The Thirteenth Hour
By Lady Glass

Part One
Stone Angels

Prologue

The hospital in my dream is always the same. The golden glow of the early morning sun shining into the lobby, papers scattered on the floor, as though a busied nurse had been too flustered to pick up the documents she'd been carrying. Haunting silence ringing in my ears, I step forward bravely. My memory quickly comes back to me and I know exactly where to go.

As though being led by the ghostly hand of an old friend, my hand is held out in front of me. Slowly, I make my way toward the stairs. The stairwell is just as silent as the lobby of the hospital, yet somehow I feel that I am not completely alone.

The fourth floor.

My mind seems to scream the words. I look at the sign on the wall next to me. I am on the first floor. As I begin my ascent up the stairs, my feeling that there is someone else in here with me grows. Yet the feeling is not dread, but is more a feeling of excitement.

Halfway to the second floor, I see three pictures on the landing. As I bend down to pick them up, a wave of sadness comes over me and I know I have seen these before.

The first is simple and may have been drawn by a six-year old. A girl stands on a hill holding a red leash attached to a brown dog. The second is more advanced and much more disturbing. A row of corpses lay on the ground. At the end of the row, a girl kneels, her hands covering her eyes, and it is obvious she is crying. The third and final drawing is so well drawn I think for a moment it must be professional. A girl is nailed to a cross, blood dripping from her wrists and ankles onto the snow. Standing in front of her, his head turned to the side, is a man in a black bloody robe. His mouth is pulled into a disgusting grin. In his hand, he holds a hammer.

I shiver and to my horror, the scene is familiar.

Glancing up through the space between the winding stairs, I see someone looking back down at me and I smile at the familiar face.