"He kept on talking, but his words faded away. They were drowned in the loud buzzing in the back of my head.
“Caleb” I meant to say his name normally, but my voice sounded weak and shaky. The room shifted and turned, my head was spinning and my stomach dropped.
“Rose, are you okay?”
I blinked once, twice, thrice, but it didn't help. I reached for the coke but didn't have the strength to lift it. I fell backwards against the floor, but through I could hear the bump in my skull, I didn't feel the pain. I could no longer hear Caleb talking to me, but I watched his face as the edges of my vision darkened until I could see nothing but utter blackness"

After a sudden blackout, sarcastic occult-fan 'Alyce with a Y' finds herself somewhere very far away from home, discovering truths about herself she'd never thought possible.

(Tilmeldt Fantasy-konkurrencen, valgmulighed 1)


3. Unfamiliar reflexion

What time is it?” I asked the girl whose name I still didn't know as we walked – arm in arm – to get to the Cleansing. Whatever that was.

It's a few minutes past 7 PM” she answered without hesitation. My brows shot up.

How do you know?”

She looked at me with a puzzled expression. “Can't you tell?” I shook my head. “Hm. Maybe you really are ill”

We continued in silence until Nathaniel, the guy who woke me earlier, caught up behind us.

Hey Luna, Callie, where are you going?” he asked, slightly out of breath. He must've had to run to catch up.

To the Cleansing, where else?” Callie replied. He shot her a knowing and slightly arrogant half-smile I would have thought him incapable of.

It's not going to be in the auditorium tonight,” he informed “they're holding it in the temple because it's the last one before the Harvesting”

But I didn't think the temple had a window?” Callie said.

It does”

How do you know?”

Mentor Jacqueline just told me” Nathaniel admitted less cockily. “And you!” he pointed at me. “Why aren't you in your bed? You were supposed to rest” he said the words frustratedly, but his eyes gave away the worry he felt. It made me feel loved and cared for.

Well,” I shot a glance at the girl “Callie reminded me how important this particular Cleansing could be” I said, remembering the words she'd used. Nathaniel nodded.

I know. It was always so important to you” he said the last part so softly I don't think Callie heard it. I felt uncomfortable under his gaze. What if he could tell I was pretending just by looking at me?

Well, ladies” he slipped one arm around each of our waists and began leading us in a different direction from where we'd been going before. To the temple, I guessed. The intimacy of the gesture was unsettling, and I kept wondering what my relationship to each of the two figures was. 7 PM. Callie said it was just past 7 PM. It was the same time as the moment Caleb had barged into my room back home. Back home... I repeated the words to myself a few times. Technically I was still at home. I mean, I fell asleep on the floor. I must be in bed, I told myself. I tried to calm my poking thoughts. I was in bed. I was tired, fell asleep, and Caleb carried me into bed. Yes. That was probably why I hadn't awoken yet. That's what I told my conscious, but my subconscious kept stirring around the little, unspoken 'maybe'.


When Nathaniel opened the huge, marble doors, I knew I should have expected something like the sight before me. The short time I'd spent in this... Dream? – Whatever it was – had taught me that I should always be prepared for surprises. It had ben naïve to think that such a majestic building as the one we were about to enter would look plain and ordinary on the inside. Nevertheless, the doors before me had revealed a marvelous hallway. It was very long, very narrow, and made of one, giant mirror. Floor, walls, and even the arched ceiling was mirror, reflecting us again and again. I gasped in surprise and wonder, but then the unusual room revealed yet another sight I was unprepared for. The reflexion in the mirror showed not just two platinum blonde figures. It showed three. I walked closer. Yes, it was my reflexion, but it was not me. The girl I saw had some of my features. Our eyes had the same shape. We had the same cupid's bow, the same delicate collarbone. But she was much, much paler. Skinnier. Her hair was that distinctive almost-white color and her eyes were the same cold, icy blue as Nate's and Callie's. A chill ran down my spine. Why did I look like this?

That's not my face” I whispered to my reflexion.

It's the hair” Callie said, startling me. I had forgotten they were right behind me. “You always wear your hair in a braid or a bun. Never loose. It makes you look so different”

I agree” Nathaniel added, “but I really like your hair like this. I makes you look more serene and less up-tight” he said it with a smile and ran his fingers through my hair as he spoke about it. I wanted to step away, swat at his hand and wipe his touch away along with the constant intimacy that came along with interacting with those two. Why did they have to get in my comfort-zone all the time? It made me feel violated, constantly wary, vigilantly awaiting the next odd touch or gesture.

Callie put her hand on my shoulder, proving my point and scaring the crap out of me at the same time. I tried to calm my racing heart while she spoke.

You look beautiful either way” she said sweetly. I thanked her half-heartedly.

We should really get going” Nathaniel sounded like he did earlier, before the so-called orientation. Impatient as hell.

I didn't have the mental resources to enjoy the rest of the beautiful surroundings as Callie and Nathaniel navigated their way through the complex building. I was so surprised by the sight of my reflexion that I could think of nothing else. Could a dream really create such a detailed experience?

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