The first thing Tess noticed about the room was its pungent smell. It always made her feel nauseous. The only thing she liked in the room was the sun-bleached curtains- remnants of bright colored flowers which had turned pastels due to the sun. The curtains dramatically transformed the room with the faded flowers and butterflies.
Tess spotted a patchy couch next to the window. The couch and its location were just perfect, she thought. The only problem was that it was occupied. A lady, not a day older than lady gaga, was sitting on it with her mobile in her hands. What a waste! Tess decided to go and sit next to her. The lady wouldn’t care for her, Tess assumed. She sat next to the lady and murmured a hello, which the lady completely ignored. Let’s call her Aunt Grumpy, she giggled at her thought.
Her mother took a seat right opposite Tess and took a magazine from the desk nearby. Tess looked out of the window, there they are! A smile curved her lips again. That was when she felt the lick. A puppy appeared right next to her. It took her by surprise. She wasn’t expecting them inside the clinic. They don’t like the smell, they never come here.
“Sit still, Tess!”, mom shrieked. She looked at her mother, wondering what she had done to be shrieked at. “I am just sitting”, she mumbled. “No you are not”, mom said.
Tess nodded so that mom stayed calm. When mother went back to her magazine, Tess re-joined the dog. She had never witnessed a shape-shifter before. Her eyes popped up when she saw it changing the shapes. It grew a longer tail and a bigger face, like a hound. The big hound was almost ready to pounce at her. It showed its white sharp teeth. She wanted to run, when she heard again, “Tess, still! Now!”.
Tess looked up, she didn’t see the hound. She looked out of the window again. The fluorescent unicorns were prancing in the garden and flying in the open sky. On her last birthday when she met them for the first time, they told her that their magic lied in their horns. She wished to have a birthday party with them soon. Ah! Only if I could turn the time faster.
Just then a dragon manifested where the hound was standing a few moments ago. She was quick to name it ‘fire fury’. Giving a name should help to tame him, and then I should be able to stop him from being a fire-spitting monster. It worked. when she saw the dragon wagging the tail she knew she could tame him. She jumped up to stroke him. “Tess! Can you stay quiet for a moment?”, her mother said.
Tess always wanted her mother to see and experience the world the way she could. Every creature was unique and beautiful. They all had their stories and they loved to share with her, most of the time. She remembered how neon nightingale sang the most mellifluous song on her birthday. That was her best birthday as all the creatures she loved, lined up to meet her, to dance and frolic with her. They loved her as much as she loved them.
Tess kept shifting between the two worlds. Her world was like a kaleidoscope, always changing patterns. Tess gently stroked the amiable dragon, while mother waited at the psychiatrist’s clinic, hoping this doctor could cure Tess’s hallucinations soon.
(c) 2018 Priya U Bajpai