Everything tore away from me.

The feeling of being on fire, burning away every last piece of what I had left, was terrifying. The cold air was whipping the fire about. I could see my small bones, my skin and muscles chapping away.

And suddenly, everything stopped.

The sound of sirens, the pain, and the yelling. A disturbing silence. A silence that reminded me of a horror film. The calm before – or after- the storm. I tensed, pulling my legs close to my body. Despite the silence, it was still cold.

Everything melted after that. The sun in the distance, the smokey clouds on the horizon, the snow I'd come to love since I was a child. It melted like wax, leaving me curled in a ball in a grey, empty universe.

I pressed my face into my knees. It felt cold, like ice, but I wasn't anymore. There was a familiar sense of warmth flooding over me – a heated blanket or a fireplace. It wasn't faltering, and it wasn't burning. It was comfortable. I lifted my head and gasped.

My legs were as smooth as I remembered before the accident. My clunky white tennis shoes weren't stained by soot, and weren't melted to my feet. My volleyball shorts were the same too; crisp and a vivid orange and white color. My jersey the same. But I had no coat. I managed to sit up somehow, despite there being a lack of seats or Earth.

And I waited.

I waited for a long time. I hummed to myself, tried to smile sometimes. But no matter what, I couldn't crack a smile. Not when I thought about Anthony's shorts falling down during gym, not when Jay slapped her twin sisters head so hard it spun.

I also found myself unable to cry. It was easier to cry, being a bit unfortunate before that. I lie there, thinking about Valerie. My friends. The life I almost had but slipped away- because of my beloved Winter.

I found myself pacing around, not going anywhere. I tried running, thinking it all a horrible dream. But the endless grey would not end. I was alone, stuck here forever. I fell on my knees and screamed. My voice sounded staticy and far away, as if it were a recording being played on an old radio down the block from our house.


I looked up suddenly, my scream stopped. Then I thought I was going crazy. How long had I been there?

Too long.

I could hear the voice again. The voice was soft and very melancholic, as though the person might be trying not to cry. And yet, I still couldn't see anybody.

"Please help me!" I whined, covering my eyes and shaking. I knew I couldn't cry, but I felt so close to crying it almost burned my eyes...

I can't seem to find you. But don't worry...

The sweet voice said, the dynamics jumping around trying to find a good signal. I stood up. "I'll help!" I screamed, sprinting around the void. "Am I getting closer?" I yelled, suddenly stopping.

Stay put. I think I can make it...

I looked around. This was definitely the way out. And then I saw it.

It was the sun in the murk world. A firefly in the moonless night. The grey wall crumbled, and revealed something bright white. It stepped out and touched its head. The void closed up, and the light faded.

The figure was a girl, only a bit older than me. She had olive colored skin and dark brown hair, which wound around her head in a halo braid and down her back. She was wearing impeccable white robes tied by a single, golden sash-belt. A golden halo swirled in a circle above her head,

"Hello, Kelsey."

I stepped backwards. "Who are you?" I swallowed, gripping my jersey.

The girl floated closer and hugged me toward her. That warm sensation filled my entire body, and I hugged her back. Why was I hugging this strange girl though?

"I..." She stopped speaking for a moment and released me. "My name is Zena. I'm your Guardian Angel."

I turned to sprint away. I didn't want to leave – I had too much to live for. But Zena anticipated that, and gripped my forearm. She tugged me closer, pulling my into another tight hug, and I was backwards. I looked out into space.

"She's ready, mistress."

The wall of monochrome shattered. The sound of a thousand bullets, the crashing of a mighty castle, and the sound of a close-range mosquito. Everything flooded back to me. It all caved in beneath my feet. Zen was saying something into my hair, and it sounded too muffled to get anything from it.

I felt myself rip apart. Like having two people tug on both your arms and you think they may dislocate themselves. But every part of my body. Zena said something else. "Stay calm."

A big gust of wind assaulted my mousy brown hair. Zena's arms fell limp, and I drove solely on the breeze. It was an amazing feeling, like being a bird. "Kelsey, be careful up here!: Zena called out from behind me. I looked forward instead of down, and noticed the dark cloud that crackled with lightning. I covered my head with my arms and tried not to think about the hot lightning that could easily send me back to the monochrome palace...

"Woohoo!" Zena yelled, now right next to me. I pulled my arms off my head. The cloud was behind us, and her arms were spread out like she was Superman, flying through the wind. "We're almost there, Kelsey! Almost home!" I wasn't sure what home was yet, but I was excited.

I'm Coming Home!