In the waiting room of Dr. Wernick's office, plastic ferns ruled supreme. Whoever was responsible for decorating had a love of all things artificial.
What appeared to be a glass topped, stainless steel coffee table was plastic. The legs had been coated with fake silver and the top given an etched trim to encourage the illusion of age.
Sitting in the middle of the table was a rugged Rootwood fruit bowl, stamped with “product of U.S.A.” on the side. An American company had ordered its production from a French wood pulp factory. Originally, the wood came from Germany and may have been very high quality, if it hadn't been recycled first by a Government's "green" incentive.
In the bowl's corners were small, unambiguous chips. It had been dropped many times. Each scuff mark filled and covered with standard office whiteout.
The bowl's main content was plastic fruit. However, there were a few children’s building blocks and an eraser mixed in, perhaps intentionally to break up the boredom.
Constance ran her thumb over a thick coat of dust that had settled on the nearest plastic fern. “Poor thing, your real friends must be worried sick.” It was a soft whisper she hoped the secretary wouldn't hear.
On each of the walls, evenly spaced between the tall dark green plants, was an assortment of pictures. When she'd first walked in, they looked like photos of actual buildings.
Now her eyes focused on them. Someone had gone to the trouble of digitally creating mansions. She mused over the idea of them coming from some well loved social networking game.
"People own the strangest things." A smug thought laughed inwardly.
The dark chocolate picture frames had thin waves of light brown perfectly blended through.
"Again, plastic posing as wood. Why not just be plastic and enjoy it?" A smile crept across her face. Hopefully, people would think it a natural casual smile.
With a gentle turn of her head she shared a smile with... “Veronica.” The name badge had been written for people with very poor eyesight and could be read from across the room.
Veronica appeared to pride herself on being a stock, standard administrative assistant, a secretary by another name.
Excessive make up, dyed hair, long pointless fingernails, and an outfit probably purchased on the way to work this morning. In this world, Constance had more time for plastic plants than plastic people.
From the corner of her eye, she spied a hat stand near the door. For a moment, she thought someone had walked in but it was just a coat and hat. "Probably been there all along." It was a comforting thought, though she knew they could be the most dangerous ones.
While the slick, twisted frame looked like solid brass, for all she knew, it could have been made of paper."'If the rest of the room is anything to go by, it's probably made of cheese." Now a snicker was impossible to contain. It slipped out silently around the entertaining thought.
On a mantle piece above the electric "wood" heater sat an antique clock. With digital precision, the second hand wound silently past the twelve. “Forty five minutes.”
Veronica was used to hearing that particular grumble. What was she supposed to do? Stop time! One doctor, one patient. You can't hurry the system and there is no point watching the clock. Her eyes rolled momentarily then returned to a card game on her computer.
“Bzz.” The intercom functioned best as a buzzer. Last year, they installed it to improve office communication. It saved the good doctor from having to stand and open his door.
Veronica suggested they use e-mail but this was considered inefficient and untrustworthy. “Who knows how long those things take?” he explained. “When I'm ready for the next client, they should be sent straight in, not sit around waiting for your inbox to receive a message.”
Over several month,s it had gone from a tool for professional communication to a casual chatter box. Eventually, Dr. Wernick decided their level of professionalism had deteriorated beyond critical.
Through the use of e-mail, he informed her "they" would only use it to notify her when the next client could come in. To be clear, the good doctor didn't have a problem with technology. He complained about computers as a way to appear older; all the greats were old.
Veronica looked at the nineteen-year-old philosophy student who needed a shrink and thought she was better than everyone else. By her calculations, that kid commented on how long she'd waited five times. That means she can wait five minutes after the buzzer.
Constance and the administrative assistant looked into each other's eyes. A silent conversation passed between the two of them. It was agreed: they'd avoid ever speaking again.
Six minutes later Veronica politely ushered the young lady in. “You can go in now.”
Inside the Doctor's personal sanctum was a variety of weaved baskets. It was a lifetime collection: some with lids, a few stretch up toward the ceiling, and one was even made to look like an old pirate chest. Each had a small white label listing the year it was made, country, and preferred content.
For example: A rainbow colored 1974 African basket made by Samuel Bernardi was most suited for "E.Q. Toys age - six."
His room was spacious, a large clear area in the middle surrounded by beanbags. Other than the grand wooden chair behind Dr. Wernick's solid black desk, they appeared to be the only available seats. Constance stood. She looked at the degrees mounted with pride behind him.
In total, there were four:
A Doctorate in Psychology from a university she wasn't directly familiar with.
