Act 1: Reality

Final Act: Reality

Small flickers of bright snowflakes possessed his ears, the tiny white specks overtaking his vision. Hammers beat at his knees until he dropped to the ground, the same wild, roaring moan that fire beat out of people's bodies fleeing from this throat as if it were a caged animal. Painted with scarlet blood sat his mother, eyes wide open with a dull grey stare. They trained on a knife - a table knife - snuggled deeply on the bride of her nose as blood rivers trailed from it. Shaking, trembling, he reached for her. I must touch her. Then it will be true, and real.

Alas, when his fingers brushed her skin just slightly, his eyes were opened with a strange reality. There was no blood. The walls were dressed in glittering water, mocking him with their queer whiteness. There was nothing, after all, on the floor(except for, of course, the floor panels). No still mother, no lifeless eyes and grey stare.

"I've been dreaming," he wailed, his hands flying to his face in disbelief. "I've been dreaming." Surely that is all this horrid hallucination had been - a dream, a vision. He was still tired, after all.

Slowly, Travis stood, shaking his head once, twice, and a third time to make sure he wasn't asleep.

And then, he heard voices. Ushered, and angry.

"It's impossible for us to hide anymore, Astris," the voice spoke, and Travis knew it to be his father's, "No one will help us. We're against the Order."

At this, a sickening feeling came to the boy's mind, as if one had forced a foul substance down his throat. He was no fool - this meant they were going to die. There were no records of anyone who had defied the government and lived; escape was impossible, he knew, and resistance futile. There would be no one to help them, for there was no one left who cared.

No, he wasn't dreaming, he knew. It was all utterly, horrifyingly, unforgivingly real. They were all going to die. Drowning in shock, Travis turned the corner. His eyes were wide, his hands curling and unfurling with every step. It's not a dream, he thought, it's all real; I'm going to turn the corner and see my mom and my father and Kayln all standing there and talking about how we should leave. I'm tired. People have living dreams when they're tired - they hallucinate. One breath, in and out, he took, and walked faster. One, I'm not dreaming. Two, I'm gonna see my dad. One, not dreaming, two, my father.

He turned the corner.

"Travis!" The boy jumped, his head snapping to face his father.

"You've come home. I was getting worried." Warmth enveloped Travis, drowning him in a delicate tidal wave of cologne as his father embraced him; the sweet feeling of love softened his heavy heart.

But, Travis thought, there is something not quite right.

Months had passed, hours had said their goodbyes, and Travis still felt as if something wasn't right. The sight of his mother, dead, the dream, the vision - whatever it was - had gone, but its memory haunted him in every moment, every second, every movement and thought he made.

Now, his father had gone. One day, he simply left. Travis remembered hearing that he was fed up with this life of strife. The boy had to attend the hearing. Blurred, bizarre memories of the event still crept up behind him, like demons. The custody battle. Kaylyn was gone; he stayed with his mother. His beautiful mother.

Everything was grey once more, as Travis saw it, and this time, it would be grey forever.

As he walked through his halls he knew something wasn't right - he always knew. The feeling spread from his mind to his heart in seconds. He'd only been gone for so long; just for a couple of hours had he left, and still he knew something had happened. No one had come to greet him, and she said she wasn't going anywhere, he thought.

Travis' thoughts began to manifest into demons. What if she's been taken? What if she had died? What if…

No, he thought, none of this has happened. It's preposterous. Stupid. Foolish, frightened thinking.

Alas, his mind was right, for there were bloodstains on the washroom wall…