As her eyes grew heavy, her drooping head inched closer and closer to the thick manuscript beneath her. Each breath leaked slowly from her tiring lips. Her breast, draped over the wood grained desk, heaved slightly as her heart settled down for the night. Sleep was nearing, but her pupils remained wide. The text before her moved like a whirlpool at sea, but she couldn’t risk her morning exam for sleeping serenity.
Squeezing the pen between her fingers tighter, she pressed on with her note taking. Each blink of an eye felt like sweet relief, but she was known for her stubbornness.With a slanted “g” ending the second round of her notes and without warning, her head collapsed on her World Religion text. She felt herself sinking into the warm ink. As she glimpsed over at the burning flames of the candles she set out for herself, she couldn’t resist the pleasure of relaxation her exhaustion was blanketing her in. She fell asleep.
Suddenly, she felt herself spinning through the air while darkness surrounded her. Bewildered, she reached her arms out to feel for solid surface. The circular motion was making her sick and she could feel the wind scratching at her scalp. And as quickly as she spun, the quicker it all came to an end. Finally positioned on her feet, she gave herself a moment before taking a step within what she suspected to be a dark room. A door was before her and a small amount of light shined in from beneath. She knew her way out, but as the blood rushed back into her toes, what she felt wasn’t carpet nor wood beneath them. She took a step. She could feel cold squishy material seeping through the cracks of her toes. It became rough and her next step hit something hard. Curiously, she bent down to feel the object her pinky toe stubbed. Her fingers explored the length of it. It seemed to be a bone.
She had to get back home and she had to hurry.
With little to no thought about her exit plan, she rushed for the door, but before she could desperately grab for the knob, a shadow blocked the bit of light glowing through.
What could it be? Could it be out for me, she thought?
She backed away from the door slowly, making sure not to stumble over organic matter. She watched the door so carefully she forgot to breathe and as her head filled with air, she released a harsh sigh.
The doorknob began to twist and she heard a grisly hiss.
With fear rising in her heart and panic boiling in her gut, she remained frozen. Her exit hadn’t been properly chosen.
Its silhouette was taller than the door frame as its hunched back broke a piece off the wooden frame as it entered. It hissed her name. Her tongue was paralyzed and so were her feet. It moved in closer and she could hear its eyelids switch swiftly back and forth. It said her name once more and this time, with a tone of wonder. “Yes?”, she replied. It asked if she knew why she was placed in a dark room? She had no clue. As the sound of bones crackled under the weight of its feet, it answered her while sniffing the air.
“You seek light outside of yourself not knowing you are the bulb.”
She was confused. What was it saying?
“I will show you why this room is littered with remnants of your former self.”
Before she could question, it opened its mouth wide and released the furnace from within its gut.
She was on fire.
She screamed in agony and dropped to her knees. But as she lifted her hands to cover her face, she realized, there was no pain. She realized, the room once shadowed in darkness was beaming with light. A light she was creating.
She was burning anew.