She couldn't breathe, and her eyes were stinging. She could feel the sausage fingers gripping tighter against her throat. She's struggling against her own demons, and her struggles were futile as she woke up, drenched in sweat, looking at the color-less walls of her dorm room. Amy had never wished for her mother as she did that moment. She pressed her clammy, shaking fingers to her throat, feeling the security of her own pulse. Amy looked over from the itchy cotton sheets to her raven-haired roommate and saw she was still asleep, muttering about banana cars and rhinestone eyes.

It was a time for a walk. Pulling up her derby socks and pulling on her black sweater, Amy walked into the dormitory hallway and fell into step with the comforting counting in her own head. One, two, three. One, two, three. Amy was lulled into sanity again, and her hand finally left her throat after a steady beat was found.

Walking into the cool air, she let out a sigh of relief at the wind brushing against her face, leaving comforting, happy kisses. Amy's breath fogged up in front of her, giving her a personal cloud. The cold made her giddy and a little calm at the same time.

Taking a look at her school from a park bench outside, she felt a wave of homesickness that never happened in the nine years she's attended her boarding school. It had become her home, really, and her friends had become her family. She felt her eyes getting heavy, and her head felt cloudy from the scent of the cherry tree beside her, and Amy felt herself fall into peaceful, undisturbed sleep.


Elisabeth Dalks woke up that morning from a fleeting dream that yelled about darkness and lack of air, to an empty room.


Sighing heavily, she pitched herself out of bed, went into the hallway to look for her sleeping roommate usually on the park bench outside.

But of course, life couldn't be simple.

"Well, lookie here!" Ryan Malts crooned. "If it isn't our resident princess, Dalks, ruler of all things ugly, it seems you're still an ogre, not a princess yet. I really didn't expect less."

Elisabeth's eye twitched and she clenched her fingers into tight fists.

"Puh-lease. It's not like you'll be any girl's prince," she shot back. "I'm surprised a mob hasn't chased you away yet. Those dark circles under your eyes make you look like a vampire. Any nightmares about someone taking your binky?"

Ryan glared at her, and pushed her out of the way with his shoulder as he passed. Elisabeth was confused; it really wasn't eh best of comebacks. But the shadows under his eyes were a lot darker than they were the day before. Not that she noticed.

As she walked outside of the dorm building, still clad in her yellow night shirt, she saw her roommate wake up. Elisabeth felt a sudden rush of pity for the poor confused-looking blonde.

"Amy!" Elisabeth cried. "Geez, you've been out her for-freaking-ever. Look, even your lips are blue."

And her words rang true. Amy touched her lips, and stared off into space.

Elisabeth huffed and spoke again, "Come awn! Jim's gonna get suspicious!"

At the sound of the gym teacher and dorm patrolman's name, Amy's brain finally caught up to her and she nodded to her talkative roommate, as aforementioned roommate took her by the hand and lead her back to her room.

"Ugh," Elisabeth groaned. "Are you ever gonna tell me why I always have to wake you up out here? I am so not in the mood. I just want a hot shower, and some breakfast."

Amy just rolled her eyes, but answered anyway, "If you must know… I've been having these trippy dreams. And they totally freak me out, and they happen every night. I just come out here to think and I guess I fall asleep as well."

Elisabeth just rolled her eyes, but couldn't help but think of her own fleeting dream and the dark circles underneath Ryan's eyes.

"You know," Elisabeth said. "Ryan has been looking sleep deprived lately… You don't think something weird is going on?"

Amy raised an eyebrow, and looked at her friend incredulously.

"You never mention Ryan, unless it's insulting him, or ranting about his disabilities to even 'think with a human brain.'"

"What?! Ha! No, never. Don't make me laugh. Or sick. No… scratch that. He makes me sick."

Amy giggled at her friend's antics and sighed.

"Well, I think something weird is going on," Amy said. "Maybe we should ask Ryan if he thinks the same. It seems he's been having nightmares as well. What about you?"

Elisabeth shifted her weight as she opened up the door to the dorm room with the gold key.

"Well, I don't really remember my dreams. But what I can remember is something about a park, and it's dark. And I can't really breathe. Something's always on my stomach or something. I don't know."

Amy looked thoughtful as she remembered her own nightmare.

"I just have this feeling… and I know something weird is going on."

(AN: So, um. Yeah. This is the beginning… it's boring and vague and totally unedited, practically… Don't hate me.)