A Most Peculiar Night Ch. 02byIcewolf56©
The night was just getting stranger and stranger by the hour.
Sara had far too many questions at this point. For one, how did she wind up in this bed? Did somebody take her there? (The fact that she was still naked made her hope it was a woman if that were the case.) Second, why were the beds floating? Of course, she quickly forgot about that question, as questioning the nature of the laws of physics in this world became increasingly pointless. Third, what on earth was this place exactly? She had many theories about that last question, none of them particularly comforting.
a: That she was dreaming.
Considering this "dream" had been going on for roughly 5 hours at the least (not counting times she was asleep in her "dream"), she had been forced to abandon this theory by this point. A shame, too, because it used to be the most likely, and still was the safest, explanation.
b: That somehow humans had gained the technology to create worlds of this vein, and it got into the hands of a group of perverted young men.
This one was as unlikely as it was scary, but she was frankly out of alternative explanations at this point.
c: She had somehow wound up in a coma, and was dreaming all of this.
This was her re-evaluated "dream" hypothesis, modified to account for the huge duration. While a coma was not a pleasant thought, it was the best explanation that was still possible.
d: She was insane.
While the last theory was the scariest, it was also fortunately not the most likely. She couldn't remember anything that would have driven her off the deep end or disturbed her. She was a perfectly normal teenage girl, with a healthy relationship with a very nice boy named Alex. If she remembered properly, she had actually been on a date with him not 5 hours before this whole ordeal started, and enjoyed it a lot. She figured she could safely say she was completely sane.
It was at this point she remembered that she was sitting up in bed, completely naked, and she hadn't checked to see if anyone was watching her.
She frantically ducked under the covers again, and then wrapped her sheets around her body, just below the shoulders, like a towel. She then did the survey of her surroundings she should have done much earlier.
She had been lucky. She couldn't see anyone watching her (or even anywhere, aside from the beds, where anyone COULD watch her). She was, most likely, the only person in the room. That is if she could call it a room; The walls were very far away and decorated like she was in outer space. They were covered in very realistic paintings of stars, planets, suns, and moons. The floor was different, however. It was clearly black in color, that much she could tell, but it was very strange otherwise. It appeared to sway and glisten, like a liquid. However, considering how far down the floor was, she had no intention of getting close enough to find out more about it.
When she turned around to the head of her bed, She noticed that something was hanging off the side. She looked over the edge and saw that a white bathrobe was on a hanger. Thankful for some more stable clothing, she took the bathrobe off the hanger, got under the covers, and put it on. It was very light and soft, like no fabric she had ever worn in her life.
She was, however, somewhat confused as to why she was given a bathrobe instead of something more suiting to when one wakes up. She had to admit that it was somewhat suiting, however, because her last waking memory was of her taking that wonderful bath.
It was then that she noticed that there was a pull-tab on the collar of the bathrobe, and it read, in the same mysterious font as the sign in the shower tunnel:
"To be pulled when you need something else."
Sara couldn't make heads or tails of what it could be referring to, but she kept the tab in mind.
It was then that she noticed what appeared to be a door, white in color, making it stand out from the rest of the wall. What appeared to be an EXIT sign hung over it. Sara perked up at the sight of it. Finally, a chance to escape! But the thought then occurred to her that it was likely a trick set up by this strange world.
But after thinking for a while, she realized that while the world's nature was clearly immature, nonsensical, and most likely perverted, there was absolutely nothing that happened to her that suggested it was in any way deceptive.
The laws of the world were unintuitive, but consistent. People and their clothes sank into the quicksand carpet, other things didn't. Undoing her clothing had always returned that insidious tunnel's heat back to normal. The sign in the tunnel was vague at the time, but was not deceiving or misleading in any way. So even if "exit" meant something completely different in this world, what it did mean was not likely to change, so it was still worth it for her to try to reach the door.
When another bed floated near hers, she took the opportunity. Being a skilled runner, she also could jump fairly far. After checking the stability of the bed when she stood up on it, she waited for it to get closest and jumped.
It was a very impressive jump, to be sure, and she got her entire upper body onto the bed. Unfortunately, she couldn't gain a firm grip on the bed itself, and only managed to grab the sheets, which quickly fell off under her weight. She managed to grab onto the bed frame with her hands, but she didn't know how long she could keep that up.
Sara couldn't keep herself from looking down at this point. The ground, whatever it was, was a long way down from where she was. In the real world, the very thought of surviving such a fall was laughable. In this world, however, she decided she had a much better chance. Even so, she wasn't about to test it to find out. Gathering as much strength as she could, Sara swung her legs onto the other side of the bed frame, and prepared to hoist herself up.
But just as she was about to make it safely onto the bed, she caught sight of something.
It appeared to be a large black snake, with the exception of its head, which was nothing but a single eyeball and a set of eyelids. It stared at her intently, without blinking. The sight of this creature scared her so much that she lost her grip and started falling helplessly through the air.
