She only remembered running.

Pants escaped her lips as her feet ceaselessly pounded on the ground. The road up the hill seemed to be going on and on to the edge of the world, even though Alyssa knew perfectly well what was at the end of the road.

The world was silent and still, in the way it typically was minutes before daybreak. Everyone, even the birds, was asleep. The only hint of the sun's existence was that thin line, barely visible on the horizon. One could describe it as peaceful. Utterly deceiving, considering the news Alyssa had just received.

Her footsteps echoed in the empty area. Hot tears seeped into her eyes, blurring her vision. The air tasted desperate. Tense. Grim. But adrenaline surged into her veins, keeping her going. She had to keep going. Briefly, she wondered where Hyacinth was, considering their homes weren't far from each other. But this was no time to worry about him.

The Professor was dying.

And Alyssa could be the only one who knew.

Alyssa had woken up, inexplicably, in the wee hours of morning. Her window faced the Professor's house, a fantastic mashup of soaring spiral towers and homey cottages, all on top of a small hill. It doubled as some sort of school, although their official campus was a little way beyond the house. Kind, eccentric Profesor, with always words of wisdom to offer and crazy new ideas that broke the world's rules. She was idly staring at the white beam of light that permeated the sky, recalling how the Professor communicated with his students by changing the colour of the light. It was efficient, considering it was visible from all across town. Green- surprise lesson time. Blue- the Professor had come up with a new concoction. Yellow- he had something to say. Alyssa lazily shuffled in her bed, about to sleep-

The light turned red.

Alyssa stared.

It couldn't be. It had to be a trick of the light.

The beam of light, stubbornly, remained a bright red.

The light couldn't have turned red. It never turned red. But the Professor had told them, warned them countless times, repeated again and again-

Alyssa jumped out of bed. She grabbed a jacket, flung it over her pyjamas, and dashed out of the house without hesitation.

The Professor was dying.

The Professor was dying.

He knew. Everyone knew. The very first sentence he said to the class was a calm "I will die in 6 years." He'd predicted and prepared for his death for so long. He did what he wanted to do, said what he wanted to say, almost leisurely. He casually brought up his death so often that people started to not take him seriously.

He didn't feel sad or hopeless upon knowing when death would take him. In fact, he was at peace. He said he'd almost finished his life's mission, and personally, didn't really mind falling asleep forever. He knew his loved ones, his students, would be devastated, so he tried to give them emotional preparation. For years, they'd patiently listened to the Professor.

His only wish was to have his students by his side at the moment of his death.

The Professor had no spouse, no children, but his students might as well be his own. And he was dearly beloved by them too.

Alyssa's house was the closest to the Professor. As she ran, she picked up a pebble, whispered an urgent message, and the pebble glowed pink. She tossed it up, knowing her little enchantment would send the message pebble right to Hyacinth. She hoped he was smart enough to figure out a way to wake everyone at once. She had faith in him.

And then she was running.

She couldn't run fast enough.

Alyssa dearly wished she could fly, but magic had its limits. Every cell of hers was on fire, desperately squeezing out energy to propel her forward. Her lungs burned, her legs about to crumble-


Alyssa tripped and fell with a splat, skin scraping against rough stone. Intense pain ripped through her palms and knees, and for a second, she just laid there, overwhelmed and exhausted.

She overturned her hands, wincing at the mess of skin and blood. Her knees suffered the worst, with skin being completely scraped off, leaving fresh blood trickling out. The wound was horrible and gory and Alyssa felt sick by just looking at it.

Breathing heavily, Alyssa managed to stand up and continued to move. Every step hurt her knees, but she bit her lip and ignored the throbbing pain.

For a few fleeting seconds, Alyssa regarded that running would only worsen her wounds, but what other choice did she have? Stop to heal herself, and thus, using precious time and energy?

She had to reach the Professor.

Maybe not all of his students would be there to witness his death. Maybe Hyacinth was also struggling with waking everyone up. Heck, maybe even Hyacinth himself couldn't be there on time.

But Alyssa had to be there.

It wasn't like she was his favourite or something. The Professor had no favourites. But Alyssa couldn't bear to have him die alone. And so far, she had the greatest chance of being by his side when he left this world.

Pink strands of hair clung to her clammy skin. Her back was probably plastered with sweat but she didn't care. She was almost there. She could feel it.

Finally, finally, the door to the Professor's house appeared. It rose, bit by bit, until Alyssa could actually touch it. The beam of red light was ominously present. It was quiet, all too quiet.

Alyssa practically shoved the door open and stumbled in. "Professor?" she wheezed, voice raspy and dry.

No response.

Alyssa cautiously stepped forward, alert eyes darting around the room. The usual map, a pile of books, some indigo plant, nothing out of the blue.

She quickened her pace as she searched the rooms. What if he couldn't speak? What if he was badly hurt?

Her knees ached so badly but the physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional turmoil inside her.

She wandered deeper and deeper, using magic to light her way. Alyssa was so tired she was shuddering, and she leaned against a wall to catch her breath.

"... Professor?"

She stumbled inside a hall, and for a second she swore she saw a flash of the Professor's orange hair-

An explosion.

It wasn't very big or powerful, but it rumbled through the building and sent Alyssa flying to the ground. Panting, she looked up. The last thing she saw was a golden shimmery cloud of dust shooting towards her face.

Then darkness.

A/N: Hi! This is my first work on Fictionpress!

This story is based on a dream I had, which is probably why some parts may not seem logical. To be honest, most part of this chapter was not from the dream (the only parts from the dream were running and the bloody knees), but it somehow also sounds like it came from a dream. Whimsical, unrealistic, weird stuff.

Constructive criticism is welcomed! By the way, I'm not a native speaker, so please pardon my grammatical mistakes.

Anyways, thanks for clicking on this and reading! Please leave a comment :D