Connie Cuthbert smacked the alarm clock blaring on her nightstand. Rubbing her eyes, she slowly blinked and looked at the time, 2:42 A.M. Why was her alarm going off this early? With a huff, she flipped her pillow over to the cool side and attempted to fall back to sleep. A cool breeze blew gently against her cheek. Her hand reached up, pushing away an invisible force. Slowly, she rolled over onto her back, arms at her sides. Showing no indication of stirring, Connie’s jet black hair fell from her shoulders, and her hands dangled beneath her body as she began to rise into the air.
The silver comforter covering her body slipped and fell in a crumpled greyish pile, onto the bed. Her red, silk pajamas gleamed in the moonlight, and a thin mist rose from her illuminated skin. She now rested only a few inches from the ceiling, wholly oblivious to the precarious conditions. The inexplicable levitation lasted only a few moments. As she was delicately laid back onto the pillow, Connie groaned in her sleep. She rolled over, wrapping up in her blanket and was still none-the-wiser about the early morning’s events. When her alarm went off again, it was at the proper time, 8 A.M.
When she woke and headed to the bathroom, she caught a glance of her reflection in the full-length mirror. Stopping in the hallway, she stared in shock. At first, she thought her eyes were deceiving her. Then, she reached down and felt the large, firm bump with both hands. She was easily seven or eight months pregnant! Frantically, she scanned her memories. Had she somehow misplaced eight months of her life? No. The last thing she remembered was going to sleep as a single, non-pregnant woman. She was about to call the police – what she’d have said, she had no idea – when she felt a warm gush of water between her legs.
‘No!’ She thought, ‘no, no, no, no, NO! I am not about to have a baby! What the hell?!’
“Connie?” An unfamiliar voice called out from the kitchen, “Connie, you up? I got coffee. Decaf for you, of co-” The strange man entered the hallway carrying two large Starbuck’s coffees and stopped short upon seeing the expression on her face. “Connie?” he asked cautiously, “You alright?” Looking down, he saw the puddle between her bare feet. “Oh, Gods! It’s time! The baby’s coming?!”
Without waiting for a response, the unnamed man flew into a panic, shouting reassurances over his shoulder as he began gathering their things. Still in a daze, Connie stood still as a statue, barely able to breathe.
“Connie! Come on! We’ve got to get a move on, or we’ll be stuck in traffic forever. I don’t want to have this baby on the side of the road, do you?” Breathlessly, he covered Connie’s pajama-clad body with a soft, brown coat – another thing she didn’t recognize – and steered her toward the front door.
The walls, once adorned with witty literature quotes, were now covered with photographs, depicting the two of them as a couple. Connie let herself be guided to a sleek, black Ford Explorer and buckled into the passenger seat. As the man, presumably her husband or boyfriend, put the vehicle in gear, she recalled the dream she’d had, just after the alarm clock had inexplicably gone off in the middle of the night. She’d dreamt she was flying – or falling – she couldn’t quite tell which. It wasn’t air she was ‘falling’ through, though.
She’d thought it odd to see a mirror image of her bedroom, albeit warped and stretched, swirling around her as she tumbled through the ethereal space. The ‘air’ around her had felt wet and dense, almost like a soap bubble. It had been such a vivid dream, but so short, she’d all but forgotten it when she’d awakened. Now, as it came back to her in bits and pieces, she began to wonder if it was possible she’d slipped into a parallel dimension. One in which she’d made some very, very different decisions.
The man looked over at her and patted her arm. “It’ll be okay,” he said sympathetically, “Just keep breathing. You doing alright?”
Connie nodded. “One thing’s for sure,” she said between contractions, “I’m going to need extensive therapy after this.”