"Welcome to the Pavilion."

Upon first walking into main room, Aubrey was so overwhelmed he had to make immediate use of one of the ultra soft sea-chairs provided, which floated around the lobby, bobbing along gently as though rafts on a quiet bay, ready to catch him. It wasn't uncommon for people to lose their balance in the Pavilion; those chairs caught tens of people on the daily. It was no wonder, when one considered the surroundings.

The Dream Pavilion was altogether — and bit by bit — astounding. It was an establishment devoted to the creation and maintenance of thousands of worlds unlike any reality, where logic did not exist, where you could live impossibilities as though they were perfectly possible, and where the nonsensical oddities from our sleeping hallucinations had been brought into the waking world.

It took him a moment to get his bearings. Everywhere Aubrey's eyes roamed in the main room, the laws of nature were being ignored. The walls changed color smoothly with each blink, into colors he had never seen and could not describe; the floor rippled like sand in the desert, yet he had felt it as hardwood beneath his feet; strange, distorted animals wandered about; doors lay open into rooms that vanished; and the young woman at the front desk looked just like a picture of his grandmother from decades past, with loose curls and a sweet smile that made her pretty whether she is or not.

This is the woman who greeted him. Aubrey managed a meek smile of acknowledgement, his heart thundering in his chest. He'd considered himself prepared to face this world, but all the brochures and the photos and the word-of-mouth had not been adequate in conveying just how shocking lavender-colored spiders with smiles were in real life.

"You must be Mr. Kade. First time visitor?" His grandmother grinned wryly.

Aubrey nodded, somehow not perturbed that she knew his name. "I … I have a gift certificate. For eighty creds."

"My, my, how wonderful! That makes several of our best packages available to you. What sort of journey were you interested in?"

He shifted in his seat, and the beanbag like sea-chair morphed flawlessly into a comfortable lounge chair — with wheels. Straightening, he blinked, wondering vaguely why the walls weren't giving him a migraine, and answered, "Just something nice."

She beamed. "I know just the thing."

Aubrey couldn't fathom just how unprepared he was.

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