17 year old Felicity has been living alone in the grim industrial wasteland known as Draxis for most of her life when one day she escapes into the far away forests on its borders. There she meets a group of pilgrims on their way to a said paradise where one can escape all the trouble and hardships of life. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
I am walking through an enormous grassland filled with tall grasses and occasional patches of beautiful flowers. It must be spring, i think to myself as i continue to walk along a dirt path. Where exactly I am, I'm not even entirely sure, all i know is that it is peaceful here. The air is cool as it softly blows across my face. The sky is a brilliant blue with hardly any clouds, the sun is up but never gets too hot. It radiates the kind of comfortable warmth you get on cool spring mornings.
Everything around me simply oozes with the essence of the word calm. Its quiet here save for a few chirping birds whose songs are light and somewhat down beat. The movements of the grass smooth and flowing with the wind. Even the colors seem to be somewhat subdued. I try to smell some of the flowers growing by the path. They smell wonderful and yet no matter how much i sniff, never overpowering.
I've been walking for awhile now. If i had to guess, its have been around twenty or thirty minutes since i started my journey. Its hard to tell since i don't feel any fatigue at all. I could have been a few hours for all i know. Out of nowhere it hits me, what am i even doing here? How did i get here? Where am i even going? I keep walking forward since that's the only thing i can do. I try to remember what i was doing before any of this and i come up short. I can't remember.
Suddenly i spot something different a ways down the path. As i approach it i see that the path splits into two ahead of me. There is no signboard, no direction, no nothing. Its just a plain old fork in the road and to me, Its absolutely terrifying.
Its an irrational fear really. Whats so scary about a fork in the road? Compared to the absolute certainty of a single path having to suddenly decide could potentially be a bit jarring but certainly not terrifying. And yet for some reason i feel that once i make my decision
A flurry of thoughts race through my head; Which way should I go? Which is the right way? Is there even a right way? Its funny that im even wondering where i should go when i don't even know why i'm here but that's really a moot point to me now. I try looking down either path. For all intents and purposes they are identical. Whats strange about them though is the fact that they both veer of abruptly into a field of grass taller than me. Another thought comes to mind (what if there are wild animals in there?). Well isn't that just great, i think sarcastically.
Actually its not that bad here anyway. Who said i even had to go down a path? I could just stay right here. Besides, If i had the choice, i would'nt mind settling here and living out the remainder of my existence here.
I sit down by the path and start to think, or at least that's what i was planning to down when i suddenly find that there's nothing to sit on. The second i decide to lower myself to the ground everything suddenly dissolves into a dark endless void. The very same dark endless void that i am currently falling through.
Falling through a bottomless void is actually pretty relaxing now that i think about it. It's like flying, as in really flying, only without you literally flapping yourself silly. So you can imagine my surprise (and displeasure) when i actually make contact with the cold hard floor.
"Get up you worthless sack of filth" An asshole in uniform is standing over me, glaring at my thin and malnourished body.
"Yes sir?" I answer weakly from the floor.
I am not a fidgety sleeper but seeing as how im out of bed i come to the conclusion that he must have pushed me off to wake me up. Well, it could have been worse.
"Why aren't you at your station yet?" He snarls
"Well sir it's not my shift yet" i answer
"And how do you know it's not your shift yet?" His voice now with a mocking tone
"Well for one sir i haven't had breakfast" My voice getting smaller
"Well guess what princess breakfast was an hour ago and your 30 minutes late for your shift. I'm pretty sure you know what happens to pretty little girls who are late for their shifts?" His gives me a sadistic smile
"A lash for every minute late in the courtyard sir...in front of the whole block...naked" i almost choke saying it. Tears begin to well up in my eyes
He laughs loudly
"Well aren't you a smart little girl! That's exactly right princess."
"Please sir no... i.. can't.." I sob and kneel at his feet.
"I beg you"
He takes my face into one of his rough grimy hands.
"Tell you what princess" He gives me a try hard sympathetic look "I'm going to pardon you"
"Really sir! Thank you!" i say feeling almost too good to be true.
"If you give me a little kiss" He smiles at me. His eyes full of lust. He licks his lips.
I don't have a choice. I kiss him. I taste his rotting teeth, his smoke charred mouth. I endure his lustful tongue exploring my mouth. It doesn't last long and yet i find myself running from my room to the bathroom to throw up.
I hear him laugh maniacally through the open door while i spill the contents of my still empty stomach. After a few moments, I hear his voice again
"You better hurry sweetheart before someone else catches you not at your station" Judging by how his voice is trailing away, i know he's already halfway down the hallway.
I sit on the filthy floor of a public bathroom breathing heavily.
Its funny, despite all of this i can only think of one thing. It was all a dream
Just a few moments ago i was fussing over a fork in the road like the world was going to end and now...this.
Peace, beauty, contentment, i slowly realize that will never have any of these to call my own.
My dreams will only ever be that. Dreams.
I start crying again.