Tommy put away the little bottle, shut the medicine cabinet, and peered out the bathroom window. The sun wasn’t coming out and he wasn’t fixing his hair. There was no point, since he wasn’t going anywhere. Besides, he looked better with bed head. He scrubbed both hands through his hair to prove his point.
The sky wasn’t blue, or black, or white. It was just...off. A rumble of thunder echoed in the distance as he stumbled downstairs to the kitchen. There was cereal, but then again, there was always cereal. Milk was not guaranteed, but today there were a few drops left in the carton. He yawned and flopped on the couch with a bowl of Cookie Crisp. With milk.
He turned on the television and found an old movie to watch while he ate. He’d seen it several times, but this time the awkward tilt of his head skewed the picture. A bunch of hoodlums were shooting it out with the police in an alley. His cereal tasted more like cardboard than cookies. As he watched, grass began to sprout in the movie-set alley. It grew so fast it obscured a dumpster and the fire escape, and no one knew where to aim their guns. Hmm… I don’t remember that ever happening before.
A message from the Emergency Broadcast System flashed across the bottom of the screen: REMINDING YOU TO TAKE YOUR DAILY DOSE OF CSD. IT’S A SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR YOUR SAFETY. Tommy saluted with his spoon.
Thunder crashed, but sunlight flooded the room. He shifted his gaze to watch raindrops run down the wall and puddle on the floor.
The dense grass spread from the television into the living room, which was impossible, but somehow Tommy didn’t care. He wiggled his toes inside his dad’s old pair of woolen slippers on his feet. His left foot cooperated, but the toes on his right foot barely moved. Even though he was used to it, he fought down a twinge of panic. He looked down at his right leg. Yesterday the fifteen-inch-long scar had pulsed red and purple. Today he couldn’t see it at all. But it was there. It was definitely there.
The doorbell rang, and Tommy limped to the front door and stepped out onto the porch, but no one was there. Sunshine-ringed puddles lined the street. It was too early for the mail.
The leaves on the tree in his front yard were shockingly green for this late in the season. He heard another rumble—much closer and definitely not thunder. Five football players in full gear rushed the porch, knocking him back through the screen door and onto the floor. From the bottom of the pile, Tommy gasped for breath. A giant blade of grass brushed the ceiling.
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