The Unknown by Kristen Kolb

She wakes up finding herself on her porch surrounded only by the sounds of the storm. It is still dark out and she looks at her phone to see it is 3:30 in the morning. It is typical for her to fall asleep on her porch, she sits out there for hours listening to the roaring thunder and watching the sky light up at night with streaks of lightening. This is the time when she can clear her mind of everything and zone out…

She has always had a love for thunderstorms but a few months ago her love for the storms had a whole other meaning. Something she never thought was possible outside of a movie happened. When she zones out, she really is going into a deep sleep and transports herself into another world. She has just recently learned of this new superpower as she likes to call it and notices it only happens when there is a storm.

She has wondered if this is something that she inherited from her parents but unfortunately, she would never know. She was adopted at a young age and the only information she has found on her birth parents is that they died in a car accident shortly after putting her up for adoption. She has found no other family history and is tackling this newfound trait on her own. She wouldn’t dare tell her adoptive parents; how do you tell someone about something you don’t even understand. No, this is her secret.

At first, she thought she was just dreaming, this other world she calls the Unknown is best described as magical. It is filled with things that you only would see in children’s stories. There are majestic unicorns, fairies and mermaids! Water that glows in beautiful neon blues, and crystal clear you can see all the sea life below, a sky that looks like cotton candy with colors of pinks, blues and purples. The night sky there is filled with shooting stars and everything around glows, the trees the grass, the flowers. Pure magical.

She soon realized it wasn’t a dream and was in fact a real place when she found a little creature that looked like a lizard but much more beautiful. This lizard-like creature was a gorgeous teal color that had a bright pink stripe down its back that would light up at night. Its eyes were bigger than its face itself and they changed from green to purple whenever it blinked. This creature followed her everywhere she ventured in this place. She named him Gizmo.

After a few weeks of falling asleep on her porch on those stormy nights. One dream became a reality and made her realize she wasn’t dreaming at all. Gizmo was right there on her stomach to greet her when she woke up in the Unknown as he always did. After hours of running around in the giant sunflower-filled fields and swimming in the water with the mermaids, she was tired and ready for a nap. When it was nighttime in her world it was daytime in the Unknown and vice versa. She laid under a big oak tree with Gizmo by her side and went back to sleep bringing herself home. This is when she found out she wasn’t dreaming… when she woke Gizmo was sitting on her stomach still. How is that possible!?

She quickly stood up accidently knocking Gizmo onto the seat next to her. She looked around to see she was in fact awake and on her porch at her house. It was no longer raining but she could still smell the remnants of it. She thought maybe she hallucinated, and Gizmo wasn’t really there, maybe she just wasn’t fully awake when she saw him sitting on her stomach. That’s gotta be it. Nope. She turned around to see him sitting on the swing she was laying on wagging his tail looking up at her. At that moment, she knew it wasn’t a dream at all.

She continues to visit her unknown world every time it storms and her Gizmo is always there to greet her but he no longer comes back home with her as she wouldn’t know how to explain him if her parents ever saw such a creature.

This is her world, her secret that she will forever keep.