmered into action, where the figure of a man with jet black hair appeared in the space in front of me.
I stood up to caress the figure, the cool image of a man whose height exceeded that of the boy, Daniel, and well exceeded my own, but my fingers just floated through his sharp chin. An emotional response began to flare up from within me, but I could no longer put a name to it, feeling, instead, only the smooth cover of happiness that roared in my soul. Surely, if I could do nothing with this illusion, I should be…what was it, disappointed? The word logic had conjured neither made any linguistic sense any more, nor did it ring any mental bells. I had forgotten how to call up ‘disappointment’.
The figment of my imagination, the gorgeous-apparition, whom I could imagine as ‘perfect’, shivered away. Too, I felt my legs tumble out underneath me, as the chair became pale ash and the ash melted into the flooring. I sat with my legs so crooked, waiting for the humming of the machinery beneath me to begin, but nothing came; this Dimension was almost irrefutable.
In a second, the feelings of mine that had been repressed surged back into life. The ideology of Daniel, whom I had so rejected, caused that pure guilt to rise; was it truly right that I had rejected him with no other reason than a fear of unknown frustration at the future? What problem was that?
And the motions hit me as strongly as seasickness. Instantaneously, the room shook in two slides, forward, backward.
My white dress pooled around my knees, I rose fearfully.
“What’s going on?” I cried. I searched high and low for the door through which I had entered, but it had vanished, or at least melded into the blankness of the sphere-with-no-exit. I would have pounded the walls, but there were none, for this place comprised of nought but the thin air that made it. Where once had been the Happiness Machine now lay a different world entirely. For the first time since I had entered that place, I considered what they had told me about this place, my thoughts sharp as wit once more: the female scientist hadn’t been wrong when she had uttered ‘Dimension’.