Just Beyond the Hole

In the beginning the room was cozy. It smelled like warm cookies and laughter. I played in the room a while until I noticed a smartly placed bookcase that was covering an interesting tear in the wallpaper. A small shadowy hole that spilled forth light from a room beyond.

The opening was just large enough for my shoulders to squeeze by. There was a moment when I questioned my decision but I could see shadows moving along a far wall and I could hear a happy group of people. They were having so much fun that I couldn’t resist. With one last concerted effort I burst into the room.

The room was bigger than my last and it suddenly made me feel exposed. The walls towered above me and the voices swirled around my head. Bright colors adorned the carpet in random mosaic patterns that were so beautiful they were almost distracting. I found that the party guests were only spirits who cast illusions. They dissipated like a mist. A pleasant music emanated from the walls and the air felt lonely. Lush green plants covered the walls and ceiling. It was all beautiful and frightening and confusing.

On the far wall, through the draping ivy, were three holes like the one from which I had just emerged. I glanced back towards the entrance and was surprised to find it had grown smaller. Or I had grown larger? I had no choice but to move forward.

But where?

Each hole had a different voice that called my name. The voices told my ears wonderful things about what my eyes could not see. I moved from one hole to the next, listening to a different voice at each stop, telling their tales.

The first voice was sultry and seductive. It promised bliss. Stories of excitement and adventure filled my mind. An end to a dull existence. The lights from the hole were multicolored and pulsing. It would all be mine if I would enter.

The second voice was deeper and promised power. The type of power that surpassed money and fame. Power to open any doors. To have anything or anyone. The voice told me that power could guarantee bliss or whatever else I wanted. My body tingled at the thought. I nearly entered without questioning the third option but curiosity carried me on.

The third voice was compassionate and caring. It promised eternal companionship. A partner to lean on through times that promised to be difficult. A shoulder to cry on when life seemed to be too much. A warm hug and a safe home. The unknown seemed more manageable with a partner.

As I debated my path, the green tapestry covering the walls had started to turn brown. A metallic scraping sound came from the floor behind me and the wall began to move into the room, pushing me towards the opposite wall and threatening to crush me. If I didn’t choose a fate it would be death by indecision.

Which voice could I trust? I didn’t know. I knew I couldn’t stand still and die waiting. Fear and uncertainty beat hard in my chest. I took a deep breath and picked my exit.

It proved to be true, just as the voice promised, but life has been nothing but rabbit holes ever since.


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