“Come on,” a voice said.
Frank opened his eyes. A small girl stood at the door to his bathroom. She was holding a wet boot, weaving her fingers through one of the laces.
“I said, come on.” The girl tossed the boot aside. It fell behind something that wasn’t there. Frank frowned at the spot. Then the girl.
The girl nodded.
“I’m whatever you expected me to be. And, if you expected nothing, I’m this. It’s–” The girl thought a moment, “more appropriate.”
Frank stood up.
“Are you taking me to my family?”
The girl shrugged. “That’s up to you.”
She walked out of the bathroom. Frank hobbled, wet-footed, out of the tub and through the door. The door didn’t lead to his bedroom as it had a habit of doing, it led somewhere else. Frank looked up and around. It was an expanse of nothing. Ahead, there was a dark spot in the nothing. Frank moved towards it.
A woman sat on a chair. She wasn’t a very nice looking woman. It wasn’t a very nice looking chair. She looked as Frank imagined Margaret Thatcher looking, even though it had been thirty years since he’d seen a picture of Margaret Thatcher.
Frank slowed his pace, coming within a few yards.
“Hello, what is this?” Frank asked, checking the expanse once more for signs of anything. even the little girl was gone.
“This is where you get what you’re owed,” the woman said in a flat voice. Her lips peeled instead of parted. Frank didn’t like the look of her. He took a step forward.
“And what am I owed?”
The woman gave him the look of a cardboard salesman.
Frank realized he was naked, yet did not feel embarrassed. He felt annoyed.
“What do you mean, an answer?”
“I mean, the same as anyone else. You get one answer.”
“To any question?”
“Any that I know the answer to.”
“Are you god?” Frank asked. The woman raised an eyebrow.
“Is that your question?”
Frank waved his hand. “Sorry, no. Hold on.”
Frank thought. He had a hundred questions. But, only one really mattered.
“Where are my wife and son?”
“Wherever they wanted to be,” the woman answered. Then, she snapped her fingers. The small girl from the bathroom walked out from behind something that wasn’t there. She glared at the woman who might have been god, or Margaret Thatcher.
“Wait!” Frank called at her. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
But, the woman was gone. Frank felt heat rising in his neck. He wanted to cry, or hurt someone. He glared down at the little girl. She blinked.
“She’s a bitch, I know. What did you ask?”
Frank took a breath.
“I asked where my wife and son are.”
The little girl rolled her eyes. “Dumbass,” she muttered under her breath. Frank let all of his anger pour onto her.
“Take me to my damn family!” he demanded, advancing on her.
The girl giggled, not even leaning back on the wave of Frank’s anger.
“There is only one way to go, and it is wherever you thought you would go,” the little girl said, calmly, waving her hand toward a door in the nothing. A black door.
“What is through there?”
“What did you believe would be through there?”
Frank tensed, tired of the nonsense.
“How the hell am I supposed to know!” he cried.
The little girl shrugged, “then how the hell am I supposed to know!” she called back, mocking Frank’s deeper tone.
Frank lost his patience, he lunged at her. But, she’d stepped back behind the thing that wasn’t there. Frank called out in frustration, but nothing answered. Not even an echo.
He calmed down, sighed, and eventually, went through the door.