My eyes opened, but I was no longer resting in my bed. Instead around me was a dark and empty Times Square. There was a nothing, no sounds, no people, the only light came from a few dim advertisement screens that were projecting a dark light. I looked around me in every direction. How could I have gotten here? There was no way this was New York. A fog began to roll in from all the corners of the square, blocking out more and more to my vision.
A limo pulled up next to me out of nowhere, and the door popped open. A soft woman’s voice came from inside. “Please, get in.”
With faced with obeying or staying in this void of New York, I stepped into the vehicle. It was quite bright inside the limousine. As soon as I stepped in the door closed and it began moving. My eyes began to adjust to the change in light, and I saw a beautiful woman, seated on the far side. She was wearing a bright suit and had her hair tied back. The rest of the car was padded in a sort of crimson velvet.
“Welcome,” she said to me, her pale eyes burning with a fierce intensity. “You’re the first visitor I’ve had in a long time.”
Waiting a moment before saying anything I asked, “Where am I? What is this place?”
She smiled a small smile and answered. “This is a space outside of the reality you know. A space of thought and mind, where things that could be, are, and all is possible.”
Of course, cryptic answers. Somehow this didn’t surprise me at all, and I looked out the window, but there was nothing but darkness. “For having so many possibilities, it sure is dark.”
“The unknown is always dark,” she retorted. “That’s why many fear it. Even what goes inside themselves.”
“Why am I here?” This seemed to me the more sensible question than ‘how’ for some reason.
“Because soon you will have many trials, many untruths that shroud your world, so I’m here to help you.” She reached into a compartment next to her and produced a clipboard with a paper and pen attached to it. To do so, however, I must offer you a contract. There is no power without the responsibility to use it.
I looked at the paper. When I focused on it, it was readable to me, or instead, I understood it, though passively looking at it my mind told me it was in a language I had never seen before. At the bottom, it said “I accept all responsibility for what is about to occur as a result of my actions.” and a place to sign.
“All must take responsibility. However, some prefer to abdicate it.” She continued.
“And what if I don’t want this responsibility?” I asked, hesitating.
“That is not the path I see before you. On that you might truly be lost, however, I cannot see it.” Her eyes shone again as she responded.
She was right of course. Even though none of this made sense I couldn’t, not sign this. It was who I was. I signed and handed it back to her.
“Very good,” She smiled, I will be right here, waiting to help you… we’ll meet again soon.” The car stopped, and she gestured to the door.
Without a word, there was suddenly no need, I opened it and stepped out–waking up in my seat in the airplane. I must have dozed off. The flight attendant sounded off an announcement on the intercom “we are now preparing for landing in New York, JFK International Airport, please put your chairs and tray tables in their upright position…”
I was dreaming the entire time? I set my chair back upright and stretched, trying to reorient myself. I was reading too many supernatural thrillers lately.