The sky was brilliant.

It shone like the sea, waves of blue mixing with the wispy clouds of white. Jeff couldn't believe his luck. The weather was never this nice around autumn in North Carolina. It was usually cloudy and rainy, not beautiful and perfect.

The grass was so smooth beneath his fingertips. Everything was illuminated, the sky was bright, the sun brighter, the trees a neon green. He wanted a canvas right there, buckets of paint and canisters of spray paint waiting for him to make his magic.

He laid back, but his head hit something. He cast his eyes behind him and looked around for whatever he'd accidentally knocked into.

An empty canvas shone like metal, cans of reds, blues, purples, greens, and yellows reflecting the perfect sunshine.

Could this be?

Jeff touched the canvas. It was real all right. And so was the paint—it spilled when he tipped it over, blue exploding like lightning against the green grass.

Paint the world, Jeff.

Jeff blinked and soon he was covered in paint, sloshing it everywhere, throwing green here, spray painting some yellow there. It was all coming together, his perfect world of his, the way he saw things, the way he wished things were.

He was almost done. He wiped his cheek on the back of his hand and undoubtedly smeared some paint against his scruffy face, but he wasn't too worried about it. He was playing God—so what if he got a little dirty.

The canister fell from his hand as he stepped back.

His world.

His world.

He smiled and closed his eyes.

He felt himself spinning, felt himself swirling, disintegrating into the ground, becoming the wind. He wanted to be lifted up to the sky, to become the clouds and just float away.

He opened his eyes to his perfect world.

And only saw Hell.

His painting was melting, turning into the ground, the reds seeping like blood. They spilled over his feet like rivers, climbed up his legs like vines.

"Help!" he yelled, but soon he was covered in black, paint sliding down his arms, over his eyes, into his mouth.

He gave up and waited for the darkness to surround him.

Jeff woke up screaming.

"Jeff! Jeff, calm down!" His girlfriend leaned over and turned on the light. "Jeff, take a breath!"

Jeff just writhed against the sheets, heart racing a mile a minute, thumping loudly in his chest. The tendons in his neck strained as he let out another scream.

"Jeff, wake up!"

Finally, finally, he opened his eyes, and found himself staring at the ceiling.

The room quieted.

"Are you okay?" she whispered.

He let out a shaky breath. "I had a terrible dream."

"What was it about?"

"I... I was painting. Painting a perfect world. And then it turned into this evil place. It ate me alive."

"Oh, Jeff."

"And you know what the worst part was?"

"We didn't finish you off?"

Jeff blinked. "What?"

And then he turned into the face of evil, it's eyes red as sin.

Jeff flailed his arms, a scream ripping out of his throat. He looked around quickly, eyes scanning the tiny cell he was in.

Oh, right. The arrest.

Jeff pressed a hand to his heart. Thank God. He was safe and sound in the good ol' Moore County Jail.

He laid back down and closed his eyes, letting his heart return to normal.

"Bad dreams, Jeffrey?"

Jeff's eyes shot open, his head turning to find his cell-mate laying next to him.

"It's okay, Jeffrey." His hand cupped Jeff's. "Terry will take care of you."