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Josh awoke one morning from a horrid nightmare. He was twisted and turned in his blankets in ways. He didn’t know possible. Sweat dripped off his lean eyebrows and glided down to his ghostly white lips. Memories of his dream replayed in his head.
He was walking down a stone lined road, a setting likely seen in the Victorian era or a rural area. The buckles on his beat up boots, clicked with each step. Where am I, Josh thought to himself? A small light flickered on and a door screeched open. Josh watched as a young woman in a white ruffled tank top, black shorts and brunette hair to her shoulders, walked slowly toward him.
“Josh, thank goodness you’re her.” The girls’ southern drawl sounded like music to his ears.
“Who are you?” he asked, puzzled by her knowledge of him.
“Josh, I’m Lucy. Your girlfriend.” Lucy whispered as she reached her hand out to his arm. Surprisingly, Josh did not flinch at her touch, it somehow felt right. Lucy pushed up on her tip-toes and pecked Josh lightly on the lips with a kiss, a mixture of fresh hay and vanilla sweeping through the air.
A bright green light began to engulf the surrounding area. Lucy pulled back from Josh’s embrace and squealed, “Its happening!”
“What’s happening?” asked Josh, but before she could reply, Josh felt as if he had just been sucked up by a human vacuum cleaner. He could hear Lucy’s startling scream but the odd thing was, was that her scream was becoming louder and more monotone, such as an alarm clock.
“Lucy,” he whispered as he untangled himself from his bed sheets. His dream followed him, that day, all the way to the office until he met his new intern. She was wearing black slacks, and a white ruffled dress shirt and her brunette hair was pulled back into a lightly knotted bun. She started to introduce herself, “Hello, my name is Luce. Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Rinehart.”
“Good Morning, and please, the pleasure is mine.” Josh said quickly, refusing to hold out his hand for it was quite sweaty. In the back of his mind, he was picturing Lucy right next to Luce, they were practically identical.
“Oh, well thank you sir. I hope that I will be a good intern for you.” Luce replied, knocking Josh out of his loose-minded trance.
“Hmm?” he mumbled, “oh, right. Well yes, I feel you will do just right. If you would follow Ms. Mead, she will set you up in the area in front of my office.” Josh started to walk away, “And congratulations by the way, ten other people applied for this position.” He had a feeling that that one comment would make any newcomer blush in an instant.
Standing in the doorway of his office, Josh exhaled a huge amount of air. He was baffled by how he had a dream of Lucy and then his new intern just so happens to look identical to Lucy and have a very similar name, Luce. In this state of mind, Josh hadn’t noticed the fact that Luce had silently slipped into the small space behind her new desk and began typing a memo.
“Oh, well hello, Ms. Holt. Didn’t see you there.” Josh stammered, trying to look as if he had dropped something.
“You may call me Luce, if you like Mr. Rinehart.” Luce stated with a small, business-like smile. That one smile was enough to make his heart skip a beat, thinking of his dream,
“Okay and you may call me Josh, when no one else is around of course.” Josh chuckled, followed by a slight giggle from Luce herself. Luce then turned back to the computer and resumed typing a memo. Josh silently stepped into his office and closed the door, lightly, behind him.
Many weeks passed after Josh’s strange dream and Luce began to learn all the strings of the office. She merely went about doing what needed to be done, when told to and giving not even the slightest difficulty or complaint. Josh maintained a low-key conversation with Luce in order to keep himself from swooning over her. One of the top rules of the office is not interoffice relationship and Josh, as the advisor of the floor, needed to keep that rule unbroken.
One day, Josh’s birthday to be exact, Luce came into his office to deliver his daily coffee and breakfast sandwich. Josh noticed her reserved outfit for a Wednesday, she wore black skinny jeans that to a simpletons eye would look like dress pants, a salmon colored shirt with a white cardigan and white flats. Her hair was down that day, just like it was in Josh’s dream and he instantaneously wanted to start a conversation with her just to keep her present.
“So, you look rather…pinkish today.” He commented, silently yelling at himself for saying such a dim-witted thing.
“Oh, well yes, I guess I do, don’t I?” replied Luce, looking down at her attire and blushing. “Is this okay for office wear?”
“Yes, it is. You look perfectly fine Luce, honest. Most of these women would kill to dress like you do,” Josh said, staring at his computer. Luce began to walk toward the door but before leaving, she turned and said, “Happy Birthday…Josh.”
Josh returned home only a few hours after his awkward yet pleasing attempt of a conversation with Luce. Saddened by the reality that he had no one to greet when he opened his front door, Josh rushed to take a shower and went to sleep for the night.
Like so many nights before, Josh began to relive his nightmare, but this time was a bit different. In this dream, he was standing, randomly, in a kitchen. He figured it was his house because the furniture looked quite alike to the furniture in his real house. Josh walked around the house, going in and out of various rooms, when he returned to the open living room and kitchen; he was startled by Lucy’s sudden appearance.
“Oh my goodness Josh, thank goodness that you are alive. I was so afraid I’d never see you again!” Lucy ran and jumped on Josh sending him backward a few steps with the sudden add of weight.
“I’m alive. Why would I be dead?” Josh asked.
“Don’t you remember?” questioned Lucy, her face began to scrunch into itself.
“Don’t remember what?” Josh asked, more demanding this time.
“Aliens took you, oh my, you don’t remember a thing,” Lucy assumed by the shocked look that had taken over Josh’s face, “”Well c’mon now go and sit down with me and I’ll explain everything.” Josh silently followed her into a small tavern across the street from where they stood. Lucy led them to a small table near the back of the tavern, away from unwanted listeners.
