Author : Mark Mance

I’m in my old car again. These things happen. You’re wondering what’s for lunch, and then–Bam! You’re already under, and cruising about.

I’m gunning it down Sunset Boulevard, and doing fishtails. I sure miss that car. Cars aren’t made like this anymore. Now they’re faster, lighter, and stocked with all kinds of crazy accessories.

“Open sun roof.”

Nothing happens. Oh yeah. Stupid. I push the button to open the sun roof. Wind immediately whips around inside. I haven’t felt this elated for a long time.

I have to hurry before I lose control. Distractions are common and this is my last Session. I just have see her again. I drive up to the house I had in college thinking she’d be there. Once inside things change. The layout’s different. That’s also common.


Two women are watching television. I’d almost forgotten those things. I remember when, No. Keep moving. I found her in the next room. Well, not exactly. On the bed a lump of covers, some pillows, and pile of clothes begin morphing into a sleeping figure —


“What is it?” she asks, yawning.

She props herself up. The blanket slides down a little and her features take time matching up. The eyes and hair color are the last to shift into recognition. A few auburn strands spill gracefully across her face. It’s her twenty years ago, sleepy and almost perfect. Her eyes are more vibrant, too silvery green. I sink slowly onto a couch across from her.


“Can I get you anything?” I ask too eagerly.

“You mean like the glass of water you said you’d have for me when I wake up?”

“Something like that. Hungry?”

“No. Again, what is it? Why are you staring like that?”

“Nothing. It’s just nice to see you.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You wouldn’t, Charlotte. This is it, though. I can’t keep doing this.”


“You and me. Here. Like this. It’s wrong,” I said. “We end up meeting other people.”

“I still don’t understand. Robbie, who are the women in the next room?” She shouldn’t have been aware of them, and I feel the test ending.

“The women in the other room are my future wife and sister in law.”

She looked confused, and then smiled.

We’re interrupted by a loud beeping noise. I feel like I’m being dredged up from some deep sea, and fumble for the ‘off’ switch. I remove the Dream-Lucid Armet, and take a deep breath. Twenty minutes just isn’t enough time, but I can’t conduct these tests on myself anymore.


Her smile hangs there for a second before vanishing into a fog of laboratory lights.

“Dim lights.”

“Sorry about the lights, Dr. Soneiro,” Marcus says sheepishly, “So, where did you go this time, back to your son’s graduation, or last summer’s trip to the Sea of Tranquility?”

I don’t answer. Instead, I drag myself off the bed, and go looking for some coffee.


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