You'd think a day like this would be normal, wouldn't you? It was a cold thirty-four degrees outside, which chilled Daniel Oakstaff even underneath his thick coat. While walking home from school these past few weeks, Daniel had noticed a shortcut to get to his apartment. That's where he was headed now, and he was hurrying too. He didn't want to be caught in the oncoming snowstorm that was predicted. No, it wasn't predicted. Daniel looked up at the horizon and saw dark clouds forming. He looked back down and began running towards the dark alley only a few feet away. This was going to be a long day.
Daniel jumped the fence and into the back alley which led to his apartment, nearly tripping over a rock in his way. He leapt over the numerous barriers and fences, dodging the frequent citizen on his way. Eventually, Daniel made it to the outside of his apartment, but something wasn't quite right. Why could he hear sirens? Why was the front door covered in caution tape? What had happened?
Daniel rushed to the front door. It was bolted shut, unable to be moved. Daniel's gaze shot up to the emergency ladder on the side of the building, and he leapt toward it. Reaching out as far as he could, he caught the ladder in his left hand. Daniel pulled himself up and crept up the ladder, noting that the sirens were getting louder. Something was definitely wrong.
Upon reaching his door, Daniel put his ear to it. He was right. There was definitely a noise coming from inside... but it wasn't right. Nothing was right. Nothing felt the way it always had. What was wrong? Daniel kicked open the door, and he was greeted by something... strange. The room was completely empty. Literally. Nothing was in the room. No furniture, no walls, no ceiling, no floor. Just white. All he could see was white for miles and miles. That is, until he saw the hole.
The hole stretched on for miles downward. Unlike the rest of the "room", the hole seemed to actually resemble color, being a slight gray/brown tint on the sides. quite like dirt. It was almost like it was an actual hole. But was it? It was in the middle of his home!
Hold the phone.
Whatever else you need to say, Daniel stopped in his tracks. What was going on?! There was a hole inside this white room that used to be his home, and the building he lived in was surrounded by caution tape and bolted shut! Was this a dream? It had to be! He shut his eyes, expecting to wake up, but he felt nothing. No drift to sleep. No relaxation.
Then, everything stopped.
Upon opening his eyes, Daniel looked around. There was no doubt about it, he was no longer in the white room. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he noticed the leaves covering the ground, and the trees from which they had fallen from. They were taller than Daniel had ever seen, disappearing into the fog high above.
Daniel fell back, landing on a fallen log. He shot his gaze around, staring at the trees, the sky, and the leaves below. Then, he saw something. A singular word that would carry him through his time here.
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