She woke to a whiff of Darjeeling—that gentle caress to her nostrils that told her that Lorenzo had awakened early today. She could feel the press of his body on his side of the bed as he lay the tray there, ready for her when she was ready for it. He would not disrupt her, knowing all too well how she loved her Saturday mornings away from the press of the paparazzi and the demands of the fashion world.
On any other day, it wouldn’t be feasible to sleep in, but in addition to being a weekend, this was her birthday. She fell again into a sleep where there was no good reason for fantasy. Her own life was fabulous enough to be replicated in dreams. Both children grown and off to their own fairytale lives: Francesca in Crete with her minor royalty husband, Sebastian a skillful artist flying from one country to the next to fulfill the long list of commissions that stretched out to infinity.
All-in-all, she herself had lived out all her childhood fantasies and only now had it become feasible to start to delegate tasks—grooming some of her most talented protégés to take over the designing and running of her couturier salon. Time to lie back and take it easy and let Lorenzo pamper her in all the ways he knew so well.
She stretched luxuriously, reaching her arm up to hit against the silk of her padded headboard, but strangely, hit instead against wood. Curious. She opened her eyes. Light leaked into the room from between bent venetian blinds. Where was she? On the edge of the bed, a slightly paunchy old man with a day’s stubble on his cheeks sat studying the center foldout of a magazine he held at arm’s length. As she stirred, he looked up from it, his eyes widening in surprise. “Essie?”
She looked down at her own wrinkled hands, extending from the sleeve of a cheap pair of pajamas. She stroked her cheeks, dry and wrinkled , and wiped a small line of drool from the corner of her mouth. “Where am I?” Her voice felt as flaky and dry as her skin, her throat almost choking with the words.
“Yer here in Elm Gap,” he said, “where we’ve always been. Essie, do you remember what happened, yer slipping on the ice and falling sideways against the water tank? Do you remember anythin’, Essie, of the twenty years since then?”
“Twenty years? I’ve been asleep for twenty years? What of Lorenzo and Francesca and Sebastian? Where are they?”
“They’re right here, Ma, waiting for you as usual,” a straw-haired woman said from the corner of the room. She, like her father, was rounded and nondescript—a thirtyish childlike frumpy creature much like the girl Essie had been. She was patting a tall pile of romance novels. “I been reading them to you for twenty years, Ma. You woke up just in time, cuz Ladonna LaRue, their author, just died and there won’t be any more. But now you won’t be needing her life any more, because you’ve returned to your own. We always knew you’d return to us, Ma. This is your lucky day. And ours.
The prompt words today were skill, disrupt, whiff and feasible. Matt’s prompt was to create a simulated world. Here are the links:
For Daily Inkling’s Simulation Theory.