The House that Peter Built

You come to a door set in the side of a mountain. No road stretches behind you, no forest looms. You have crossed a rolling plain of waving grasses and lurking ticks to find this stony shoulder. You open the door and enter in.

You are in a great hall, full of smoke and confusion. A movie plays, showing a darkened hall, full of smoke and moonlight. You make your way between rows of snarling beasts. A lion, sumptuous in maroon velvet, its mouth smeared with blood, grabs your arms with human hands and stares into your face. Breathes heavy and sour, like new beer, weeps and gnashes its teeth.

You are hung with seaweed, festooned with barnacles. You are the risen sea, come to spread despair among the menagerie, to break open the cages. The music jerks and shudders to a stop. The band, talons, claws gouged deep into wood and brass, snap their instruments in horror. A banner unfurls above your head: