Sarah was trapped in the inky black darkness, unable to move. She couldn't tell if her eyes were open or not, the darkness was too great. She couldn't move an inch of her body, she was trapped inside her own mind it felt like. She couldn't even feel her own body, or even the temperature of the air around her. Sarah had never experienced anything like this before, this dark all encompassing blackness and paralysis.
Sarah was left alone in her thoughts. She wasn't sure if she was dreaming or not, but she didn't think she was awake. She couldn't remember how she had gotten to this place or what she had been doing previously. If almost felt as if she had been in this blackness forever. She was scared. She tried to call out for help, tried to call the name of the person who had always been there for her. Her lips wouldn't move, she wasn't even sure if she had lips anymore. Still she kept on trying, trying to scream out that name, finally she was able to scream.
The whole world shattered, on the distant horizon, Sarah thought she could see some light, the light moved closer and closer until the brightness was all she could see.
Sarah sat up, panting heavily. She looked around trying to see where she was, her own room was what came into focus. She quickly looked over at her clock, and realized she was already running late for work. Without really thinking about it, she uploaded her video to DreamTube. She noticed that she had a new message, but she since she was already so late, she didn't have time to check it.
Sarah rushed out the door to work. Sarah had a relatively normal day at work, she did the register again, but today felt different. She felt more confident in herself, something she had never really felt before. Sarah started to have fun at work, chatting with her fellow employees, enjoying herself. It was as if all it took to get her out of her shell was one good night out with some friends.
When it was time for Sarah to leave, she was approached by a average sized woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a name tag the said "Sam - Manager", so Sarah figured she was the manager of the Sportswear department. "Hey are you Sarah?" the woman said forcefully.
"Oh yes, I am."
"I'm Sam, I run the Sportswear department. The holiday season is almost here, and we are going to need a lot of help. I'm going to start training you on Tuesday ok?" Sam smiled at Sarah awkwardly. Sarah wasn't sure how she felt about moving to a new department just after she had gotten used to working the register, but she agreed. This was her job now, and she'd do whatever was asked of her. "Ok I look forward to working with you." The two women shook hands, and Sarah clocked out and left for home.
As she was driving home, Sarah had a lot on her mind. She thought about her new manager Sam, and what it would be like to work in a new department. She wouldn't see Jenn as much there, but she'd probably see Emily a whole lot more. Up until she only saw Emily when they were on break together, or when she came up to get her returns. Today she had even let Sarah feel her stomach as her baby kicked. Sarah had never felt such a thing before, she wondered what it'd be like to having another living being inside of yourself. There were so many thoughts in her head it took a long time before she started thinking about the dream she had the night before. A dream so scary she decided it would be best if she forgot about it.
Once she got home she logged back onto her computer, wanted to see what the message was that she couldn't check earlier. Now she had two messages. They were both from TimeInABottle. The first one said "im doing well. im gonna get a dreamsight today, im so excited. you can watch my dream tomorrow!" The second one said "oh wow your latest dream was really scary. i uploaded my dream, wont you watch it?"
Sarah clicked over to his DreamTube channel, and saw that there was one video, about five minutes in length. Something Sarah had realized once she started uploading her dreams, was that although dreams seemed to take up the whole night, once converted into video form they were hardly ever over fifteen minutes long. Her last dream had felt like an eternity, yet it only lasted three minutes. Sarah clicked on the video, and it began to play.
A young man was frantically searching around a parking lot. The parking lot was full of people, yet the young man couldn't find whatever it was he was looking for. The view shifted almost in perceptively to a mountain top. From there the view shifted to a dozen more place, and with each shift the young man seemed more and more frantic.
Then to boy uttered one word, one single word that left Sarah in a panic, unable to move for several minutes. When she could she closed the browser window, unable to reply to the messages she had received. She heart pounded heavily in her chest, almost as if it was a bird trying to escape from a cage. The word echoed over and over in her head.
She leaned back in her chair, her mind unable to rationalize what she had just seen. All those places had looked so familiar. And it had been her name that was spoken at the end. She tried to convince herself that it was just a coincidence. Sarah was a very common name after all.
She started to laugh, quietly at first, then it reached a fever pitch. She was being so silly. Of course it was just a coincidence! Lots of people had dreams about similar places, and lots of people had the name Sarah. She was being absolutely ridiculous about this whole situation. Yet she still could not let herself log back onto her DreamTube account.
Sarah didn't eat dinner that night, when her mother asked her if she was hungry she just said no. She lay awake all night, her mind full of an angry buzzing sound. She didn't want to think about the video she had seen. She didn't want to think about anything. Most of all, she didn't want to dream anymore.
Sarah spent the few days in a daze. She had another day off, another day on the register, and then she finally got to work in the sportsware department. Sam was a good teacher, and Sarah tried her best to learn all the things she was teaching her. Sportsware turned out to be the whole woman's department, even the dresses. When she got there in the morning, at nine instead of ten, Sam showed her how to put new stock out. She had a sheet of numbers, and she told Sarah that the numbers referred to the barcodes, and that the first few numbers of each barcode would tell her where to put each item. Sarah could keep the sheet until she could remember where each item went. After the store opened, Sam told Sarah that she should stay by the fitting rooms, and make sure that customers took a number for the amount of items they were trying on, and to make sure they took the same amount of items back out. When there was no customers, she should put away all the items the customers didn't want. Sarah tried to remember all the things that Sam was telling her, but she had a hard time. She kept putting away items in the wrong place, but with Sam's help she found the right places. It wasn't a very hard job, but Sam warned that the closer it got to Christmas, the busier and crazier the store would get.
After work that day, Emily and Jenn convinced Sarah to go with them to the mall. Sarah didn't really want to go, and protested that she was too tired, but they wouldn't take no for an answer. Sarah was glad that she went in the end though. Emily went to the maternity store and tried on a bunch of outrageous outfits and modeled them for the giggling Jenn and Sarah. Afterwards they went to go get pretzels and sat by the fountain.
A slightly ghetto man, wearing sagging pants and a shirt that was covered in skulls approached the girls. He looked at Emily and said "Hey Momma, still with the baby daddy?"
Emily rolled her eyes and said "Yeah no. Just don't." He walked away dejectedly, and the girls all giggled amongst themselves at the audacity of some guys.
Sarah felt at peace as she drove home against the setting sun. Almost all the leaves were gone from the trees, soon it would start snowing. The air was very chilly now, at night it got down post freezing. This was the time of year Sarah loved to cuddle in her bed with her electric blanket and a cup of hot chocolate and read a good book. Tonight though, she laid down in her bed, ignoring her computer for the third day and a row, and let sleep take her unwillingly.
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