Holly woke up. It was just a dream, just like she thought. Sitting up, she stretched and yawned.
Something, however, didn’t look right. She was surrounded by bars. A rattle, bottle and pacifier lay next to her, along with her blanket.
Holly examined her clothes. Footie pajamas? She thought. What am I doing here?
Holly tried to talk, but no words came out. Just babbling and nonsensical words.
A moment later, a mother came into the room.
“Holly!” The mother shouted. “You’re awake! Did you have a good night’s sleep?”
Holly stared at the woman in disbelief. Suddenly, Holly grew. She reverted back to the age of a young adult. Her legs were tightly against the crib.
“What’s going on?” She shouted. “I must still be dreaming.”
Right after she said that, she woke up again. She was in the same apartment as she was before, only she was her regular age.
Holly got up and entered the bathroom. Something about her began to change. When she looked in the mirror, she was a second grader. At this, she screamed and finally woke up.
“Holly’s awakening.” A voice said.
“The data is good,” another said. “We can definitely use this.”
Holly found herself strapped to a machine. She was wearing some kind of helmet with an apparatus that extended to the ceiling. She was her normal age, in her early thirties.
“What is going on?” She asked. “What am I doing here?”
The one woman smiled. She looked like a doctor, or some scientist. “That’s okay if you can’t remember, dear. You are not real.”
Holly gasped. “What do you mean? That doesn’t make any sense!”
The woman put on her glasses. “You are a dream. We injected you into a clone. The clone only serves as a shell to preserve your existence.”
Holly crossed her arms, then pointed her finger at the doctor with the glasses. “I don’t believe you. I’m as real as you are!”
The doctor smiled. “Of course, Holly. That’s the way we designed you. You believe you are real. In a way, you’re not. You’re just a dream injected into a clone of a human female.”
“But what about the dreams….”
“Those are not your memories. That is why you’re not familiar with them. They are somebody else’s, that we injected into the clone.”
“You are lying again! I don’t believe anything you tell me. Why couldn’t I wake up?”
“You were tethered between two dream-states. We wanted to test your reaction in each one of them. We got the data we needed. You will prove useful.”
Holly looked at the doctor with impatience. “Useful for what? What are you making me do?”
“We are going to use you to explore the human subconscious,” the doctor explained to her. “As a dream in a human vessel, you will be helpful in our research.”
Holly scowled. “I am NOT a dream!”
“You can’t deny who you are, Holly. Thirty-one years ago, we injected you into a human embryo. Since then, you have awakened many times.”
“Of course I have awakened! Will you let me get out of here?!”
“We are not referring to your vessel, Holly. We are referring to you. When dreams awaken, they start anew. Everything starts over. That is why you were so confused when you woke up.”
Holly had enough. “You’re a total creep, and I am leaving!” Holly strained with all her might, trying to remove the helmet device on her head. After a few efforts, it came off. She then began running.
The doctor sighed. “Stop her. We can’t let this dream get away.”
The other assistants tried to tackle her but Holly was too fast for them.
Holly ran past all the other security guards and exited the door. It was official. Holly escaped.
The doctor sighed. “We need to get Holly back. With her away from the lab, she won’t fare well in that environment. When she reawakens. she will be confused and disoriented. A child’s dream can’t survive long out there….”
Meanwhile, Holly was running into the city. She was free. But little did she know the consequences that awaited her when she fell asleep….
©2012 K. L. Walker