“Hold still!”

But he couldn’t hold still, whatever she said. The kaleidoscope was turning around him and because he couldn’t tell what was near or far he was twisting and spinning and ducking as it all spun past. 

He was like, moving his thumbs on a controller, or maybe it was his hips—he didn’t know what was going on but pretty soon he thought he was getting sort of good at it since nothing was hitting him…

And then someone grabbed his wrist, and the spinning stopped. It was the girl with the glasses, a girl who looked familiar, sort of, although he didn’t know her name. 

He didn’t know his own name, either. He didn’t know anything at all.

“You gotta hold onto something,” she said. “There’s no friction.”

“Friction?” he wanted to ask, but nothing came out.

The eyes behind the glasses saw his confusion. 

“Here, do this.” She waved a hand across the space in front of her, making little pale lines in the space.

In the space. They were floating in space. 

He looked down. 

Below them a few stories—eight, he thought, about the height of the hotel room they stayed in in the city—down there a kaleidoscope town was spinning, but not as crazy fast like as before. The houses were all shapes and sizes, from flat one-story bungalows, to high, many-story crazy leaning houses like they might fall right over.

Other funny shapes, too, like those little half-bubbles—the word “dome” came into his head, although from where he didn’t know. 

“Hey,” the girl said. She squeezed his wrist. 

He looked at her, blinking. Which meant he had eyes.

“Hey,” she said. “Do this.” 

She swept her hand in front of her again, and this time he saw that the lines she made were letters, and the letters made words.

“Do this,” the letters said.

So he did. He flicked his wrist to flip his hand through the space, and words appeared. “Is this a game?”

Cool, he thought.

“I don’t think so,” she said, using words he heard. “Maybe. I didn’t think of that.”

He moved his whole arm this time and before him appeared, “How come you can talk?”

“Takes practice,” the girl said, but as she spoke she turned away, to look off in the distance.

“Come with me,” she said. 

Then she let go of his wrist and everything sped up.