“I just need to make a phone call,” I yelled at the uncooperative operator.
“Please deposit ten cents for the first five minutes,” the woman’s voice intoned for the fifth time.
“This isn’t a payphone,” I explained, “It’s a business phone. Please can you connect me to 555-5820 or just let me have a dial-tone.”
“Please insert twenty-five cents or hang up the phone,” she repeated cheerily.
“Please!” I pleaded, “Just give me a dial-tone!”
The phone began to scream a piercing monotone beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeep–
I slapped the top of my alarm and the beeping stopped. Who was I trying to call? I wiped my sleep numb face. There was a job in a new city. I collected coins in my skirt and packed up my old life into a trunk. L and J were friends because they could face each other. M wanted a war. The three headed dragon guarded the east gate but I wrangled the heads on horseback. The gnome bombed the gate to let us in. Inside I made it to the public library and was trying to call the president to stop M but the operator wouldn’t let the call go through.
The president. That made as much sense as anything else that I had dreamed. It had seem all to real at the time.
My sister was there too I remembered. In the new city, where I had the new job. I should go see her, I thought half a second before I remember I can’t. There was a whole world in my head where she still existed and now there wasn’t. It wasn’t the first time I had dreamed of her and the ache of losing her again on waking had dulled to almost nothing. Briefly I wanted to lose myself back in the dream where she was just in the next city over. Would I really chose the dream over reality? If I couldn’t tell the difference did it matter if I was awake or asleep?
I stared at the ceiling wondering if this was just another dream I hadn’t woken up from yet.