Cold, dark and fear.
What happened to me? I opened my eyes but couldn’t see anything. The cold was bone-chilling; I was lying on a hard and cold surface. Was it stone?
“Emily, you can’t stay here; you will freeze,” I told to myself and tried to stand up. However, my body refused to respond. My legs and arms rested on the cold surface and my head was the only part of my body that obeyed my command and lifted from the surface.
Seconds later three small flames appeared above my head, and I could see a small round room looking like a dungeon. The surface I was lying on was the stone floor and I noticed several doors on the perimeter wall. The burning torches were located between the doors.
I didn’t have any idea where I was and how I got there. I didn’t recognize the room but there was a vague memory deep in my mind as if I had been here long ago. There was another mystery; why my body refused to react to my commands? Was I paralyzed?
My thread of thoughts was interrupted by a familiar feeling; my bladder was getting full. To my utter terror I realized I couldn’t stand up and relieve myself. All I could do was clenching my muscles and call for help.
“HEEEEEELP!” my voice echoed in the small stone dungeon but there was no reply at all. The attempt to clench my muscles failed and I felt the hot urine on my crotch and legs.
At that moment one of the doors opened and an unknown force pulled my limp body to it. I was flying through the door and heard it slam loudly.
I opened my eyes and needed a minute or two to realize I had been dreaming. I was lying in my bed; a special anti-bedsore one. My body was paralyzed after overcoming polio earlier in the past; surprisingly I didn’t remember it.
“Good morning, Emily. How did you sleep?” my caretaker Michelle opened the door and walked over to my bed. She was a very nice woman, about 10 years older than me but she was like my mother for me.
“Morning, Michelle,” I smiled at her and paused when the breathing stimulator made me inhale, “I slept well but I had a very strange dream.”
“Nice, tell me about it, but let’s take care of you first,” she leaned down and removed the blanket. The stench of urine spread across the room. My diaper was soaked as usual. I couldn’t control my bladder and bowels.
“Let’s setup the breathing rate first,” she switched the stimulator to the DAY mode, and I felt my breathing getting quicker. Fortunately, I had a breathing stimulator with implanted electrodes in my chest muscles that controlled my breathing. It was much better than the older breathing machines.
“Now you need a clean diapee,” she always used the childish word, but I wasn’t angry at her. It was somehow cute. Michelle untapped the soggy garment and revealed my shaved crotch. She shaved it regularly to keep my hygiene and avoid the diaper rash. She took the wet wipe and started cleaning me. I liked the cleaning; it was very pleasant, and I closed my eyes. Michelle knew it and she rubbed my sensitive parts a bit more than necessary. I was getting a little aroused and Michelle knew about it. However, I didn’t have the courage to ask her for more.
When she finished changing my diaper, she took off my nightshirt and dressed me into a comfortable home wear and lifted me into my wheelchair.
“Let’s have your breakfast, dear,” she smiled, and I moved my head to the wheelchair controller and drove off towards the kitchen. The smell of eggs and bacon was spreading across the room. Michelle sat down next to me and commenced feeding me. I opened my mouth just like a small baby and ate my portion slowly, bite by bite.
“Tell me about the dream, dear,” she turned to me when we finished, and she cleaned up the dishes.
“It was quite strange, Michelle. I was lying on the ground in a stone cave and there were doors around the cave. All of sudden one door opened, and I was pulled towards it. As the door closed behind me, I woke up.”
“This is strange indeed. It’s been a dream only but still unusual. What if we looked at a dream book?”
“What? A dream book? Do you believe in that stuff, Michelle?”
“Emily, we don’t have to take it serious. At least we can have fun,” she laughed, and I joined her. After all, a little fun couldn’t hurt.
“Okay but there is no dream book in my bookshelves. What if we went to a bookstore and found a dream book there?”
“A good idea for a trip. However, we don’t need to buy the book; there is a local library nearby and we can borrow and read it. Let’s redress you and we can go. The library is close, so we don’t need to drive. I can wheel you there not to waste the battery energy.” Michelle wheeled me back to my bedroom and put me back onto my bed. She took of my pants and T-shirt and revealed the wet diaper. I had peed after the breakfast.
