Story A Day September: Day 4

So this is my own prompt today, but I hadn’t actually thought through what I was going to write with it. In fact, I hadn’t thought about it at all. As a result, I suppose, the story I wrote yesterday kind of fits into this prompt as well (even though the prompts are actually very different).

After spending most of the idea not knowing what to write about, this came to me. Enjoy. (I think it’s the beginning of something a fair bit longer.)

********

The Morning After
Her head was pounding and she couldn’t exactly remember why.

Her mouth was dry.

She must have had a lot to drink last night.

She moaned as she cracked her eyes open. It was so bright.

And then she paused.

This was not her condo.

This was not a condo at all.

She sat up gingerly and looked around her.

It was a cottage, definitely a cottage. But not the type you would rent up in cottage country north of the city. It was too clean and neat.

And small.

As she stood, she realized the ceiling was not far above her head. How peculiar!

It was funny, now that she considered it, she didn’t remember drinking last night. In fact, last night was very vague, where she had been, what she had been doing.

She had been laying across several small beds arranged close to each other. How funny.

She made her way to the small window which was open and looked out.

With a start, she pulled her head back in.

No.

She looked out again.

This was not downtown Toronto.

This was not… Well, it was not anything she knew. It was forest, yes, but looked like no forest she had ever seen. There was a certain unreal perfection to the thick trees and the small clearing the cottage sat in. Perfect trees, bizarrely symmetrical flower beds. A small deer gently grazing on the bright green lawn.

Shaken, she stumbled out of the room and found herself in a tidy living room. She noticed that the furniture seemed to be smaller, like child-sized almost.

What on earth….

She felt panicked, not knowing whether to continue looking around the cottage or go outside.

Frankly, though, the outside scared her. Where was she?

What had happened last night? Had she been drinking? Although she had immediately thought this was a hangover, the more she lived with it, the more it didn’t feel like one. There was something … different about it.

For one thing, there was a complete gap in her memory, no vague images or bits of conversation. As she searched her mind, she could not get past sitting at her desk at work yesterday. At least, she assumed it was yesterday. She sighed and perched on the very low chair that sat beside a rather adorable fireplace.

Where was she?

She took a deep breath. Inside or out? Where would she investigate next? It was all she could do, so she might as well do what she can.

And maybe she would find some ibuprofen for this awful headache.

Perhaps half an hour later, she sat back down, having spent the intervening time poking around the living room and the kitchen that was through a small arch.

Both rooms were neat and tidy. There were no dirty pots and pans in the kitchen.

The floor had clearly been swept. The fridge and cupboards were well stocked with a variety of foodstuffs and dishes and cups were neatly stacked on open shelves.

A wooden table was surrounded by seven wooden chairs (an odd number, she thought).

In the living room, there was a sofa, a love seat and a couple of comfortable looking armchairs. The walls were mostly taken up with full bookshelves, as well as the fireplace she had noticed earlier.

She ought to look around outside now, she knew, although the mere thought of it made her feel worse than she did anyway.

She just needed to do it.

With determination, she walked over and opened the door. The outside looked just as surreal as it had from the window.

Tentatively, she stepped out and walked out onto the lawn.

The grass felt springy under her feet.

Up close, the lawn and flowers and trees looked a bit more real, although still far too perfect. And there was some undefinable oddness about the whole situation.

She turned around, at a loss as to what to do next.

Then there was a sound in the distance. Whistling, she thought.

That was weird.

She tried to assess what direction it was coming from.

The whistling got louder.

The anxiety returned with full force and she wondered if she ought to hide. Where?

But before she could figure out what to do, a man emerged out of the forest. Then another.

They were short, shorter than her.

Another, more.

She felt dizzy by the time she was faced with the seven small men looking at her.

“What’s the matter, Snow?” the first one said, speaking with familiarity.

Dizzier.

“Are you okay?” said another.

She felt herself falling, but was unconscious by the time she fit the springy, very green grass.

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