One day I found myself in a kitchen. I don’t know how I got there but there I was, cutting carrots. To my right there was big pile of uncut orange vegetables, on my left a basket halfway filled with perfect discs. A hefty knife in my right hand and a chunky white plastic cutting board in front of me. It was like I had been standing here for ages, cutting the carrots but nothing of what I saw, I recognised. Not even the apron I was wearing. Underneath the apron were my familiar clothes. I remembered how I put them on that morning. My hands were still mindlessly chopping carrots, it was like a routine, a routine that was in my hands but not in my mind. I couldn’t even remember when I last chopped carrots, chopped anything for that matter. But here I was. I dropped the knife and looked around me with a white hot panic rising from the low of my back up through my spine. I was all by myself in this place I had never been before. I frantically started to look around. Metal shelfs with pots and pans, cupboards, meat drying on hooks in the corner. The place was dirty, the concrete floor stained with unrecognisable substances. The sink had lost its original colour and the work surface had dry blood staines.
What was I doing here?! How did I get here?! Questions where spinning through my mind. My breathing became fast and I felt short winded.
My eye fell on the pile of carrots again, only now I saw that they where rotten and old. That is when the smell hit me. An awful stench crept up my nostrils. It was so bad it almost made me gag.
I had to get out of this place, right now. I spun around, looking for a door. With no avail. The space didn’t seem to have a door nor windows. The only light came from one flickering fluorescent light above my head. I ran over to the nearest wall. Solid concrete scraped my fingertips as I felt around frantically for any crack. Nothing…
Panic had reached my head and was filling all the space inside my mind. I rushed over to the metal shelve on the other side of the room and started to throw down everything that was piled on them. I couldn’t even hear the shattering of the plates or the sharp thunks of metal bowls hitting the floor. Nothing but solid concrete on this side as well.
Warm tears started to run down my face. Never in my life had I felt so strongly about escaping something as this dirty kitchen right now. It was like my life depended on it. I rushed to the cupboards and wanted to yank them open but I hesitated. What if there was something worse behind the small wooden doors? This thought saved me because it had seemed to have found its way into my head, taking away some of the mist this blind panic had put in there. An actual thought was better then none at all. My hand was hoovering near the door handle. There I stood for a while, it seemed hours. Here in front of this tiny door I seemed to regain control. The mist in my head slowly disappeared. Breathing became easier, even the horrid smell of the place seemed less pungent. My hand reached for the handle and I felt the little door coming my way. It was almost like someone else was giving my hand commands in stead of my own brain.
When the cupboard door was opened only a tiny bit I could see a beam of light coming from inside. The more my hand opened the door, the wider the light beam became. Until my face was bathing in the light that shone from inside. In the cupboard where no shelves stacked with kitchen wear. It was like opening a window to an outside world that just a moment before didn’t seem to exist anymore. I could see a meadow with beautiful green grass as far as my gaze reached. A gentle breeze hit my face as I stood dumbfounded in the nasty kitchen. Without any conscious decision I climbed up on the dirty work surface to climb through this little window to an other world.
There I was, in the middle of a field. Soft grass underneath my feet and as far the eye could see. The sun stood high on the horizon and spread a gentle warmth all around. The air was fresh and the stech of the kitchen had completely disappeared, just like the entire kitchen.The door I crawled out of just a second ago had gone. Now it was like I had been standing in the middle of this meadow for ages. The memory of the horrible kitchen had already almost completely gone from my mind. I started walking towards the sun. A sheeplike cloud drifted by lazily. Everything here was so quiet, so peaceful. I walked further away from where the door used to be. Taking in all the calmness and quiet this place had to offer, I walked and walked and walked.
After what must have been hours I noticed the grass in front of me was slightly crushed, as if somebody had walked here before. I had not seen anybody, no living soul had crossed my path, no people, no sheep, not even a busy bee had buzzed by. I was all alone in this world of grass and sunshine. This could only mean that I had walked in a big circle and was now back where I had popped into this world. I must have walked for hours because the sun had gone down quite a bit, soon it would be complete darkness on this meadow. All of sudden I felt so alone. My entire existence on this field had been content and peaceful but now despair started to seep in my mind folds. Was I supposed to wander this beautiful field for the rest of my days in complete solitude? To be fair, I would have chosen this place over the vague memories I had of the nasty kitchen anytime but alone is so…alone. I sat down in the grass, my gaze on the infinite horizon. Sadness filling my mind and paralysing my limbs.
Before long I saw a shimmer in my peripheral vision. Somewhere to my right in the distance, something reflected in the setting sun. It was like someone had opened a door to my brain and had let all the sadness escape. I just had to know what was lying there in the grass, shining bright into my eyes. Without an other thought, I stood up and ran straight over to the shimmer. Every few meters I had to duck down, hold my head closer to the ground so I could see the light reflecting and could adjust my course if necessary. I ran and ran, the sun was replaced by a ginormous moon, bright and completely spherical. The moon rose like a rising sun from behind the horizon. Providing enough light for me to still see it reflect in the mysterious object.
Finally I had arrived. A big silver coin lay about 30cm in front of my feet. I reached for it slowly, still out of breath from all the running. From what I could see, there was noting printed on the coin, it was plain blank.
As soon as my fingers touched the smooth surface of the silver, everything around me turned a misty white. A freezing cold spread from the tip of my index finger to the rest of my body. My heavy breathing was forming clouds in front of my face. I stood up with the coin in my hand. It appeared that the soft grass had been replaced by a thick layer of snow. A strong wind was blowing tiny snowflakes all around me.
“Honey, why are you standing there? Come inside before you freeze to death.”
The voice came from behind me. I turned around to see a small wooden cottage. The roof had a thick layer of snow on top of it but there was smoke coming out of the chimney. In the middle of the front, a rectangle of light disturbed the darkness and there she stood. She looked worryingly in my direction and her hand signed me to come inside. There was nothing I would rather have done than get out of that cold so I walked right passed her, through the door. Putting the coin in her open hand as I did so.