An association membership certificate, indicating he'd paid fees to be recognized as competent.
Then, slightly lower and on one side, two special thank you notes from local charities.
The good doctor appeared to be in his early 20s, making it an impressive collection.
“You must be Constance. Would you like to sit down?” His voice was distant and removed.
"Don't say anything. Let him work you out himself." All morning, both inner voices had been on the defensive.
The feminine thought told her to miss the appointment, then cancel. The masculine thought that suggesting she act like this was some kind of mistake.
Without a sound, she climbed into a bean bag. This, she determined, was the first sanity test. Any rational person would ask for a real chair to be brought into the room. Her lack of forcefulness allowed him to win that round.
Facing Dr. Wernick was the room's only clock. From the corner of his eye, he monitored it closely while they sat silently looking at each other, neither person focusing too deeply on their opposite.
Eventually, the client would begin talking. That was his premise and he stood firm to it. Then he followed a simple pattern of listen and repeat. All people needed to vocalize their problems.
He could wait. It's what he did.
"Give him a chance to read your file. There's no need explaining what's on the paperwork." A stubborn thought pressed her lips together. Yesterday, she'd taken some time to research shrinks. Sooner or later, he would ask a heap of open and closed questions.
Open questions would, apparently, allow him to explore her personality and work out if she's crazy.
Closed questions would then be used to clear up any confusion. Finally, said the web page, he'd use some tie-downs to convince her she was sane.
Awkward silence filled the room until even the deep manipulative thoughts couldn't stand it any longer. “Are you going to do something?” She was desperate for him to start.
“If you like.” His voice still lacked emotion. Constance wondered if he'd been having a worse day than her. “So what shall we do... Would you like to chat for a while?”
“Chat?” Constance was confused. She thought he'd ask her some questions, maybe tick some boxes, then recommend some type of treatment. This meeting wasn't going according to plan.
Two weeks ago, Sonya and Rene gave her the business card of a doctor. She'd told them about the missing time and odd shadows. They thought it might be a good idea to speak with a professional, just for a little peace of mind.
“Sure!” He leaned back in the chair and tilted his head slightly. “Most people prefer a little conversation on their fist visit. It helps if we get to know each other a little.”
“Okay, well, you know why I'm here, right?” She waited for a moment unit his head nodded. This man was not easy to 'chat' with.
How he became a doctor was a mystery she now began to focus on. “I've been seeing things.” She continued quickly before he could diagnose her as insane. “And it's not some kind of 'Crazy' thing.” The emphasis revealed an inner opinion about her current mental state.
“Lots of people see things. What kind of things? Tell me about it...” For the first time, his voice fluctuated. Clearly, he was very interested in the details of her experiences.
Most of his clients were upset housewives. He had just over a dozen regulars who wanted to spend every minute discussing their husbands. There seemed to be an extremely large number of cheating men out there.
While listening to them, he'd consider just how easy it was to cheat on a partner. He also spent a little time fantasizing about some of the older ladies. They seemed pretty desperate for his attention. Eventually, he'd accept one of their advances.
Perhaps this meeting was a good idea, Constance had been starting to doubt her friends. “I don't know. At first, it was little things. I saw shadows from the corners of my eyes. That's fairly normal, though. I looked it up online. Lots of people see them.” She dismissed the events as trivial.
“Go on...” It was one of several standard encouragements he used. If he could get her rambling, he'd have time to think about that last customer. Just how old is too old?
"He clearly isn't interested in what you're saying." The feminine voice in her mind was right.
'This is pointless. Look at his degree." Her eyes followed the instructions and locked onto his trophies.
Constance decided to continue anyway. There was no harm in talking, he couldn't tell anyone. “Everyone, I see everyone in bubbles. People move in time at different speeds.” Now if that didn't get his attention nothing would.
For a moment there was silence, then she continued. “No one seems to notice. I notice. First, it was just me. Time speeds up or slows down. You have to watch.”
The beanbag had been filled recently, squeaking horribly when she moved. “It happens to everyone.” She paused as a shadow formed behind one of the cane baskets. He didn't notice it, no one would, but it had clearly stretched out longer than before.
“Some people move faster, some people slower. I think my dreams are trying to explain it all but I'm not strong enough yet.” Constance listened carefully for any advice from her inner voices. For now it was just her, the doctor, and the shadow.
It had been over a minute since his client had last spoken. Dr. Wernick noticed her blank stare toward the wall.
