I was sitting in my room watching videos, as per usual on a Saturday morning. After a few hours, I decided to get some food. I walked downstairs to my fridge. A blast of cold air hit me, and all my food started swirling into a spiral. All I could see was a blurry spiral of my food. I don’t know why, but for some reason I decided it was a good idea to walk into the spiral. Nothing happened. I was still in my kitchen, and the only difference was the spiral. It was completely gone.
My watch said the time was 11:12 a.m. I quickly walked back to my room, but it was decorated differently. The walls were even a different color, purple rather than blue.
“Who are you and what are you doing in my room?”
“My name is Lily. I live here… this is my room. What year is it?”
“This is not your room. The year is 2020 dummy.”
“Oh, sorry Miss… what was your name again?”
“My name is Emma. I live here and this is my room. I already know what year it is because I’m in my own house. Let me guess, your fridge turned into a portal and you ended up here?”
“Yes, actually, that’s exactly what happened…” I could hear footsteps in the hall.
“Hide, quickly!” she whispered. I slid under the bed.
“Emma, who are you talking to?”
“Just my dolls…”
“You’re too old for dolls young lady. You need to do your homework. Now!”
“Okay Mom. Bye!” She shut the door and locked it.
“You need to be very quiet. I can help you get back to your universe. What year is it there?”
“That’s the thing. It’s 2020 there too. I don’t know how I’m supposed to get back. Why are you so accepting that I just walked out of your fridge?”
“You really think you’re the first person to walk in here saying you came from a fridge? Well, you are. The other people thought they were dreaming. What time does your watch say?”
“It says it’s 11:16 a.m.”
“Yep, that fits. Most people come here when the time in their universe is 11:11. Sometimes it’s morning, sometimes it’s night. That’s when most people go to the fridge, ironically enough,”
“That’s cool and all but how do I get back? Also, how old are you? You look eight, yet somehow you’ve helped people get home before. How many people have come here in the last few years?”
“About five hundred. They didn’t come from your universe. Their years were all different. They all came from your house though… I’m surprised you haven’t come here before now,”
“Actually, I think I may have come here before. It was at night… I thought I dreamed it. But I am very much awake right now. Do I just have to stay here until it’s 11:11 p.m.?”
“It has to be that time in your home universe. Our time here passes differently, because it's 4:00 p.m. but it’s morning in your universe. I’ve never had this situation before, so maybe we could try going to the fridge when it’s 11:11 p.m. my time and then your time, just in case.”
“Sounds good. Do you have any board games or anything?”
“Are you sure you want to play a board game?”
“No reason,” she slyly grinned, and I had a feeling games were very different here.
“What games do you have?”
“Well, I think the best one for you is Chutes and Ladders. The other ones are a bit advanced for your first time. Come over here to this cabinet and stand on the X. I’m going to set the board up in the cabinet. Wait for me before you start.”
“Got it.” I stood on the X and she opened the game board. She closed the cabinet doors and I shrank and gently floated onto the start of the game board. As terrifying as that is, I also just traveled through my fridge into a different universe. In a minute, Emma had appeared next to me. She was two dimensional and animated. I gasped loudly and tried to look down. I couldn’t move my head.
“Emma, am I two dimensional cardboard like you?”
“Yes, we’re game pieces now. We need to spin the spinner quickly or the game will kick us out.”
“How do we spin the spinner? We don’t have hands…”
“Imagine spinning a spinner. Then the real spinner will spin.”
“Okay…” I thought very hard about spinning a spinner, and the spinner slowly started to move. It spun and spun and suddenly stopped on the number 3. I slid forward three spaces and almost tipped over.
“See, it’s not too bad is it? Alright, now my turn…” Emma got the number 4. She shot up the ladder to the rectangle with the number 14. She seemed used to playing games like this, but she was also a piece of cardboard so it was hard to tell. I got the number 6. I sped ahead. I landed on the rectangle with the number 9, and I went up a ladder to a rectangle with the number 31. We continued to play the game, and it looked like Emma was going to win. She landed on the rectangle 87. She slid down a chute and landed on 24.
“I’m not allowed to swear.”
“Oh.” I slid into the final rectangle. A torrent of streamers rained down on me, and music started playing.
“So, uh, how do we leave?”
“I have to get to the last rectangle too. Then we’ll get kicked out. It should be almost time for you to go back.”
“Okay cool.” Emma soon got to the last rectangle, and we were shot back to reality. At least, Emma’s reality. I quickly checked my watch. The time was 1:34 p.m. We were in the game for over two hours.
“Emma, that took two hours!”
“Yeah, that was the point. It’s actually 8:46 p.m. here. Our time passes quicker than yours. We still have a few hours until we need to send you home. What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you have any questions about the whole universe thing?”
“Has anyone ever gotten stuck here and not been able to go back to their home universe?”
“Well… I’m dead. You’re in a ghost universe right now. So yes, people get stuck here if they die here. I came through my fridge a few years ago, and died here. So I’m stuck here.”
“How did you die?”
“Oh, a ghost here killed me. It’s sort of become a tradition…” she grinned nastily and came toward me menacingly.