When the lights go out, the terrors come on. Everything bad and sick come out to play. To run wild and destroy everything. Dreams. That's where these things are found. The creatures of devastation, the terrors of the subconscious. A fake reality. So real, sometimes life itself feels like the dream.
The only time the monsters cant get you is when you're awake. The light. The savior. The one thing that cant harm you, in the moment. People fear the dark, but live in the light, but they don't fear the dark for the right reason. They fear the things the dark can crate, not the things that are actually in the dark.
Every time Lizzy closes her eyes, she sees them. The monsters. The things you should fear. But nobody understands. She isn't crazy, as she is told. The things she sees are real, even though it's all gone as soon as she wakes up. All she can hope is to wake before the nightmare becomes tragic.
She gasped, pulling herself into a sitting position as she began to cry. It had happened again. She winced as she balled up her fists, glancing at her forearm. Another wound had appeared. The same spot that she had been cut in the dream. Lizzy looked at the digital clock on the stand next to her. It was almost five in the morning. She had two hours before school started for the day. Friday. The worst day of the week.
Every Friday at her school was spirit day. The day where her dull black clothes would stand out from all the other assorted walking rainbows. She dressed as she felt inside. Cold and alone. So black fit the emotions perfectly. Others called her goth, or emo, but she called it expression.
Lizzy placed both feet on the floor and flicked the light switch as she stood. She gazed at the small, pale, slender figure looking back at her in the mirror. At the ripped shorts and tattered top she wore to sleep each night. Afraid to wear something different for it too would be ruined soon. She looked over her body at all the scars of where past wounds have been. Some barley visible, some recognizable from afar. She ran her fingers over the new wound on her forearm. It was still bleeding.
Lizzy walked out of her small room to the bathroom directly across the hall. The small bathroom was dark. She hesitantly waited outside the door as if waiting for something, someone to tell her it was safe, or a light to come on. After a moment she reached her and around the wall and flicked the switch. She flinched as the light came on, revealing the room was empty. Lizzy stood close looking into the mirror as he black hair fell over her untouched face, pale with no scars.
She opened the medicine cabinet and grabbed out the roll of gauze, medical tape and peroxide. She poured peroxide over the wound and watched the white bubbles disinfectant the horror from her slumber. The peroxide removed the bacteria, but could never begin to remove the memory of terror she would keep forever. When the bubbles disappeared, she wrapped the gauze around her arm carefully, as she had done many times before. Then she wrapped the edges of the gauze with the tape.
Lizzy walked back into her lit room. She opened her dresser drawer filled to the top with the same style v-neck black tee shirt. Then to the next drawer down, filled with all the same but cut black jeans. Then her black socks and sneakers. She only wore eye liner and clear chap stick.
Lizzy creeper down the hall to the end where the door had been closed. On the other side of the door lay her sleeping parents, who knew nothing about their daughter. She walked down the stairs and out the door to the porch. She held her red back pack on her lap as she watched the sun come up. The stone step that she sat on was cold and damp. It was a nice feeling, any feel besides pain was nice to Lizzy.
She stood up again and walked to the the grass, falling back onto it. Her hair was wet now, but it felt good anyway. The blades of grass stuck up, grazing her skin. It reminded her of the nightmares she had, but this could do no harm to her compared to the 'dreams' she had. Lizzy sat up. The bus was almost to her house. She stood up and slowly walked to the end of the drive way to meet the bus. She lanced into all the windows as the bus pulled up to her. She took a deep breath in as she walked through the doors looking for an empty seat. Of course, all of them had someone in them, but then too, of course, there sat Zect, the only person who excepted her. The only person who wasn't scared to be around Lizzy. The only on who cared.
Mren glanced around, looking around for the girl. "Dammit! Where is she?" He glared at his henchman, though he knew exactly what happened. "Gone. Of course!" He threw his knife at the rubble. The same knife used to cut the girl. "Why must she wake and go from this world?" he looked back at the henchman, who was leaning down to pick up the knife. "No worries. I will get her next time."
