Z wasn't sure what was happening. She was either asleep, something that seemed highly unlikely, or was unconscious. She was dreaming. In her dream, it felt as though she was being sucked into a dark tunnel. Atunnel that appeared to have an ending or a beginning. She was floating, it seemed, in mid- air and she was holding something in her clutch. What it was, she couldn't be sure but she held on to it for dear life. In the strange abyss she was travelling through, it seemed to be the only solid thing, the only thing that could keep her grounded. Give her proof that she still existed.
Suddenly, she landed on the ground, with aloud bang, the impact forcing a gasp out of her. In the same instantanious second, she felt a throb in her head, as though her brain was pushing against the sides of her skull. She moaned quietely and rolled over. Her subconscious told her that she was lying on grass. Although she still had her eyes tightly shut, the prickly peel of the coarse grass was unmistakable. She gradually became aware of sunshine on her face, and a soft breeze ruffling her curls.
Things weren't making much sense, but Z was much too confused to let that bother her. She listened quietely to the sounds of birds twittering and the quiet shuffle of vegetation. It wasn't till she felt something lick her face that she remembered what she had been running from, before falling unconscious.
She remebered her dad giving her the machine and telling her to run. The man crashing through the park after her. The rain. The thunder. The lightening. She remembered thinking it was like a bad horror movie; the poor girl being chased after by a vulgar looking government agent. That was before she tripped over a loose rock. She remembered falling face first and holding her hands out in reflex. She remembered her hands falling on the button her dad had warned her not to press, no matter what. And then she remembered the ground disappearing and the feeling of nothingness. There had been a total loss of sense. No sound, no pain, no fear. No nothing.
Something licked her face again and she rolled over. Had they caught her after all? Has her father's years of research been for nothing? Will they get what they wanted? The questions raced through her mind, at the same moment she realized that there wasn't a reasonable explanation for why the agent would be licking her face. Wouldn't he just take the machine and leave?
Then it filtered through her throbbing head that the sun was shining and the grass was not wet. Z opened her eyes cautiously, expecting to be face to face with the butt of a gun and a vulgar black clad agent. She was shocked to come face to face with a snout and behind that, a stretch of clear blue sky.
The soft tongue reached out to lick her face and Z pushed it away. The dog continued to lick her hand, its tail wagging back and forth. Someone had gone through the trouble of fixing a contraption onto him, to make it look as though he had two tails.
Z pushed her hand through the dog's fur as she took in her surroundings. It looked like she was still in the park, but there was something off about it. She sat up and shook droplets of water of her jacket. Her clothes were soaked through, and that made sense because she'd been running through a thunderstorm, but if she had been unconscious long enough for it to be daylight and for the grass to dry, then her clothes should have dried out.