CH 2 - Reality Bites

Meike meets a fellow traveler, and a strange dog.

CH 2 - Reality Bites
Photo by Jacob Van Blarcom / Unsplash

When they came to, it was not in the comfortable window seat, or even on the floor, in a spill of limbs and mass confusion. But a scene that felt right at home in a dream: a field of flowers and a setting sun.

Meike sat up with a yawn, more curious than anything. Nothing felt out of the ordinary with their body, but assuming the train crashed, there was no sign on it. No broken machinery, scorched tracks, or even the bodies of their fellow passengers. ‘So it has to be a dream,’ they thought, and stood to take stock of their surroundings.

The field they’d found themself in consisted almost entirely of ranunculus flowers of all shades, but arranged in such a pleasing matter that it had to be deliberate. Someone’s private garden, if they had to guess. And yet there was no sign of civilization anywhere, no houses, roads, or other structures. ‘It’s a dream.’

But Meike had no love for buttercups, or the yellows and oranges that dotted the reds and blues. They cared little for flowers at all, outside of studying their properties and breeding potentials. Any garden of theirs, fictional or otherwise, would be strictly carnivorous: sundews, flytraps, pitcher plants, rafflesia, and waterwheels.

They waded through the flowers, their target the lone tree in the area. If they could climb it and get a good view, it might shed some light on this mystery. ‘Or you’ll fall down, hit your head, and wake up.’

But Meike never got that far; they were in the middle of swinging themself up onto one of the sturdier branches, when their foot caught on something solid. Not solid the way the tree trunk was, but more of the flesh and bone variety. They tentatively nudged the object beneath the leaves, and something white and slender rolled out—a human arm.