I run. They're not hospital walls. They're asylum walls. Sorry. Should I say mental health center? Nevertheless. Tiles beneath my feet, stained with insanity.
Running. Running. Pistol in one hand, flashlight in the other. Feels like a first-person shooter. And out of every door I pass, I expect something I can shoot. But there's no crudely zombified medical experiment or sewn together abomination of corpses ready to attack me in any of the doorways. It's just a crazy notion. A gorey video game where even the undead are eternally dead.
I wish I had shot Nurse Ratched. That, at least, would have been more deserving of a bullet than some innocent ghoul.
Tiles turn to carpet, carpet turns to grass. Walls turn to wind. Ceiling turns to clouds.
A trail of dirt between the grass. Thankfully, no yellow bricks. No yellow vomit. A river's in the distance. The trail is leading me to a bridge.
Feet hit the wood. One step after another. There's a sign written in blood that won't dry. Staked down to the side-railing of the bridge. Not everything needs to be centered! It says, Don't feed the trolls.
Yeah, the Internet taught me that one.
In the distance, I see Alice. Or maybe Dorothy. Hmm, Dorothy in Wonderland? Sounds like a good story.
I keep running, off the bridge. Across. Turning, upon the trail, I see into the shadow of the bridge. Like a mirror, I'm there staring back.
I'm the only troll beneath the bridge. I can hear my stomach growl. I'm hungry. We're hungry. And the me beneath the bridge shakes its fist at me. All we've had to eat is that somnolent pill. Feels more like a caffeine pill.
I've got nothing to feed the troll. Not that I want to! That's not true. Neither statement. Nothing except the sun in my pocket. But that'd give bad gas, would it not?
The trail brings me to a fork. Another sign post. Pointing the way I came, it says 'Toll Bridge'. I think someone erased the second letter. Pointing left it says 'Travesty Trail'. Pointing right it says 'Parody Pathway'.
Is this some contraption of my imagination?
Left, I hear her calling, "Hunter, come to me!"
I know who that is. Where was she when the world was ending?
I obey, with a walk. A happy gait.
Trees pass me by, waving false greetings in the wind. My branches aren't tall enough to wave back.
The trail ends at the door of a cabin. There's a sign above the door. It says, "BEWARE OF HUNTER". Yeah, that's some advice I could have used earlier.
I knock. I regret. I knock again.
Where's my pistol now?
"Come in, tiger."
Never call me that. Ever.