"Sweetie, wake up!"
It took a herculean effort to open my eyes, looking around blearily.
Ceiling. Wall. Closet. Periodic table poster-
I blinked at the colorful poster taped to my wall, until it hit me.
I was in my room. My room room.
I carefully went up into a sitting position. I felt...fine. A little groggy, but fine.
There was no arrow sticking out of my chest either.
I heard the sound of footsteps and watched my mom stand at the door, her hands at her hips.
"How do you expect to be ready for school if you aren't even dressed yet?"
She tutted, flicking on the light.
I was momentarily blinded, but when I regained my vision I got to my feet.
A thousand thoughts were racing madly through my head. I ran my hands through my hair, panicking.
The last thing I remembered was being almost-dead. Now I was perfectly fine?
I realized then that my horns were gone. So was my tail.
Okay, so things were getting weird.
"Mom?" I called out, starting to walk hesitantly down the hallway, "Mom!"
I found her in the laundry room, turning to look at me with skepticism.
"Still haven't changed? You're cutting it close, young lady."
"What's happening?" I asked, "I was in Hell a second ago, and now I'm...here?"
"That must have been a wild dream. Probably because you were staying up all night with that essay."
"Yes, I know you were working past your curfew. We'll talk about this later."
I huffed exasperatedly.
"What about you selling my soul? I went to hell, remember?"
"Zara, I think you should really stop with the late night snacks. It's clearly disturbing your sleep."
She moved to put some clothes in the dryer but I barricaded her path, furious.
"So you're going to pretend like none of it happened? I don't know what's going on, but I remember everything, okay?"
She gave me a blank look and I realized then that she had no idea what I was talking about.
"I think we should see a doctor. Maybe highschool's been too stressful? Is somebody bullying you?"
I moved, and shook my head.
When she turned back to her laundry I ran back up the stairs, flinging myself into the bathroom.
I pulled my hair back, frantic. No pentagram.
I splashed my face with water. I splashed it again. Nothing happened.
I turned to see Izzy looking at me, perplexed.
"I...I..." I started, looking back to the mirror.
Zara Shah looked back at me. Normal, if not somewhat nerdy, teen.
I changed out of the dinosaur pjs I was wearing (don't ask) and brushed my wild swath of hair, pulling it into a loose braid.
I ate breakfast with my dad and Izzy, trying not to spill the orange juice as Izzy and I suffered through typical dad humour.
I brushed my teeth and grabbed my bag, checking my hair before walking to the door.
My mom handed me my lunch, giving me a concerned smile.
"You feeling better Zara?"
I smiled back, waving away her concern.
"Yeah, I just had a really weird dream."
She gave me a hug and I walked out of the house, enjoying the early morning sun.
Hell? Fighting a war? That had been one crazy dream.