The henchman looked at Mren puzzled. He looked at the man who was his leader. Mren's pale white skin seemed to glisten, despite the dark that enveloped the land of Lizzy's nightmares. His eyes had dark shadows around them, matching his thin, black lips. His white hair flowed, which was curious, as there was barely a breeze. He had a few ear piercings, the metal running up the cartilage around the curve of his ear. His first two fingers on his left hand had extensions, making them almost twice as long, with sharp tips at the end. He was clothed in white, though there were splashes of blood down his coat. His left hand had a red tattoo of a skull with the carnal direction arrows attached to a circle surrounding the skull.
"Don't look so stupid. You are the reason she got away after all. I do not like to have that kind of bad company." Mren pushed back the right side of this long coat to reveal the sheath and end of a sword. In one swift motion Mren drew his sword, slashing across the back of the henchman, killing him. He wiped the blood from his sword and placed it back into its sheath. "Now all that's left to do is wait to see where she shows up when she comes back." He knelt down beside the limp body of who used to be a partner. "What a shame you wont be able to see what happens next. But that is your fault."
Lizzy looked at Zect. She studied his happy face, well happy to her. Zect was a lot like Lizzy, kinda. He wore the same clothes, the same pale skin, the only difference, the torture. Zect didn't have Lizzy's dreams. He never understood her when she talked about them either, but he listened anyway. He thought she made up the dreams to cover up the truth, that she cut herself, that the only reason she had the cuts and scares were due to her own ill judgment, but he would never say that to her. He knew just as well that sometimes the stories that hide the truth, no matter how bad, could be sweeter than the reality.
"So," Zect started looking down at Lizzy's arm. "another bad dream?" Lizzy looked at him and grinned a little. She liked the fact that he would ask it that way instead of the usual, 'looks like the goth played the skin violin', or the, 'wonder who left the knife out this time', whispers that she would hear in the halls.
"Yeah. This one wasn't that bad though. I was only hit once, and the cut isn't that bad either. Just a little blood. It was a good thing we had some gauze left." Lizzy looked down at the nice clean patch job she gave herself. She was proud at how well she could treat an injury.
"You my friend, should become a doctor." Lizzy snickered at Zect's remark. Lizzy didn't like people and people didn't like Lizzy. Although, she had often thought of becoming one, she knew she would be good at it too. "No. I'm serious. You'd make a great- no- a fantastic doctor! Every one would want you to treat them." Lizzy smiled a bit.
"If my dad were here he would tell you to stop putting ideas in my head and feeding them with empty promises." Zect frowned. Lizzy looked at him and smiled. "But I think it's great you have hopes for me, as to where most people don't. Its sweet." Zect's smile once again returned to his face.
"There's, there's something we need to talk about." Zect's voice was steady and confident.
Lizzy raised a brow looking at Zect's attempt at a straight face. "And that is?"
"What are you wearing to the formal?" Zect smiled. "Because I would like to go with you. As your boy friend. So, will you be my girlfriend, and go to the dance with me?" Lizzy's heart raced. The only thing she would her was the sound lub dub sound of her heart.
"Of course!" she yelled. "Of course I will! To both questions! Yes, a million times yes!" Lizzy leaned over and hugged Zect. With all of her might. She never wanted to let go. For once, she was truly happy.
Every one else on the bus watched as the two smiled at each other. Whispers and murmurs filled the air of the bus. Lizzy and Zect heard all of them. Nothing was too shocking. They expected comments like 'aw look between the two they could run their own blood drive' or 'hope they only eat soup around each other', and many other stupid comments. No one really knew about Zect. He had cut in the past, but has never done it recently. To the rest of the people, once you cut, that's all you are. It's all you do. No one will ever over look it. It is your life. Which Lizzy knew was not Zect. He didn't cut, and neither did she, but no one would believe them.
As the bus pulled into the school lot to drop them off, every one on the best stood up. Despite the drivers warning to sit back down, no one listened. When the bus came to a comp;eat stop and the doors opened, Lizzy and Zect then stood up. The linked hands and walked together, in a line, Lizzy first, Zect second. Lizzy turned to watch Zect get off the bus. She loved the way the bright light hit his back hair and made it shine. His blue eyes were deep and light up her light blue-gray eyes. The two relinked hands and walked into the school, together, as one.
