An Author’s Reality Check by Chris Garrison
I woke, the thrum of great engines all around me, a stark bright moonscape rolling past the window near my bed. The throbbing, pulsing motors matched the pain behind my eyes.
A dwarfish figure approached my bed. “Eh, there ye are, lad. Nasty bump you’ve got there, but I think ye’ll be okey.” The small man wore a grey jumpsuit with a red cross upon his chest. A nametag read, “Bask”. He thumped my sternum with the flat of his hand. I coughed. He smiled. “Yep, yer still with me, heh!”
Something so familiar about this….
I unglued my tongue from the roof of my pasty mouth and said, “Where… Are we on the Moon?” My voice sounded rough to my ears. I tried to sit up, but the room spun, and Bask pushed me back into the bunk’s pillow with the same hand, gentler this time.
“Mebbe ye better lay back a spell, jest to get yer head back a bit.” He unhooked a squeeze bottle from the wall and handed it to me. I squeezed water into my mouth. It tasted so good that I gulped greedily.
Bask tsked. “Slow down a bit. Yer not yerself. Second case I’ve seen today.”
“Second? Someone else hit their head and wound up on the Moon?”
He laughed and shook his head. “Nae, th’ other one, he went to bed on an airship and woke up pregnant on the Moon. My moon that is, not his. Hers, rather.”
With a shock of realization, I woke fully. “This can’t be happening, I’m dreaming, this is a place I made up in my head. For a book.”
And knowing my own book, I felt around my body with my free hand. I found everything in place where it should be, no anatomical surprises like Bask’s other patient had.
He grinned. “Yer so smart, hmm? Makin’ up worlds? Mebbe it’s a bump on yer head’s got ye thinking yer someone yer not, that reality’s a dream and a dream’s reality? Mebbe someone’s writin’ about YOU, hmm? Jest another character in a book…”
I shook my head and regretted it, as the pain made my vision swim and blur. “Ugh,” I said.
“Mebbe,” he said, “Yer caught up, yer essence in another world, another you, like the young lady who just left here. What’s yer world like, hmm? Full o’ sky pirates and mad science? Or is it th’ place where everyone and his kin has a pocket supercomputer they use to look at photos o’ cats sayin’ funny things?” His eyes twinkled as my mouth hung open.
He said, “Looks like ye’ve got no words now, I guess. Yer own fault for makin’ up smartasses like meself. Ye’ll be okey once ye’ve got yer head together.”
I stared at the gnome-like Bask, concentrating until there was just one of him. I gathered in a deep breath, organizing my thoughts. If I’m really just talking to myself, I don’t want to sound like an idiot. “So, if you’re Bask, are ye… I mean you… the same Bask that’s in two different worlds of mine?”
He did a little jig and made a circle with his hands and placed it on his head like a crown. “Ye mean the world where there’s a lass who only sees fairies when she’s had drink or three?”
“Really? You know about-”
He cut me off. “Nah, never heard of it.”
“What? I just, I mean…”
Bask’s laugh came from deep in his belly. “Ye need some sleep, lad. I’m sure ye’ll wake up someplace outside of yer head. But by the by, could ye tell me one thing?”
“Sure, what is it?”
“Ye think I’ll get more lines in the next book?”
My turn to laugh. “I’ll see what I can do.”
He grinned and uncorked a tiny bottle and waved it in my face. The swimminess of the room intensified, and his words came as if from far away. “Sleep, and dream of grand things, lad.”
I followed the words down a well, and into a more peaceful slumber.
I have to write all this down as soon as I wake up.