The Fridge

(Originally posted on site May 25, 2016.  It has been slightly revised.)

One day you buy this fridge for your house.  Get it off the internet for a nice price, the guy drops it off in your drive, and so on and so forth.  No big deal.

The fridge itself isn’t anything special.  Just a fridge.  Upper section freezer, lower section refrigerator goods.  White.  Just like the fridge your parents had, back in the day.

Only sometimes, when you pass the kitchen, you see this glow coming from it.  Right out of the corner of your eye.

Like the fridge door is open.  Only it’s not.  Never is.

Strange.  But the human mind is strange.  It’s also adaptable, so for a while, you put it out of your thoughts.  It’s just something that happens.  That’s all.

Then, maybe a month after you buy the fridge, it happens.  You see that glow in the corner of your eye, only this time when you turn your head, the glow stays.

It’s like the lower door has come off, revealing glowing golden light.

The longer you stare, the more you see.  It’s like peering out a window.  The glow is a sun, surrounded by fluffy white clouds.  It reminds you of a movie you watched once, or perhaps a clip of a movie.  But there are no ghosts, or, rather, no monsters near the sun.  It is just light and warmth and good.

Of course you’re walking towards it.  One step at a time.  Why wouldn’t you?

It is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen.

You enter the kitchen, and in an eternity that passes in an instant, you stand in front of the fridge.  You reach toward that light.  Wanting to touch that glow, that warmth.

Only before you can, just before you can, you see your fingers bend back.  As if you’ve hit something hard.

Which you have.

The fridge door.

The glow is gone.  It was never there to begin with.  Just the white door.  So plain.  So average.

So dull.

The rest was an illusion.  A hallucination.

Maybe this should disturb you.

Instead, it just disappoints.

Strange, but this time you can’t just let it go.

You go about your days, work at your job, and when you’re not busy you think about the golden glow.  Think about what you lost.

What you lost.  What does that even mean?  You lost nothing you never had before.

Yet the feeling remains.  You lost something that could have been yours.  Should have been yours.

Weeks pass.  Then it happens again.  The light in the corner of your eye.  The door gone, revealing that wondrous look into elsewhere.  The thoughtless steps forward.  And all ended with watching that jarring touch, the fingers bending on the fridge door.

It’s worse this time.  So very, very disappointing.

After this second occurrence it’s all you can think about.  You have to force it out of your head to do your job, to drive your car.  Once you sit through a green light as you fantasize about touching that light, that wondrous, wondrous light.

On some level you know this obsession is wrong, disturbingly wrong, yet you can’t make yourself stop.  You can’t even make yourself seek help.

But in this mental confusion comes an idea.

The fridge door is there.  Always.

But what if, and you have no idea where this notion came from just that it sounds right, but what if instead of reaching forward without thought, you felt around where the door handle is.  Why not try opening the door while viewing the light?

It seems so right.

It seems so wrong.

Never mind that.  The next time it happens, about a week later, you go through all the steps.  Eagerly.  And as you walk towards the fridge (never stopping, never quite of your own volition) you reach out.

You fingers brush the door hand, and as you aren’t looking at it you can feel it, yet not see it.  The glow remains, bright and warm before you.

You force yourself to step back (odd how it is now easy to control your body here, so easy to do) and pull the door open.  Does something happen as you do?  A flash of white?  If so it’s gone before you can be sure.

All that remains is the glow.

That glow.

That wonderful golden glow.

You reach towards it, a hopeful (hopeless) smile upon your face.

And, as your fingers near, the glow changes.  Rotates around as smooth as a globe on its axis.

All this time, all you’ve seen it the back of the glow.  Now it is facing you.

Facing.  You.

With eyes and nose and mouth.  Especially the mouth.

The smirking wide mouth.

Your lips twist with screams unheard as you reach forward, for there is something terrible about that face, how happy it is, how joyous.  And as it opens its mouth wider to first let your fingers in and then your hand, all you can think of is how sharp its teeth look.

How cold.

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