On top of the kitchen table we see an apple, rotten, a half glass of milk, curdled, and a bowl, crusted over with the remnants of an oatmeal breakfast. Beneath that table is Octavia, huddled, murmuring to herself. The scene, something like a still life of the mentally damned.
To be honest, the whole house is in disorder. The sink overflows with dishes. The bed is not only unmade, it doesn’t even bother with sheets or blankets at all. The mail is impossibly piled up in front of the door, as though some type of portal exists allowing the mail carrier to slide the mail through the door’s bottom gap to the top of a two-foot high pile.
The paddle of tiny feet catches Octavia’s ear, and she seems to snap out of whatever fervor she’d been tied up in. Oscar ballet steps his way under the table, leading with a meow that causes Octavia’s right eyebrow to raise into the sky.
“I fed you this morning, young man,” she says, giving Oscar a pat. “Or no, that’s not right at all.” She climbs out from underneath the table, “I suppose that must have been yesterday.” Clumsily, she tumbles toward the pantry and pulls out a can of food. Oscar follows, making clear he’ll eat as much as she’s willing to give. Octavia opens the can, drops the entire thing onto the floor, and idles out of the room, already returning to her previous thoughts.
A knock at the door jostles her back to reality and causes Oscar to temporarily perk up, making him choose between flight or food. He chooses food.
The knocking continues. Octavia opens the door.
“Yes?!” she says, before the door’s even open.
“Octavia! Dear!” a man says.
“Oh Frederick,” she pauses, “Why are you here?”
“You haven’t taught your class in over two weeks, Octavia,” he looks concerned, “People are worried.”
“Oh, that,” she shrugs, “I’m fine, the students are fine,” she gestures for Frederick to come in, “Here, here, let me just show you what I’ve been up to.” Octavia crosses the room’s clutter as though she’s hopping between exposed stones in a small stream. Oscar continues the eye the whole scene suspiciously.
Octavia shuffles papers around before pulling out a small metallic triangle. “Frederick, remember my lecture, ‘Portals Into the Contextless Space in a Visual Transference of Disturbed Plains’? I’ve figured something out since then.”
“Octavia, no,” Frederick frowns, “You’re not still working on that portal theory, are you? It’s insanity.”
Octavia barely flinches at the word. Oscar, finished with his food, circles the two as they stand.
“Here,” she says, forcing the triangle into Frederick’s hand, “Don’t let your mind wander too far.”
The triangle folds open, repeating itself, surrounding Frederick. “Don’t let your mind wander, Frederick!” Octavia shouts, but Frederick doesn’t seem to listen.
The triangles feed off Frederick’s thoughts and continue to repeat, surrounding him. Time stretches out as Octavia looks on, she leans into Frederick’s face, looking for something. Oscar watches from a safer distance.
Frederick’s eyes finally lock with Octavia for an instant, and then he disappears.
“Well that’s new,” Octavia says, looking to Oscar, “and interesting.”
She walks over to Oscar and pats his head.