I woke from the dream disoriented and afraid. Like no other dream I could remember, it was so real and still so surreal. I reached for the pen and notepad I keep at my bedside with the intention of writing down the details before all recollection of the night vision was lost.
Only the pad wasn’t there, nor the pen. Fighting the panic that was welling up in my chest, I realized that nothing of my surroundings looked familiar. Where my normal pale green bedroom walls were bright and welcoming, this room was dark and cold. The stone and mahogany were chilling. Sparsely furnished, all I could see was the bed where I woke, a small table by the bed and a large, mirrored wardrobe.
I recognized nothing in the room where I found myself. There were no photos on the tables or dresser, no paintings on the walls that gave me any clues. The window coverings, thick, ornate drapes, and the heavy brocade satin bedding, were nothing I would have selected for my rooms.
There was no television, nor radio. Even my clothing was strange.
Seeing a tiny crescent of light under the hem of the drapes, I pulled the comforter off the bed, wrapping it around my shoulders, and walked to the window. The stone floor was icy under my feet, but I couldn’t think of where my shoes might be.
Reaching for the tapestry edge, I pulled the material aside hoping to see something – anything – from the window that looked familiar. The view, acres and acres of plush green lawn, was as disappointing as it was vast.
A quick survey of the room gave me three choices for the door out. Padding to the first door, trying to shield my freezing feet, I used the comforter as a rug as well as a robe. I pulled it open only to find a water closet. The smell suggested that there was no running water, a quick peek confirmed my dread at having only an open trough for a toilet.
The second door led to what I could only guess was a closet, though empty of clothing. The last door, and hopefully my way out, was locked. No show of force was enough to budge the barrier, and pounding on it only made my hand sore.
Leaning on the wood, my ear flat against the surface, I tried to discern any sounds, perhaps a voice from the other side. There was nothing. I was trapped inside a room who knows where with no inkling of how I got there. Slumping to the floor, my back to the door, I pulled the comforter tight around my body.
With no sense of time passage, I soon became very drowsy, succumbing to sleep.
Dreaming, I managed to worm my way through the small slit of a window in my prison. I lost my grip on the stone and began to tumble. The ground visible, it seemed like it would take forever to reach the bottom. There was only the terrifying feeling of falling.
At the moment of impact, I jolted awake.
Expecting to still be on the floor, instead I was back in my own bed, in my own home. Tangled in my bedding, I unwrapped the sweat-soaked sheets, and pushed to the side of the bed. Shaking my head, I tried to clear away the memories of the dream.
More and more of my nights were filled with these confusing nightmares. Each one more real, and harder to separate from my actual life. Was I really back home, or was this yet another reality? Everything looked right. The furniture, the knick-knacks and photos, even the clutter of dirty clothes and discarded shoes.
The last piece of the puzzle would be the view out of my window. Like a dead man walking, I made my way across the room. Remembering the scenery from this latest dream, I braced myself for an unfamiliar view.
I wasn’t disappointed. If I trusted my high school geography, Kansas wasn’t anywhere near the ocean.
For Story Dam, an online writing community offering weekly and monthly writing prompts. This week’s theme is: Where am I and how did I get here?