“Well, you should make a poopie before we leave,” she massaged my tummy tenderly and I felt a mass of poop filling the back of my diaper. I couldn’t push and needed help for the number 2. Michelle put a protection sheet under my bottom and opened the messy package between my legs. She cleaned me thoroughly and I closed my eyes. Despite the terrible smell I liked the cleaning process very much.
After the diaper change Michelle put tights and dress on me; I still wanted to look pretty. She lifted me into the wheelchair and pushed me slowly out of the house and towards the local library. That visit was my first one and I was getting curious about it.
The library was a small building near our park. There were few people inside most of the time and the librarian was a nice young man. As I asked him for a dream book, he looked surprised.
“Miss, are you serious? I don’t remember when somebody asked me for a dream book for the last time,” he smiled at me and seemed to be amused by my request.
“Of course, I am, but I’m not ready to believe everything I’d find there,” I repaid his comment and he laughed shortly.
“Okay then. Wait a moment,” he turned away and walked over to the big shelves. Five minutes later he returned.
“Would you like to read it here or would you like to borrow it?”
“I think I will read it here. I’ve had only one dream that requires an explanation,” I smiled back.
He passed the book to Michelle and she wheeled me to a small table where I could see the pages; she opened the book and browsed the pages to find a match.
“This is a hit; read,” she put the book onto the table, and I read:
“Cave with doors – you can make a decision and the doors are your options.”
“Oh, what does it mean?” I turned my head to Michelle and looked at her as if I expected an answer. However, she looked confused and shook her head.
“Sorry, miss, but you remind me of my sister,” the young librarian’s voice sounded behind my back.
“She is also wheelchair bound and I have to take care of her. Our parents died at a car crash and she broke her backbone. Fortunately, I wasn’t hurt seriously and I’m her only family. She is a clever girl and I imagined her doing the same you are just now.”
“Does she have strange dreams?”
“I don’t know but she likes to do crazy things for fun; she always smiles and keeps good mood.”
“Nice,” I smiled at him, “anyway we have found something that we don’t understand at all.”
“Well, consider it fun then,” he laughed again and turned away when a girl sitting on a wheelchair emerged from behind the shelves.
“Thomas, can you give me …” she stopped in the middle of the sentence when she noticed me, “oh sorry; you are busy.”
“No sis, I was only talking to our client. What do you need?”
“Oh, that can wait,” she wheeled towards my wheelchair, “Miss, you are new here, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, I am,” I smiled at her, “Nice to meet you. My name is Emily, and this is my caretaker, Michelle.”
“Nice to meet you, too. My name is Angie,” she stretched her arm but stopped and retracted it when she noticed my limp arms on the chair rests, “Sorry, Miss Emily.”
“No problem and call me Emily only please. Your brother has told me about you already. Can I ask you what you are doing here?”
“Sure. I’m learning. I’d like to become an IT expert, but I can’t attend a regular school. Thomas takes care of me here and I spend my days reading books. What about you?”
“I had a strange dream last night and now we read a dream book.”
“Really?” she laughed, “This is fun. What did you learn?”
Michelle showed her the article about my dream and Angie stopped laughing and her face got serious.
“This is very interesting even if it looks crazy. Emily, do you know about some options you can choose of?”
“No idea, Angie. What could I choose? A food for dinner? My clothes? I don’t think the dream was about it.”
“I don’t know. Speaking about dinner; what if you visited us tonight? Thomas said you were all alone. We are all alone, too. Michelle, could you arrange it?”
“Of course, dear,” Michelle smiled.
“How so? Don’t you have any family?” Angie got curious and I was confused suddenly.
“No, I don’t … I don’t remember any family.”
“Oh, this is odd. What happened to you? Why are you paralyzed?
“It was polio, but I also don’t remember when and where.”
“Polio? I don’t know about an amnesia as a polio consequence. In either case, your parents or siblings would have found you and remind you of your past.”
“I don’t know, Angie; this is … a mystery.”
“Okay, we can think of it tonight after dinner,” she smiled at me.
“See you later,” she wheeled back to the shelves and Thomas followed her.
“Well, let’s go shopping for the dinner,” I turned to Michelle and she put the dream book back onto the counter and wheeled me out of the library.