Hide and Seek

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It was a hot summers morning. I wanted to quickly tend to the vegetable garden before noon. Something distracts my attention. It is my kids’ gleeful laughter along with dog barks. Sophie and Mason, fraternal twins, are playing at their tree house with their dog Lux. They both are similar yet different – beautiful curls to the long legs inherited from their father but each has different interests. They both share that bond of twins. I always wonder about those hidden variables that connect them together. Their laughter sounds a little distant – they could be playing with Lux. If not, you could always find them in the tree port, a tree house built on the oldest oak tree in our property which is a gift from my husband for their seventh birthday.
Tree port was built around the main trunk of the tree supported by two massive branches, with three flights of small stairs to reach them. I painted them with a grayish silver, carefully placed solar lanterns for light, cushions and pillows for comfort, and throw rugs for warmth. It looks magical when you see it from a distance. Kids love the tree port and I love it because it gives me time to focus on other things knowing that they are home, fed, and watered.

Sophie tells me that tree port is the entry point to a parallel world where dinosaurs are stomping the ground and their cries piercing the skies. Mason vouched for her while mimicking dinosaur walk and screams. Lux barks frantically anytime he does that. Sophie asks me what if dinosaurs come along with them and enter our world. I don’t want to squash their imagination. Are seven-year-old kids a tad bit too young for quantum theory? I warned my husband several times about discussing “age-appropriate” theories and weird science stuff.

I didn’t hear kids or Lux in a while. Where are they? I walked up to the oak tree climbed the little stairs to peep inside the tree house. Pillows, rugs, stuffed toys, and comic books were strewn around. I grudgingly rearranged – “ugghhh… just like their father”. There is no sign of them. Home was quiet as I walked into kitchen. I went up to find the bedrooms empty. I found my husband in the office room with his headset on. I asked him about the kids. He says he saw them last playing up the tree port with Lux. The front gate to the property is locked and security system says it hasn’t been opened since last evening.
Worried, I went around the house into the backyard again.

yelling “Sophie…” “Mason…” “Lux…”. I hear thud near the oak tree. The American white oak stands tall beckoning me closer to shade as I was dripping with sweat from gardening under the sun. I hear muffled voices and a distinctive bark. I see the curls up in the tree house as I walked up. Mason is holding what looks a spherical ball in bluish-green color happily exclaiming “Mommy… look what Lux found while playing…” Sophie finishing his sentence “a dinosaur egg”. I was chuckling at their wild imagination of a colored sphere and got it from Mason. It feels like an egg shell and its warm. I felt blood rushing up and darkness swirling in.

I’m seeing light again. I opened my eyes to see I’m in a strange bed. My husband gently squeezed my hands, stroking my hair, says “doctor says is just heat exhaustion… how many times have I asked to work with a hat on in the garden?”. Right side of my body hurts presumably from the fall from the tree house. Things are rushing back from my memory now. I shot up “where are the kids?”

Back at home sore and tired, I hear Sophie and Mason are talking about sauropods. It is not the dinosaurs again. I’m afraid to ask them about the dinosaur egg. I’ve an urge to go up to the tree port again. What is Lux doing in the stairs of the tree port? There is an army of ants under the stairs. I picked Lux as he was vigorously licking the stairs of the tree port. He stinks like egg. There’s something glistening in the cracks of the stairs. I picked up to see a bluish-green shell. There are only two possibilities: yes or no. I feel blood rushing up and darkness swirling in again.

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Data and Analytics Solution Architect by the week... Artist and Author by the weekends...