Every spirit Friday comes with a pep assembly at 1:30 pm. Never late, never early. It was 1:25pm, five minutes until the worst part of the day, followed by the best part of the day, which was leaving. The teacher sat at her desk looking around the room, just as Lizzy sat at her desk looking around the room. The teacher looked for anyone who was done with their work. Lizzy looked around and tried to guess what most of them were thinking. Of course though, she really didn't care what any one of those other people thought. On the other hand, there was one person in particular, who's thoughts meant a lot to her. Zect's. Lizzy always loved hearing what her had to say. He had such a different look on life.
"Alright class. Pass your work to the front and you are free to go down to the gym when the bell rings." Lizzy turned to grab the papers from the people behind her as they all started talking. Lizzy then passed the stack to the person in front of her and broke the cycle. She remained silent. "Oh. Quiet down. Quiet down!" The teacher at the class as they all instantaneously turned silent. "Lizzy you are to report to the councilors office." Lizzy shook her head as every one starred at her.
The bell rang and all the students stood up and ran from the room. Lizzy slowly stood up and walked out the door. She looked to see Zect standing right outside the door. He had waited for her, but he heard the announcement. She had to go somewhere different from where he was going.
"I am going to go with you. I mean hey, it gets me out of that stupid assembly. That and I really want to go with you." He took Lizzy by the hand and they two began to walk down the hall together in the silence created by the lack of kids. Every one else was already in the gym, eager and enthused about the assembly. "So what do you think they need you for?"
"Oh," Lizzy rolled her neck. "I don't know. They always call me down for some stupid reason. It seems like I am there more than in class. Mr. Edison and I are on a first name basis now." Lizzy looked at the door that read 'councilor'. She waited a moment. Then Zect opened the door for her. He held out his hand indicating her to go in first. Lizzy walked through the door to see the assistant councilor waiting for her on the couch.
"Hello Lizzy. Mr. Edison is in the next room over." She ponied to the other room across the hall and smiled at Lizzy, then at Zect. Lizzy walked back out the door tot he one across the hall. That door read 'conference room'. Lizzy took a deep breath as she walked into the room. Zect followed close behind.
"Hello Lizzy. Oh. Hello to you too Zect. We, I mean I only need to speak to Lizzy. You can go Zect." Lizzy took a seat at the opposite end of the table as Mr. Edison did. Zect took the seat right next to her.
"So whats up this time John?" Lizzy asked slouching on the table.
"Lizzy. Some people have brought it to my attention that you often come in the wounds on your arm and legs. Some of the staff is worried about you. So we have called in your mother for an intervention."Lizzy's eyes grew wide. She jumped up slamming her hands on the table.
"What? No! I don't have a problem!" Mr. Edison got up from his seat and walked to the second door. As he opened it a blonde lady in her mid-thirties walked in.
"Hello Elizabeth." The lady said softly and quiet. She sat herself in the chair next to Mr. Edison. The look on her face was blank with a hint of sadness.
"Hi mother." Lizzy said rolling her eyes. She felt this was senseless and stupid. Her mom was a very logical person. She never believed in dreams or anything of the sort. So it was always hard for her to address Lizzy, and as a result, she often tried to ignore her. "Why are you here. You never leave work for anything. There's no problem here so you can just go back."
"Lizzy. She is just here to help. We all care about you and death isn't the answer. There is always good reasons to live. Don't ever feel like its the only option." Mr. Edison interjected.
"What?" Lizzy was confused then it clicked. "Kill myself? Kill myself! I don't want to die!"
"Then why are you doing this?"
"Like you give a shit mom! I know you don't care! You never listen to me anyway! I have tried to tell you before!" Lizzy once again slammer her hands on the table.
"Lizzy!" Mr. Edison yelled standing up taking off his glasses.
"Don't give me that dream shit again! Dreams are nothing but your subconscious processing information as you sleep!" Then Lizzy's mom stood up from her seat. "this is a real problem. Not with your dreams, but a problem with you." Lizzy stopped. All emotion from her face had gone. She put her hands at her side.
