You’re walking down a hallway. It’s your hallway. The one in your basement, only the mudroom bit at the far end has been eliminated or flattened out. It’s just a long straight hallway. And you’re walking down from one end to the other, urgently. Only the hallway never gets any shorter. You never actually advance. The door at the end just taunts you. You can’t see through the window in the door. It’s just completely black on the other side of the glass. A cloudy void. Like squid ink suspended in space. You start to run. The door opens a crack, then it bursts open. But only for a moment. The hallway fills with balloon animals. A hundred balloon animals in every gumdrop color floats down the hallway toward you. Orange dogs. Blue cats. Green birds. A single purple mouse the size of your fist. Octopi, donkeys, fish, bears, lions, squirrels. Violet, red, yellow, indigo… Your perspective changes suddenly and radically. The hallway ascends now, the door at the top. You’re still running, but now it’s up and not toward. Your feet don’t touch the floor. You’re still not advancing. The animals float down toward you. They get closer. You grab one of them–an yellow dog with purple ears–right around the middle. You feel its heart beating, and when you look down, you can see the latex bulge and pulse right between your fingers.