Waking In A Different World

14 Apr 2022  C. chou  6 mins read.

“Get Up! Get up!” Someone shouted beside her.

Shaking her head groggily, she opened an eye and sat up. However, it wasn’t her mother that greeted her. Instantly fully alert, she turned her attention to the room, which wasn’t hers either. What was going on here? On careful inspection, everyone seemed to be dressed in some sort of cultural attire. She looked down at herself to find that she was also dressed in a similar style.

“You’ve got to hurry, now.” The woman exclaimed, pulling at her arm. “You don’t have much time.”

“What do you mean?” She said, resisting the woman’s efforts. “Who are you?”

“Stop playing dumb, missy.” The woman replied. “I’ve had enough of your antics over the past few days. If you aren’t going to get up yourself, then don’t blame me for what happens next.”

“I think you’re mistakening me for someone else.” She responded.

“Stop testing my patience.” The woman responded, without hesitation. “You personally agreed to this wedding.”

“What wedding?” She asked, frantic. The last thing she remembered was going to bed the night before her exam. She wasn’t old enough to be married, she couldn’t remember agreeing to any marriage prospects. It couldn’t have been something that she agreed to as a child could it? “Is this some kind of joke?”

“IF you thought agreeing to a wedding with such a powerful family could simply be brushed off as a joke,” The woman replied, “Then missy, you’re sorely mistaken.”

“When did I even agree to this wedding?” She asked.

“A month ago.” The woman answered, matter-of-factly.

Couldn’t be. She was in school a month ago. Furthermore, with the recent transition to an online learning environment, she hadn’t even left her home for the past few months. Her mother did all the shopping, and handled anything that might need handling. She didn’t even doubt the possibility of her skin being paler than a vampire’s.

“Someone must’ve masqueraded as me.” She answered. “Or stole one of my social media accounts. It couldn’t have been me. I swear that I didn’t talk to anyone other than my professors and my parents over the past few months.”

“What is this social media? Do you take me for a fool?” The woman asked. “I saw you sign those documents with my own eyes!”

“What documents?” She demanded, horrified. She really hadn’t left her home for months now. Then it occurred to her, she could use her pallor as evidence. “I really haven’t gone outside for the longest time. Just look at my complexion. Would someone that goes outdoors be so pale?”

“Milady, you’ve always been pale.” The woman answered, pulling her arm, and lifting her sleeve. “Besides, I would say compared to your normal skin tone, you’re rather tanned right now.”

She looked down, eyes meeting her uncovered arm. The woman was right. She was tanned. Tanner than she should’ve been, considering her self-confinement. How could this be? Was she sleep walking?

“Now get up.” The woman shouted, pulling her to the dressing table. She looked up at the mirror, as the woman passed a comb through her hair, and screamed.

“What is it now?” The woman demanded, impatiently.

She brought her fingers to the mirror’s surface, confirming it was glass beneath her fingers. Who was this woman? It had to be some sort of deception.

“Can you fetch me another mirror?” She asked, her hands shaking. “I promise I won’t leave.”

Without stepping away, the woman pulled out another mirror from a nearby drawer.

“No more requests.” The woman said. “We’re already on a tight schedule.”

She stared at the new glass in disbelief. The images were the same. Though the hair color matched, the woman before her was a complete stranger. She knew for a fact that she didn’t look this way. The eyes were far too round, the lips far too full. The woman in the mirror was a beauty. More beautiful than she could’ve ever hoped becoming, but it wasn’t her. How did this happen?

Did someone give her plastic surgery against her will? But if so, it was unlikely that she would look identical to whoever this woman mistook her as. Her attention returned to the strange garments that adorned her. Furthermore, that wouldn’t explain these strange clothes.

“Can you tell me…” She started, before hesitating. She took a deep breath. She had to know. “Just who am I?”

“The princess of Ifangor, of course.” The woman answered. “Did you become dumb over a night’s sleep?”

“Then can you tell me… what is plastic surgery?” She asked.

“Pla-what?” The woman asked. “Asking me questions won’t buy you anymore time. I am quite capable of multitasking, you know.”

“That’s fine.” She replied. “Last question: where am I?”

“You’re in your home. These are your chambers.” The woman answered.

“But where are we, relative to the world?” She asked.

“Is this some kind of test? You know I’m not good at geography.” The older lady answered. “You won’t scare me off with just some questions.”

“I just want to know.” She responded, quietly.

“Well, the castle is situated in Northern Ifangor.” The older lady reasoned. “That means we’re probably at the top of the isles, but don’t worry, I’m sure that your husband will move you to the main continent of Ifananyya.”

She slumped against her chair. It was as she feared. She wasn’t even herself. These people weren’t just dressed in costumes as she had hoped. She stared outside the window, where only uncultivated meadows and farms greeted her. There wasn’t plastic surgery here. The woman before her probably earnestly thought that she was the princess. How did this happen and would she be able to go back?

This story was inspired by a writing prompt from the “Microcosm” Publication.

Take one person and drop them into someone else’s life. What happens? Tell us a fictional story inspired by trading places.

C. Chou
C. Chou

A writer that loves cabbages and bamboo, but also enjoys writing and sharing fiction (particularly the fantasy genre). Find me on Medium at: https://chouxherbe.medium.com/