• I was dreaming. I knew I was because I’ve had this dream every time I closed my eyes. I was standing in a flower field, waiting for someone to appear to me. “Harmony!” I heard a voice cry out. I spun around on my heels and faced the direction the voice came from. And there she was. So small and frail, just like the last time I ever saw her.

    Her brown hair was tangled with flower pedals from playing around in the field, and her pink dress was covered in dirt. My best friend in the whole world, Rose Calluway, stood before me just as I remembered her seven years ago. She smiled up at me then ran behind a tree giggling. I laughed at her actions as she peeked out from behind the tree and hid back again. She wanted to play.

    Slowly I crept up to the tree and looked behind it, but she wasn’t there. Then I heard that terrible scream. The scream that has always haunted me dreams. I turned quickly, knowing what I’d be facing. A tall man, with rabbit features and white hair was standing behind me holding Rose in his arms. His crimson eyes flashed at me, daring for me to follow him. And then, he took off, as fast as his feet would go, into the black forest.

    I just stood there, watching with sad eyes as my Rose was taken from me. I knew I couldn’t go after him, because I’ve tried before, and failed miserably. Dark clouds invaded the beautiful field and rain began to fall from the sky. I looked up at the clouds. It was like they knew how much pain I was in, and they were weeping for me.

    My eyes snapped open at the sound of my alarm going off. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and rolled over to turn the annoying beeping off. It was three in the afternoon. I had been reading a book after taking my medication, and knowing I’d fall asleep, I set my alarm. I rolled back over facing the wall and tried to close my eyes again. But I couldn’t. I just laid there looking at the blue wall.

    It was very sunny outside, and I had my curtains drawn closed. Oh, how I hated sunny days when I wasn’t feeling good. Now that I think about it, I never really am feeling good these days. When I finally decided to get out of bed it was three thirty. I carefully walked down the stairs, holding on to the hand rail because I was still drowsy. Upon entering the kitchen I ran my finger tips over the marble counter top then opened the fridge. Nothing. I walked to the cabinet doors and opened them. Also, nothing. Don’t get me wrong though. There were things to eat, just not things I would want to eat.

    I looked at the clock on the stove and noticed that I had about an hour and a half until my mother got home. That gave me some time. I ran back upstairs and into the bathroom to brush my tangled hair. I looked at myself in the mirror, admiring my reflection. My soft brown hair, ivory skin, dark green eyes and full lips I get from my mother. I was an attractive girl, but no boy my age seemed to be attracted to me. I set the brush down on the sink and skipped into my bedroom. I rummaged through my closet, finally finding a pair of plaid pants and a long sleeved black tee.

    I admired myself in the full length mirror for a moment and walked to my dresser to grab some money from my piggy bank. “Twenty dollars…” I mumbled to myself. More then enough to get what I wanted at the store. I grabbed my keys and headed down the stairs when I heard the door bell ring. I looked at it for a moment, wondering who it could be since no one ever visits our house and we have a sign in the front yard clearly stating No Solicitors. I opened the door up and looked outside. No one was there. Not even a person was walking by. Maybe just some stupid kids playing jokes, I thought to myself as I was closing the door. Then, I heard a faint sound and swung the door back open.

    And there sitting on the porch mat was a little black cat. I looked down at it confused. It stared at me, like I was a mouse that caught its interest. I stared back at it. It had no collar so it must have been a stray. “Go away kitty,” I told it. It mewed once more than took off into the hedges on the far side of the house. I watched it run off, a bit confused as to how a cat could reach a doorbell from that height. I shrugged it off, then locked the door and began my quest to find some food that would satisfy my growling stomach.

    It was way to bright outside. I had to hold my hand over my eyes every time a car passed by because the sun would glare off its shinny top. I lived in a town right out side Madison, Wisconsin’s capital city. It’s a very small city, and everyone knows everyone. My high school I used to go to only had about three hundred two students. But now that I was taking home school and my friend was kidnapped it maybe only had about two hundred ninety, of course counting students who move and drop out. The only reason I take home schooling is because I’m supposedly insane. Whatever. I know I’m not crazy, and I know I saw that damn white rabbit man take Rose!

