"YOU WILL FIND HAPPINESS."
I jolted awake.
My eyes were painted with the sight of dancing snow.
I found myself laying on the cold decaying floor, with the roof obliterated.
For a moment, I thought I heard a familiar voice. But after sitting up and grumbling from having a sore back, it was just a red herring.
Time stood still. I have no recollection.
The snow tickled my nose. Ironically, they were the only things that comforted me in this desolate and creepy cottage.
Wood from the broken roof dangled and swung along with the howling winds, beckoning me to exit.
I was wearing a jacket, but it was one where the unforgiving winter penetrated its layers and seeped its chilling air into my skin. My pleas to know as to why the heck I was stuck in here out of all random places were somewhat relieved when I noticed a mysterious trail was spotted at a distance.
A glimpse of a city.
Ah, that's right.
Was it some city that I hated?
It was the dead of winter when I ran the distance between some cottage and the city I'd renounced a while back. And yet, this was a memory with missing pieces.
It was just a sense of deja vu, together with the urge to follow this ominous trail.
And so, I ran.
My legs were stiff from soreness and my arm quivered from the cold, but I did not stop.
I ran until the snow gradually faded and I was welcomed by the warmth of the rising sun. I witnessed in awe as the rays of sunshine glimmered across several towering buildings surrounded by rows of evenly structured homes.
I blinked and staggered back when my mind experienced a flash of scenes being played like video compilations. A scene of a school, then kids eating grilled cheese sandwiches.
Must have been memories of a nightmare.
I was rubbing my eyes when a squeaky voice greeted me with friendliness.
I jumped, turning my head to gaze in the direction where the voice came from.
A man's voice that's intimidating enough for me to head back the way I came from. But I froze while I watched two individuals dressed like greeters for Santa approach me.
The girl, with her presence carrying the sounds of a requiem, displayed her set of black teeth so confidently I nearly gagged. I turned away to glance at the man next to her, who nodded his head excitedly as his puffy black curls bounced with his movements.
"WELCOME HOME, #22," the girl rested her bony fingers on my shoulder, "WE HAVE MISSED YOU."