The ceiling was rustic wood and four empty coat hooks hung just above the headboard of the bed I was lying on.
Seeing light from the corner of my eye, I turned my head toward it. The small room had another bed near the window, an iron stove in one corner, and a small table with two chairs in the other. The walls were made of the same rustic wood as the ceiling. Outside, the repetitive sound stopped. A few moments later, the door opened to reveal a man carrying an armful of wood.
His scarlet coat and Stetson hat announced his profession.
“What the shit? A Mountie?” I gaped, jolting upright. My joints ached, and my skin smarted as though I was covered in bruises.
“I see you’re awake. How are you feeling?” the Mountie asked.
“Who are you? Where am I? How did I get here?” My panicked voice sounded unfamiliar in my ears.
He walked over to the corner and stacked the wood near the stove. “You must have hit your head pretty hard there. I’m Constable Delaforet. You’re in Farrloch. As for how you got here, I found you in the forest near the barracks, half-clothed, unconscious, and chilled to the bone. I carried you in here.”
I eyed the Mountie, squinting suspiciously, as he removed his hat and placed it on the table.
His steady voice sounded as though he was trying to calm a frightened animal, and his light blue eyes were soft with pity. His brown hair was tousled from his hat, and his face was shadowed by what looked like two-day stubble. He seemed to be in his mid-twenties, around my age.
I took in his strong, broad shoulders and solid frame, and I knew I wouldn’t make it past him if he tried to stop me.
I was unconscious in a forest in Canada after I got hit by a train in Chicago? I looked under the blanket at what I was wearing. He said I was half-naked.
I wore what seemed to me to be pajamas: white cotton capris with lace cuffs and a short-sleeved chemise. What the…? Okay, this obviously isn’t real. I must be in a coma somewhere.
I nodded to myself before swinging my bare feet out of bed.
“You should rest, Miss,” Constable Delaforet advised as I got to my feet. When the blanket fell away to reveal my pajamas, he cleared his throat and averted his eyes.
“I’m fine,” I assured him. I mean, what can happen in a coma dream anyway? I marveled at how vivid everything was. It didn’t feel at all like a dream. Then again, I’d never been in a coma before, so maybe it was normal.
I took a few steps toward the Mountie, amazed at the feeling of the cold floorboards under my feet. Delaforet instinctively reached out to steady me when I wobbled a little. His large hands were warm on my shoulders.
“Miss, I really must insist you rest until you’re well. At the very least, you can’t go out in your undergarments.”
Undergarments? What kind of coma dream is this? “Tell me, Dudley, what year is it in this coma-created world?”
His eyebrows pulled together in concern. “Miss, this is very much the real world. We just celebrated the turn of a new century. It is 1900. Please, it’s clear you’re disoriented.”
I allowed him to lead me back to bed. 1900, huh? My subconscious is amazing. Everything is so detailed.
I stared at Delaforet’s profile as he tucked my legs under the blankets. Have I seen him somewhere before? I’ve heard that your brain never dreams faces it hasn’t seen. Where would I have seen such a hot guy? I feel like I’d remember that. A movie? Well, since this is a dream, I can do whatever I want. Right?