No, I wasn't running. I was just, eh, walking a little bit faster. But you assumed I was running, didn't you? I knew it! You did assume I was running like a coward! Can't you read? And I was only moving myself slightly faster because I wanted to, not because I was afraid of trees and flowers or anything. Why would I?
Better safe than sorry, anyway.
I arrive at school without any events, and from what I could see I wouldn't have any events for a while: the school seemed even emptier than the streets. It was like a theater stage after the play is over. Like I was the only person on Earth.
Which would not be that bad, as long as there weren't any suspicious trees around me.
I enter the building where my class is located. The hall was as silent and empty as the rest of the world seemed to be, but since there were absolutely no perennial woody plants in sight, I started to relax. There were, indeed, a lot of wooden objects inside the school. Pencils, desks, chairs, even the floor. However, the thing that calmed me down was that they were all already dead. I just hope that no one at Greenpeace heard that one.
It didn't occur to me back then that, in the same movie, a girl was turned into a zombie with a pencil. Right, a pencil made from a dead tree. It doesn't make much sense, anyway. The movie is quite good, though. If you like that kind of movie and don't really care about details, it's worth a night of fun and weird dreams. Not really scary, just weird.
So, basically, I calmly walked through the hallway unaware of the fact that if my theory was indeed right and trees actually attacked people in what I can only describe as "an unorthodox way," I was trapped in the worst case scenario. Worse than a naked man quickly strolling into a dragon's den.
Everything seems to be worse when you're naked.
In much better spirits than before, I entered the classroom, which was (big surprise!) empty. I guess it's safe to say that I'm the first to step here today. That made me feel good about myself. Being the first one to enter an empty classroom is a great responsibility. It's such an honour, despite being such a small step...
I kept moving towards the last row, walking so slowly it was almost dramatic. Step by step, like a lion trying not to be detected by its prey. Every step felt special, every single of them was an omen. I just wasn't sure what they were trying to tell me.
And then, when I reached my desk, I saw it.
A plain white card with absolutely nothing written on it was on my desk. The kind of card you would give to your contacts as a businessman. If you were one. If you had a decent job, I mean. If you had a job at all.
So yeah, a card.
I looked around and noticed that the other desks were completely empty. No one else had received a white card. No, I shouldn't suppose that someone sent it to me. No reason for that. There was no apparent reason for it to be there, either, but it could have been an accident or something and...
...wait. Why am I making such a big deal about this? It's just a piece of paper. A common, standard, plain, ordinary piece of blank paper. I can't be afraid of that. I really can't, and simply because I have seen too much and dealt with many weird things. It wouldn't make any sense. I need to stop being so paranoid: I won't be able to have a normal life if I don't quit sabotaging myself.
I just need to pick it up. Yes, I'll pick it up and nothing will happen to me. It will end up being a micro-love letter delivered to the wrong place, and after a lot of misunderstandings, fan service and confessions everyone will laugh. Everything will be just fine, right? Right?
Yeah, like that would happen.
Reality shifted clearly in front of my eyes. Crimsonness danced madly and spread through the once nearly-monochromatic room like a paintbrush in the hand of an epileptic painter. In a second, the vivid red took over the room and distorted it. Around me, the classroom had literally changed from its natural state to a nightmarish, grotesque living hell.
Appalled, I looked around out of the corners of my eyes, seeking a hope I couldn’t seem to find anywhere. Unable to move my body from fear, I ended up sinking slowly but not gently.
No visible means of leaving.
Being completely swallowed alive by a sea of red.
It took me a while to realize that the crimsonness enveloping the world was indeed alive, and every bloody strand emerging from its core was most likely a tentacle. Despair quickly invaded me as the enormous mass of red started closing in. I felt suffocated, almost claustrophobic; I was truly helpless in front of a power I could not understand and my worst fear had become truth.
Symbols hovered in the midst of chaos like black ink butterflies, clearly unaffected by the closing storm of red. I felt like I had already seen that symbols somewhere else but for some reason, I couldn't make any sense of it. Actually, the reason might have been the fact that I was being crushed by something I have never seen before. I was right; it's always scarier when you don't know anything.
I cannot hide.
There is absolutely no escape from this.
In a moment of momentary madness, I wished for zombies or monstrous trees I could understand and eventually defeat. My wish was not granted, and as I was restrained by the grotesque ruby-coloured creature I faced the truth I couldn't deny even if I wanted to with all of my soul.Mystery had found me once again.