‘And how often do you have the dream?’ she asks.
Every part of me feels heavy, as if I’m bloated flesh washed up on the shore, seaweed laced in my hair. I begin to drift away again, the chemical smell in the room, the lights that slice my eyes like blunt razors fading to points.
‘Sophie.’ Again that sharp voice, like a hook trying to pluck thoughts from my head, dragging me back. ‘Sophie. When do you have the dream?’
My lips open, words slip out, slimy on my tongue. ‘What dream?’
This is what the voice doesn’t understand. I don’t dream. Never. I’ve no use for fantasy, only for my other life.
I can hear the impatience in the voice as she says, ‘Perhaps we should talk another day.’
It’s then I smell it. The metal tang, the scent of the deep ocean, of sand and shale, starfish and baleen, the waft of coral after a storm. I open my eyes. Sunlight has been swallowed. Instead the world is green, walls rippling, my hair suspended about me, pulled by the current, questing through soft waves.
A hand touches my cheek. He’s come for me.