It is dark in this room, so I'm frightened. Light pours out of a TV in the corner, spilling over a chair and onto the wall. Everything is quiet and I can't see the screen. Out of nowhere, Encyclopedia Brown walks in and says "don't worry, I get that all the time," before I even have the chance to mistake him for Harry Potter. This kid's good. "Come on," he says "we have work to do." A sudden light reveals a baby grand piano hovering a foot off floor. Effortlessly, he boards the piano and, standing on top, floats it over to my side of the dream. I find my piano sea legs, but still wonder how we'll get it out of the room. Brown looks up. The ceiling unfolds to reveal the night sky. The room fills up on moonlight, and now we are flying.
Outside the police precinct.
By now, Brown's told me that we'll have to break in and rescue Locke and Sawyer, but he wont tell me how they got there. Then I remember that Locke is dead, and I know the kid's lying. Great detective work on my part. I wonder if this has to do with him being a wizard, but Brown, muttering unintelligibly, rolls his eyes and shorts my train of thought. He makes his way down the keys. This kid's good, but also, he can read my mind and it's becoming a problem.
We chain the piano to a lamppost nearby. Brown takes two knives out of his bag and hands one to me. I wonder what time it is and he tells me that "it's four thirty-seven." I am going to slap this kid in his mouth the next time he does that. Inside, it's like an episode of TV Copshow and no one notices us slip through and into a hallway. There, I steal a look into a room on the left to see my roommate's cat sitting under an interrogation lamp smoking a cigarette. He mouths "help me," out the door in my direction and a discrete nod lets him know I'm coming back for him. I am not coming back for him.
We reach the end of the hallway and turn left. It is too bright to see here, and the ground is loosening under my suddenly bare feet. "Sand," I think to myself, "it's sand."
"Sand," offers Encyclopedia Brown, "it's sand."
"Yeah, I know. I just--"
Remind me to kill this kid.
My eyes have adjusted, which is how find out that I'm on a beach. There is no sign of the precinct and Brown is gone, but I somehow know that I will see him again, on Facebook. The piano's still here, so I grace the D and E above middle C on my way to the top, but it's fruitless. Piano's feet are buried in the sand, and I can barely make out the chain we used to lock it to the lamppost. "Looks like we're stuck here," I sigh, and caress the piano's weathered lid. He smiles at me like a salesman and says, "at least for now," and starts to play the theme from Perfect Strangers. I try to sing along, but the words never come.