(Read Prelude first) Sam discovers not all is what it seems. Who is she?
|Samantha stayed very still. She was awake, but she was determined not to move until she was prepared. Slowly she inhaled. Opening her eyes, she glanced around. The early morning light streaming through the window illuminated a very pink, very girly bedroom. With a sigh of relief she recognized it as her own.
‘Now for the hard part,’ she thought.
Methodically starting at her toes and working her way up; systematically tensing her muscles and looking for any problems before she actually moved. All seemed to be in working order. Carefully moving her right arm and rolling onto her side, she swung herself into a sitting position.
‘Bad move,’ her mind screamed at her.
The room swam in and out of focus. Her stomach gave a queasy lurch as stale escaping gases made their way out in an ear splitting belch that perfumed the atmosphere with the smell of alcohol and curry. Samantha was not a big drinker and she detested curries. To wake like this was unusual, but nothing stranger than what she had encountered previously over the past six months. A couple of times she had woken with various cuts and bruises and even a broken finger; all totally inexplicable.
Carefully, she levered herself up to her impressive height of 5 feet and the important half inch, and stumbled towards the bathroom. Looking hard into the mirror, she slowly pirouetted. Nothing looked out of place. No new cuts or abrasions. She ignored the older injuries, which were now no more than faded red lines. Large, normally twinkling green eyes, now red rimmed and dull, peered back at her; along with a small pert nose heavily dusted with freckles and a generous, full mouth. Faint lines, usually covered with makeup, could be seen under one eye. Thick and wavy strawberry blonde hair, which she knew hid other scars, flowed down her back. Samantha had often been described as a slightly larger version of “Strawberry Shortcake;” emphasis on the slightly. She looked as if she had put in a very hard night. She needed a long shower. Pulling back her hair, she felt a twinge in her left shoulder. Angling herself, she peered into the mirror. She sighed. Somehow, she had become the proud new owner of a tattoo; a playing card with the ace of spades on it.
Samantha dressed herself comfortably in a frilly pink nightgown and over sized strawberry colored bunny slippers. Alternate use of hot and cold water had made her feel halfway human. It was lucky that she worked from home. As a freelance computer analyst, she was able to work the hours that suited her. She made her way into the kitchen and on the bench she found her coffee percolator happily chuckling away.The rich smell emanating from it indicated its contents were ready. Beside it was a note.
On a plate beside this was a fresh succulent, strawberry Danish. It was her favorite. Another note was beside it.
Curiouser and curiouser! She felt she had just walked into a scene from Alice in Wonderland. She had no idea how the Danish had appeared because she had not left her apartment in over a year… since the incident. Pouring herself a mug of strong black coffee and taking her Danish, she entered the office where she spent most of her waking hours. Bright colored walls, over flowing bookshelves; it was cluttered but comfortable. Pride of place on a huge oak desk was her computer; her life line to the outside world. With this, she was able to contact people, order what she needed and to do her work. Strange. Her computer was already on. She knew she had turned it off the previous night. She quickly scanned her desktop screen and noticed a new folder in the right-hand corner. It was labelled in large letters.
It contained a video file. She clicked on it.
The screen went black and she found herself looking at… herself; a stronger and more confident looking self. The hair tightly pulled back in a braid and eyes that sparkled. The persona that was presented was competent and business like. All the things she considered herself to be lacking. The camera zoomed out and her gaze drifted over the clothes that her camera self was wearing; a dark fitting shirt offering just a hint of cleavage, long black pants and heavy ‘Doc Martin ’boots. All this was done in silence. The camera zoomed in once more, till her the face filled the screen.
“Hello Samantha. I felt it was time that we met.”