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Chapter 5: Hope of Freedom

Heat, an unbelievable heat, bursting from the very ground but yet I shiver, fear a deep side affect to any sort of nightmare. I turn and run, when I run ashes coming up from my feet and making me gasp as breathing is hard. And then, everything seems to explode, a light blinding me before everything is dark.

I wake up sweating, from a nightmare this time, only to find myself still in the first nightmare. It is dark and everything is blearly because I'm not wearing my glasses. Although I'm sure that it's the middle of the night, every sign around me seems to say that. But I have to make sure, as another idea forms in my mind. Reaching to one side, I find my glasses and put them on, sitting up to search for a clock. But what do you know. There's no clock to be found. What idiot would have a bedroom without clock is behind me but at this point, I'm guessing that I'm surronded by idiots. So, I just slide out of bed and slip quietly to the door, opening it a crack to be greeted by a completely pitch black hallway. Great, just great. At least in the room there was a little moonlight shining in, now I've got nothing.

Grumbling to myself, I turn back into the room and kneel in front of the table I'd stuck my glasses on. There was a draw in it and I pull it open, hearing a small squeak and feeling my breath catch in my throat. But no other sound is heard in the entire building. And my luck seems to be holding, for a find a flashlight sitting there and grab it, flicking it on in one motion and relaxing from the comfort of the light.

This whole house gives me the creeps, but so does the town. They brought me here after only a short walk through the streets and I haven't left since then, just spent the day holed up in the room where they brought me dinner. No one has even tried to explain anything else to me, which can be enough to drive anyone crazy.

Creeping out of the room, I make my way carefully down the hall and down a set of creaking stairs, my heart in my throat with every step. Finally I reach the bottom and I turn into one of the rooms directly at the bottom of the stairs, the one I know Chris went into earlier. Pushing open the door and shining the light onto the bed, I can see that it is him and call me crazy but I'm going to ask him to come with me. He's not a bad man really, maybe a bit crazy in the head but something inside of me is telling me to trust him and so I do.

He's fast asleep in the bed and I give him a quick shake which is enough to wake him up. I'm guessing that he's a light sleeper. That's alright, I know that I am too.

It's morning when he wakes me up, a grin on his face. My lovely brother, who is always impatient with me when I am sleeping. "Aren't you getting up Catty?"

"No." I always say that to him when I wish that he wouldn't wake me.

"I know you are, you wouldn't be able to sleep if I tiptoed by your room."

The memory is like a thorn in my heart but I push it away and look at Chris who is staring right at me, must likely waiting for the distance look to leave my eyes. Now a small smile crosses his face. "Why do I earn this nightly visit?"

"I'm getting out of here," I say, "And I want you to come with me."

There is a shocked look on his face for a minute, then he sighs. "What makes you think that you'll be able to get out of here and what makes you think that I'll come with you?"

"Once I get out the house all I need to do is ask directions," I say, "I'll find my way back home before you know it."

"Haven't I told you before that there is no way out," Chris tells me, "Only Matt knows the way out and you aren't going to be able to get him to help you. And you won't get any older here either. You're in a place where there is no time."

I shake my head. "If there was no time then the there wouldn't be a night or a day and I've already seen both here. I'm going home. If you don't want to escape with me, then fine. You can stay right here!"

As I turn to leave, Chris grabs my arm, keeping me from leaving. "Open your eyes Catty. Matt just has a little trick for the time of day but I've been here long enough to know! I've been here more years then you've been alive, I've been here long before you were even thought of, before your parents were even born. I ought to know more about this place then you do."

"I don't believe you." I'm not trying to be stubborn, I just won't believe all the nonsense that Chris keeps spinning about this town.

"Then try to escape." There is a deadly tone almost to his voice. "Try to escape and see where that takes you."

By this point I am feed up and so I yank my arm free at the same time he let's go of me and stare at him. "Fine, I will. It was nice meeting you."

After leaving Chris' room, it doesn't take me long to reach the door and my fingers curl around the doorknob. Freedom is so close as I turn it, but that freedom is quickly shaddered as a hand is clasped over mine, keeping me from turning it any further. I look up sharply, maybe Chris has decided to find me but instead I come face to face with Matt. The one person I hate must of all right now, for he's the one who took me here to begin with.