“WAKE UP!” screamed a voice, making me squeeze my eyes closed even tighter. “CAN’T YOU HEAR ME? WAKE UP NOW!”
I turned over, pulled the blankets over my head, and hoped the yelling would stop.
“DO YOU WANT TO DIE?”
“Well, no. Of course not,” I muttered, stretching a bit. “It must be Monday,” I moaned. “That’s what’s wrong. It’s Monday.”
“YOU’RE DREAMING OUT!” shouted the voice.
“Dreaming out?” I whispered, frowning. “As in, bleeding out?”
“EXACTLY, NOW OPEN YOUR EYES AND GET UP!”
I pushed myself up and threw my legs over the side of the bed. I felt as if I weighed as much as The Great Wall of China, but I didn’t lay down again. “Why are you yelling at me?” I asked, forcing my eyes open. “Um, you look just like…me.”
“I AM you. You’re the dream and I’M the dreamer but you somehow screwed things up.
“I did? How?”
“I don’t know how, just get up. You keep dreaming me and I’m on my way to work. You’re supposed to be gone during the day. You shouldn’t EXIST in real time.”
“I don’t get it,” she said, rubbing her eyes. “I feel real.”
“You aren’t real. You’re a figment of my imagination.”
“I’M the real person. You’re the dream.”
“How do you know that?”
“How do you know that you’re the real person and not the dream?”
“I just know.”
“Really pathetic answer.”
“Look, there can’t be two of us here at the same time, and I have to get to work, so you have to get out of my bed and go back to wherever you came from, or wherever you go, when I’m not dreaming you.”
“Why can’t we both be real?”
“We can, just not in the same place, or on the same plane.”
“There can’t be duplicates. There can’t be two of the same living beings at the same time, in the same place. It doesn’t WORK that way. What don’t you understand?”
“I think there can be. I mean, we’re both here at in the same place, at the same time.”
She pulled out her phone and pressed a button. “Sammy, how do I get rid of a dream person?” She listened for a minute, then said. “Got it. Thanks.”
“Are you going to get rid of me?”
“You can come back when I dream about you next time.”
“But the bed’s nice and soft.”
“Too bad. Here’s the plan. You can leave by yourself, or I’ll have to erase you.”
“What does that mean? Erase me?”
“Okay, we’ll do it the hard way.”
She gathered the herbs, the candles and the nail polish remover and laid them out in the proper way. Then she said the words that Sammy told her to say, and the room got darker. She mixed the herbs and added the polish remover, then cast the spell.
“I don’t feel so good,” said the self on the bed.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t have another me walking around.”
“I’m not. It’s all about physics.”
“No, you’re just mean.”
“I’m sorry you feel that way,” she said, watching her other self fade away. “I’ll see you in my dreams.”
She waited until she was gone, then straightened the sheets, and finished her coffee. She picked up her bag and headed out of her apartment. Outside she was greeted by a beautiful blue sky and a warm breeze. Traffic was heavy and people were everywhere. She stood on the sidewalk and looked around. She didn’t recognize anything. She didn’t know where she was.
“What have I done?” she whispered, her edges already beginning to fade.