The Victorian house whispered to Miller as he stood on the porch, knowing it was a dream. He was on the verge of awakening but resisted the urge, wanting to see what was inside, what was drawing him to the gabled house.
Standing in the small alcove, Miller knocked on the door. To his surprise, the door was opened by an anachronism, a butler dressed in bow tie and tails. The tall, bald man looked at Miller and nodded, "The Princess awaits." He said, and he followed the butler into the center hall, who motioned for Miller to enter the living room, which was off to right.
Miller was startled to see a young woman in a mauve gown lying on a couch with her hands crossed over her chest. He approached carefully and knelt beside the sofa. She had long black hair, an angled face and alabaster skin, appearing to be in a deep sleep. Without hesitation, he leaned forward and kissed her on the lips.
The princess sat up abruptly with a sigh. She turned her head and eyed Miller who pulled back. "Such a long time." She said. "I've waited eons for you. Here..." And the mysterious, young woman patted the cushion beside her. Miller obeyed and sat on the couch as she sighed and rubbed her forehead. He was quiet, knowing this was just his oddest of odd dreams. Lately, he had dreamed he was on a rural two-lane road, walking toward an unknown destination. Now he had arrived and he was convinced he would wake in a few minutes. The princess put her hand on his knee. "You are the chosen." She said. "And now your wishes have come true. We will be together through eternity and live a life of luxury in our mansion. I am yours forever!"
Miller's eyes widened and he looked around. "This is nice." He said, referring to the quaint Victorian, but I wouldn't call it a mansion." The princess laughed. "This is the gatehouse where I have been waiting for you. Our mansion is in the woods, set on an idyllic lake. We have a staff to take care of us and your wish is their command."
The Princess droned on about their dream life together. Miller scratched the back of his hand thinking he would wake up. But no, the Princess was telling him about the rooms in the mansion, about their chef. He nodded absently, recalling an obscure theory in quantum mechanics about parallel universes. Instead of some hidden portal, perhaps his extended sleep had transited him into this universe, one where the Princess had slept awaiting his arrival.
"Imagine" she said. And then she prodded him with her elbow. "Are you listening? You seem far away." She said in annoyance, her voice hard.
He looked at her and smiled."It's overwhelming", he said. She was correct... it did seem a dream come true.
Or was it a never ending nightmare?