The Innkeeper’s eyes are no longer rapidly moving,

Just after last night’s submersion in the think-tank of dreams,

He sat letting fake firelight from a electronic fireplace wash him of sleep.

Through quiet study, he saw the flames were well-programmed to appear random,

But they, too, followed orders from above.

As he consider the overwhelming task of designing fake flames to emulate the elements.

The mild and unmistakable sound of snoring came wafting in from unknowable corners of the lodge.

Like a gentle tugging, it gained size and weight as he turned his senses on it.

Where was the fleshy generator in the dark and labyrinthine lodge, and more importantly,

Who was snoring outside the confines of their room, polluting the common air?

He padded in slippers in the unlit early morning, alone, an acoustic detective.

Like Toucan sam follows his nose, he followed his ears, guided on an invisible road

Leading to the intruder.

If the lodge was a starfish (and the lodge is not actually a starfish)

He drifted to the center, where the arms extend outward from the center.

He listened.

Like a satellite, his body turned to receive the signal:

 

 

 

At the bottom of the stars was a door; it led to the kitchen. It was sealed.

Down he crept, facing the door like one faces an professional athlete on a basketball court:

A wall-like adversary, the lone barrier between his ragged basketball shorts and truth.

From it’s rectangular permitter, the sounds of the snoring leaked through.

The Innkeeper mused at the obvious skill of one able to fall asleep in a kitchen.

But to dream in the kitchens of foreign knives and pots is something rare.

Who are you, sleeping dragon? Who are you, dream native?

Images of prepared meals too complex and demanding that they yield only a single serving so perfect and so exhausting that the only result is a full stomach and unstoppable sleep filled the Innkeeper’s mind.

Inside, pots, pans, all many of unlikely and esoteric apparatuses must be strewn about, caked in the flurry of culinary zeal, slumbering with the mysterious snoring cook. Small deserts of brilliant hues would litter the floor and somehow even the underside of bookshelves; spices from post-spectrum plants, ground and glittering leaves from multi-dimensional vines trellising would look like small islands on the bare hardwood floor. Cookbooks written in lost tongues were strewn over over available surface, hacked and slashed with the writings of a mad man, unintelligibly alien scrawlings written from the depths of a food fugue.

Knives of every length and dimension would be scattered in the sleeper’s midst, each fulfilling a fleeting idiosyncratic cut, to then be tossed aside. Sacks of unmarked ingredients with secret new smells and the universe’s unfelt textures would be still ajar, a kind of clandestine gastronomical blizzard having blown through the midnight kitchen. The chef, having ushered forth an object of delight from the cauldron, wrested of his vitality in the conjuring of such a beast from other worlds, now faced no future than the one of face-down snoring in the midst of his labors.

In an effort to merge this suspected scene with reality, The Innkeeper began to turn the knob.

The door slowly cracked and creeked as Alaskan darkness slithered out along the edges of the door. The snoring abruptly stopped. The magician was rousing.

The Innkeeper paused, becoming still. The snoring resumed, deep and resonant.

The desire to cast a light upon the culprit was strong,

But not so strong as not waking a disoriented wizard surrounded by knives.

And so the door was again pulled shut, sealing away the sound and fury within.

The lumbering breathing again found it’s rhythmic intake/outtake, and the Innkeeper quietly crept back up the stairs, content to read Harry Potter in front of a fake fire.

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