Light flickers. Dust falls. The breathing stops.

"Wake up."

A nail slips into a lock. Hinges rattle. Shadows shift.

"Jane. Please."

A lock slips free. The handle rolls. Old cedar wood creaks and groans.

"Jane. You won't like this part. Wake up now."

Feet flee. Liquid dribbles between the cracks in the floor. Metal clicks against a wood frame.

"Jane. Running is no use. It can never be left behind."

Steps tap lightly on metal stairs. A stick cracks in half. Claws scratch the surface of a railing.

"Do not be a fool. The hallways you run are an illusion."

The feet stop with a thud. Wind slips through long hair. The world is thrown into daylight.


A breeze passes over fabric. Feet land upon thatch. Glass implodes with a shriek. Rock cracks and shatters.

"It does not possess such grace, but its strength cannot be matched. The walls you jump will be knocked over in its wake."

Bare feet tap gently across stone. Dry wood catches flame with a hungry hiss. Leaves whip sharply with the wind.

"Jane. There is nowhere to run. You must give up. We all do in the end."

A light gasp escapes a pair of lips. Fire tumbles into a whirlwind of smoke. Fabric ripples. Marble sheets crack in echo.


Water splashes as a sleek body slips through the surface like an arrow. The world dips beneath water.

"Your hope is gone. The water will boil."

Arms stroke through turbid water. Bubbles fizz and foam spits. A rush of water drops from soaked fabric. Droplets slip down wet skin. Feet slap coldly on wood.

"Give up, Jane! Give up, damn it!"

Grass bends softly under bare feet. Wood lattice rattles. Legs leave the ground. Barbed wire grasps at displaced air. Limbs dance. Stones fly through absent space. Arms swing. Snakes lunge at shadows. The world plunges into fire.

"Jane, this has never happened before! You've enraged it. It is used to being obeyed!"

Water sizzles in mid air. Shrapnel rips through steel. Wind passes gracefully through the sweep of hair. Fire boils down the length of a blade. Air hums and screams down an arcing blur of metal.

"You dare fight back!"

A pinnacle of fire stabs at the sword. Reflections bend. No one is there. The sword clatters to stone. The raging torrents bend into themselves. The whirlwind unravels. Droplets of fire waver in the air, land upon the water, dim, vanish. All is silent.


The End

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