Time to pull out the statement he prepared before she walked in. “You're a philosophy student at university. That's a very hard subject. Are you in any study groups?”
On occasion and without any form of self control, Constance would feel a person's words before they spoke. She'd also noticed sentences form on blank paper before anyone had written anything.
While it was unpredictable, sometimes she could force it to work. “Ha! No I'm not in any study group. No, I don't have any friends my own age and no, I don't think that has anything to do with it.” She couldn't help an air of sarcasm while predicting his questions.
Before he could inject with any follow up statement she continued, her eyes looking into the air. “It might have started when I had no friends but...” Her mind dwelt on the ladies from evening yoga class. “I've got some now and it's still happening.”
While leaning forward, Dr. Wernick drew in a deep breath. His extensive experience came from over two years in the industry. “Do you find yourself doing the same things every day?” This was his, "you're a housewife," statement.
Kids looking up their own symptoms caused him more headaches than anything else. For the first time, he looked her over. She was way too young for him. There was no point trying to secure return business out of her. He continued. “You know this isn't all that uncommon.”
He'd successfully interrupted the young lady's thoughts. It took her a few blinks to catch up and she completely misunderstood his statement. “So you think I'm crazy?” To her, the diagnosis was quick and expected. He could have drawn that conclusion before they met.
“You know, sometimes people look at things too closely. They see patterns in things that aren’t there.” He was breaking into a well-practiced speech. It wasn't original in any way. As a student, his lecturer had sat him down and said it. Recording that conversation was the best investment of his life.
Now he would slowly stand and move about the table, finding a comfortable corner to sit. “Our concept of time is something people struggle with every day.” One hand offered up the comment while the other hand stroked a thin beard he didn't possess.
He paused for effect. It would appear to be an opportunity for interjection but he'd continue before that happened. “Especially when we're under stress. We all make mistakes. The hard part is finding it in ourselves to forgive those mistakes.”
As the thin young doctor moved about his table, time began slowing. The room darkened with the rhythm of Constance's heart. Was it possible to push her hand through the thin lines of space and leave this world?
Somehow, she knew what he was saying well before he spoke. “Yes, a mistake.” She thought about a day wasted in attending the meeting. One small aspect of her had hoped he could help. That part sunk deep within and was now gone forever.
Clearly, the bright child started to understand. A smile grew across his face, pleased to know the job was being done well. “You know. people enter what's called a, depression spiral.” His fingers made little quotes in the air.
Constance looked toward the ground. Her skin could feel the walls closing in. A tingling sensation made her fingers wiggle. “You think I'm depressed?” The rest of this meeting was pointless. She'd nod and agree with anything he said.
“Not really depressed... But I can understand you're struggling to remain positive.” He loved that convincing statement. Now he needed to be careful — too much charm and she may fall in love with him. He'd have to give her the short version and save the good stuff for his housewives.
Over ten minutes passed before he finished the sermon and released Constance. The re-programing left her feeling refreshingly exhausted.
After struggling up from the "chair," it took no more than five steps to enter their waiting room. Within that time, Dr. Wernick had contacted his administrative assistant. She made no effort to book in a follow-up meeting.
Leaving the building, Constance stopped and examined the hat rack. It was solid brass, tarnished with large sheets of black stone embedded in the central feature. Thin cracks intentionally webbed out from a one-inch quartz heart.
Its wide, twisted shape implied extreme age. Unless someone had taken the coat and hat from it, she'd been mistaken earlier — an honest mistake given it's peculiar form.
Outside the building, waiting patiently, two thoughts crowded her mind. "Nothing in the building was real." The masculine inner voice recalled everything they had seen.
Then the feminine voice reinforced her counterpart's opinion. "Doubt he earned that degree."
There were a lot of students at university who'd pay for papers to be written and exams taken. Without a blink, she lumped him into that category. Constance even suspected a particular student as supplying him the answers. A few professional students advertised services on line.
The doctor's office was nearly ten kilometers from home. The walk had taken her just over one and a quarter hours, which was not a bad pace considering she'd taken the long way.
A thin river wound its way through the local neighborhood. Given the opportunity, she'd spend hours on one of the various bridges. Looking down toward the water, her eyes would relax and imagine thin lines of energy, each one tracing out different paths, insects, birds and animals would take.
Her appointment was for 4 PM but she didn't get to see the doctor until almost five. With a good pace she'd have plenty of time to relax near the river and watch the sun set.
Perhaps she could salvage something of the afternoon. In preparing for her meeting, plus walking time, the whole day was looking to be a waste. How many useful things could she have done? Sometimes, participating in that Yoga group was more trouble than it was worth.
