The landscape exploded in a flash of hot white light as a bolt of lightning struck the ground beside her. The sounds of the storm were deafening. Gusts of wind pummeled her from all directions and the coldness of the night chilled her right to the bones, Sending chills down her back. She was running towards the cottage. She knew it was safe there. She didn’t know why but she ran anyway. Her legs were pumping hard and her breathing was labored but she was hardly moving at all. It was as if she was running underwater. The rest of the world was slowed down as well. She could see lightning arching through the sky, its tendrils spreading out slowly searching for its prey.
Suddenly the cottage was close. She had made it, she would be safe. All she needed to do was reach out. The door was hanging ajar; the warm light was spilling out onto the old wooden porch. A rush of joy ran through her. She reached out to push the door open. Her hand was on the door, but then it wasn’t. She had passed right through the door and right through the cottage altogether. She now stood behind it with her back against the shingled siding. She turned around and placed her hand against it. It was once more solid. Tears rolled down her face and she closed her eyes. The sounds of the storm slowly faded away until there was silence.
She could feel herself being lifted. Her body supported completely. The coldness was replaced by warmth and sweet smelling perfume. She wanted to revel in this feeling forever but her eyes shot open as the sound of her alarm clock rang out. Its constant blaring became instantly aggravating. She reached over and shut it off, hitting the button extra hard as it to punish it for interrupting her bliss.
Kat rolled over onto her side. She realized that she was drenched in sweat, probably from her nightmare. She had been having a lot of nightmare lately. They were all different though. There was one were she was swimming and got pulled under the water. She had tried to swim back up but something was just dragging her further beneath the waves. Of course, she never told anyone about these dreams. She just kept them to herself and let on that everything was okay. After all, her entire reputation would be ruined if people knew that she was afraid of nightmares. She didn’t want to look like a sissy. Kat groaned and sat up slowly, stretching her arms out in front of her. She glanced over at the clock, it was 8:15. She was late for school again. Not like she cared. She swung her feet around and planted them on the floor.
Standing up she looked around, admiring her room. She had just painted it black yesterday. Her parents said she shouldn’t but she did anyway. She didn’t care what they thought. Pulling on one of her favorite band shirts and a pair of ripped jeans she slowly trudged her way downstairs to the kitchen. When she got down there she discovered that her mother was cleaning up from breakfast and her father had already gone to work. Her little sister, of course, had already gone to school. Her mother glanced over at her with disapproving eyes.
“You know you’re late, don’t you?” she said.
“Duh mom, of course I know”, she shot back, “I just don’t care". Her mom sighed and finished cleaning up in silence. Kat stood for a moment, watching her mom cleaning. She should help; she should try to show that she cared, but instead she turned her back and headed out the door grabbing her backpack on the way out. It was a long walk to school.