June had just gotten off work a little early and, replacing her high heels with canvas shoes, began to walk toward Sixtus’ house. He had called her right after lunch, saying it was urgent that they meet this afternoon. Most probably, she realized, Sixtus wanted to apologize for his callous behavior yesterday, but June had this lingering feeling there was also something more — that something very odd was going on. She tried to rationalize this feeling: maybe it was due to those mysterious rumblings this morning and interconnected rumors of a local black hole; or possibly it was just the aftereffects of that strange dream she had last night of a world inside the Earth, one of the strangest dreams she remembered ever having.
In this vivid dream, June, who was strangely named Gale during its course, had been kidnapped by extraterrestrials colored red-violet and yellow-green, and taken by “elevator” to the center of the Earth: which was actually a concave shaped world called Altoona, a world with a white sun at its center. At the bottom of this elevator a man in an orange jumpsuit handed her a spherical indigo jewel while killing the accompanying ETs — and simultaneously being killed by them. She hid the jewel in a secret place, then ventured alone out into the world’s vast and steaming jungles. All the time June/Gale was in Altoona, she and her found companion, some kind of small light blue aboriginal bear named Blue Boy, were attempting to counter the psychic attacks of Brainard, a giant green head which usually rolled along the ground like a huge marble, as well as his league of foxes. Luckily for her, during a crucial confrontation, one of the foxes was found to secretly be a black and white cyborg mole nicknamed Newspaper from the Earth’s surface, who helped her escape. Furthermore, the mole turned out to be Blue Boy’s best friend. Also, it happened that the indigo sphere belonged to Newspaper, and the man in the jumpsuit was his master — as well as a spy from the Earth. June and Blue Boy also discovered the sphere miraculously shone gold like a miniature sun when inserted in the mole’s robotic third eye. The sphere, thus activated, restored Newspaper’s memory of where he tunneled into the inner world from the surface, and upon subsequently finding this opening June and he were able to return to the outer surface of the Earth. There the indigo sphere permanently turned gold and rose in the air to merge with the similarly golden sun. At this point she awoke.
While walking, June was reviewing the events of this odd dream when she suddenly saw Sixtus coming down the road toward her carrying a backpack and other camping gear, including, she noticed, a small silver bag. While he approached, she eyed him warily, much like an alligator would.
“I’m really sorry about last night,” he apologized, stopping several feet in front of her. With this, she managed a weak smile.
“What’s with the backpack?” June then asked. “Full of lemons and limes perhaps?”
“No, I’ve given up on the fruit thing, as well as the oddball sayings.” He paused, then said: “Some really incredible things have happened to me since you left last night — so many, in fact, I don’t know where to start.” Sixtus then tried to think of a logical beginning spot, but the material was overwhelming.
June then unloaded the wild hunch that had been sneaking around her head all afternoon. “All these things don’t happen to have something to do with that rumored black hole this morning?” she ventured.
“Well, no… I mean yes!… sorta.” He then discovered his starting point. “Listen, do you remember the Dundees? They’ve lived in the house next door for seven years.” He pointed to the house where Mr. Dundee’s orange Volkswagen had pulled in last night.
“Sixtus, you know that house has been vacant since your Uncle Floyd died almost seven years ago,” June replied firmly.
“Yeah, I know that now, but all through last night and this morning, I believed I had two neighbors named Dundee, a husband and wife, and that they had bought the house from Floyd’s estate when he died. But when that black hole you mentioned sealed up behind my house and took them with it, so to speak, it was like waking up from a dream. I realized then, that the memories of the Dundees arrived intact, all seven years worth, at the instant of Wilson’s death.”
“Yeah, I’m real sorry about your fox Sixtus,” responded June, ignoring his stranger remarks. “Dillard told me all about it on the phone this morning. I know you cared a lot for him.” She then hesitated. “But I don’t understand this thing about Dundees, Sixtus — is this some kind of sci fi story you’re acting out of what? Where’d you get Dundee from anyway? Sounds like Eden pronounced sideways.” She then laughed at her phonetic pun.
“Precisely!” replied Sixtus enthusiastically to the skeptical June. “I couldn’t have put it any better myself. In truth, I think they were aliens of some sort, possibly warning me there’s something warped about this town… something sideways, if you will. But they’re not fiction. I have proof!”
With this he showed June the silver bag and the giant indigo jewel inside. Upon seeing it, June gasped.
“Why it’s the same color as the jewel in my dream last night! But how did you…?”
“Well there’s another indirect proof,” interrupted Sixtus, “For I had the same type of gem in my dream last night. This dream was, in fact, the most vivid memory of all my experiences yesterday and today; the others seem more like dreams than reality.
Sixtus suddenly remembered the council of Mrs. Dundee and hit upon an idea. “Listen, what do you say that we pretend that this gently rolling hill in front of us is a mountain, miles and miles high, and after we reach its top we can compare indigo dreams while dining on the delicious dinner I packed. Then while staring into this strange jewel and then into the even stranger town of Eden far below, we can objectively decide if that’s really the place we want to spend the rest of our lives. I actually packed enough supplies for both of us. I was hoping you’d come along. Whadaya say? Are you game?”
IN response, June suddenly yanked the silver bag and its contents from Sixtus’ hand. “I’ll lessen your load a little,” she said, a smile emerging on her face. Sixtus’ briefly shocked look then also turned into a smile, as hand in hand they began to climb the steepening slope.
The silver bag June carried smiled with them.