A woman’s husband and young children went to the movie theater without her. Something strange happens to her in the meantime, but then they return:

Her young son’s hands shook, his feet stomped, recalling the wonders. How true they’d been. Her daughter’s head spun. Each world had been real enough to betray her by ending neatly after an hour and a half.

That’s from Samantha Hunt’s story “The Yellow Dog,” in this week’s New Yorker. It’s a slight but concise and strange story that gets at those fictional-seeming moments in our lives, incidents of strong emotion and unexpected connection, and the letdown of returning to the mundane.

Hunt has apparently also written a novel called The Invention of Everything Else, which sounds a bit like Beethoven Lives Upstairs except starring Nikola Tesla. I might actually seek that one out.