Anton opened his eyes and an intense glow mowed him, a soft but icy breeze sneaked through the interlining of his synthetic fiber overcoat and he felt his beauties bristle, when his vision cleared he could see a snowy forest, crowned with a sky darkened by what looked like black smoke, and he could hear what he thought were explosions and multiple detonations coming from his left.
He felt an intense itch in his nose, but even his desire to sneeze did not manifest itself, as it used to in the worst of times. He saw around him and realized that the detonations he was hearing were coming from among the trees, from the same place where the clouds of smoke were rising in the sky, and in the middle of them there were flashes and what he supposed were the shots of some kind of weapon that was unknown to him, and that emitted long discontinuous lines of flashes, while simultaneously there was a continuous tick-tock.
Suddenly he felt a heavy blow on his back that made him fall flat on his face to the ground, burying his face in the snow, accompanied by screams in a strange dialect that he had never heard before, as a reflection he stretched his arms out on the frozen ground, in a sign of surrender, a boot lightly hitting his arm accompanied by more unintelligible screams, which he assumed were ordering him to turn around.
He closed his eyes expecting the worst and turned, lying face up in the snow, felt a heavy boot leaning on his sternum and crushing him to the ground, fearfully raised his hands to show his empty palms to whoever was rebuking him, and slowly opened his eyelids.
A young man in perhaps his twenties, clad in a uniform almost as white as snow, pointed a strange, elongated weapon at him, the other end of which he held tightly against his shoulder, while with an expression, which he supposed to be as frightened as he must have been, he continued to shout at him in indecipherable language.
The young man withdrew the boot from his chest and took three or four steps backwards, while continuing to shout at him, then with the end of his weapon, with which he continued to point, he made a sign that seemed to identify him, signaling him to stand up.
Anton got up and standing up he could see his young counterpart more closely, it seemed to him that he was just a frightened boy with an unknown weapon, he was small and formed, about seventy kilograms and one meter eighty centimeters high, he supposed that one of the factors that could cause surprise to the young man was his two meters thirty, nothing strange in his world.
The boy's expression showed a clear panic, as he seemed to scrutinize him from top to bottom, pointing and holding the gun tightly against his shoulder. He shouted at him again and Anton raised his hands in front of his chest again, showing his palms to the frightened young man.
-Don't hurt me, I'm here by mistake -said Anton, hoping the boy would understand. But he only managed to make him seem more surprised and shout new, but still incomprehensible words at him.
The young man's thick white uniform contrasted with his reddened face, probably burned by the glare of the light from that bright star in the snow, it seemed much warmer than the summer overcoat that Anton wore, and it was crowned with a curious plush cap with a pair of earmuffs hanging down its sides, which he also covered with a hood attached to his jacket.
As the young man followed him around with his eyes, as he walked around him, Anton began to feel again the intense itching in his nose, which anticipated a new sneeze, he closed his eyes and inhaled the icy air that he felt burning his nostrils and throat and then came out violently through his mouth in a violent and loud sneeze.
When his eyesight and mind cleared again, he was standing in the corridor of his apartment, the bags containing his purchases were on the floor where they had fallen when he sneezed for the first time. He looked at the clock on the mirror panel to his right, and only a few seconds had passed between sneezes.
These experiences had already become frequent, after a violent sneeze he would wake up in a place and apparently a time which was unknown to him, as if he were being transported to strange worlds populated by humans who always seemed primitive, and then after sneezing again he would return to the same place and time where he had been before.
The neurologist had indicated to him that something was happening in his brain that had not yet been explained, possibly a malfunction of his nanomachines, which in addition to the experienced hallucinations also caused physiological manifestations such as pain, burns and bruises.
He took the bags again and walked to the kitchen, still dazed by his experience. He took off his envelope and hung it on a hook at the entrance to the kitchen and set out to store the contents of his bags in the pantry.
Behind him, a path of wet drops and footprints, left by the draining of the coat and his shoes, remained on the floor, starting at the place where he had sneezed for the first time, a product of the snow that had remained stuck to him and melted in the heat of his room.