Sara's life was flashing before her eyes. She guessed that she had about a minute before she hit the strange floor. Knowing she might very well die, she frantically tried to think of something she could do to save herself. It was then that she noticed that the black, mysterious floor turned white with tiny, tiny dots. Her heart filled with fear.
It wasn't a floor. It was a huge number of snake eye creatures, like the one she saw moments ago, staring straight up at her. She didn't know what those creatures were, what they wanted, or what role they played in this mysterious universe, but it didn't matter. All that mattered at that moment was that she didn't want to die. It was then that she remembered the note:
"To be pulled when you need something else"
She definitely needed something, right now. Something that could save her. And so she pulled the tab on the top of her robe, hoping that this was the kind of thing that the note was talking about.
Immediately, the white bathrobe started to unravel at the neck. As if directed by invisible hands, her bathrobe steadily came undone in an incredibly smooth fashion. It wasn't long before she was topless, then finally naked again.
But then she felt the threads on her back. They stuck fast to her, and built themselves up again. She then realized with a shock that she could FEEL the threads that were stuck to her back, as if they were a part of her body. Soon, she realized what the threads were forming into: wings.
She was ecstatic. Sure, she was naked again, and this time those mysterious eye creatures were staring at her, but she had WINGS! She could FLY! Just before colliding with the "floor", she swooped back up again. She felt free, euphoric, and confident. The ordeals and obstacles that had hindered her during her time in this room had suddenly been rendered useless. The only thing between her and escape was a short, leisurely flight.
She had amazed herself with how quickly she got the hang of flying. It felt instinctive, like receiving the wings had also given her the knowledge of how to use them. After spotting the door marked "EXIT" that she had sought before, she started flying towards it.
Things went smoothly for her, until she looked down again and noticed that one of the Snake Eyes started rising up from the floor and extending its rather long body upwards, in her direction. Unnerved by the creatures' almost voyeuristic behavior, Sara kicked the Snake Eye in most vulnerable looking area: its eye.
She clearly had chosen well, because the Snake Eye immediately swayed back and forth, and finally gave way, falling back to the floor. She made a small victory gesture with her right arm, and kept flying for the exit. Unfortunately, she had, yet again, made a very big mistake.
In roughly 20 seconds, she heard the feint sound of slithering. When she looked down, she realized that every single one of the Snake Eyes in the floor was heading her way. Not sure what they were planning to do with her, Sara frantically flew towards the exit door as fast as she could. The Snake Eyes were closing in fast, much faster than the first one, and she wondered if she could make it.
When she was about 5 seconds away from the door, the Snake Eyes were right on her tail. Gathering a final burst of speed, she managed to reach the door and push it open. When she was inside, she quickly pushed it closed and locked it. One of the Snake Eyes had managed to make it through the door, but instead of being decapitated by the door closing, the Snake Eye stayed in one piece, though noticeably in pain. Yet despite the pain, this creature still was intent on staring at her.
Now that she no longer needed her hands free, she used her hands to shield herself from the creature's gaze. Though it seemed silly to want to hide her nudity from an animal, this world clearly wanted her naked as much as possible, and so there was a good chance that the Snake Eyes were actually tools of whoever (or whatever) ran this place.
Sara didn't need to cover herself for long, however. As if sensing that they were no longer needed, her wings steadily unraveled and reassembled themselves, once again, into the white bathrobe.
When she looked down the hallway, she found that it ended with a blue curtain of sorts. Fueled by curiosity (and by a lack of a desire to go back in that other room ever again), she followed the hallway to its end. When she arrived at the curtain, she reached for the side of it to pull it open, only to realize that her hand passed through it.
With nowhere else to go, she eventually decided to take her chances and walk through it. It felt strange, like a thinner version of the carpet she faced at the beginning of her adventure, but nonetheless she walked through. But as her head passed through the substance, her consciousness faded, and she blacked out without seeing what was on the other side.
Eventually, Sara awoke to find herself in bed. HER bed. In HER room. She was back home. Not only that, but she was back in the pink pajamas she had gone to sleep with, as well as the underwear she was sure she had put on. She looked at the large clock on her wall. It read 6:30, and the pendulum worked like normal. She sighed a sigh of relief. Despite its apparent length, It had all been just a dream.
She decided to forget about that whole nightmare, and so, to take her mind off of it, Sara got up out of bed and thought about school. It was Monday, and she needed to leave for school by 7:30. First, she needed to take a shower. But when she smelled herself, she realized she smelt fine.
...Too fine. She smelt exactly like she did in her dream, after the shower tunnel. She smelt like... sweetwater. Then she looked at the table. The hourglass was still there.
The floor was normal, time was flowing normally, she was finally out of there...
But it had really happened.
TO BE CONTINUED...