He Cried Wolf

A reoccurring dream, a plea for help, and a warning... Diagnosed with insanity, but should they have listened?

Breathless panting echoed throughout the long, narrow, seemingly never ending hallway as the boy ran. Much to his surprise, there was no sound as his bare feet hit the cold marble flooring below him. The only sound was that of his labored breath, and the heavy pounding of his heart.

The walls surrounding him were white; the floors white; the ceiling white. Everywhere he looked, there was white. The white was burning into his eyes, making his fright heighten more. His labored breathing thickened, but he wouldn’t – he couldn’t – stop. What he was running for was his life; from what… he was unsure. All he knew was that if he stopped, he would lose his life to whatever it was he was running from.

The narrow hallway turned into another, and that one into another insanity inducing white hallway. He couldn’t escape the depths of the absence of color. The white was burning into his retinas and tugging at his last strand of sanity. He had to get out. He had to find something that was anything but white.

He cursed loudly as he turned into yet another white hallway, clutching the mass of dark curls on his head as he slowed to a stop. The never ending hallway was apparently one that did end, as he found himself standing in front of a wall. His heartbeat increased – if that was even possible – and his face twisted in fear as the scent of burning, rotting flesh wafted through the air, and into his nostrils.

It was coming.

A strong sense of panic arose in the boy, causing his heart to beat mercilessly and painfully against his chest as perspiration ran down his face in streams. He had to get away, he had to run. But where? A wall blocked his movement, and the source of his fear would arrive any moment. He was just as good as dead. There was no escaping the thing he feared, and the thickening scent of death that was overcoming him confirmed that fact.

He screamed out in agony as he fell to his knees. The fatigue of running for so long was finally kicking in, and his energy was lost. The soles of his feet were bloodied and swollen, and his lungs felt as though they would give up on him any moment. The thickened air was becoming harder, and harder to breathe.

"I give up…" He gasped.

Water poured from his eyes, and down his face, mixing in with the perspiration in an indistinguishable mess of tears and sweat.

He was accepting his fate. He was going to die. Why try and stop the inevitable?

But it didn’t happen.

No… He wasn’t going to die… The thing was coming closer, and closer… But it wouldn’t reach him. His fear would heighten, and heighten… But nothing ever happened. He’s had this dream before. Yes… dream… he was in a dream!

The realization broke him free of his torture, and he bolted up in his bed. His face was covered in a cold sweat, and apparently his tears had also broken through into reality, because his eyes shed a flow of tears as he opened them. But they weren’t tears of fear – no – they were tears of relief. He was alive, he wasn’t going to die. If there was a time he’s ever cherished his life this much, it was now.

He took a few moments to calm his shaking body, and took a few deep, shuddered breaths before pulling himself out of bed, and up to face the world. The world… yes… he was able to face the world now.

He walked across the cold hardwood flooring of his bedroom to his window and pulled back the heavy black shades that were in place. He was unable to sleep unless there was complete darkness, so the blackout shades were necessary. The sun was now only coming up, so he made an easy guess that it was roughly 6:30 a.m. It was much too early to leave for school yet, so he opted to take a nice long, hot shower to relieve his aching muscles and pounding headache. Every time he had this dream the pain followed him into reality, as if he were actually running a marathon with his demons. He didn’t understand how this dream had manifested itself, or why it was reoccurring, but he did know that it was the most horrifying thing he has experienced in his short eighteen years of existence.

The End

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