Like an awkward dream, Grif seemed to be in someone else's house, surrounded by strange items and unfamiliar furniture.
Startled by the doorbell's ring, Grif was suddenly touched by the strangest feeling. Sitting up, there was an unexpected sound when his pointy slippers met the polished tile floor. Curious, he looked down and saw that indeed, he really was wearing pointy slippers upon a polished tile floor, and it occurred to him that he was not where he thought he was, or when he thought, or even who he thought. Was someone at the door? Grif wasn't even sure where the door was.
The smell of fresh rain was strong in the room, yet there was no rain, and through the window a yellow sun was beaming in upon the floor. A breeze, fair as could be, moved the light curtains next to a column as it eased through the open window, and Grif curiously stepped toward it.
Just as he reached the window, the doorbell rang again, but this time Grif scarcely heard it as he blinked out into the world, trying to make sense of what he saw. Hovering outside the window was a stone bell tower, and upon it's highest porch balcony was a slim, mustached man, smiling and happy, wearing a roundish hat that made him look like he was dressed as a mushroom.
Grif! The mushroom hat man called out, laughing and leaning over the rail clownishly. Grif looked down below the hovering tower, and from his open window's view he seemed to be looking out of the third floor of whatever building he was in.
Now the mustached man on the floating bell tower, with a laughing song of a voice, began with a fanciful greeting, but it was as if it were spoken in such a strange language that Grif understood not a single word.
Grif, you old newt, you look like shit! Are you sleeping on this fine afternoon? I was going to insist that you come with us, but now I must ask, my dear Grif... are you feeling alright?
He squinted from his balcony over at Grif with a smirk, while next to him-- in a swirl of color-- a woman ascended the spiral stairs of the floating bell tower, her toga tossing elegantly in the high breezes. Behind her two more ladies appeared, now coloring the balcony with more laughter, beauty, and warm, wise smiles.
Still looking over at Grif, the mustached man's face went from carefree joy to one of compassionate concern, and upon a short whistle, the bell tower began to move. Eyes still upon Grif, and with his smile still warm, he eased the tower towards the window.
Grif did feel some familiarity with the guy steering the floating tower, and certainly the women and their smiles had a profound language of their own, also familiar and comforting. A lot can be seen in facial expressions, and it's as if a common unspoken language persists throughout humanity. Even the most sophisticated technical means of communication are merely trying to mimic this universal language that every human speaks, and no manufactured communication gismo can ever begin to relay as much data as a single eyebrow on a human can telegraph.
Smiles are full of information, and every smile on a face is a two-way communication device, telling much about the smiler, but telling even more about the recipient of the smile. Maybe the receiver of a smile just needed a friendly vibe, or maybe they needed the healing that comes with the smile, a reminder of laughter and joy, or triggering memories of things that might be rejuvenating for them.
A smile isn't always a face-wide grin though, and indeed sometimes a smile can only be seen in the eyes of the smiler, being so subtle that it might be missed by others. Hungry for truth, and since we rarely have good reason to hide our joy, our faces will nearly always give that joy away.
Grif was starting to wake up from his nap, and a floating bell tower full of laughing friends was beginning to bring him out of his haze. Still groggy, he finally began to smile, and it all started to come back to him. The guy flying the bell tower was Miko, and the tower itself was the northernmost tower from Miko's little castle across the valley, this particular tower being a flying 'mobile home' of sorts. The lady in the lavender toga was Miko's sister Asha.
The tower had slowed and stopped next to the window, and Miko was beaming again.
C'mon, the grotto waits, and they say the water is exceptionally wet this year. You forgot we were coming, didn't you? Miko feigned a look of disbelief and aimed it helplessly at the sky, when Grif leaped from the window onto the handrail and hopped easily onto the tower's balcony.
For Grif, it had been one of those long afternoon naps, when realities begin to overlay one another, each one as valid as the other, and Grif had been adrift for a moment there, forgetting who, where, or when he was for just a few moments after waking.
The memory of a dream of another existence still reverberated for a minute or two, but now everything was back to normal. Grif and his friends were off to swim at the magnificent Fluted Grottos, flying along in an ornate stone bell tower, and it was a perfect day for it.
artwork above is mine, 2018, while the writing is a page from a story in a book that is now misplaced somewhere in the Library of Unusual Twists, that astonishing world which exists in the place in between the dream of life and the dreams of sleep