    I kicked a pebble that was in my path and watched it skip onto the road. When I finally reached the convenience store, I was about to walk in when I heard a faint mew behind me. I turned around to look for a cat, but all I saw where some people talking while walking they’re dogs. I eyed them before turning around. And that’s when I saw him. That same black cat was perched up on top of an ice chest staring at me. It looked like it was smiling down at me, its eyes still fixated on me. I stuck out my tongue like a child and proceeded to go into the store.

    “Well hello Harmony!” Mr. Hodge called from behind the counter. He was the store manager and a family friend. I smiled at him as I passed to the cooler, taking out a small milk and grabbing some ramen noodles from the shelf behind me. I gently walked back over to the counter and set my things there while he rung them up. “So how are you doing today? I thought you weren’t allowed out of the house.” He eyed me, smiling so warmly.

    I smiled back at him and shook my head. “I feel terrible today. And on top of that it’s sunny and I have an appointment today with Doctor Kurt.” I grimaced as I thought of him. He was the only person in this world that I was afraid of. But no way would I ever tell him that.

    Mr. Hodge let out a jolly laugh that made his tummy jiggle. “Oh Harmony! My mother went to him after my father died. She said he was the nicest person she ever met and he made her feel comfortable,” I laughed internally at his statement. “And well I believe her; although, I do have my suspicions about him. It’s kind of weird how just one person could make my mother forget all about her sadness. Like a spell was placed on her. Okay then, that will be seven twenty!”

    I handed him one of my tens that I had and placed my change in my wallet. Mr. Hodge was right. It is strange how that happen. But apparently my case is different from everyone else’s and he has to treat me differently. Like what? He acts like a mad scientist trying to convince a monster that he isn’t a monster. I shivered, as I thought about what I would be experiencing later today. That chair in the center of the room. The humiliation, the manipulation he put me through. Was he trying to make it seem like it was all my fault Rose had been kidnapped? Was he trying to drive me into insanity?

    “Harmony?” Mr. Hodge broke me from my thoughts. “Are you alright?” He asked me in a worried tone. I nodded to him then said my goodbyes and left.

    When I walked out of the store, well more like rushed, I thought the cat would be there waiting for me. But it wasn’t. I made a sigh of relief and was finally on my way back home. As I reached the front door, I heard the phone ringing and quickly pulled out my keys and unlocked it. I ran though the door and got to the phone to look on the ID box. It was my mother. I didn’t answer it, but when the answering machine picked up, and she threatened to ground me from my sewing machine, is when I picked up.

    “Sorry mom, I was in the shower,” I lied. I heard her sigh and I rolled my eyes.

    “Whatever. Listen, I’m stuck n traffic and won’t be home till six. I already called Doctor Kurt and told him you’ll be late. Now eat before I get home and I’ll see you then.”

    “Alright mom. Thanks, bye.” I hung up the phone before she had the chance to say anything else. After I hung up I began to cook my food. It would at least take twenty minutes. I walked into the living room and turned on my sewing machine. Sewing was just about the only thing in my life right now that actually made my happy. I began to sew lace onto a skirt my mother gave me a couple of months ago. It was really old, and worn out looking, but she said she hardly wore it. I made my own clothes. I mean what’s the point of going out, spending tons of money on clothing and about a week later you don’t want to wear it? That I could never understand. The lace was sewn on by the time I heard the timer go off on the stove. I turned off my machine and walked into the kitchen and turned the dial on the stove off. The growling beast in my stomach was finally soothed once I finished eating my noodles.

    I placed the empty bowl in the sink and went to the living room to turn on the television. There was nothing good on, the cartoon channel so I turned it to the cooking channel and sat back to watch my favorite chef cook up some pies. My eyes felt heavy after a while and I closed them when they began to water. I think I might have fallen asleep on the couch because I couldn’t hear the television anymore, and I couldn’t open my eyes. This dream was a bit different from the rest I’ve always had. Instead, I was standing in a field, where ash was falling from the sky like snow. The ground was covered in it and all the plants around me were dead. It was a bit frightening. Out in the distance I saw something, but the ashy snow was blocking my view. So, I took one large step forward and began to walk towards the object.

