In your basement, you come across a door you’ve never seen before.

I open the door. Immediately, I am confronted by the dim countenance of an anxious tiger, its eyes gleaming a sickly emerald. Its face completes its vengeful rotation toward me—my hand still on the knob—and leaps, elongating its shape into a fierce and long shadow, a terrible thing disturbed, before passing through my person as if a wisp. I find, in the timid light barely glowing from behind me, a cookie and a gray rat snaking its way toward the morsel. Approaching the friable butter dough, the rat, with ease and a deathly stillness erects itself on its hind legs, unaware of even my presence or perhaps ignoring it, wary of greater bounty elsewhere or a lurking predator (as they always do lurk), grimly spying under the night’s black veil.

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