Snow began to fall as Ruth stood outside a rundown brick building, holding a business card out at arms reach, attempting to match the unspecified address on the front door. In a faded, almost scratched away insignia the numbers seemed to coincide. The snow flakes sat heavily on her dark coat as well as on her black hair, tightly tucked behind her ears. As she ascended the stairs excited, nervous thoughts flooded her. She was actually here but with no incling of what would happen next.
With hand extended to knock on the cold, white door, a buzzer went off and she pulled it open before taking a deep breath and stepping inside, one foot after the other. As the door slammed behind her she realized she was standing in front of a very old looking elevator, something that she would never step foot on. The doors creaked open slowly and with extreme caution she stepped inside, as though it could drop free fall style at any moment. She looked down to see her floor selections and there was but one: basement.
The descent felt as though she were going ten floors down and maybe she had. When she stepped out of the old doors there was only darkness, and a long hall leading to a room well enough lit. The lack of light didn’t phase her and frankly she was becoming tired of these little moments designed to bring fear. She walked bravely down the corridor and right into the next door, unflinching.
“And you must be Ruth.” A very elderly looking man in a dark sports jacket and well pressed equally dark slacks stood beside a desk. “Please come sit down.” He pointed to the chair in front of him as she walked over. She met his gaze and fell into the seat, immediately crossing her legs. The old man walked or more so shuffled his feet, as though they didn’t quite work correctly.
He sat down with a grunt and a small cloud of dust rose up above him. “Please call me Embryo. This…program is my inception. Few have experienced it and even fewer have had…complications with it for with anything there may be complications.”
“I used to have many nightmares, most recurring and always left me terrified. As I grew older my one wish was to no longer hope they’d go away but to face them down and either end them or die trying. My wish has become reality, young lady. Virtual reality but with you inside of that world, your world. Tell me…do you know that of which I speak? The living, breathing world of nightmares?”
Ruth shifted in her seat. “Yes. I was referred here by…”
“Uh uh uh! I needn’t know the name. All will be revealed when it’s time.”
Ruth continued. “My dreams consume me. If I’m not in them at night, they’re in me by day, always on my mind. I have enough going on, this nonsense has to end.”
Embryo slid a piece of paper in front of Ruth. “This is a very informal yet legal document. I’ll require your signature to proceed with the implementation of the Dream Chronicler.”
“I want to record your dreams over the next 9 days. It is a near microscopic device I will implant in your inner ear. After I can review the recordings, we can go ahead and get you an appointment for what I call The Cervix. This is your entry and exit point inside The Womb.”
Ruth stood up and walked behind her chair. “This is alot to take in.”
Embryo also stood up, very slowly. “You knew this before walking in those doors.”
“Yes, no I’m good to go. Give me the Chronicler.”
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