• Chapter 1- Beginning

    How many long days did I sit like this? Staring down into the cup of hot coffee, and letting the steam rise up against my expressionless face. I was utterly tired of the everyday routine that had me rotting from the inside out. I wish I could be something more. I wish I could forgive myself. I wish that things were better than this. I wasn't sure what to say, but that I had set myself up for failure as soon as I began all the horrid things I'd done.

    Back in my younger years, I had been quite unpopular. And when one is unpopular, then that one person seeks social acceptance above all else. It is no such thing as being yourself and that being okay. In the changing years of blossoming young adulthood, there is always the instinctual need to fit in. To be one of the "in crowd".
    I had fallen victim to peer pressure. First was drinking. A little wine, then onward until I was downing straight-forward liquor. I wasn't sure how that triggered the domino effect of stupidity, but surely enough, it did.
    I'll skip the whole mess of years that I spent in a sickly manner from the influence of others. Because overall, it wasn't worth it, and it never will be worth it. Those are the foundation stones that led to a much more traumatizing event- one that robbed from me my very will to speak and live. Not for anyone.

    Especially my aunt. Aunt Theresea, or Terry, was a drunk. She had her faults too. And she reminded me too much of myself in her drunken fits. Stumbling into the house in hysterical laughter. She was a terrible woman to be around. She had the most annoying shriek when she laughed, like a train coming to a pure halt from a good speeding downhill chase. Nails on a chalkboard is too much of a compliment in this situation.
    As well, there was the demon. And by the demon, I mean her son. Andrew is fourteen, and annoying as hell. Always wanting something, needing attention. I can't stand him. He knows that I do not like talking, but still he must tug on my clothes and jump on my back- for what? A peanut butter sandwich? I am truly a slave here. I thought this was outlawed...

    I finally closed my eyes and took a deep breath- inhaling the fumes of the coffee into my nose, warming my throat and head. With a sigh, I pushed my chair back, and went to my room.

    "Jannay! Jannay, can I please please please... use your iPod?" Andrew begged in his somewhat feminine voice. I didn't like Andrew. He was a sickly looking boy himself- not because of skin or heavy eyes, but because he was jaunty and thin, and gangly almost. And he was everything I wasn't when I was his age. He was popular.
    "No." Was my simplest answer. One worded answers were usually my specialty. Yes. No. Maybe. And the occasional "go away". Otherwise, I stuck to silence.
    "Why?" He said sharply, his voice reaching a pitch that no boy's voice should be able to touch.
    "Hmph." I puckered my lips together and walked onward towards my room. Next thing I know, is his hand grasping at my shirt and yanking me back. To be so frail looking, he had quite a bit of muscle hiding on that tiny frame.
    "Give me the iPod." He hissed, his words attempting to be venom, but he knew not how to hurt me verbally.
    "So you can break it like you did my phone?" I turned away, placing my hand over his sharply angled face, and pushing him back. Before he could lunge forward and retaliate, I had stepped into my room, and slammed my door into his face. Then, I slid the metal bolts to the right, locking my door with thick iron bolts. Smart thing, right? Of course I had bolt locks. It was the only way to keep the devil out. Apparently the cross wasn't enough to rid of Andrew. Or Lucifer. Whatever his name might be.

    I moved to my bed, falling on the baby-blue sheets striped with white as if it were a cloud. Maybe I'd fall through and reach a better reality. But no, it was just a bed. My bed at that, so it really wasn't anything special. Shifting onto my side, I stared at how my black hair fell in smooth layers over my cheeks, draping the sheets just a little bit. The colors went well together, especially with my arm as the middle ground- the tone being a soft olive color. I wasn't sure what made me have this little fragment of self-esteem, but I had it, and never lost it. Even in the darkest of times, I could always find something about myself that was admirable...
    My eyes closed, and I took a deep breath- wishing myself away from this wretched place. As I gave way to the darkness of my almost-asleep state, I felt something. Eerie. But it was there, reaching for me. Magnetic and comforting slightly. It sparked something deep in my chest that I could never explain in a bundle of long and complex vocabulary words. It was a feeling that I had only felt when I was about to dive into one of these strange dreams...


    The darkness began to fade as something like candlelight began to light the area around me. But it must've been a hundred candles for such light- or it was a fire in itself. And option number two was right. Fire spread like a wicked plague through my dream, crackling loudly while the hungry flames licked the smoky air above.
    I began to cough, as if I could taste this rich smoke on my tongue as it toppled into my throat, and onwards to my lungs. It was a demonic smoke, for it seemed to suffocate more than just me, but everything. Even the grass at my feet withered in its presence...

    As my eyes scanned the horizon, I saw something... No, someone. It was him, and by him, I meant the man of destruction. Though he never seemed to be the cause, he was always the center of these destructive dreams.
    His red hair danced out in long wisps and seemed to be alive just as the flames were. Crimson eyes peered out at me from a serious, yet curious, expression. Supple lips formed a tight line. He seemed almost as if he wanted something from me. But what could I offer him? Standing in somewhat baggy white pants, he showed no fear. His pants whipped as a giant torrent seemed to appear about him. Though it was not visible, it was logical.
    I was right. The flames began to die, and darkness swarmed through this long battlefield like a tsunami. Soon, it was thrashing against me, pulling my hair across my face and blinding me. I opened my mouth to let out a scream, but the whistling gusts were too much against my soft voice that rarely rose above a whisper.

