You open your eyes. There’s a pounding noise coming from outside your bedroom's closed, locked door.

It gets closer.

And closer.

And even closer.

And then, as quickly as it began, it stops. You sigh in relief— Oh, wait, you spoke too soon, the pounding starts again, right on your door. It gives way, falling to the ground as if its hinges were magically removed. A small sparkle is there, floating in the doorway. It zips around your room like a lightning bolt.

The pounding suddenly booms throughout the whole house, and the sparkle quickly flings back out. A voice echoes in your mind.

You aren’t in control of this. Get out

A light flashes outside your room, and your whole world is silenced.

You open your eyes. A soft sunlight glows through your curtains, birds chirping as you rise from your bed and grab your journal. You write about the strange dream you just had, all details included. A voice shouts from outside your room— your mom's. “Are you awake?"

You were always confused by her asking that. If you weren’t awake, that would just awaken you. Whatever. A yawn escapes your lips as you put your journal away and head out through your door, grabbing your notepad and looping it around your neck before meeting your mom in the kitchen to the smell of pancakes. Burning pancakes, specifically.

Your mom swears— that hypocrite, you don’t get to write down any swears— and drops the smoking pan and its contents into the sink. “Jesus…” She looks up at you, throwing her charred oven mitts away. “Cereal?”

You nod, not wanting her to burn down the house.

“Did you sleep well?”

You nod again as you shovel the pure sugar into your mouth, glancing out the window. Ms Fern is out there, tending to her big garden. For an old lady, she’s pretty active. And nice. Your mind drifts away, thinking about your day so far. Pretty good— even though your mom burnt the pancakes.

Wait, why was she wearing oven mitts while making pancakes, you don’t make them in the oven. Or can yo—

Your mom snaps her fingers, knocking you out of your haze. “Hey, I was saying, it’s the weekend. Do you want to do anything today?”

You grab the notepad with your left hand and detach the pen with the other. You hesitate before drawing a picture of a fish. She looks at your drawing. “The aquarium?”

You nod.

“Sure, let’s go then.”

As your mom walks you in and pays for the admittance, you look around the entrance of the aquarium and crane your neck around to look through the hallway to the fish. You don’t manage to see inside though, as the hallway just leads to another turn. Just before you frown, your mom speaks, “Alright, let's go inside.”

You both walk through the beautiful display of large fish tanks, each one of them hosting a variety of colorful aquatic creatures. As you watch a small turtle slowly swim up to the surface, your mom grabs your shoulder. “I’m going to the bathroom, alright? Don’t go too far.”

You nod and she smiles, walking away. You look around the aquarium for other intriguing fish, when a black door sticks out to you. Curiously, you wander over and open it, walking in. It’s almost pitch black on the other side. You walk forward with your arms out, and they eventually touch a wall of glass. Oh, so this room is just an unused room with a fish tank, perhaps they will add something new eventual—

Hello boy.

You recoil, taking your arms off the glass and taking a step back. A small glow looms in the tank, and you see a faint shadow whizz past the other side of it. The shadow slows and approaches the glass in front of you. You can see two small glimmering orbs on it. How are you? The voice asks, echoing in your brain.

You scramble to grab the notepad around your neck, drawing a fish and a question mark.

What… Fish? Ah, I’m not a fish. I’m just a—

A spark suddenly bursts into the room, blinding you with its light, and your whole world is silenced.

You wake up again, reaching for your journal. It's strange, your notes from your last dream aren't there. Sighing, you lift yourself out of bed.

"Sweetie?" Your mom opens the door to your room, a concerned look plastered across her face. "You're sick, remember? You shouldn't be up…" She quietly directs you back over to your bed, laying you down. "Just get some rest, okay?"

You reach for your notepad on your bedside table, but it is not there.


Grumbling, you close your eyes, mushing your face into your soft pillow.

You wait.

And wait.

And wait some more…

Until finally, you hear your mom step out, closing the door behind her, followed by a quiet knock at your window.

"Kid… Hey, kid, wake up."

Your eyes slowly open, despite telling yourself that you probably shouldn't look. It's Ms. Fern! Wait, why's she—

"Get up, kid. We've gotta go."

Her voice sounds deeper than you remember. It sounds crispy, whatever that means.

"Kid? Oh, right…" She stomps over and grabs your notepad, then carefully places it over your neck. "There you go. Now, let's get going before she notices."

You blink, then you get up. Maybe you're playing hide and seek or something!

Your heart is telling you you aren't but you get out of bed and follow her out of the window.

She suddenly freezes as you step out, and you feel a soft chill prickle your skin. "Dangit, I didn't think she'd notice… Stay quiet."

You wish you could point out the irony in telling a mute child to stay quiet, but your muscles suddenly tense up as you reach for your pen.

"Where are you?"

Ms. Fern pulls out a flashlight-looking thing and throws it to the ground. It erupts into a cloud of smoke as she grabs you and starts running.

A light flashes in the sky, and your whole world is silenced.

When you wake up, you have a pounding headache. What happened yesterday? Perhaps you got sick.

Yeah, maybe that's what happened.

(have the mom be some kind of abusive fairy thing that keeps the boy in an endless cycle, while some kind of monsters keep on invading their little fake world, trying to get the boy to wake up or something)

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