He used the window, so as not to be seen by Levi’s people. He’d eaten more of those shrivelled cardboard things and it felt as if his entire body was shaking. He nearly fell head first into the bushes, but managed to right himself and land with his feet beneath him.
It was strange outside. The ground rippled as if it were a viscous sludge. The sky was dark and very close. He was afraid if he reached up, he might be able to touch it. He limped forward.
When he got to his car, he put his hands on its back hood and stared. He could push into the metal, melt into it. He put his head down and he could hear his car--was the engine running? He’d forgotten why he’d come out here.
Toby lifted himself and turned. He looked at the Upshaw Mansion, just down the way, and it was massive, crawling up into the soupy night sky. Everything around it bent and swayed--the trees, the mists--but it remained solid, even its windows, like gaping black holes, were still.
Something drew his attention away. He was looking at some bushes closer to his house, in the yard. Something was coming up from the ground. It wriggled, gasped, had a shifting form, like shadow. It freed itself and Toby watched it stalk off into the dark, moving toward the Upshaw Mansion. He walked to the cluster of bushes. He was numb, excited. There was a dark puddle where the form had come up. He dropped to his knees, reached his hand out. His fingers came back, sticky and dark. He staggered away.
When he got to his window, he no longer had the strength to lift himself. He sat, his back against the house, and watched the night, trees and sky and ground all bending into each other, all in one place, in one time, then cycling back, and doing it again and again, differently each time.