"Do you wish to live?"


"Will you pay the price?"


It is but a moment in time, a few minutes at most. But it is an important moment all the sameā€¦

I awake to the sound of a heartbeat, the heavy, rhythmical thumps rattling my ribcage as it forcefully pushes blood through my veins. My pale skin flush with life and beside me, my fingers twitch. Fresh air, heavy with the smell of greenery and soil, rush in between my lips and into my starved lungs, my chest rising and then falling when I exhale, and the air took with it the dregs and clogs of lifelessness as if my body was a room with stale air that is now being aired for the first time in a very long time.

I open my eyes and blink as I am met with a canopy of greenery, upheld by massive, twisted trunks swept in dark barque. The darkness of night rest among the trees and a respectful silence lie over the forest, broken only by heartfelt sobs. I blink again and turn my gaze downwards to find a mess of red locks and a pair of shaking shoulders; a woman sits by my side, bent over me with her face pressed against my chest and her hands fisting my shirt.

Wondering why she is crying, I try to reach up to stroke her hair, but my hand won't move.

"Why are you crying?" I ask gently.

She rears back and stares at me, her brown, teary eyes wide in shock. There is both blood and dirt splattered over her features, but even so, she is pretty beneath it all. Her breath hitches in her throat and then she throws herself down atop me, almost taking the air out of my lungs.

"Harry!" she exclaims breathlessly, her voice full of relief.

I blink slowly in surprise and then frown, confused.

"Who's Harry?" I ask.

It is but a moment in time, a few minutes at most. But it is an important moment all the same, because it is my very first.