The shift into consciousness is sudden. You roll over to see red numbers blinking at you from the bedside: 4:25 am. You blink drowsily before its hits you startling clarity exactly why you woke up. Your right hand stretches towards the bedside table as you try to draw in deep, steady breaths.


Your scrabbling fingers increase in speed as you search fruitlessly, a frown marring your face as your breaths come in pants. Your breaths are getting shorter and drawing them in takes more effort than you have.


A quiet whimper claws its way out of your throat as panic sinks in. Your fingers accidentally swipe the clock on your bedside table and it hits the ground with a clatter before growing still. The lights blink once before fading as the cord is pulled out of its socket.


You roll out of bed and stumble to your door. Your loud breaths are the only sound in the silent room as your hands trace along the wall, searching desperately for the door. An overwhelming sense of relief flows through your veins as your hand closes around the handle. You walk with unsteady feet towards your study. The house is still with an oppressive silence, punctured continually by your gasping breaths. Two metres from your destination, your knees give out and your vision darkens. It's only your hand on the wall that stops you from falling. You take a trembling few steps forward, grabbing onto the edge of your desk with a weak hand.

You know things are bad, real bad. Your breaths are barely there now, barely enough to keep you conscious. You know you're on the edge, but there's no light at the end of the tunnel, no flashback of your life. It's just you, and what you make of it.

Your breaths get shallower as it grows almost impossible for you breathe. You sway slightly, your vision blurring. Your other hand reaches forward to clutch at the desk as you feel the world shift around you. Your fingers knock something that begins to glow with a soft green light. Your eyes slide down to see a glowing lightsaber beside your hand. Somehow the sight of it gives you the urge to laugh hysterically.

Memories flow unbidden through your mind as you gaze at it. School dress ups, charity funraisers, class assignments, mock battles with your brother; that lightsaber did it all. The fog in your mind clears slightly at the thought of your friends, your family, and you reluctantly let go of the darkness.

It takes all of your failing strength and then some to reach out then back towards yourself. One pump. Two pumps. Three. You slide to the floor as your body finally gives up under the strain of standing. Your inhaler rolls out of trembling fingers and your harsh gasping fills the air as oxygen is finally able to enter your lungs. Your tired eyes catch the blinking red numbers sitting innocently on your table.

4:32 AM.

7 minutes of pure hell. 7 minutes that you'll never forget.