“Okay, just to be honest, I’m not sure if I will believe you about any of this but go ahead and explain to me why I don’t remember.” Josh whispered, he kept his head and eyes down, refusing to even glance at Lucy.
“Well, we have been together on and off for many years, and just recently you have come back to town. We met right here, do you remember that?” Lucy asked, hoping he would remember but figured he didn’t.
“No, I don’t know you and I don’t know this place. All I remember is that I have met you once before and then you kissed me and this bright green light sucked me up.” Josh’s facial emotions began to change as if he just realized something very important, “Oh, wait! This is a dream! Of course! I must have seen Luce before we met at the office and I randomly had a dream about her then she turns up at my office and I have another dream about her because I find her attractive and I do want to ask her out. Oh, why didn’t I think of this before?”
“Josh, honey. This isn’t a dream, honest. I am the intern in your office. I just applied with a different name so it didn’t freak you out…well not to freak you out too much at least. My name is Lucy Hanson and I am a real person but I am not exactly human…per say.” Lucy explained as soothingly as she could, so she would not freak poor Josh out.
“I can travel through dreams and I have travelled to yours because you are an important person in my life Josh. I cannot express that enough. You are the best person that has ever come into my life and I will not, I can not lose you. Do you understand?” She started to cry a little when Josh didn’t answer so she began to explain some more, “This might break you from your trance. You are 654 years old. You have just been asleep for over 620 years. Same as I, only I have awoken every once in awhile to make sure you were okay. Please acknowledge that you know what I am saying, or at least that you hear my voice?” Lucy began to beg for any sign of life from Josh because he was rooted to his spot of his chair, his hands positioned in a claw like way around his head, all he could do was rock his body slightly, back and forth. “Will you say anything? Anything at all Josh, please?”
“So what you are saying is, you are my long lost girlfriend and we are over 600 years old and I have been asleep for about 550 years and now I’m magically ‘awake’ again and you want me to believe that you are just some dream travelling gypsy that I’m in love with? How the heck am I supposed to believe that? What do you take me for, a lunatic? Honestly?” Josh’s face began to redden in anger, but he refused to let his dream get the best of him.
“Look, this is just some messed up dream and in a minute I’m going to wake up from this and everything is going to be fine.” Josh was certain of this.
“Josh, you are not going to wake up, this is why I am here. The green light was the warning. The extraterrestrials have your body again. They put you in hibernation. This is the only way I can contact you. This isn’t a dream. I swear.” Explained Lucy. “Well it’s almost daylight so I must be going. I will be back tonight though. I love you Josh. Remember that, I love you.” And somehow, Josh knew she was telling the truth. When she left, his body began to become numb and icy, as if all the bliss had been vacuumed out of his soul. It seemed that his body had actually went to sleep, but what seemed like a few minutes later, Josh began to feel a poking and prodding on his skin. It didn’t hurt but it didn’t feel very good either. He started to close his eyes but even the slightest movement hurt extremely. For Josh, it seemed as if only minutes past by when his whole body was abruptly shoved by an oddly formed thing. Opening his eyes, Josh saw a grotesque figure standing over him. He made a large yelp as the figure started to come closer and closer to his face.
“Stop screaming, I mean no harm. I only wish to wake you up for you meal of the dawn.” The creature said without moving his lips.
“How are you doing that?” Josh trembled in the buckles around his body.
“I am technically not speaking out loud for I speak a different language but I have the power for you to hear me without my voice. Also known as mind-speaking.” Explained the creature.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Levy, I am an intergalactic life form brought to Earth to show you what you are forgetting. I was sent her by Ms. Lucy.”
“Lucy? Why would she send some intergalactic whatchamacallit to show me something that isn’t true? I have never been abducted by aliens, until now, and I don’t know or want to know you, sorry.” Shouted Josh, trying to wrangle himself out of his straps. It was not working one bit.
Time passed slowly and Josh could see that the ship was turning away from the sun for the night, so this told Josh that Lucy would be there to greet him shortly.
“Josh, are you there?” asked Lucy’s voice before her face popped up into Josh’s memory.
“Yeah, I am here. Where else would I be?” asked Josh sarcastically, making Lucy giggle a little.
“Did you believe anything Levy said?”
“No, not really.”
“Well, it’s all true. I swear against the Universe.”
“I’m sure you do.”
“Josh, you seem distant. Do you want to talk?” Lucy’s voice began to tremble, she was afraid that he would not want to talk to her anymore.
“I want to go home and forget all about this.” He simply stated.
“I guess I have no choice but to grant your final wish. In the morning you will wake up to find yourself in your apartment, and when you go to work, you fellow employees will never know that I was employed by you. So I guess this is a goodbye then.” She started to cry.
When Josh awoke the next morning, everything was just like Lucy said it would be. Walking to work was pleasant and he made every step extremely memorable. In the office, Josh saw a short line of young women standing against the wall that had a poster stating, “Intern interviews today.” Everything was back to normal, just the way he wanted it to be but something was different. Josh walked into his office and saw a picture frame on his desk, looking at it, he saw himself and a girl smiling and holding each other. He took the picture out of the frame and looked at the date, June 21, 1950. Looking up at his calendar, he saw the date June 21, 2000. The picture was taken 50 years ago, and as he put the picture back into the frame, he noticed a note had fallen to the floor. The note read,
“Meet me at the old tavern outside of town xoxo Luce xoxo”
Josh looked down at the note and knew that Lucy would not let this go and that another weird adventure was hiding somewhere…
To be continued…