The dreams—they had to stop. I filled out the necessary paperwork immediately on waking. My hand trembled as it pressed into the attached carbons ensuring reproduction in triplicate.
I took the finished forms to the nearest branch office. I watched the sun rise in reverse over a western horizon reflected in locked glass doors.
A manager arrived. He nodded politely as he withdrew a large loop of keys from a pocket of his pinstriped trousers. He ushered me into the waiting room. I leafed through several outdated magazines until my number was called.
The agent behind the glass was beautiful and humorless as she reviewed my form. My responses on the last carbon showed faintly under the glare of her fluorescent magnifier. She shook her head as she initialed the requisite blanks.
Is the dream recurring? she asked.
No, I answered.
Her eyes were the blue of ledger spines. This is highly irregular, she said.
I nodded. Once was enough, believe me.
She had me sign the Consent to Additional Surcharge and handed me a set of stapled blue carbons. Please make sure you review the complete Bill of Services Rendered—including the clauses covering indemnity and liability before exiting. Have a restful day. She vanished behind hastily drawn curtains.
I took a seat in the waiting room and started reading. My neck grew sore from leaning into the fine print; I slouched back for relief and continued. The print thinned under the chalky office lights. I blinked the letters solid, leaning further back.