"You're right. I'm sorry. There is a problem with me. I'm not the daughter you wanted so of course I'm defected and there's a problem with me." Lizzy flung open the door and casually walked out of it. She could hear her mom yelling at Mr. Edison. Zect ran out of the room after her. He walked next to her in silence to the end of the hall.
"What was that? You know what, don't tell me, but we should go back." Zect hugged her. He held her close and tight.
"What!" Lizzy yelled pushing him away. "Why the hell do I want to go back in that room! I don't have any problem like my mother would love to tell herself!" Lizzy paused and looked at him. She studied his face. "Unless, you don't believe me either!" Lizzy stormed back off to the room where her mom was. "None of you, not a single one of you, fucking believe me!" Zect ran to her, grabbing her hand.
"No. I do! Well I mean I really want to! Its just..."
"No, don't even. I know its hard to understand. And we as humans don't except what we cant understand." Lizzy walked with her head down. She took a deep breath and walked back into the room. Her mother was once again sitting as was Mr. Edison.
"It has been decided. You will spend tonight in the psych ward. Your mother and I think its the best for you in your mental state." Mr. Edison stated like it was no big deal. Lizzy was going to have to sleep in a room where people could see her at all times, they would see her problem.
"A psych ward! I am not a crazy! I don't want to spend the night around a bunch of other people who will treat me like you do!" Lizzy screamed for the entire building to hear.
"We are not the bad guys in this picture-" Mr. Edison said calmly.
"We love you Lizzy!" Her mother said abruptly. Lizzy just stood there, sour faced.
"Fine. If it will make you all happy." Lizzy felt that if she conformed they might realize just what they wanted her to do and snap out of it.
"Good then. We can all go together." Mr. Edison looked at Lizzy then to Zect. "If that's pkay with you Lizzy?" Lizzy's mind was spinning. How could these people who say they love her want to send her away.
"We can all go, but I will only allow Mr. John Edison to go in the ward with me." Lizzy sat down in the chair in front of her. Her mother looked at her lost. Her facial expression was a mix of disgust and disbelief.
"Listen here Lizzy I am your mother! I have every right to go in there with you! I am going!" Her mother slammer her fists on the table and screamed. Lizzy sat still and motionless, as if trying not to spook a baby animal.
"No, you're not." Lizzy's sweet tone soothed the tension in the air, but not the tension in her mothers mind. "I only want Mr. Edison to go in there. I trust John, and her knows how to make sure I will be safe there."
"John! What the hell is this? First names! I am going I don't give a-" Mr. Edison placed his hand over her mouth.
"This is going to change Lizzy's life. Not yours. You have no say. So hush up or get out of my school." Mr. Edison fallowed in Lizzy's ways. He kept calm and relaxed.
"Fine then. I am leaving. I want nothing more to do with this matter. Call me when she gets out." Lizzy's mom stormed out of the room. Her head held high, and her pride bleeding through like the air she walked in. As glared at Lizzy as she passed her by. Never once unlocking eyes.
"Bye Karin." Lizzy said waving at her mother as she walked passed. When she realized Lizzy called her by her first name she hurried her pace. When she reached the door she turned back to look at the blank faces of the crowd in the room. Not seeing the anger she hoped for, she walked out of the room slamming the door behind her.
The scene was set like a horror film. The main building of the ward was huge. A few windows on each floor, all of which had bars over them. The building was made of white, the 'calm' colored brick. All the trees surrounding the building were dead, some for longer than others. The naked branches of the trees let the sight of the crows through, about ten per tree.
Most of the grass was dead, brown and lifeless. The air was cool and damp, but felt different to the skins touch, as if it fell in layers like a coat. Scattered throughout the vast lands of dead grass was what seemed to be unmarked graves, that were made apparent to be 'random stones' when someone asked what they were. The path to the front door was made of cold, black stones. The door itself was the creepiest part of it all. It was made of wood, but in scattered places were patches of red. Some of the shades darker than the other.
