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Joey is cleaning out his grandmother's attic. She's dead and he's occupying the house for the time being, since his dad and aunt are tied to jobs elsewhere in the country and he's unemployed. Cleaning the house out isn't fun, but he's got Reeses Pieces in his pocket and a record on and it's tolerable. Better than living with his deadbeat roommate for another year of lease. Maybe he'll keep the house. It's paid off and everything.

He steps back, dragging his broom.

And then he's in another world, it smells green and it's eighty degrees and the air is so startlingly clear and look at the flowers -

Joey says ack and leans forward along the path of his broom. And he is back in the attic. There's snow heaped against the window. It smells like dust and Grandma.

What the hell.

He leans back again. Verdant summer.

Forward. Attic.

When he's done this enough times that it starts feeling stupid more than fantastical, Joey carefully leans into summertime and puts his broom down and tries walking back without it.

Works just fine.

He leaves the broom there, laid across two worlds but somehow fully visible in each, as a signal of where the thing is, and walks into the warmth.

He explores. It's pretty, it's a nice change of pace, he can't hear his music from here but there's so much to look at.

He finds a tiny person, can't be more than a foot tall, with a dumb hat and dragonfly wings. The tiny person is surprised to see him.

"Whose mortal are you?" asks the tiny person.

"...What?" It speaks English, why the fuck does it speak English.

"Are you new? Nobody's snapped you up? Well, watch out. Don't let any food or drink pass your lips and definitely don't tell anyone your name. But I'm not going to hang around you, somebody'll be after you, you're trouble." The tiny person tips its stupid hat and flies away.

Joey blinks, and turns around to head back for his marker. It was past this rock here.

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April 2015

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