I was in a maze. It looked like a house, was furnished like a house, but it was a maze. I wandered down tiny passages, up large marble staircases and through series of oddly shaped doors. I never found a window. The doors never led outside. I started by exploring. It was a game. I was having fun. But then slowly, ever so slowly, my adrenaline began to spike. I knew what I was looking for, I could picture it perfectly but I couldn't find it. As the picture grew in my mind so too did the urgency. I needed to find it. I needed to stop it. My feet pounded the corridors and I wove through door after door, searching for the correct one.
I could see it. I could see the courtyard. I could see the gallows in the center. And I could see the boy who stood there, looking up at the hanging noose.
My feet kept running, kept on moving. Through this door, up that staircase, down this tiny corridor. Finally, finally, a door with sunlight edging it. I could smell the fresh air, could almost feel a breeze. I burst through the door and...
Something wasn't right. I knew it as soon as I threw myself out of bed, heart still pounding. I crouched on the cold floor, cat-like, every part of me aware that something was horribly, terrifyingly wrong. I pulled on a dark hoody, crept to the door and shoved my feet into my sneakers. I began running.
It was like my dream but colder, darker, and stranger, if that were possible. I didn't know where I was going, I was just following instinct as I flew through the streets. My town had no blocks, sprawling over the land, and no streetlights, so it was dark as pitch. My lungs tired, my breath gasped, but my mind would not let me stop. It just kept feeding me panic.
I was on the other side of town by the time I stopped outside a house. I crept across the lawn and reached my fingers towards a basement window. I knew it would open easily and it did. I slipped through the now open window and stumbled to the carpet before pushing the curtain from my face.
Although I had never been there before, the whole space was familiar to me. I knew what the bedspread looked like, I recognized all the posters on the walls as if it were my own room and I recognized the boy who sat in the chair, at the desk, knife about to cut into the flesh of his wrists.
"Don't be stupid. That will hurt. Put it down."
He looked at me, astonished.
"Who are you?"
I grabbed the knife from his hand, folded it and stuffed it in my back pocket before going to pull back my hood.
"I'm your fricking guardian angel, okay?"