“Depression spiral, what a joke,” she mumbled while assessing the street for traffic, then spat out a short insult while walking. “Plastic people.”
"I bet the university qualified him faster than he qualified you." It was an amusing insult the deep-sounding thought pushed into her consciousness.
"That's the last time we tell anyone anything. No more sharing." Again the deep voice made good sense. She could trust "him" to always offer good advice.
A few quick and short streets went by as she made her way back to the familiar bridge. Alone with her thoughts, Constance dwelt on how one sided the meeting had been.
“Everything he said, I already thought about.” She was whispering again. Now more than ever she wanted to appear normal. Her head focused on the ground before her feet, occasionally looking at her hands.
"It's not really his fault. You've had time to adapt. Time to get used to this... unique situation." Often Constance considered the female voice a teacher of compassion. The soft-spoken thought was always kind towards naive people.
Try as it did, the river couldn't hold her interest. In less than a minute, she continued home. "That was quick. What's wrong?" Constance shrugged off the curious feminine thought. She'd had enough inner probing for one day.
"Just go home and forget about today. It was a waste of time." Now that was a thought she could agree with! For the rest of her walk, he, would be the voice of reason.
"What if you were at the river for hours? All in what others see as a second? What if you don't remember it?" The pestering lady-like thought nagged at her.
“No, shut up! I've had enough!” Her head twitched back and forth as she walked. It was almost impossible to keep a low voice.
That evening, avoiding Harry became the highest priority. He had no idea she'd been to a shrink, and with any luck he would never find out.
Like always, they ate dinner in the lounge room. That was the only time she'd spend with the grumpy, old fart. Together they watched people who dedicated their lives to trivia and earn the only income they could.
Neither spoke during the ritual. If either of them muttered, a vital, cryptic clue may be lost. Then they'd have no hope of solving the next question. All sense of self-satisfaction would fade away and the evening would be ruined.
After dinner Mr. Dowr collected the plates, he'd make a quiet exit and crack a new beer. According to routine he needed to sit in his room for fifteen minutes, then she'd leave the lounge and he'd return.
Normally the system worked perfectly. Tonight, he had news she may want to hear. “I saw your mother today. She needed those cuff links of hers back.” Giving her everything she ever asked for was his only strategy to winning her back.
He'd hoped for a list of detailed questions. Was she alright? How did she look? Was she using that perfume he'd given her? Any list of questions would have proven Constance cared.
Instead, her only comment was an observation while heading to the bedroom. Honest and simple, it hurt him more than she realized. “So she's giving him your cuff links.”
The conversation was over. He no longer wanted to chat and she was more than happy to slam the door in her usual manner.
Tonight, after an exhausting day with that sham of a doctor, Constance sunk deep into her bed. Years ago, she spilled a full bottle of perfume on her mattress. From memory, it was some kind of strawberry banana thing.
Now when her nose pressed deep into the fabric, she could still detect its sent. Happy memories from that time came flooding back. She recalled going to work with her mother.
Often Constance and Mrs. Dowr, would surprise her husband with fresh hot lunch. The visit was a highlight in everyone's day and Constance preferred it to visiting that uncle.
Something about the way he held her mother didn't feel right. Then the two would leave her alone and the whole lunch would be ruined. There were just so many times you could watch the same old VCR before the tape got stretched.
The memories began to annoy her. Besides, over the years that smell had changed. The smell now itched her nose, forcing her to roll over. Tomorrow she'd flip the mattress and find a more comfortable spot to lay on.
Now her body lay still as she sunk into a deep sleep. Surrounding her, the familiar parking lot formed as though she'd always been there. Her eyes looked about, quickly adjusting to a world produced by only inner light. It was a surprisingly conscious sleep.
Tonight, the light pole she normally leaned against had a deep green tint – or brown? While the color itself seemed to remain stable her understanding of it slowly changed. Originally a solid gray pole, now became an equally solid tree.
Before her, a car struggled against change. Was it a car or had it always been a large grassy mound? In the still night air, she began looking about at the duality of her self generated environment.
From absolute darkness, a lady walked toward her. In the parking lot several people were now standing around. “You're the last person I'm going to tell this to.” The woman's face had so many layers of makeup she looked monstrous — a horrific porcelain doll attacked by angry clowns.
Cracks formed in the woman's plastered over wrinkles as she spoke. “Oh, you're not listening!” Clearly frustrated she moved on to speak with another random person.
