He stood in a black room, crimson waves lapping at his ankles and staining his pale skin with blood. It smelled of death, he felt as though this vast expanse was pushing him back, dragging him down. As he kept walking, he found himself sinking farther and farther inside this scarlet sea. It was becoming thicker, he couldn't tread the waves like he could water, and it was like walking through quicksand. Going back did nothing; the ocean was rising on its own, ready to encase him in blood and insanity. Panic welled up in him, gasping and trying to keep his head above the ever-rising tide.

'N-no way,' he thought, struggling through the blood, 'I'm going to die here? B-but I didn't do it! Why must I be the one to drown in this insanity; suffer in this place!" He threw back his head, trying to breathe for as long as he could, his blonde hair dyed a glorious crimson. The waves grew increasingly more violent, tears pooling from his azure eyes.

"Wretched little eagle, you have no right to cry~," a voice he was unfamiliar with sang. Instantly, the ocean became calm, balancing on his toes, he gasped pitifully for breath, eyes staring blankly into the dark. "Your wings have been clipped, you can't fly~. Spreading your misfortune to all around you~. Too ignorant to notice the pain you grew~. You once soared and touched the stars~. Now you're trapped behind gilded bars~. Falling into despair and insanity~. Little bird, little bird, come kill me~."

His heart beat was racing in his ears, where was that voice coming from?

"What are you doing down there Comrade?" the voice asked, his eyes widening, he still couldn't see who it was! Where were they? What were they talking about? He almost died here damn it!

"Who are you?" he gasped out feebly before realizing, that wasn't important, "Please . . . help me . . ."

Giggles met him in response, "I can't do that Comrade, or you'll never be able to learn. If I told you the answers, what's the point of the test? Silly boy."


"Because you were anxious and afraid, it rose to where it is now; it grew turbulent due to you fighting against it. You are afraid of blood, which is rather amusing from where I stand." The speaker giggled once more.

His blue eyes flashed in aggravation, "I'm not afraid of it!"

"Oh~? Then prove me wrong."

He wasn't afraid.

Blood surrounded him, their bodies cut up into bits. Matthew was held in his hands, the crimson pooling out of him, soaking his clothing.

The scarlet ocean seemed to rise more, bordering at the courners of his eyes, he screwed them shut. He heard the childish laugh above him, whoever it was, they enjoyed his misery; their sides must have been splitting. He couldn't be afraid of blood! Blood was what all living things needed, right? So . . . so . . . he needed it too.

"Become one with your entire being, all the way down to the very cells coursing through you. You can feel them, can't you?"

No normal human could feel such a thing! At least, that's what he wanted to say, but before he could even begin to form the first syllable, he could feel something surrounding him. 'This must be that Ghost Hand feeling people get,' he thought vaguely. 'I need something solid to climb out . . .' The liquid that had been at the tips of his fingers virtually disappeared, leaving a solid step behind. Confusions washed over him in waves, but like hell would he question any random thing that occurred. 'This is just a dream . . .'

He crawled up, slowly, hesitating and fighting against gravity. Why did dreams even need gravity anyway! As he reached the surface, wherever his hands made contact, the crimson below seemed to scale over, making a small platform, unmoving, for him to rest. Breathing heavily, he collapsed, catching his breath. Hands behind him clapped enthusiastically, "Good job! You did well for a first time! Just remember, you'll need blood to use it."

"Use . . . what?" he panted, too tired to even move.

"Stupid little bird," the voice cooed. That song, this person had sang that song, what did it mean? Why did he feel like he knew it from somewhere else, and why did it sound off? "I hope to see you soon little eagle. You never know, you may become pampered and fat in your domesticity. Though I highly doubt that," they giggled, "You are too much of a fighter, going against everything."

Struggling, attempting to turn around, but to weak to manage, like an invisible weight was encasing his body. He only managed to turn his head. In the red reflection, he could see a figure, their face mostly hidden. One eye was barely visible, glowing in the dark depths of the ocean of blood, a twisted smile stretching across their face. His heartbeat sped up. He had seen that face before!

"I'll be waiting for you, little eagle . . ."

He jolted awake, covered in a cold sweat, gasping for breath as tremors shook his body. Pulling his legs up to his chest, he buried his face in his knees and covered his head with his hands, one grasping the pair of glasses in a possessive grip.

Giggling, laughter, outright pleasure derived from his anguish.

"Matthew!" he screamed, holding her brother tighter, as though he could keep life in him through his embrace. The blood pulled on the ground, in the reflection, a twisted smile gazed back.

"I'll kill you . . . I'll fucking kill you . . ." he whispered the promise over and over. The sun outside the barred window was beginning to rise, lightening the sky a drab grey. It was Friday; he could feel in his pulsing blood that something was going to happen.