What if you travel to another dimension when you dream?
What if dreams are reality?
What if you're really asleep when you think you're awake, and you're awake when you think you're dreaming?
What if reality is just an illusion?
What if reality is just a lie?
"The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don't know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.” --Anonymous
The sun beat down relentlessly on the world, as it did every day. Beads of sweat trickled down Narcissa's face as she walked through the garden, intent only on the path ahead of her. She didn't stop to admire the plants, though there wasn't much left to admire. The once marvelous garden was now reduced to a dried block of land. The flowers were drooping and wilted, and the scent of decay hung heavily in the air.
Pushing a strand of sweat-soaked hair off her face, she continued walking. Her footsteps were the only thing to be heard for miles. There was no other living thing in sight. Much of the population had died off after the drought. She was tired and thirsty, but some unknown force propelled her along. Somehow she managed to keep putting one foot ahead of the other. She didn't know why, but she knew that she had to reach her goal. If she didn't, everything was over for her. She stumbled over a rock, falling onto the gravel path. She wanted to stay there on the ground and give up, but she got up and managed to make herself keep walking. She knew that if she fell again she wouldn't be able to get up.
It was a long time before she spotted it. It stood out against the death and decay surrounding it, gleaming in the sunlight. She pressed the button for going down, breathing a sigh of relief. It was almost over. She had done it. The doors popped open with a ding. Wearily, she stepped in and collapsed upon the floor. The doors closed, and the elevator rushed down with heart-stopping speed.
"Five minutes," a voice which was neither human nor robot spoke, the words echoing in her head. Fiveminutesfiveminutesfiveminutes.
Then everything disappeared.
At first everything seemed normal. Everything in her room was where it was supposed to be and she could hear her younger brothers quarreling downstairs. She glanced at the clock. Ten-thirty. She had slept in late.
Yawning, she got out of bed and changed into the clothes she had worn the day before. She was too lazy to pick out a new outfit. Her hand was on the doorknob, when she suddenly had the eerie feeling that someone was watching her. She slowly turned around. Nothing was there.
She had probably been watching too many horror movies lately. Shrugging, she opened the door and stepped out of her room. The hallway seemed to flicker, and she saw the image of a deserted house. She blinked, and it disappeared. She definitely had been watching too many horror movies.
She was walking down the stairs when the ground fell out from under her feet. She fell through empty space, landing with a thump at the foot of the stairs.
"Narcissa, dear, are you alright?" her mother called from the kitchen.
"I'm fine. I must have tripped or something," she called back, getting to her feet.
"I do wish you would be more careful," her mother chided as Narcissa walked into the kitchen.
"I try, mom. I really--" Narcissa froze in her tracks. This woman wasn't her mother. She looked like her, but there was something wrong with her. She looked faded, as though she had gone through the laundry too many times. And her eyes held a strange, hollow light.
"Honey, are you alright?" her mother-no, the strange clone asked her, stepping closer.
"D-don't touch me!" Narcissa stumbled backwards. "Who are you, and what have you done with my mother?"
"Are you alright, dear? I am your mother."
"No! You aren't! You're-you're fake, a clone or something! Stay away from me!"
The clone laughed, amused. "Oh? And how do you know what's real and what's not?"
"W-what do you mean?"
"Didn't you know? Your precious reality is all just a lie."
Looking over the clone's shoulder, Narcissa saw that it was ten thirty-five. The voice from her dreams echoed in her mind. Fiveminutesfiveminutes Five minutes
The clone followed her gaze, and her eyes narrowed. "Oh, yes. It's time."
Then everything disappeared.
My name is Narcissa Lourdes.
I thought that I knew what was reality and what was illusion.
All it took was five minutes to change that.
I don't know what's real and what's not anymore.
I've been living a lie.
I don't know which parts were true and which parts were false.
But I intend to find out.
Have you ever wondered where dreams come from?
Scientists have an explanation.
They always have an explanation.
They're also wrong.
Dreams have power.
Enough power to destroy a world.
But what is a dream?
What's the difference between dreaming and being awake?
When she woke, she was standing in empty space. She had always thought that emptiness would be white or black. It was neither. It was completely colourless, an empty void.