“Small circles.” Constance whispered the observation in hope of not drawing attention. Laying on the bed, as she spoke her lips moved ever so slightly. “They move in circles.”
The parking lot was gradually being consumed by shadows. As it faded away, she could hear the lady speaking, trying to confide in another person. “You're the last person I'm going to tell this to. Oh, you're not lis...” The voice faded into darkness.
“…realize I'm talking?” A slim man dressed in black stood in front of a white-board. His long white hair contrasted the suit entirely. In his hand was a thin rod, he stretched it out toward the board.
“I think you do.” He paused after speaking. Clearly, he was giving Constance an opportunity to self orientate. The room was cold and lacked... emotion.
People were leaving the room. Their heads leaned forward as they walked. Constance breathed in. An air of indifference seemed to emanate from them.
A frown formed on her brow as she attempted to stand. “Sorry, um.” She was confused by the surroundings. How had she found herself there?
“Are you asleep? Like them?” He was talking to her, straight at her. “I think you realize I'm talking. Don't you?” It just didn't seem right.
“I was sleeping. I... this is a dream.” She looked at her hands while talking. Thumb and finger squeezed together, trying to create feeling. There was none.
“Do you want to look at the map again?” The pale-skinned, well-dressed man tried to regain her attention.
Having tested each finger, her head moved slowly upward. She began to examine the man's oddly familiar shape. “I've seen you before.” Still playing catch-up, the words were not meant for him.
“Look. You can remember this. You can do it.” For the fifth time, his pointer snapped against the map. “It's important!” His voice was deep and desperate.
What started out as a cough, turned into a small whimper. Constance placed her hands against her temples. “I think I know you. Wait a second.” Focusing on the surrounding room caused her to lose balance — not enough to come crashing to the ground but she did find it hard to stay seated.
The chair had an unusual arm rest which curled around her waist. Slowly, like a sleepy child, she crawled out of the seat.
“You're doing it! Shh, slowly now, just focus on me and that feeling inside. Feel it. Hold it.” His voice struggled against excitement.
“Come on now.” He offered more support. “Do you know where you are?” While he fully expected her to have no idea, deep down there was a glimmer of hope. Even in forgettable sleep, she may recall him. He definitely knew her.
“I'm sleeping, I'm sleeping, I'm...” She repeated the statement a few times. Her mind could feel lips slowly moving and was being extra careful not to wake up.
“It's okay. Look at me. Feel this place. Just remember it. Shh, do you remember me?” Slowly he reached out and placed a hand into hers.
“Can you feel that in your stomach? Can you feel my hand?” Each word was slow and soft. He recalled every moment they had spent together, every feeling she gave him deep down inside. He refused to believe she would never fully wake up.
The body of Constance began thumping into her hard bed. Pulsing like electric shocks, her vision bounced between both worlds. Deep in her chest, she could feel the world that had formed in her dreams.
“Just think it. Don't talk. Just think it.” The deep voice formed in her mind and with panic he struggled to embed some memory of the experience. “It's important. The map!”
With a tightly held shallow breath, Constance focused on the feeling in her chest. Each time she felt the dream world, her mind latched onto the experience, holding it tight in her chest. While her physical fingers clutched a thin cold sheet, ghostly sensations of the odd man's hand pressed on the back of hers.
“That's it. Calm down. I've got you now.” Once again the voice formed in her mind. “Shh, can you open your eyes again?” He wanted her to take it slow.
"If I think and keep my eyes closed, am I still in the dream?" To the young philosophy student, this whole event was wondrous. She wanted to hold on with every part of her fiber and make it last forever.
“I can hear you, just think to me. It's alright now.” The voice was so familiar, so sure of itself.
He encouraged her some more. “Open your eyes now. Just take it slow and relax. You don't need to talk.”
Through the thin slithers of her near-closed eyes, light crept in. Around her, a room of subtle colors and soft shapes formed. The dream had taken full control over reality. "You're the voice in my head, aren't you? You're that deep voice that’s always telling me... This isn't real." Finally, her thoughts could confront the manipulative voice.
Just for a moment, he considered the statement. “Actually, no. It's okay, though. I know what you mean.”
His well-shaped lips stretched thinly from ear to ear. "I'm Dalibor, but call me Dayl if you like." Finally, she looked at him. He'd waited years for her eyes to focus.
"This is a dream, isn't it? I feel like I'm awake." Her hand released his as she thought about the situation. "I'm sure your voice is the one in my head."
