The first thing Michael Karnell understood was the sound of the explosion. A fireball spitting out giant fragments of metal, formerly a plane maybe? was flying through the sky directly above him. It was dark out, and the flames cast erratic shadows. If he was still in Los Angeles, it was an area he had never seen before. Westchester? Bell? Ascot Hill? It was also overgrown with thick vines and exotic flowers coated in oil. No, not oil…blood.
The fireball crashed to the ground, like a lazy man onto a couch, sputtering and sparking the whole way. It was dark now, and Michael concentrated on the sounds. Pops in the distance. The cracking of vegetation. And then the guttural yell of a giant, a man, jumping at him with a large silver machete.
Michael smashed the man in the face with Little King, his threadbare stuffed rabbit, and ran as hard as he could. Ran right into a tree – no, not a tree. It was warm, and it smelled. The bark shifted under his face and moved on. It was an elephant, dozens of them maybe, fleeing the chaos. Michael dove into the forest of heavy legs, until he found a tail. He pulled hard and clawed his way over the giant butt until he reached the flat of the spine, where he splayed out, breathing heavily. Where the hell was he? For the moment, it didn’t matter, he would be safe with his new friend.
Goodbye, Little King, old friend. This was to be Michael’s worst sleepwalking experience so far.