"Are you sure places like this are still legal?" Lizzy observed the surrounding area. She didn't think the health department or humane projects would let this place run. As she was about to run her fingers along a particular patch of red, she heard the heavy lock from inside the door unlock. She jolted back along side John, who chuckled.
"Don't worry, the inside is newer than the outside. Its meant to look creepy so kids don't try to vandalize. You will be safe here I promise." He smiled down at Lizzy who had a hard time believing him. She knew that no matter what happened there was no escaping what was a part of you. The dreams were in her, so where she went, they went. She could never be free, not here, not ever.
"John Edison, its been a while." The voice from the intercom outside the door was deep. He had the voice of a person you never wanted to mess with. "Come on in." The door flew open and there stood a man with dark brown hair and green eyes. He wore a white lab coat that went down to just above the knee. He held his hands in his pockets by his hips. Lizzy could smell the inside of the building. Formaldehyde and bleach. Just like the morgue. She noticed the man watching her as she observed him. He was looking at her as she looked at him, almost as if they were connected.
"well this is Liz-"
"You're and odd one, aren't you?" The man in the lab coat interrupted the intro John started. "Tell me dear, what is your name?
"Lizzy." Lizzy looked him over giving one last assessment of him. "I feel that's really all you really need to know at this point." The man looked at her, also making his final conclusion on the odd girl.
"I know a lot more than you told." He looked at Mr. Edison, then back at Lizzy. "I am Dr. Mrensey. Nice to meet you Lizzy." Dr. Mernsey looked back up at John. He angled his head and whispered trying not to let Lizzy hear, but she listened in anyway. "Why is she here. The only problem she appears to have is cutting. A lot of people her age do it. All she needs is a little intervention and then a few steps in the right direction, and shes fixed." He smiled down at her before looking back at John for his response.
"Kelvin, she claims she didn't do that to herself, she says the people in her dreams do it to her. I have tried a few different councilors, but none of them could break through to her. I even tried hypnosis, nothing has worked. So I wanted to put her here for your input on her. See what you can do. You still owe me one. So you cant refuse." Mr. Edison looked down at Lizzy who was playing with her thumbs. He smiled, even though she wasn't looking.
"Fine. I would be happy to do this for you." He shook hands with John then looked back at Lizzy. "Okay Lizzy. You are going to come with me. I will get you all set up." He held out his hand. Lizzy looked to Mr. Edison for approval before taking this Dr. Mrensey's hand. When he nodded she took it and watched as they turned to walk in the building and John go to his car.
"So. Is this like a jail? We all have rooms and that's that? Or can we roam around?" The doctor looked down at her. He grinned. He observed the wrist to the hand he was holding, it was the one with the newest cut on it. The he chuckled.
"No no," he started. "don't think of this as a jail, but its also nit a free for all. We have rules, but this isn't like a dictatorship. Some people here you cant socialize with but others have their own rooms. Those ones are not to be talked to. But! don't worry about them cause you wont get the chance to ever see them anyways!" He looked at the hall head and stopped talking. Lizzy looked ahead and only saw her own version of hell. She didn't feel safe with this 'doctor' man, or in this 'new' facility. She felt more like a test subject.
The stopped at the first door about half way down the hall. The door tag said 'changing' area. As Mrensey opened the door Lizzy noticed the rack of all white clothes and a cheep pair of white slippers. She was right, this was jail. They all were stripped of their belongings and self expression. He walked over to the rack humming as he looked through the different sizes of white tops and pants.
"Here. Take these." He said as he threw the pile of clothes he had at Lizzy. She took a step foreword and caught them. Then she looked up at him frowning. He then pointed to the corner of the room that had been tarpped off. So far the light lube tarp was the only colored thing in the building. "You may change behind that." Lizzy slowly walked to the tarp while looking back at the doctor who was looking at the rack of clothes again.
"Thank you." Lizzy said as she was changing, although she wasn't thankful at all. She would much rather be home putting on her normal tattered pajamas about ready to get into her normal bed. She walked out from around the tarp holding her folded clothes in her arms.
