Alex: For days, maybe even weeks, sleep evaded me. I would lay awake at night, staring at the ceiling, begging and for any solution to my exhaustion, praying for a respite from my waking nightmares, but no answer came.
I fled to a secluded cabin far from my daily worries, hoping to escape the terrors hidden in the back of my own mind, but even there, even so far from home, so far from friends and family and foes, I found no relief.
That night, the terrors came again. Whispers in the darkness, hunting accusations of failure and warnings of certain, looming doom. And so I ran from my cabin and out into the forest, the roots reaching up to grab my ankles, the tree branches clawing at me like the gnarled fingers of a withered old woman.
And I heard them.
Black hounds chased me, fearsome not-quite-wolves with coats as black as pitch, slavering fangs as sharp as knives, and eyes are red as the fires of hell. Though I could not see them, I knew.
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