*DING DONG*. Cassie jumped at the sound of her doorbell, and she glanced at the clock. 3:03 p.m., her next appointment was not scheduled until 5 p.m. She shrugged and went to answer the door. A mid-20s woman with long blond hair smiled at her once the door opened.
“Ms. Judd?” she said, Cassie nodded, and the woman reached into her red and white shoulder bag to pull out a clipboard. “If you could spare a few minutes, I have some questions for you,” the woman said. She held the clipboard out for Cassie, but the homeowner stared at the clipboard and refused to take it.
“No thank you.” Cassie moved to close the door, but the woman spoke again.
“Okay, sorry. Just let me know when you want to know about the dream you’ve been having.” She said as the door closed. Cassie re-opened it in a hurry and saw the stranger walking away.
“Wait! How do you know about that??” Cassie asked. The woman shrugged as she turned around.
“That dream is why I’m here,” she said and stepped towards Cassie’s home.
“What happened to everyone else that searched for the dream?” Cassie asked. She realized this woman might know more about them.
“They’re safe at home,” she said. The woman reached Cassie’s front step and met the woman’s eyes. After a moment Cassie realized the woman was waiting for an invitation to step in.
“C’mon in,” she said. The woman smiled and entered. The two woman sat in Cassie’s living room across from each other.
“You probably have a lot of questions, but you’re having trouble putting them into words, huh?” she asked. Cassie nodded.
“Yeah, it’s like I’m trying to think through a coffee filter or something,” Cassie said.
“Okay, I’ll tell you what I can.” She scooted to the edge of her seat. “The most important thing is, we don’t know how it happens. We just know it happens sometimes. When a body dies its consciousness, its soul, returns to where it came from. But, sometimes, the consciousness decides to check out what’s happening in another universe. And it’s really easy because the soul shares the same energy across universes.” The woman paused and gestured at Cassie with both hands. “This is where you are now. You woke up in a familiar, but not quite right universe. However, the universe you came from and this one are so similar, you don’t even realize it. The only way your body can let you know is by dreaming of something from your old universe.” She stopped talking to give Cassie a chance to absorb all the information.
“But how do you know all this?” Cassie asked. The woman smiled and nodded.
“Great question, not many people think to ask it. I work for an organization that monitors the activity of alternate universes. Specifically, my division handles internet surveillance. Anytime someone searches for something that shouldn’t be searched for in this universe, we find out about it and pay them a visit.”
“And then what?” Cassie suddenly realized she could be in danger, but something about the woman’s presence put Cassie at ease.
“Usually we offer to get you back to your own universe if you want. If you stay here, you’ll be under constant surveillance. We can’t have you spreading alternate facts. However, you’re quick. I like you. I’m also authorized to offer you a job if you want it.”