One moment she was at the society meeting, the next she opened her eyes to a watercolor-looking world, a landscape that looked painted, manipulated, both false and true simultaneously. Stranger still was the aspect of standing outside herself, or looking into a mirror, or perhaps she had just discovered a twin.
“Uh …” she said, looking at her doppelganger, “where the hell are my clothes? This isn’t funny!”
Yet, from all around her, in shades of gray, brown, white, and purple … something laughed.
And something sort of … popped up.
“Mushrooms,” she said, “giant mushrooms.”
The mushrooms giggled …
“Mushroom Man,” she said, “just messing with my head …”
The mushrooms, clearly moving now, laughed harder until their voices became a collective hum, actually, “Thum,” she said aloud. “That thumming sound, sounds kind of science-fictiony …”
She took a deep breath. I was not meant for this kind of work, she thought.
No, no, no …
“Lucy,” said a mushroom creature. And another: “Lucy …”
A mushroom fella popped up out of a batch of watercolor flowers. “Lucy!”
“Stop it!” she screamed.
The mushroom men laughed. “Lucy! Lucy! Lucy! Lucy!”
She turned to her twin and reached out to touch the alternate universe Lucy, grasping for a physical connection to something un-mushroom.
But the twin stepped back, raising a finger to its lips. “Shhhh,” she said, “it’s secret.”