    It felt like I was walking forever. But when I looked back, it seemed like I only took a couple of steps. I turned back around, and to my surprise, I was in a different place. It was now a forest; a dark forest, with large trees looming overhead. But right in front of my view, was the same object I was going after. It seemed a little closer and so I began to run. I tripped over a root that was in the ground, and rubbed my bloody knee. “Darn it,” I hissed. I heard something move on my left and I turned my head. One of the trees was moving! I jumped up and sprinted, trying to get away from this tree monster.

    When I turned around to look at the tree, it wasn’t there. The forest wasn’t even there! I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath, trying to prepare myself for what was next in this crazy dream. Slowly, I turned my head back around and almost screamed when I saw someone looking back at me. I placed my hand to my mouth in shock. The girl that stood before me did the same thing. I must have scared her. I took small steps towards her, and she followed, her long black dress flowing behind her. When I was a couple of feet away from her I stopped.

    She was actually a very pretty girl. Long black curly hair pulled up on top of her head, green eyes with just a tent of gold around the pupils. She looked like royalty. I smiled at her and she smiled back. She was so beautiful. I reached out to touch her hand and she mocked me. But when out hands touched, hers was cold. That’s when I noticed, that I was looking into a mirror. That beautiful woman was me? When and where did I get a dress like that? I pulled my hand away from the mirror. But my reflection did not. I saw a shadow walk up behind her, but when it came into view, it didn’t have a figure to it. I couldn’t tell who or what it was. It wrapped its arms around my reflections waist and rested what I guess to be its head, on her shoulder.

    That’s when I started to cry. My reflection was crying, tears rolling down her cheeks. I looked at her, a bit confused as to why she would be crying. Then I noticed a dark stain on the front of her dress. It was getting larger, like someone spilled something on her beautiful dress. And then, she collapsed onto the floor. My eyes widened and I tried to run to her, but a pain in my stomach stopped me. I placed my hand over it and felt something wet. When I lifted my hand up to look at it, it was covered with blood. My blood. My reflection was dead, lying in a puddle of blood with the shadow standing over her body. I started to shake and looked up at the shadows supposed face.

    I stared at it for a moment and started to notice that features were starting to materialize on it. I rubbed my sleepy eyes, thinking that I might die soon. When I opened them, I wish I could die. Doctor Kurt stood in front of me. That cocky smile playing on his lips. I tried to scream out, but could not find my voice. He started to walk towards me, his hands reaching out for me.

    I must have really did scream in my sleep because that’s what woke me up. I was breathing heavily and shaking terribly. I sat up on the couch and rubbed my eyes, trying to get that dream out of my head. I looked up at the clock on the fireplace, it was already five thirty. I got off the couch and ran up stairs to wash the worry off my face. I got one of my favorite books from my room and then walked outside to read it. When I opened the front door, I just about screamed. That black cat was sitting on the porch swing staring at me, like it was waiting for me to come outside. I glared at the cat. “Shoo! Go away!” It mewed at me and I just gave up.

    I sat next to it and began reading my book, trying to erase my mind of that dream. The cat kept nudging my arm and mewing up at me. I rolled my eyes and rubbed him behind his ears. He started to purr and I laughed at him when he almost fell off the swing. Soon my mother pulled into the drive way, and the cat hissed at the car, then ran off once again. I stood up, closing the book and walked inside, leaving the door open for my mother to enter.

    “Harmony, are you ready to go?” She asked me as she came in the house.

    “Yes mother,” I said mockingly. She didn’t even look or respond to me. I watched her stalk off to her own room, taking her time when she was rushing me out the door. “I’m going to the car mother!” I called to her. She didn’t even respond to that. I turned and walked outside to the red Ferrari and got in on the passengers side. I played with the radio as I waited for her, and sang when my most favorite song came on. When my mom finally decided to get in the car, my song had ended, and I was glad she didn’t hear me sing.

    My mother pulled out of the drive-way, the tires squealing as she turned the wheel, and we were once again off the see the evil Doctor Kurt. I thought I might have heard the cat’s mew over the roar of the engine. But this time, it sounded like it said something.

    “Be careful….”