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Grade
12

A man dreams, oddly realistically. Within it he sees all around him a pale orange plane, with a flat water surface underfoot; the crisp substance beneath him is unlike anything he has ever seen. He circumspects the strange scene, looking for a purpose for this vision. As he looks, he sees nothing, and is utterly confused. After a time, he gives up on his searching, and the first thing he begins to think of is his sister. Suddenly she appears several yards in front of him.

The frail, young girl stands, prompting him to come and play with her. He thinks fondly of the innocence of the girl, as she plays with her beloved yarn ball. The ball was a blend of many colors and strains, it had been crafted for her by their mother years ago. As he approaches her, she looks to him, and a cold air wisps at his feet. Suddenly the shallow platform beneath him collapses into a lake. He begins to plunge with great force, and with no discernable bottom beneath him.

As he struggles to swim back to the surface, he hears his sister screaming in agony. Yet as he turns to see her, and as the panicked plummet continues, he looks upon her face one last time to see an expression of serenity. She continues to play with her ball, now hundreds of feet above him.

As he is pulled to an unfathomable depth he stops fighting the current, realizing that his resistance is futile; with that, he realizes for the first time, that he is still able to breathe. The plunge then ends, as quickly as it began, leaving the man floating in an empty abyss. He hopes that the strange dream will soon come to its conclusion.

He stays there, suspended in place, unable to make out anything in a series of silhouettes around him. No longer can he even discern which way is up, nor which is down, he is truly lost in his surroundings. He gazes all around him for a long while, trying to decide where to go, which way will lead him towards his sister. He begins to swim, now with little resistance to his movement. He feels the water move away from his body as he thrusts his arms in front of him, yet no matter how long he keeps up the motion, the silhouettes before him never get any closer. Eventually he begins to twist and turn in all manners in an attempt to make any progress away from his position, but nothing makes even an iota of difference.

After what seems to be days of this travel, with absolutely no difference in his position, he hears an anomaly in the water moving toward him. He shifts himself to face it, thinking that it will bring some resolution. The singularity continues to approach him, until he is propelled towards it. All he can see of the approaching force is a vacuous hole. As it devours him, he is woken.

He awakes on a dirty bed in a musty room. An oddly beakish figure, the size of a man and draped in black, is standing before him. Upon the sight of this creature, a primal fear rises over him, but he hasn’t the strength to react. The figure before him smells of incense, in a room otherwise putrid.

Noticing that the man had been revived, the beaked creature left the room, only to immediately return with a rusty hammer. Without warning its arm raised, ready to strike down the bedridden man. As the stroke was ready to befall him, it was stayed. The assailant was paralyzed, and as the man looked in wonderment at him, the figure was set ablaze.

Bewildered, and rejuvenated, the man climbed out of his bed, which looked to have hosted him for several days. He watched as the beaked figure was turned to ash in a mere moment. The stunning spectacle left him frightened, and altogether uneven. He wanders out of the room, only to discover an array of more. He pokes his head into the room adjacent to his, trying to make sense of this mad house. Looking into the room he sees a wretched, and ill man. The same is true of the next room, and the room after that. He sees that he can do nothing for them and decides to get out of the place. Dazed, he stumbles out of the building and into an empty, dark alley.

He continues to the heading of a road, and looks out upon his surroundings: he sees several spires in the distance, and an orange sky surrounding a pale, full moon.

Just before him are darkened streets, lined with black brick, and packed with indistinguishable hovels, all slicked with rain water. These roads oddly, are occupied only by corpses, which are for the most part, strewn about the perimeter, and wrapped in white. The entire area has an overwhelming stench of rot about it.

Drifting through the dimly lit, morose roads, the man continues to recover his bearings, but he is still entirely puzzled by his circumstances as he travels with no sense of direction. As the journey carries on he begins to feel sick. He continues his walk, but can’t get on with the crouched, linen-wrapped bodies in front of him. His curiosity swarms him and he walks over to the next one he sees. Once he begins to unwrap the head of the body, he feels a squirm, and pulls away, terrified and disgusted; but not before looking upon the absolute black of the being’s bulged eyes. As his desperation about the situation grows, the walk leads him to a house which holds a tangible nostalgia. He is compelled to the door, and walks straight in.

As he crosses the threshold into the small home, merely three rooms in size, he sees that it is almost no different from the outside: it too is a depressing husk, with nothing but an uneasy atmosphere. In the main hall he sees a blank woman sitting at a table, beside a yarn ball, unfazed by the sound of the intruder, but as she sees him she develops an expression for the first time in days. He sees her moving, and sobbing but he can not hear a thing from her, so he shrugs her off. He feels almost ethereal as he progresses through the home to see a familiar face--that of his sister--she looks peaceful lying in a bed.

Reality begins to seep in as he notices her bulging blackened eyes, and cold feel. He is overwhelmed with a feeling of anger, and at the same time, exhaustion. He returns to the woman, who has now subsided, returning to her chair beside the table, and resuming her desolate stare. Her eyes fail to even focus upon him as he walks by. He turns into the final room of his home, and falls upon his bed, almost immediately passing out.

In this fevered dream of his, he returns to the abyss, as confused as ever. As he sits within the blank canvas, he floats, awaiting some kind of clarity after his strange ventures. Once again he sits in wondering, staring at empty silhouettes, still immobile. After a few moments the same clammering from before approaches.

He stares intently at the movement in front of him, and sees the body surrounding the hole which encapsulated him before. Where before there was only a chasm, he now begins to see a monstrous, dark body, hundreds of times his size. As the mouth opens again he feels uneasy, but a clairvoyant trail leads him into the belly of the beast. He moves to the end of his path, leaving his life behind him.

State
MI
Zip Code
48104