Blink. Wake up.

Have you ever woken up somewhere so nightmarish, so unreal, that you thought you were still dreaming?

Blink. Wake up.

You tried blinking and shaking your head. Pinch yourself. Scream and see if sound comes out.

Blink. Wake the hell up.

But no matter how hard you screamed and bled and blinked, you were forced to see the truth. The harsh reality that was staring you in the face the whole time.

BLINK. WAKE THE HELL UP.

And then you realized that your old world is gone. Your dream has vanished. Your new world is the stuff of horror. And what was once your heaven is now your hell.

"Amy, wake up."

My eyelids peeled open. Crust and gunk crackled in my right eye, but my left eye stayed silent. In fact, the entire left half of my face was numb and blind.

"Are you awake? Really awake?"

I looked up. Familiar face. Scarlet eyes. Midnight-black quills. I reached for his folded hands and noticed they were stained crimson. Borderline black. Grimy.

It was probably blood, but I couldn't care less. I leaned towards him and tried to take his palms in mine. That was about the time that I realized that I was being contained in a straitjacket. My arms suffocated by pounds of white cloth and binding leather. Gleaming silver locks jingled here and there where there should have been sleeves and freedom.

Shadow was staring at me sadly. His eyes mirrors to my own. Shock. Terror. Help me.

I tried to speak, tried to communicate. Make sense of nonsense. But there was a metal mask locked around my jaw. My nose left free for breathing. Mouth kept shut for God knows why. Green gems glimmering with tears. Reflected by the bleeding red of his irises. HELP ME.

Muffled cry. Stifled scream. The white walls of what must have been an asylum or prison or both were choking me to death. Drowning. Gasping. Hyperventilating.

He took me by the shoulders. Murmured something in hushed tones. "Calm down. Don't cry. Don't be scared."

His fingers stroked the dead side of my head. No feeling. No sensation. He brought a rectangle of glass from somewhere in the white room. Held it to my face.

Blink.

My eyes widened. If my mouth was free, it would have contorted into a look of agony. The tears formed in my remaining eye. The other flickered and widened and shrunk in an attempt to focus. Crying. Sobbing. The new metal iris squeaked and squealed as I did so. There was a ghastly orange light where my right eye used to be. A ring of steel where there was once white and veins and flesh. Roboticized.

Wake up.