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I pealed my eyes open only to see everything was blurry. My head was throbbing and my back ached. After a few minutes everything came into focus, and I realized that I wasn’t in my home town of AuSable. The sky was lit up with shades of orange and red, as if someone had set fire to it earlier that day. I was lying on grass where each blade felt like it was piercing a part of my body. I was surrounded by deep, dark forests that seemed to go on for miles. Mysterious animals rustled around me, and I could hear the screeching noise of the ones flying above me. I was nothing short of terrified.
I slowly stood up, cautiously making sure that any lurking animals wouldn’t pounce on me. I looked around in shock for about five minutes before something struck my attention. A trail of nails found its way through the forest. Not knowing what else to do, I decided to follow the trail, hoping it would lead me out of this nightmare.
I followed the trail for what seemed like hours. The trail was dark, and the only light was the inferno sky in the horizon. Finally the trail of nails came to an end. To my dismay it lead me right back to where I first woke up. I was furious and tired. I sat down on the painful grass and began to accept defeat. I laid down and tried to fall asleep; hoping that when I woke up this would all turn out to be a terrible dream.
I awoke once again, but this time I was in a different location. I was praying I was back home, but I could still see the demon sky that haunted me the first time I woke up. This time I was inside of a room. This room was painted various shades of black and white with different patterns laced throughout the walls. As I was looking around the room I heard a thud of a door opening. I quickly laid back down and pretended to be asleep. I could hear muffled voices of what sounded like a woman talking. In a struggle to make out what she was saying, someone grabbed me and threw me against a wall. They asked me what I was doing there and what I wanted. I panicked and words refused to come out of my mouth. This angered the man and he assured me that once I entered I could never leave “Sky-lit Pathway.”
I sat in the black and white room for day before someone finally came in to save me; or so I thought they were saving me. A small child walked into the room and just stood in the door way. I stared back at her for a few moments until asking her a few questions.
“Hi, can you help me?” I exclaimed to her. “Hello, I really need your help!”
The little girl continued to stare at me until finally she walked over and sat down beside me.
“How did you get here?” the little girl asked politely.
“I’m not really sure, the last thing I remember is sitting around a campfire with my friends, and I stumbled over the fire, then I woke up in a forest.”
The little girl giggled, and I was more confused then ever.
“Can you tell me how I got here, or what this place even is? Is any of this real?” I said sharply.
“You are in Sky-lit Pathway,” the small child answered. “You got here by falling into the fire. This place only exists to people who fear it.”
“But how can I fear something I’ve never even seen before?” I asked hesitantly.
The girl replied,
“You fear it because you have never seen it. You fear the unknown and close your mind to the unseen. That is why you are here. You are here to face your fear.”
“So once I face my fear I can go back home?”
The child laughed once again and stood up,
“The sky is your pathway, follow the sky and it will take where you need to go.”
She left the room quietly and I was left with more questions than answers. How can I follow the sky if I’m stuck in this room? I thought to myself. I shifted my body weight back and my hand knocked something that was sitting on the floor. It was key. The little girl must have left this, I thought. Without any time to waste I picked up the key and walked over the door. To my surprise the key worked and I was free roaming the hall of the building. This building was painted with all sorts of patterns, with statues around every corner whose eyes followed you every direction you went. I was highly creeped out but managed to make my way out of the building.
I stepped outside onto the same piercing grass that that struck my in the forest. I ignored it for I was only paying attention to the sky. The sky seemed more enraged this time. It had deep shades of red and orange with clouds that were whirling around as if they were racing to something. I prolonged my journey and followed the clouds for miles. The clouds finally came to a halting stop and I looked straight ahead, as my worst fear was right in front of me. Dozens of mythical creatures stood before me along with the little girl.
“I don’t believe this.” I whispered to myself, and sprinted the other way, but when I turned around the same creatures were behind me. I was surrounded by monsters.
“That’s exactly your why your hear.” the little girl said to me. “You are here because you fear what you do not believe. You refuse to open your mind to the unknown when the unknown is what’s lurking behind every shadow. If you can accept the fact that what’s real can’t always be explained or seen, only then can you leave this place.”
I stood motionless for a few seconds before replying.
“I see this now, I look around at all these creatures and see that they are real, just because I don’t see things, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.” I yelled to the little girl. “I will open my mind and learn not to be a skeptic, there are more things out there than what we can prove with science or math, and I will be sure to remember that when returning home.”
Suddenly everything began to shake and the sky formed a vortex. I knew what this meant, I yelled my goodbyes to everyone and thanked them for the knowledge they had given me. I willing let the sky pick me up and take me home.
I woke up in a hospital bed around three o’clock in the morning. The doctors told me that I had fallen into a fire but did not suffer any sever burns but was knocked unconscious for a few hours. I remembered the world I had just been in and still wondered to myself if it was all only a dream. I felt something in my hand, and as I opened it I saw a key; the key that the little girl had given me to escape the building. I gripped the key tightly and hide it within my hand and dozed of to sleep, dreaming of the world that I wished to return to someday.