It was dark and his head ached. His eyes slowly opened. He was sore everywhere. He took a deep breath. He was in a bed and the sheets smelled of lavender. He clutched them in his fingers; they were soft and familiar. He’d missed this bed, but also had never been in it before. The thought made his head hurt more.
“I told you things were about to change,” a voice came from the opposite side of the room.
He spun quickly, throwing the sheet off his body.
Ace stood by the large apartment window, leaning casually against it. The city behind her was bright with neon and the window was covered in rain.
“How did you get here?” he whispered, but wasn’t quite sure he knew who she was.
“I’m just a flicker of a memory buried deep inside your mind. If you can remember who I am, then you can go home,” she said calmly.
“I… am home…” He blinked and she was on the bed facing away from him. His fingers extended to touch her shoulder but passed through her.
The bedroom door opened, flooding the room with light, “Honey, who are you talking to?” Abigail asked as she entered.
“No one,” he said. He looked back to the bed; Ace was gone.
“Are you feeling any better? You had a pretty nasty spill,” she said as she sat next to him and placed her hands on his.
“Yeah. I must have had too much to drink,” he answered, but knew he hadn’t.
“You can’t get rid of me,” Ace’s voice came from behind Abigail. He looked up to see her face, identical to his wife’s.
“I must have hit my head pretty hard. I keep seeing…” Ace shook her head ‘no,’ “…things.”
Abigail grabbed is face. Her hands were soft and he felt his eyelids get heavy as her hands pressed against his cheeks. His instincts told him to fight, but he didn’t know why.
It was dark and his head ached. His eyes slowly opened. He was sore everywhere. He took a deep breath. He was on a couch with a familiar blanket pulled up to his neck covering him. Have I been here before? He sat up.
“Every time you try to realize the truth they will drag you a level deeper into this world,” Ace’s voice echoed from the kitchen.
He looked at her.
“Fight back. Don’t let them touch you.”
He stood, “Who are you?”
Her eyes focused back on him and like a recording she spoke, “I’m just a flicker of a memory buried deep inside your mind. If you can remember who I am, then you can go home.”
“If you’re from my mind then how can you know this?” He asked, stepping toward her.
“Learn from me. Look at this knife. What’s the first thought that comes to your mind?”
His eyes locked on to the knife and everything seemed to flicker. Ace was standing beside him, “What did you think of?”
“Cutting vegetables,” he answered without hesitation.
“Wrong. Try to think.” She moved from his side around the counter top. Her palms came to a rest on the granite. Her fingers stretched out, framing the knife.
He stared and everything began to twitch again.
“Fight it!” Ace yelled at him, her eyes bearing down on him.
The twitching subsided and the colors in the room began to change to something that felt more real.
“What do you want to do with the knife?”
His eyes lifted to her, “Fight back.”
His picked up the knife very slowly walked down the hallway. A low light came from a crack by his bedroom. He pushed the door open. Abigail lay quietly in the bed. Ace was sitting next to her. She reached out and slid a piece of Abigail’s hair behind her ear.
“Remember when you tried to touch my shoulder? We are from your mind.”
He lifted the knife and knelt by the edge of his bed. His heart was racing. Ace’s voice drowned out as he stared at his wife.
Abigail opened her eyes and looked at him, “Hey,” she spoke quietly.
His right arm jutted forward, slamming the knife into her torso. She let out a violent scream. Her right arm flew from under the covers and smacked Landon on the cheek. The momentum threw him across the room and out of the window. Glass cut against his face and arms as he flew out over the city street. A building approached. He braced himself and crashed through it like paper.
He tumbled to the ground in what appeared to be a recording studio.
“That’s the first step to go home,” Ace shouted from his bedroom window.
He moved to the edge of the paper and looked to her. Abigail stood from the bed, holding the knife above her head.
“Look out,” he wanted to yell, but couldn’t. Abigail brought the knife down and sliced across Ace’s neck.
The ground began to crumble underneath his feet. He held onto the paper but it tore with his weight. The darkness below him was cold as he fell into it. He broke into a sweat as he continued falling. His limbs flailed as he panicked.
He reached for anything.