Suzette opened her eyes.

Someone was giggling. But who? Puzzled, she rolled over and grumbled, “Maria, be quiet! You’re talking in your sleep again.” But when she glanced over and saw her roommate snuggled peacefully and quietly under her sheets, she was starting to wonder where the sound really came from.

Rolling back over with her head against her pillow, she heard it again.


What the hell, she pondered, throwing her covers back off of her legs and getting out of bed. Carefully tiptoeing around the room, she first looked out her window, then back toward the door to see if someone was playing a prank on her. No dice. Sighing, Suzette crawled back into bed and shut her eyes once again.


Alright, fuck this, she thought, flinging her sheets back wildly this time and aggressively shooting out of bed to pinpoint what she thought was the exact location of the laughter. No, it couldn’t be. If her senses were correct, the snickering was coming from a poster on the wall. Her favorite poster of Pink Floyd, the band she had followed religiously and idolized since she was 10 years old. The black poster, which featured a large triangular prism with a rainbow of light shining through it, was labeled ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ in white at the bottom, and closely resembled the surface of the moon in three-dimensions.

Or that’s how it appeared to Suzette. Funny, never noticed it in 3-D before, she thought, carefully staring at it to find some answers. After a few terse moments, she was ready to call herself crazy and go back to sleep when all of a sudden she noticed something moving on the poster. Or, rather, IN it. Rubbing her eyes, Suzette couldn’t believe what she was seeing. There, carefully walking along the surface of that fictional moon were what appeared to be two children, one boy and one girl, each pointing at her laughing.

“What the fuck are you laughing at, you little bastards?!” she shouted before suddenly realizing both how loud she yelled and how absurd it all seemed.

The young children, dressed in private school attire, put their hands over their mouths and tried to contain their joy. The young girl, decked out in a black skirt and white dress shirt adorned with a red necktie, whispered something to the little boy as she tapped her clodhopper shoes on the ground beneath her. The boy, similarly dressed with black slacks and sport coat, white dress shirt, and red tie, guffawed and whispered something back to her. For the better part of thirty seconds, they continued to badger Suzette by giggling and pointing at her, carrying on their own side conversation in the process.

“Alright, that’s enough, what is so damn funny?” Suzette repeated, growing impatient as she pointed at them. However, when she did, her index finger seemed to go right through her poster. Her brows lulled in confusion, she pulled it back in amazement, then slid her whole hand inside the poster. Pulling that back, she went to put her entire arm in, and that’s when the children made their move. Lunging toward her, the giddy children suddenly turned into raving lunatics. They each grabbed one of her arms and yanked her into the frame with such force that she practically flew inside the poster, landing on the sandy surface inside.

Screaming, Suzette immediately got back to her feet to confront them, but when she did, they were nowhere to be found. Turning back around, she could see her room through the oblong square area from where her poster sat on the wall. It was almost like she became inverted and was now in the poster looking at her room instead of being in her room looking at the poster. If she came through, she could very easily go back through, right? Fuck it, she thought, making a bee-line back toward the opening. However, when she did, she was suddenly zapped with a surge of electricity, knocking her back onto the ground with a thud.

“Ow, fuck!” she yelped, crawling onto all fours. “Where the hell am I?”


There it was. That damn giggling again.

Moving her eyes from left to right, she caught a brief glimpse of the children up ahead of her a few paces, and scurried to catch up to them, saying only, “hey, get back here you two!!!”

The children, no longer raving lunatics but back to being giddy, only looked back for a second, then disappeared into the darkness, with Suzette not far behind.


Sprawled out across her bed with a serious migraine headache, Gwen lay wide awake.

Ever since Lexi was taken away, their room didn’t quite feel the same. It had that empty, hollow feeling that made her very uncomfortable all of a sudden. She was just getting used to Lexi and adjusting to her as a roommate when all the chaos happened. And now, Lexi was gone and she didn’t know who or what to believe. But one thing was for certain. She did not like the idea of being alone. Not one bit. Especially in a time like this.

But that wasn’t all that troubled her. What really got to her was how adamant Lexi was about the whole situation, and the chilling last words she said to her as they hauled her away like an animal:

“Come find me...You know how...Think about it...Don’t let me die down there!!!”

You know how? I know how to what? Gwen racked her brain for hours trying to figure out just what she meant by that. How could they find her if they were on lockdown in their rooms? Besides, she knew as well as anyone that if you got taken to D-wing, you didn’t come back. It was that one deep, black abyss that no one had ever escaped from. That one dark morgue where they took you for the ultimate power nap.

Then it hit her. Like a ton of bricks.

If Lexi was taking one big power nap, what would prevent her from taking one as well? And the others? Hypothetically, if they were all asleep at the same time, couldn’t they meet up on the other side like they did when Manny got killed? That had to be it! That had to be what she was talking about. Lexi simply wanted her and the others to fall asleep and join her in the dream realm so that son of a bitch Krueger couldn’t get to her when she was at her weakest. It all seemed so simple. Strength in numbers. Lexi had preached about it all day.

Sitting up in her bed with eager anticipation, Gwen rushed over to the door, wanting to spread the news to Simon and Tex as quickly as possible. However, those plans hit a roadblock when she remembered they were on emergency lockdown and had no way of communicating.

Or did they?

Proceed To Chapter 17
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