The wind, chilly and frosty, sharp like a razor, slapped against my face. I felt the chills travel to every single bone in my body. I couldn’t get over the numbness of this cold to gather enough consciousness to explore my surroundings.
I had no idea where I was. There were wide, black holes in my memory, it seemed. I couldn’t remember how I got there. I could remember nothing that had happened. Panic and fear gripped me, squeezing its arms around me. I couldn’t believe I was sweating profusely in this freezing temperature.
After exhausting moments of contemplation, it all started coming back to me in bits and pieces. I was with my friends.
My friends! Where were they? Where is everyone? Why am I all alone in this black, empty wilderness?
I wanted to succumb to my tears and cry hard like never before. Howl at the moon.
As the minutes ticked away, the holes in my memory started filling up.
There was an old man. His warnings! He warned us about the danger ahead. But we did not listen. We made fun of him. Laughed at him like he was some kind of a lunatic.
He warned us against going into the ruins of Harrenhall. It was a dangerous place. Cursed, broken and gnarled like a twisted old tree.
But we were intrigued by the idea of an adventure. We couldn’t stop ourselves from the thrill of venturing into that dark haunted place.
I was so terrified now, I started running and crying out for my friends, “Chris! Joey!”
But only silence answered me. A profound screeching silence ringing in my ears.
I fell down, drained of all energy. Blood started oozing out of the cuts on my hands. I could feel the world swaying. I could feel myself go. My eyes closed. Nothingness. My heart beating very fast. And then not at all.
I woke up with a jolt. What was that? I was covered in sweat top to bottom. It was my worst nightmare ever.
I was shaken to bits. I looked around. I was in my room. Safe and sound, with Chris and Joey standing over me.
“Hey guys. I just had the worst nightmare.”
“We know. We heard you screaming and shouting, idiot,” Chris laughed at me. “Listen. I was thinking that we should go to Harrenhall. It’ll be fun!”
Published in Dawn, Young World, November 3rd, 2018