My scooter sputtered and died. I spanked it heartily, but to no avail. The barnacles grinned mockingly at me. I decided to continue on foot, and I strapped on my clotted plywood sandals and turned up the vibration mode to the dreaded "Fried Oxymoron" setting.

There was no sign of the merriment I had heard earlier. The ground was swarming with ants, and I crushed them underfoot, gleeful at the thought of the plywood terror that would end their tiny lives. I paused, wondering briefly whether that would have been a source of amusement to me before I had cashed my reality check; I couldn't remember. The forest floor ran red with their blood, and I was free.

I moved down the hillside, keeping hidden from the frogs roaring overhead. There was a river before me, familiar but strange. Cork flotillas manned by plastic forks spun lazily in the clear yet murky water. Or was it water? The river hadn't been there before, I knew that.

Suddenly, an old, wizened llama appeared, listening to a tiny opera being performed on its head. I studied it; I approached it; I wrang its neck, I drank its blood, I partied in its entrails. I had become a monster. Or had I been a monster before, and I had only now found true peace? I had to get back - I headed up the hill. It hadn't been this steep on the way down, had it? If only I had had a receipt, I could go back, and - no, there were no refunds. I began to follow the river.