(A mysterious creature speaks to you in your dreams and tells you that when you awake, you will have the ability to see into another realm.)
Note: I have to admit, this is way out of my comfort zone. I’ve read very little of this type of fiction, and just never found it to my taste. However, deep breath, here I go!
Always a restless sleeper, Livvie was used to strange dreams that disturbed her rest. Her earliest dreams were horrifying, with chases in which she could not run, formless creatures pursuing her in the dark, and the thump-thump-thump of the feet that followed her.
But this? This was new! And entirely too real. A shapeless form, an ethereal voice, neither male nor female, jerked her out of a dreamless state into cold, dark reality.
“Livvie! Wake up! There is a message for you, and you must heed it! You will fall back to sleep, and it will be a sound, restful sleep. When you wake, you will be able to see a different realm than your own. You will live normally, in your own realm, but you will see that you and your kind are not the only inhabitants of the air.”
“But–what–WHY? Really? Oh this is only another of my nightmares! I don’t want to ‘see another realm’–I just want to sleep. . . . leave me alone. . . .”
“Livvie! You will remember! You will see! What you do with your new ability is up to you. Use it wisely.” And the form vanished, leaving no trace. Livvie plopped back down on her bed, her head pillowed deeply, and found sleep.
She woke with a jerk, the memory of her vision crystal clear. She was afraid to open her eyes. She peeped out from under her blankets. Ah, what a relief–nothing had changed. Her room was the same, her bed the same. Her mother’s voice, too, was the same.
“OLIVia! You’re going to be late for your new job! Up and at’em, girl, or I’ll come up there!”
Livvie sighed, wondering if her mother would ever, ever let her not be a child. She needed to find her own place!
Her morning routine under way, Livvie stood in front of her bathroom mirror, blowing her hair to reduce the curls and make it manageable. Her hair had plagued her from childhood. At least, over time, she had learned what to do to smooth it down and tame it. Everyone told her it was gorgeous, but she hated it. The only good thing she could see about it was that it grew fast, thick and strong. And with the right product, it was glossy. Not quite red, not quite brown, but somewhere in between, she fussed with it more than with her makeup or her outfit for the day.
Realizing that her mind had wandered, she looked back in the mirror and saw, with sudden panic, that it had shifted into a panorama straight out of a fairy tale–and she was in it! Only she was dressed in an outlandish set of clothing she never would have worn in her real life. A gown (who wore gowns?) of deep purple shimmering to royal blue and back again, draped her from shoulder to ankle. Her shoes were heeled slippers of silver. Glittering jewelry dripped from her ears, neck, and hands; there were jewels in her hair! How did they stay anchored? Surely they would fall out!
At first glance, she was alone in a vast area of lush green parkland. Tall, multi-colored (!) leafy trees shaded her from an orange (orange?) sun. Pink clouds (pink?) scudded across a lavender (really!) sky.
“Good grief!” muttered Livvie. This was ridiculous!
Looking around, she realized she was not truly alone, but that she was followed by a Cinderella coach, pulled by silvery horses; there were gentlemen and ladies dressed in finery similar to her own, just with fewer glitters and bangles. They sat their horses as if they’d been born to it, all waiting, it seemed, for her to decide where they were going.
On closer inspection, Livvie found to her horror that none of the people she saw had faces! Shocked, she touched her own and found eyes, nose, mouth just where they should be.
The voice from last night spoke. “You will need to give them faces, Livvie. Imagine them, and they will appear.”
Livvie sighed. This was going to be a long, strange day.