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Fantasy Speculative

Alice? ALICE? Can you hear me? The last time we met was approximately one week ago. I believe I managed to make contact but it was too brief. The nurses in the hospital managed to get you out from the REM state and the portal disappeared. I only saw you standing in front of a door but you were staring at me in, what I suppose, must have been a mirror. So, you were staring at yourself but in reality it was me.

Reality; HUH! You remember I had been debating whether reality is the correct concept to describe our surroundings since I was a child. Since we were both children, Alice! It first started when dad left mum and you would go to bed with Teddy in your arms. You used to shut your eyes so tightly that darkness became the brightest light you’d ever witnessed. Then, guilt would begin its animated torture on your young mind. First, why would you still keep Teddy? You were fourteen years old, for God’s sake! Second, after you had flung poor Teddy on the wall, you would think how much you hated dad because he had promised that he would take you with him if he’d ever left, but you felt horrible for having these feelings towards him. Third; mum. You felt helpless that you had to endure living with that woman who never gave you a tender touch. She had never looked at you the way she looked at dad, although he was the one hurting her. She never loved you the way you wanted her to but you eventually forgave her Alice. You forgave her because it was the first night you had the DREAM of her being old and frail, sitting on the porch of our old house. The one thing which helped you recognise her was her smell; a mixture of lemon tree flower buds and jasmine. That was the smell of mum. So, don’t feel bad…you forgave her.

The same dream appeared the next night. This time you talked to mum and the dream elaborated. She explained how her life collapsed and how her mind began deteriorating after dad abandoned her. She told you about her daughter, that’s you Alice, and how their relationship was torn apart as she was unable to take care of you after an episode of severe depression. You surprisingly found out years later that what mum had said in that dream had come true a few months later. Of course, you couldn’t remember that at the time and your anger never let you realise what was happening. You moved out and you lived with grandma until you turned seventeen. She did the best she could to raise you but her inability to control you helped you delve deeper in your dreams and in the dark corners of your unconscious.

You must have been twenty-two when you discovered the portals. It was a quiet, October evening when you had come back from Billie’s, the woman who helped you interpret your dreams and “enhance your spiritual growth.” She always used to say that your dreams were different from the dreams of her other clients. You always sat on her velvet sofa, under the warm light of the orange lamp, smelling the cinnamon-spice candles she used to light for your sessions. “How are my dreams different?” you would ask. “There’s just something unusually vivid about them…I can’t really tell” she would say. It was that October evening that you and I met for the first time.

You returned home and you fell asleep on the sofa, when suddenly you felt a peculiar wave of pressure on your whole body. You opened your eyes and you were standing in front of an immaterial door; its colour was red and you managed to go through it after sometime. You thought it took ages because you moved in slow motion but you could feel this was not just a dream. You looked at your bare feet standing on the grass. You raised your head and our porch was there. There was someone sitting on the porch, but you could not tell who because the sun was too bright. You moved closer, and as you moved you could hear a girl singing, while she was petting her kitty. “Oh, my God…what the heck is happening?” “Oliver, MY kitty.” The little girl, surprised by your presence in her yard, turned her head and looked at you horrified. “This is me” you thought, unable to speak these incoherent words. How could you see your young self Alice? Where were you? We ARE in the portals.

After that first trip and the initial shock we both felt, you became better at controlling your entrance in the portals. You found out that years earlier when you dreamt of mum, you weren’t dreaming at all but unbeknownst to you, you had travelled through the portal.  You would visit me twice or three times a week and we would spend time together. We both found out secrets about ourselves and you told me what happens to me in the future, although I was never able to understand why some of the things you told me never happened. You kept reading books about time, physics and theories about parallel universes; you were always trying to explain our simultaneous presence in the world but there was no definite answer for what we were experiencing. You always came back though. No matter what, I knew that when I closed my eyes, I would find myself expecting me on the porch. I was a teenager when you began practising psychiatry. You thought that the study of the human brain would give you an answer to this magnificent phenomenon of time travel.  

Around that time, I remember you telling me that you were bothered by the fact that you never saw mum again in the portals like that first time when you were a child. You only met yourself and despite your efforts to re-direct your energy while travelling in the portals, you always ended up on the same-old porch with me and our kitty. You may wonder why I’m using our precious time to go through the time-travelling and the portals. Well, Alice you were recently diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and I am the only one who can explain what happened. The medication they give you is so powerful that you can’t remember anything. You’ve told them about me but they tell you that you suffer from hallucinations.

You can’t visit me anymore due to your weakened brain waves. This is the reason I trained myself to travel through the portals and visit you. I’m really sorry if you feel tormented by me but we don’t have much time; the nurses are on their way as they can hear you laughing and screaming. You need to remember one thing Alice: I am you and you are me. We are the same person, we lead different lives but we are both conscious of what is happening to us. Unfortunately, in your universe this is considered to be an illness and you are condemned to spend the rest of your life in that forsaken hospital. Now, it’s on me to find a way to infiltrate the unconscious of other people of your universe and make them understand that their universe is the mirror-image of a vast number of other universes. Maybe I won’t. We both live with the knowledge that would change humanity but we may never be able to share it. Alice? The connection is breaking…ALICE? Can you hear me?

October 01, 2021 18:47

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2 comments

Tricia Shulist
01:50 Oct 04, 2021

That was a very interesting twist on the prompt. I enjoyed the story — the back and forth. Thank you.

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Elena Pitsilidou
22:20 Oct 04, 2021

Thank you so much for your comment Tricia. I'm glad you enjoyed my story!

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