    Soon, I felt something. It was almost electric. Warm. A hand so eccentric in its presence that it had me shocked and awestruck. But I took it. I held it close to my own hand and sighed as I clutched it. It jerked me forward, and my body was thrust against the bare chest of that red-haired man. The fiery man of destruction.
    "Come with me." He whispered softly, his voice the most gregarious of baritones that I had ever heard. Something about this man was so strange and enigmatic, that I hoped to learn more of him before I woke. But, as always, when things get interesting, I wake...


    My eyes almost opened, but I squeezed them shut. I refused to wake up- though by now the man was gone and I was just denying myself from staring into the evening sunlight. I slept a long time during these dreams, so I was sure a good four or five hours of my life had wasted away to play a scene of fire and brimstone in my head. I could almost still feel the amazing heat upon my hand from where his had taken hold of me. What a grip, as if to pull me away with him.

    "Jannay! Get out here and wash the clothes!" Cried Terry in her stupor. I rolled my eyes beneath my lids, and opened them to see the solace of my room undisturbed. My bolt locks were so trusty; they were my little criminal-stoppers. By now, Andrew would've left to go play at Tyler's house. Skateboarding, or whatever it was that teen boys did now.
    "Yes Terry!" I shouted back, the most excessive use of my voice since screaming in that repetitive dream.

    I rose up from my bed with a grunt, throwing my long legs off the side and staring at my feet. Beneath them was the hideous green carpet speckled white from bleach. I shook my head, watching my hair fall along my shoulders, and got up. Undoing my bolt locks from top to bottom, I stepped out of the room and went onward down the hall, beginning the laundry...


    Sometimes I felt like this would never change. At least I had interesting dreams. I could be thankful for those. By now I had finished my daily run-around for Terry. Washed the clothes, cleaned the kitchen, swept and mopped, changed the cat litter, fed the dog, cleaned Andrew's room, and went out for milk and instant coffee mix.
    Now I was back in my little sanctuary. A simple bed that seemed like a completely seperate place. I had as well managed a shower, dinner, and taking my medication. Sadly, my medication was anti-depressants. I couldn't survive without them, though I still managed to feel as if my life had no meaning, as if I were just a lab rat to run in circles until the day I die.
    But at least I was in bed now. It was late, and Terry was in her room laughing the night away with her hillbilly boyfriend. I was safe here. My door bolted shut, my lights turned out. And I was ready to explore my dreams again. They were just so... Tempting. How could I ignore them? That man is so... Alluring.

    So I began to dream...


    The beginning darkness was there. That soft and silent darkness that opened me up to this world. Then, came soft gray glows. Not the embers of fire, but the smokes and dawn light after a night of destruction. As things began to be defined, I took in my environment. It was cool, the wind was blowing softly, as if it had just rained. Smoke rose from the ground in thin wisps twisting upwards. The ground was all gray, darker, colored with ashes and burnt trees. This was surely destruction, for it arose awe from me- a person who could not feel any pity anymore. A person who was closed off from the world...

    In the distant morning fog, appeared that man. He wore now, a white robe of silk over his white pants. The gentle breezes pulled at it like so, making it seem as if it were white smoke rising off his body. He came forward to me, and I did the equivalent. As we neared each other, he held out his hand again.

    "Come with me."
    "Where to?" I responded quickly to the angelic voice.
    "Just come with me..." His lips formed a subtle smile, and his fingers extended for me. This was closer than he had been before. It was just a matter of taking his hand now.

    "Okay." I whispered almost inaudibly, pressing my full lips together to hold in a solid breath. My arm stretched out for him, my hand trembling just faintly. My fingers extended, my palm now hovering over his own. I could feel the heat rising off his body. The heat he was emitting. It was comforting in this cool barren wasteland. So finally, I did it.
    I took his hand.


    My phone buzzed in my pocket, waking me from my sleep. I let my eyes flutter to adjust to the sunlight. My phone buzzed again. Reaching into my pocket, I withdrew my phone and flipped it open. The number read 000-0000. I felt a pit in my stomach. It was impossible, right?

    I knew you'd take my hand.

    I sat still, staring at my phone. So now it was from the man I dreamed about. I felt a strange twinge of hysteria, as if I were still dreaming. I looked around the room, out the window. Everything seemed normal. My phone buzzed once more.

    It begins today.

    I almost felt watched now. My eyes scanned my room, but again- it was the same as it has always been. Boring white walls of prison- I knew that no one could be watching me from within them.
    I then moved to my window, staring outside. But again- nothing. There was only the brightly lit streets down from Terry's apartment and the passing cars. I sighed, closing the blinds.
    I wonder if something really does begin today. I wonder if things are about to change. I wonder if I'm just making this all up in my head as some faint ember of hope to escape this lifestyle...