The next thing I knew, I was lying in a soft and comfortable bed. It took me a moment to put together what happened last night. Was everything a dream all along? It felt so real. It was one of the craziest dreams I've ever had, but at least it was over.
I sat up and smiled with relief.
Before I got out of bed, I noticed something different about my room. The room was much smaller, and the walls were made of grey bricks, with small little holes of light shining through. The bed that I was laying in, was made out of a different material, and it seemed much smaller. I looked down and noticed that I was still wearing my school uniform, and my leg was wrapped up.
Sudden realization hit me. I'm still trapped in this nightmare.
My heart began to beat faster again. I didn't know where I was, and my sister was still missing. How did I end up here? If this is real, I had no weapon on me to defend myself with.
The door suddenly swung open in the room, and I jumped.
"Oh good. You're awake." A girl said as she entered the room. She looked about the same age as me and had dark reddish brown hair and brown eyes. She was dressed in grey armour with a black coat over it.
She pointed her sword at me. "Now you can start talking. What's your name?"
I didn't respond, and she frowned at me.
"Do you want to get your head sliced open? What's your name!"
Who is this girl? I thought for a moment and gave her a fake name. "Emma."
A sudden grin ran across her face. "Now Emma, how did you end up in the forest?"
I didn't know how to explain that to her at all without sounding crazy. Besides, she hasn't told me anything about herself, and why she was holding a sword.
"You didn't tell me your name."
She gave me an irritated expression. "I'll tell you once you've told me your story."
I sighed. "Fine. I got pulled into one of my stepdad's paintings by a monster, and that's how I ended up in the forest."
I had to re-think what I just said. I doubted that she would believe me. The whole situation sounded crazy, and I didn't even believe it myself.
"Your...step-dad? Who's your step-dad?"
Before I could answer, a guy walked in with a plate full of food.
"Stop interrogating her, Faye. You do this every time and it's getting annoying."
He came and sat down beside me and handed me the plate.
"Here. I made you some food. You don't have to eat it if you don't want to, but I assume you haven't eaten in a while."
I didn't respond. I just sat there with the plate on my lap.
"I'm Leo, and this is my sister Fanny." He said as he pointed to the girl.
"Just Faye." She corrected him.
I stared at them. They both looked like identical twins. He had the same hair and eyes as Faye. Leo seemed like a nice guy, but Faye seemed like she was evil.
"Malaika? I thought you said your name is Emma!" Faye frowned.
"Did I say that?" I frowned back.
"It's a good thing that we found you Malaika because you were right in the middle of the forest of Demons."
"The forest of Demons?" I asked.
"Yep, that's where most of the monsters live. Although you can still find some of them roaming around here at night."
"Where exactly is "here"?"
"This is our home… Well, it's our temporary home until we find our way out of this distorted world. We got here the same way that you did. Well… I assume you got here through a portal. My sister and I were pulled in through a painting that we were looking at because it had our faces on it. Then we were being attacked by one of those monsters outside. If it wasn't for the others, we would have either been eaten or turned into monsters ourselves."
"There are more people here?"
"Oh yeah. I mean, I'm not sure how many other people there are in this world, but we just stuck with the people that saved us. Some of them are outside waiting to meet you. You can come out and eat with us if you'd like to. I promise you can trust us."
I sat there trying to process everything before answering him. I knew that I was still dreaming because it was too scary to think that any of this was real. Even though it felt real.
After a moment of thinking, I agreed to go with him, because I was genuinely curious about who else was out there. Besides, if it is a dream, I couldn't die.
Leo held onto my plate and gave me a crutch to lean on.
Faye didn't help me at all. Instead, she just rushed out of the room, while slamming the door right in my face.
"What a...Uh… sorry." I apologized to Leo.
" No, I'm sorry. Please excuse my sister," Leo said while opening the door for me.
"Thanks," I said as I walked out.
We continued to walk down a hallway full of different rooms. I realized that this place was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. After we walked down some stairs, we entered a larger room.
"This is our dining room," Leo said as we entered the room.
There was a crowd of people sitting at an elongated table. They were all of different ethnicities and ages. The oldest group had to be around my age or a bit older. The smallest group were about Ten to Eleven years old. This made me think of Lia. Where was she? I couldn't reveal anything about her yet. I needed to figure out if this situation was really a dream first; and also could I trust these people?
Leo began to speak, "I normally cook for them, but I can't take all of the credit. Yara and Jack help out too. I can't feed a group like this all by myself."
He pointed over to Yara and Jack, who were helping serve plates to the smaller kids. Yara had straight long dark brown hair, brown eyes and brown skin. Jean had short blonde hair and green eyes.
"Wow, all of these people got trapped here?" I asked, while still having the thought that this was a dream.
"Yep. And this isn't even all of them. We just wait here and try to make a living, while the other ones go out and find a way out of here. Look, those two are the ones that found you, and brought you back over here."
He pointed to two guys, who were standing in the corner eating, and fiddling around with their weapons.
Faye came up to me. "I also helped and brought you back over here. So you're welcome."
Leo frowned at her. "You were the one who wanted to kill her when you first saw her. If it wasn't for Dean, you would have done so."
"But I didn't. Re-thinking that now, and Dean couldn't control me if he tried. She's alive because of me. Remember that Malaika. If that's even your real name." Then she walked away.
Wow. I wished that my dream would get rid of her.
Yara and Jack came up to us.
"Hey, new girl. I'm Yara. It's been a while since we've gotten a new person. We'll treat you like family here."
"Thanks, but I won't be staying long. I know that this is a dream and that I'll wake up sooner or later."
They all stared at me blankly and then laughed.
"Ha-ha. I remember thinking that this was a dream too. Just wait until the realization hits. It'll hurt ya." Jack said.
Yara put her arm around Jack. "Yeah, I used to think that this was a dream, but I kept waking up here every day."
They laughed louder.
I smiled, but I didn't want to listen to them. I knew that it was just the dream's way of scaring me. This was all a big nightmare, and I would wake up soon.
"Anyway, why don't you have a seat at the table and eat your food," Leo said.
I sat down at the edge of the table. Yara sat with me while Jake and Leo continued to fix plates.
We ate and talked, and I met different people. For a moment, the atmosphere felt peaceful. That is until a door swung open, and cold air came rushing in. The room went silent, as people dressed in grey armor and fully packed weapons came inside. All of their faces were covered. Each of them went in opposite directions of the room. A few going back to the other rooms and a few coming to the table.
My body shivered as one of them walked in my direction. The person sat right next to me at the very end of the table.
The strange person took off their hood and removed their helmet revealing their face.
It was a guy with short dark hair, and his eyes were dark brown. His face seemed very familiar, but I couldn't remember where I saw him from.
"Hey. I bet you're tired. We fixed some hot soup today. I'll be right back." Yara smiled at him.
"Thanks Yara." The guy said. His voice was deep, but at the same time it sounded soft and husky like a whisper.
Yara left the table, and there was a gap between me and the other people.
It was just me and him.
I sat there quietly with my head down, not knowing how felt about him. He looked a bit intimidating. His weapons were still on him too. Yet he hasn't said a single word to me or done anything to me yet. There was just silence.
I felt very awkward and uncomfortable. Why did Yara have to leave me here alone with him, just to go fix his plate? I know she cooks but he could still make his own plate.
"Hey, you," I suddenly heard him say. Finally he broke the silence.
I looked up at him and he was staring back at me with lazy eyes.
"Who are you?"
Chapters 5 and 6 will be out by 5/31