It was only another day. There was nothing special about it. Mornings happened to Carla, often by surprise. She lay her head down on the pillow at night. Then without any warning, it was morning again.
She had dreams, of course. Deep involved dreams that took her to lands and places she had never known where people she’d never seen before treated her as though she belonged with them.
It took time for Carla to acknowledge the existence of the morning, even though it was just another day like all the others she’d known in her thirty years of life.
The day waited out there beyond her curtains, beyond her bedroom door. But she did not know what lay beyond that fact of the morning. Her days, these days, were a well-established routine. It had been a long time since anything strange or out of the ordinary had happened to her. Carla was beginning to think this was how it would be for the rest of her life.
By then she would have been awake long enough to remember the world of her dreams and how that was so much different. There she had everything she lacked in this world.
‘That’s why they call them dreams,’ she muttered to herself as she pulled herself out of the comfort of the sheets and stumbled over to her curtains.
She shivered as she reached for the curtains. It was spring, still a bit chilly in the mornings, but at least it was light outside. There was something wrong with getting up to go to work in the dark, as though the world out there was cheating her of something.
Bright sunny days like this one felt wrong too, as though the world of work was stealing the sunlight out of her life.
But then this whole world felt wrong.
Sometimes Carla wished she were a character in a story. Someone in a fantasy story who discovers that the world she dreams of is her real world she was exiled from by some evil magical spell.
She would like to think that there was some secret key she’d discover one day that would lead her back to her rightful world and her true place in it, far away from this dull routine world that trapped her.
In that dream world she was the Queen of the Summer Islands, ruling over a kingdom of over a hundred islands, large and small, with couriers, advisers, and magicians to carry out her every whim. She had foreign kings, even emperors, awaiting an audience with her as she sat in her throne in the Summer Place high on the hill overlooking the bay.
Sometimes it felt so real to Carla.
Sometimes, it was so real she could smell the exotic perfumes her maids and slaves anointed her with each morning after her languid bath. As they dressed her, hidden musicians played on the balcony above, while she looked out over the bay, where her war galleons sat in the harbour awaiting her orders.
Here, in this grey world, all she had was a shower that dribbled tepid water over her as she wished she could find some way of escaping this world that held her prisoner.