Keys to a New World

Contributor: Pranas Perkunas

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I opened the door one morning to a new world. For the first time, the homeless cats weren’t crying; they asked me if I was hungry. The neighbors' demented dogs refrained from barking against their too-short leashes; instead, they sang sumptuous strains of ancient mermaid songs. I arrived late for work, but my normally severe manager just laughed, clicked his heels, and crooned this little ditty,

Here's a check that should tide you over
for a few million lifetimes or so;
you can stay and groove with us,
or you can happily go.

I surveyed the scene behind him, which consisted chiefly of a bevy of my now-lovely co-workers, their collective youth restored, and their formerly unfortunate features reformed to fit their individual tastes.

An Asian, cosplay princess shining among the others beckoned to me with one of her long, red, plastic boots; so I joined them on a levitating white couch for a while, and for the first time our flesh didn’t flinch to be with each other. We drank some Kool-Aid, but it didn’t kill us; and by the time I departed I was younger--better looking too! It was then that I noticed that one of my loafers had been replaced by a long, red, plastic boot.

In a delirium of damn-that-was-good, I stumbled into a street normally choked with traffic, yet there were no cars, just beaming young people smiling and holding hands. Seeing into my thoughts, one young man said, “Cars hurt people, and road kill ain’t kosher, man.” I tried to further converse, but no matter how quickly I ran, I couldn’t catch up to him as he strolled into the psychedelic sunset.

A singing seal sporting high-heels passed, “No more Re pub li cons and De mo cants-“ An English loon took up the tune, “No more giving our money to banksters!” A whirling carnival of emotions opened within me.

"Had God finally heard us?" I asked a soft, pretty child with hair like a field of dandelions roaring in the breeze.

“Nah, we finally had to fire the bum,” she said while taking a small sign from her basket brimming with keys and kaleidoscopes and hung it right around my neck. The sign sprouted a mouth like a plum and said, “UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT.”

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I teach English in the inner city, and I'm building a colossal Hello Kitty assault robot which I will use to avenge all abused creatures. My favorite authors are Kenneth Patchen and Crad Kilodney.
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