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You awakened, in mono-yellow hallways, rife with the stink of old carpet and stagnant air.

You walked for a long time, but found no one, only stretch after stretch of yellow wallpaper and the ever-present hum-buzz of fluorescent lights.

Your feet began to ache, but you had to press on, even if only little by little, step after step. You had to keep moving. There was no alternative.

The lights on the ceiling blinked on with a monotonous rhythm: high to low, high to low. A tint of amber, a second of dimness, before the walls brightened, returned to yellow.

You broke into a run, hoping to find any sign of progression, any indicator that you weren't just traveling in circles. You looked, but there was nothing to see. You cried, but there was no one to hear.

Only the monochrome of the walls, only the apathy of the lights, only mile after mile of constructed randomless that lead nowhere. It was all there was.

It was all there was left.

But you had to keep moving.

I had an awful dream.

The room was dark, and for a moment, you were unsure whether your eyes were open at all. Rain pounded against the rooftop, its steady ambiance nearly drawing you back into a state of stupor.

The wind’s howl rang on, accompanied by a strike of thunder crashing down into the distance. Amidst the cacophony, you caught the faint breathing of your parents somewhere within the room. They snored softly, undisturbed by the rain. Around you, was warmth.

As the faintest of outlines surfaced within your vision, you saw the cheap incandescent light dangling from the ceiling: an inverted teardrop nested within linen. To your right was the little window, covered by tan linen blinds that obstructed the light. The duvet was cozy, with that cedar, homely smell that soothed your worries for a full night’s rest.

At some point, you became aware of the hard object digging into your side. Your hand found a smooth cool surface, your fingers sliding it out of your pocket. Lifting the duvet, you looked at the faint shape of your phone, flat and unassuming. Suddenly, the screen burst with light and you scrambled into motion, pulling the duvet over your head. Secure under the thick covers, you turned your attention to the home screen… displaying a notification for a new message. After a moment of hesitation, you tapped on the notification, watching the phone unlock.

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