The walls in this room are white. So is the floor. I’m sitting in a corner and somewhere floating on the air is . . . gentle chanting? There’s no door to this room, and the ceiling has been magicked into a semi-cloudy sky. Whoever worked this magic is powerful. For a moment, the heat from that new ray of sunshine feels real. A light sweat even breaks out on my forehead.
I try to stand up, but my legs refuse to move. Same with my arms. They hug my torso all too tightly. Why wasn’t I aware of this before?
“I think he’s awake now,” a woman says.
I look around. I don’t see anyone else in the room.
“He can’t move, though, correct?” a man asks.
“Of course not,” the woman answers.
“Good. And what has he claimed to have seen?”
“Giants,” she answers, whispering the word.
“Just like the others . . . ”
“No, not like the others. He has named more than ten of them.”
The man gasps. “Then the incident was real?”
"No, of course not, you moron," snaps the woman. "I can name the seven dwarfs and the eight reindeer, but does that make them real?"
"Oh. So then he's . . . what is the problem with him?" says the man.
"Think about it," says the woman. "What kinds of people are completely surrounded in white and begin thinking they see strange things? Lab technicians in sterile rooms, angels in heaven, lunatics in insane asylums, and . . . "
"And . . . writers staring at a blank piece of white paper trying to come up with ideas! Of course; it all makes sense now."
"He's got a critical case of White Room Syndrome. I'm going to prescribe massive doses of Dickens and Thurber, taken internally twice daily. And make sure the arms on that straitjacket stay tight."
Opening: Xiexie.....Continuation: Eric P.