Disparate Realities

I looked up at Dr. Seven leaning over me, pity in his light gray eyes.

“The world you see isn’t real, Ms. Denver. It is just a figment of your imagination.”

Really? Like Narnia is a figment of imagination? Like the creature that is currently playing with your shoe lace?

But I didn’t say the words out. He’d keep me locked in this goddamn facility for another half-year.

“I’m starting to realize that, doc,” I said, plastering a smile on my face. “I’ve always liked to dream and it was comforting to believe that my friends were real.”

The creature froze and shot an icy glare at me. I ignored it.

Penetrating gray eyes bore into mine for several tense moments. “Good.”

I sagged in my seat. Thank God! He believes me.

“Now let’s talk about your imaginary friends.”

The ghostly creature scowled at the doctor and took out a knife from its coat pocket. Brandishing it like a damn sword, it waggled its bushy white brow and locked eyes with me.

“No!”

Dr. Seven’s lips quirked. “Why not?”

Swish! The blade went dangerously close to his ankle.

“Damn you! Back the hell off!”

The doctor stiffened. “Excuse me?”

“Not you. I was talking to-” I clamped my mouth shut and glared at the maddening thing dancing a jig on the tiled floor.

A familiar look filled the doctor’s face; pity and resignation darkening his eyes to the color of slate. “Let me guess. Your imaginary friend?”

I cringed. “Please, it was a joke!”

“I’m really sorry, Ms. Denver. You’re still not ready.” He gave me a crooked smile. “Maybe in another six months.”

The creature stabbed the knife into the floor near the doctor’s leg, slicing through the hard tiles like soft butter. Unease slithered through my spine. Time was running out.

Tearing my eyes off the maddening ball of fur, I turned on the doctor. “What do you want me to say? That there is no magic in this world, that all that exists is this dreary life with no hope and no love? I totally agree. Please, let me go.”

Dr. Seven shifted on his feet. “That’s good progress. But you need to believe it. Your whole life has been lived in a dream world. If I let you out, you’ll be lost in this one.”

My jaw clenched. “They are not dreams. And you can see it too. All you have to do is believe.”

“You say you went down a rabbit hole, Alice. A rabbit hole, for Christ’s sake!” A snort escaped his mouth. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Shit! I was afraid he was going to say that.

I lurched out of my chair but was too late. My hand missed his by an inch as the creature grabbed his leg and yanked him into the hole on the ground. A bright light flashed blinding me for a moment. As it faded, I looked at the empty room and let out a sigh.

Damn it! There went my ticket out of this place, Now I had to wait for Dr. Eight…

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