“Well, it kind of is. There are many voices in your head.” He was avoiding a direct answer. Some topics were deep and complicated, and she needed to take much slower steps “I'm so glad you woke up.”
Constance looked about the room. Along the wall was a double-sided mirror. She recalled it from a past dream. "I think, I deserve a direct answer. Who were all those people leaving the room? They all looked like, like zombies."
“They're like you.” Dalibor paused and thought about what he'd just said. Did it seem like an insult? “They're nothing like you. No one is. They did come here the same way, though.”
"So they're dreaming, too? I wasn't supposed to remember any of this, was I?" Having looked about the room her eyes finally returned to her well dressed guide.
“This is the end of your dream time.” His eyes widened, they didn't have much time and he knew it. “They'll be coming for you. We've got to hurry. They musn’t find out!” He needed more time and she needed a few more visits to deepen her focus and fully develop.
Now it was Constance's turn to comfort him. "It's okay, Dayl. It's a dream. I can do anything. The whole idea of being in some kind of trouble was funny at best.
He pointed to the white-board, eyes darting toward its content. “You don't understand what they can do. Look at the white-board. You have to remember.”
Held to the board, with pins, was a large map of what looked like clouds. The pointing stick spiraled outward from the middle, apparently tracing a thin arm.
“You are here, at the end of this spiraling arm. We are closer to the middle.” His eyes remained focused on her, guaranteeing every word sunk in.
"This is some kind of space map, isn't it!" As she began to understand the map's true nature, questions formed. "We're on a spaceship. Are we on a spaceship? This is a space ship." Each thought projected itself into the room.
This wasn't the time for detailed explanations and his frustration was beginning to show. “The map. Remember it. Everything spirals. We all move in almost perfect circles, slowly spiraling out. That's why you're here!”
Force of habit made Constance look down at her hands. They were shaking. Her whole body was beginning to feel weak. "I think I'm waking up."
“No! He's coming for you. Slow long breaths. Hold them. Focus.” Dalibor placed a hand on his young student's shoulder while trying to ease her through the difficult time. “People think they move in circles. It's a spiral. Remember the map.”
Before he could finish the suggestion, her head had slumped forward. This young girl's body was now deeply asleep and ready to walk out the door. He released her, watching as instinct forced her dragging feet outside.
Behind the mirrored wall, an un-staffed room full of cameras monitored their every action. He'd check the footage once rush hour was over.
“You're amazing.” While he may have been complimenting himself, the whisper was in her direction.
Back in the parking lot, everything seemed normal. Imagined children had set themselves up with a game of hopscotch. They took turns, showing off super powers. Every time a stone successfully hit its mark, a child flew or teleported to the new position.
Constance looked around the area. She was relaxed and happy with her surroundings. “Hey, kids! No cheating.” The thought of them using special abilities to get their own way, just because it was a dream, bothered her.
Now, as each child threw a stone, they fell to the ground. Skin covered in blisters, they slowly melted into white pools on the black tar. It was an oddly unemotional event.
“Did I do that?” She began looking about, hoping not to be caught by one of the children's parents. As she did, the parking lot's lamps began to flicker then turn off.
In her perfect little dream world, the sun was slowly rising. Each light turned off, automatically adjusting to its new environment. “Wait, Dayl? I had a dream inside this dream, Dayl. The map. Did he say, she was coming, or he?”
That morning, it took several minutes before Constance could recall her unusual night's dream. By the time glimpses of the classroom began to form, she was already dressed and out the door. It would be a busy day and without jotting anything down in her book, chances are she'd lose the lot by evening.
"Do you remember me from last night?" Surprisingly, it was the female thought that first formed in her mind.
"Don't be ridiculous. She knows it was me, not you!" Quickly, a second thought took shape, the deep, familiar male voice. Her mind tried to attach his face to the sound.
“This argument is not going to happen again!” It started out as a whisper and quickly became loud, confident words. If anyone was listening, let them.
"Sorry, you're right. No point trying to worry about who is who." Her thoughts agreed to end the argument.
'So, you remember the dream then?' The feminine voice spoke first.
"Of course she remembers the dream. Probably remembers the doctor talking about spirals yesterday as well." Until that moment, Constance had completely forgotten about Dr. Wernick's little conversation.
Now for the rest of the day, her mind would have only one topic to debate. Did she have the dream because of the doctor? Or, did she visit the doctor because of the dreams?
After one night's dream, she now had so many things to consider. Who was Dayl? Was "she" coming or "he?" Whoever he may be. Just how much of that dream was induced by the doctor and what the heck did anything have to do with spirals?