inside the labyrinth walls, there lies a tiny child who sleeps alone
and as the daylight falls, the wind becomes so wild across the stone
for i have made her prison be her every step away from me
and this child i would destroy if you tried to set her free

I don't know what it looks like. It lives in shadow, at the center of the winding maze, blind and at the same time -- oddly, or maybe I imagine it -- omnicient. I feel it watching me in the darkness. I feel evil, snaking through the walls like a fog, seeping into my bones and frightening me in a way I could never explain or even understand. I know this isn't real; it's a dream, a nightmare, nothing more.

But I can't wake up.

If I could find the end of the maze, then I could escape, back into reality, but every turn brings me closer: even when I retrace my steps, I still find myself on the same path. Every trail leads in. I'm trapped in its web and it knows I'm trapped and its fingers -- long and sharp and cold and wispy like smoke -- wrap around my hand and my leg and my waist and my throat and they pull me in, deeper and further down and I can't see it even as its hands tighten around me and I choke and scream and cry for freedom.

--Outside the maze, my body waits, asleep, for me to return to it. I feel it calling, I beg to wake up.

Within the labyrinth, I break free of the shadow-hands and run, run, run -- but every path leads to the center. Suddenly, I realize -- I'm beyond the event horizon; I cannot escape. I cannot escape.

Wake up, I cry, hands stuffed in my ears and eyes shut tight against a monster I can neither see nor hear. I curl up within myself and scream with no voice --

Wake up!

The monster pulls me in.

A/N: Lyrics at the beginning are from the amazing song "My Medea" by Vienna Teng. This is based directly on a recurring nightmare of mine.