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Bad Dream



I sighed contently into the lavender scented sheets draped over my body. Only when the blaring bright sun shone its glare at me, did I open a crusty eye and squint. I turn over and lay on my other side, sliding the covers over my head. Ah yes, eternal comfort.
"Hiyoriiiiii!" The sound of wood slamming on the wall and the high shrill of Goldie the goose, like nails on a chalkboard, makes my whole body freeze with anxiety.
I exhale, growing comfortable again. I remind myself, Goldie isn't a complete psychopath that she'd try to kill me in my sleep. Not unless I skipped a meal.
I quietly pull the sheets tighter over me as if they were a shield. But despite my efforts, Goldie's webbed feet slap against the wood floor just before she yanks the sheets off me.
"I made you breakfast. Come eat before it gets cold."
I feel a playful tap on my butt, and I irritably toss a pillow at her. She chuckles. Kind of annoying, but when is she not? I sit up in bed and rub the crust from my eyes.
"I told you before Goldie, I'm not eating your humans," I scratch my scalp and rest my hands in my lap.
"But you don't know what you’re missing!" Goldie's eyes look like they're two twinkling stars.
"The morals of a demon, apparently," I mutter.
I lug myself downstairs to Goldie's kitchen. It's cozy, like a kitchen in a cottage should be. Goldie's kitchen is organized just the way she likes it: easy to navigate. The brass cages hanging from the ceiling sometimes get in the way though and they stink. She forgets to clean them sometimes. The walls are stained with old age and red smears--probably from her homicidal days. She does get those often.
"Hey Bert," I quietly greet the old skeleton of a man hanging in a cage located near the back door, curled up in a fetal position. He's been there a while.
I grabbed a dirty cerulean colored bowl from the sink and started to wash it out. Should I make eggs and bacon this time? I really want an omelet...
Pondering about breakfast choices, I work on washing a spoon and one of my favorite mugs. I can feel Goldie's stare on me; boy, does she ever let up?
"Come on, darlin'. Let Goldie fix you her specialty, yeah?" Goldie pressed again, sounding hopeful.
I shut off the faucet and place my mug down. "No thank you, Goldie..." I turned to Goldie, whose beak was slightly open. "I'll make breakfast myself."
She lowered her head slightly from the rejection, but quickly recovered. "Then let me know if there's something I can help with."
If geese could smile... Goldie's expression of bright eyes and a half opened beak would be an accurate demonstration. Nothing ever keeps her down. Walking to the fridge, I push back a few fallen strands of my black hair and tuck them behind my ear. Just as my nose suspected, we're low on food supply.

I couldn't smell any eggs, or bacon. The freeze was void of any toaster waffles too. When I announced going to the store, Goldie happily invited herself to go along. I walked back upstairs to my bedroom door, having already mentally chose my outfit. But the doorknob refused to turn.
I jiggle the knob, and feel the blunt refusal of a locked door. Why would my door be locked? Was it Goldie?
I couldn't figure why it would be Goldie though. It's not like her. I give the doorknob one more jiggle and finally give up. I turn, ready to grab a crowbar or something slim to slide in the door, but a soft click makes me turn back. The door slowly opens, revealing a pitch black room. It concerns me, since I could swear it was in the middle of the day a few minutes ago. I lean forward to peek in. I gasp, and take a step back. Something wiggly and deformed stands near the doorway. But by time I realize what it is, an arm shoots out from the darkness, pulling me in.

My body bolts upright and I sit up on the bed. My lungs burn as I heave in air, like a fish out of water. The darkness isn't helping. The room is only lit by the light seeping through the blinds from outside. It's evening. Once my breathing is controlled, I push back the covers and turn on the light on the little vanity table next to the bed. This little action agitates the many points on my body that are in pain. Most likely bruises. When I blink the sleep from my eyes and take in the room, I realize, this isn't my room. It's a hospital room. A very cozy hospital room. Why am I here?
My first thought is to address the urgent situation being my bladder. I must have been asleep for a while. Afterwards, I leave the room to investigate. I expect a hallway, but it’s another room with a very round shape to it. There’s multiple doors, like the one I just came through. The middle of the room is occupied by large gray counters in a circle, probably the reception area. I wonder if I’m the only one here… Are there supposed to be nurses here or something?
A small pleading cry catches my attention. Normally, for a human, they’d barely hear it. The cry seemed animal-like and immediately I was interested in following the sound. Must be a cat…
I follow the cry down a flight of stairs, to another floor below until I find an old battered in a corner. The cries, now louder, sound more urgent as I step closer. Reaching my hand out, I hold my breath and brace myself in case something else tries to get the jump on me. An old musty smell seeps from what appears to be a closet and as I look in I confirm the source of the cry.
“Mew.” A scrappy gray cat peers up at me with bright yellow eyes. I can see the relief in them now that I’ve let him out.
A small smile adorns my lips. I guess this poor little guy got locked in.
I crouch down as he brushes against me. I graze my hand over his back, then his head. I notice a little red collar clasped around his neck, with a gold name plate. Rubbing my fingers over the engraved letters, I read the name.
“Yogi,” I whisper under my breath.
Yogi turns to me with questioning eyes. I reach out to pet him again, but my actions are halted. The hairs on my neck stand on end, and a shiver courses through my body. Someone is near. Without thinking, I scoop up the cat and step into the supply closet with the mops and broom. I don’t close the door all the way, but leave it a sliver open so that I could peek out. 
Footsteps echo down the hallway, a bright orange glow lighting the walls as the mystery person walks closer. Yogi looks attentive now, and begins to shift in my arms. It’s like he’s uncomfortable, or he wants to be let go of, so I place him back on the floor gently. He darts from the closet, and out of sight.
After a moment, nothing happens. The orange glow is settled in one place, as if the person is idling. I decide to make the first move, and peek out. Yogi is safe in the arms of a middle aged man, who seems to be coddling him. Yogi looks like he’s enjoying being fussed over.
The man looks over at me with a stiff look on his face. He sets Yogi down and picks up the oil lamp off the ground, producing that orange glow, and walks towards me. His large calloused hand wraps around my wrist and pulls me from the dark closet. He wasn’t pushy about it, but I could tell he didn’t approve of me hiding from him. My fingers grab the edges of my shirt, as if they need something to hold onto.
“Kid. Don’t you know you’re not supposed to be wandering the halls at night?” He says in a gruff, annoyed tone.
“Um…” I nervously raise my hand up to my mouth. The man’s stone gray eyes scan me over, eyebrows furrowed as if he’s trying to figure something out.
“You’re a patient, aren’t you?”
The man points to my wrist. For the first time, I notice the plastic red bracelet wrapped securely on my left wrist. I’m a patient? Since when?
The man doesn’t even wait for a response. I think he knows he wouldn’t get one. I don’t like strangers. What was I even supposed to say? He places his hand on my back and pushes me forward.
“Go on. I’ll take you back to the infirmary.”



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