Membrane

When Felix stumbled through to the other side of the membrane it took him some time to notice anything was different. He had been walking at the edge of the woods near his house and he must have crossed over a threshold there. It would have been to his benefit if he had been paying closer attention to the surroundings, to pinpoint the spot.

The first glaring mark of strangeness was the colour of the water in the backyard stream, it was black. The sight was shocking to Felix. His first thought was that there had been some sort of oil spill in the river. But things got stranger. Inside his house, his parents were sitting in their accustomed chairs watching television. Except where their faces should be was just blank flesh. They seemed not to notice him come in. Even worse, the TV screen was emitting a bundle of vine-like tentacles that spilled out onto the floor and were creeping around the room. Felix was sent into a panic, but kept himself from making a sound. He was very much afraid of these people in his house that should be his parents. He fled down the street as stealthily as possible.

Everywhere he went, Felix saw these faceless people. Peering into windows there were more sights of these awful tentacles coming out of televisions and mirrors. He was hyperventilating and thought himself on the verge of heart attack when the first reassuring sight appeared. It was a girl with a normal, human face, walking on the other side of the street. She saw Felix too, and quickly crossed the street to met him. The girl’s presence, and her self-possession calmed his anxiety.

“Thank God, another real person. I’m so glad to see you.” Her voice was hushed but warm. “I’m Tracy.”

“Felix.” Felix paused. “What’s going on here? Am I crazy, or has the whole town turned into some weird alien dream.”

“You’re not crazy.”

Tracy related to him her experience of stumbling into this place the previous day. How her family had no faces and wouldn’t respond to her.

“You have to be careful of those vines that come out of TV’s and mirrors. They’ll try to grab you and pull you in.”

“But how did you get here?” Felix asked.

It turned out that Tracy had been playing down by the edge of the woods too when everything changed.

“Do you think there was some sort of doorway we passed through?”

The pair of lost children spent hours searching for the spot where they had crossed over, but they couldn’t find it. Eventually thirst drove them into Felix’s house for water from the tap. This too was black but they had to drink. The water was a transformation agent that triggered a change in them. It erased their faces like the other inhabitants of this strange place and it trapped them here.