I awoke suddenly. It was dark and I squinted at the shadows dancing on my bedspread. I felt a strange sense of urgency. Someone, no, something was calling me. I swung my feet over the side of the bed. Swaying, I walked over to the stool where I had left the key and picked it up. It was strangely warm to the touch, as though it had been held recently. As soon as my finger closed around the ornate handle it lifted into the air and started leading me down a winding passageway that had not been there before. Surprisingly, I was not afraid. It felt like I was in a dream. As I walked I noticed that the corridor was changing. The yellowing wallpaper gave way to gray stone. The tattered carpet became ebony wood and was punctuated with plush rugs.
The hall came to an abrupt end. I was standing in front of a full length mirror. It was framed in wood and was plated in gold. It was beautiful, but that was not what I was looking at. I was looking at my reflection. It was my reflection, and yet, it wasn’t. I was much younger and dressed differently. It was exactly like my flashback. My hand shaking, I instinctively reached out and placed my fingers on the glass. It seemed to melt at my touch and I felt myself falling…
I bolted upright. I was back in bed and sunlight was now streaming in through the window. I could not remember ever walking back to my room. The door creaked open and the old woman shuffled inside, her lined face bent over the tray she was carrying.
“Breakfas’.” I took the tray and nodded my thanks. She didn’t seem to notice and left the room. My eyes raced across the room. The bed. The chair. No hallways or mirrors. I picked up my fork and gingerly took a bite of my eggs. What had happened? Was had it been a dream? But it had felt so real. I took another bite and put down the fork. I wasn’t very hungry. I got up and walked to the door. Again there was the sensation that I hadn’t moved at all, yet I found myself standing outside. It was just beginning to warm up and I rolled my shoulders in the crisp air. I was looking around for my bike when I noticed a car pulled up outside. It was an old fashioned Volkswagen Beetle with peeling red paint and rusty fender. My bicycle was strapped to the back. I walked up it and banged on the door with my palm. The window rolled down and I saw a man sitting in the drivers seat. He had neat black hair cut at his ears and a lean face. I pointed to the back of the car.
“Your bike? I know. I am here to pick you up.”
“Don’t worry. It has all been paid for.” I stood there dumbfounded. What was going on? Who was paying for everything? Did this have to do with the flashbacks? A loud honk from the horn snapped me out of my meditation. I pulled open the door and sat inside. As we pulled away I looked back and was alarmed to see the old woman watching us leave. I turned away, but I could feel her eyes piercing me long after we had left.