There is nothing, and it is nowhere.
Then something emerges.
What was once dark and empty now becomes white and light as though a light has switched on. Still it has no shape, not until lines creep out, crawling apart, to give it volume. It becomes a sketch of a box on plain white paper.
Over on the far side of the box, a window grows. For the moment, it is little more than a suggestion of a window, slightly more than a young child’s sketch. Outside the window, it is summer. There is the bright green of summer grass. A cliff edge and the sea below it stretching out to a horizon, where it meets an almost cloud free-sky.
Now the wall around the window appears, pale blue paint on old walls. The ceiling bows and bends between solid ancient beams. The beams themselves are dark, and – in places – damaged by the centuries they’ve been though.
It is a bedroom now. An iron-framed bed stands on bare floorboards. Age has warped the floorboards too. Some bowed in places and a couple of rugs cover the spaces between the sparse bedroom furniture.
It is a big bed, a double bed. The head turns to see you are not alone. A shape sleeps next to you, a human shape. You realise you exist here too and look down to see what you are.
Human too… for once.
This time, a man and young too.
You glance up seeing something familiar. The room has grown from a memory, or rather several memories. There was once a holiday cottage with a bedroom like this, but it did not look out on the sea.
You turn and see the woman who sleeps next to you is not your wife.
Now you know this is no dream or memory.
This is a story.
Now you are keen to get out of the bed to face the morning and learn whatever this story is going to tell you.