Prologue

It is difficult to see, without any lights or windows. I am inside a playhouse, built many, many years ago for actors and musicians. The lights are off, and I am here alone without any seats or a wall to guide me. I have only been inside the room for a few seconds, but already I am feeling unsure, with a sense of unease prickling in the back of my mind.

Yet, somehow I can make out a shape, even without any assistance from a light. It is a curtain, and I know instinctually that the only thing with me in the room is this curtain. Its size seems to loom over my small body, making me feel as a child might beside a giant. A piece of the curtain brushes against my arm, though I'm sure that I hadn't moved since my arrival. I frown, my forehead wrinkling in confusion as I take a quick step back, trying to avoid the curtain as it swings by me.

I can feel the hairs on my neck stand up as I realize that there is no wind in the room. Without wind, I think that it should be impossible for such a large object to move with such freedom.

The curtain's very presence is frightening now, and I fight not turn away from it. After all, it has already moved once, and I do not want it move near me again.

It settles, no longer moving. I take several breaths to stay calm while mentally berating myself. My fear is completely irrational, I know. It is a simple curtain, with a very simple use. Curtains are only needed for plays, and plays are full of silly dramatics, right?

I lean forward, then will my feet to follow. Despite the odd sensation this room possesses, I will prove my fear wrong. All I need to do is inspect the curtain on my own terms.

Slowly, I move until I stand less than an inch from it, raising my hand to run my fingertips across the material. There is no way to tell its color in the pitch-black room, even at my closeness, but the fabric is smooth, much like the velvet on a pillow.

So why does the feeling of it against my skin repulse me?

I shake my head, trying to make out the stage that was sure to be somewhere in the room. After all, every normal playhouse needs a stage for performers, even if it holds a strange moving curtain; but there is nothing. No wood, stone or metal lays about that could resemble a stage.

Despite the oddity of this situation, I turn defiantly, my hands held out to the side and front of my body to prevent me from walking directly into some object, though my instinct still tells me that nothing except for the curtain exists inside the room.

My first steps are slow and tentative, and my eyes are wide as I try to somehow see further into the darkness. Yet, as more time passes, I become increasly bothered. My thoughts continue to jumble and flop over each other as I consider once again where I am.

I feel as if I am supposed to find something; something of great value, but I never find more than this curtain. A wall never blocks me. A stage never appears. The room seems unwilling to end, with just a curtain there to tease my sanity.

Finally, I pause in my blind path, a frustrated sigh escaping my lips. My eyes still haven't adjusted, and my head has slowly gained an ache that makes me think more about how foolish this whole things was, and less about the reason for which I was there.

I look up and around, a habit that was useless in this forever darkened room. As I expected, I was still unable to see any details beyond the huge curtain that towered above me. Another sigh sounds from me, and I shamelessly stomp my foot against the ground. The sound my action emanates surprises me greatly, and I automatically brought my hands up to block my ears.

The thud my foot made echoes wildly. Without walls, I wonder about this possibility, but it does not matter as I promise myself that should the sound go away, I would act with more maturity. My mental promise seems to work, albeit slowly.

As the sound fades, it is replaced by what I would describe as a crinkling. My hands fall back to my side, with my attention centering on the rustle of fabric. It continues, and I frown with confusion until I am able to finally understand what is happening.

It's falling. The curtain is falling, running down from a ceiling that doesn't exist. I gasp, my feet moving to step back but only managing to get tangled up on the curtain's corner, causing me to fall against the floor with a scream.

Struggling to get up, I feel myself get twisted further into the fabric. I let out another scream, but it is muffled by the velvet that folds over my body. I continue to flail my arms and legs, though it feels as if I am being swallowed by the curtain's folds. Panic converges on my mind, making my breath quicken with more and more gasps.

I try to fight. I do fight. But the heavy curtain is crushing me. I keep pushing up, my instinct purely full of the need to survive. There is no time to consider that this curtain must have been much larger than it had first appeared; no time to consider more about the oddness of this room; no time to consider the feeling of that goal I had. The curtain is smothering me, stealing my air and cries of alarm. I need to live. I need to continue my life because...

Because of what?

Wasn't there something I have planned?
Weren't there people I love? Didn't I have a job to do?

I can't remember...

So I wake up.