"Oh here. Allow me to take those. And you're welcome." he placed her clothes in a plastic bag and zipped it shut. He then placed a hose tube in the bag and sucked out all the air. He slipped the bag on the middles shelf of the rack. "There. They will stay there for safe keeping. Are you tired? Its almost time for quiet hours here." Dr. Mrensey started to the door. He glanced back at Lizzy who was trapped in a daze by the window, which was bared off. "This way please. We must get you to your room quickly. We don't want to wake your roommate by coming in after quite hours now would we. I want you to make the best first impression possible." He smiled at Lizzy who could care less about anything.
"Okay. Sure." Lizzy followed him to the door and back into the dully hallway. It amazed her, but also made sense. They way the halls were. Constantly twisting and turning leading to dead ends and more halls with doors, all the same color. It, however, in her mind, served a porpoise. If a mental patient were to get out the dull color and many halls would confuse them slowing them down, making it easier to catch them. When she looked up at the doctor from her clouded thoughts, they stood in front of a large door.
"Here we are." As he opened the door, Lizzy noticed a girl, about 17 sitting on the bottom bunk. Her blonde hair cascading over her face. She looked up at the both of them and stood up. She then smiled and climbed to the top bunk. "Go in Lizzy. I'll be back to check on you in a bit. Good night..." He shoved Lizzy though the door and slammed it behind her. Lizzy lost her balance and dropped to the floor. The blonde girl jumped down from the bunk to help her up.
"Are you okay?" the girls words came out soft and sweet. Her voice was meek and childlike, pure, innocent, although that was far from the truth. She grabbed Lizzy's arm and helped pull her up. She gasped when she saw her scars.
"I'm fine." Lizzy said looking at her wrist. "Sorry you had to see that. My name is Lizzy." She held her hand out to the nimble blonde girl. Lizzy's eyes starred deep into the other girls. The girl smiled back at her.
"I am Noma." She pulled up her sleeve showing her white skin. "I have a few more than you. Its okay!" both of her arms had been covered from wrist to elbow in scars. Then Noma looked at Lizzy puzzled, then it clicked. "We're a lot alike you know." She took Lizzy's hand looking at her wrist. "These cant be self inflicted. So with that, I just wanna say, they are what you make them. They may be real, and that you cant change, but that doesn't matter if you can change it so much they cant touch you." Lizzy snatched her wrist.
"Wait! Do you have the same problem as I do? What does that mean!" Noma's face had gone blank. Then a blinkk changed that.
"I don't have a problem. The only problem I see is you." Lizzy's eyes widened. She had no clue was was going on. Then the blank stare was back, this time it was more of a gaze. She blinked and looked at Lizzy's confused face. "Is something wrong?" Noma giggled a little.
"Are you okay?" Lizzy asked with her jaw to the floor in confusion.
"Why wouldn't I be okay? Does something seem wron-" She stopped and looked a Lizzy's hair. "Your hair is so pretty! Can I braid it?" Noma ran over to her and began to braid all of her hair to the back of her head in a tight french braid.
"Whats going on?" Lizzy asked not moving her head to look at her.
"I guess you've seen them by now or you wouldn't be asking." The same tone in her voice had returned as the time she told her about her problems.
"What, I have no idea I am so lost."
"Well, I'm not just here for fun. I hate this hell hole. Its a piece of shit if you ask me. I mean establishment my ass." she held the braid in her hand and looked around to see Lizzy's face. "Aside from the cuts I have a multi-personality disorder. There are many people in me I can't control. You have probably seen them judging by your face. I am the original. This was my personality before they came along. I was level headed and had a future. Then the ass hole side was the next to come. She was snotty and arrogant. People hated her and I lost everything I worked for over her. That made me sad and wanting a change, so along came little clueless me. The one who probably wanted to braid your hair in the first place."
"So you cant control them?" Noma chucked.
"No, not really. I mean they are like two other people acting under their own independence. I can try to hold them back, but that only works for a while. I don't mind anymore what they do. I am always alone, they don't want to give me a roommate, so I'm shocked you're here."
"You said something about being alike. You knew about my scars and stuff. How?"
"Well its not that hard. I mean those are some heavy stuff. I don't know anyone who could go that deep and hard on themselves. And, they are every where. No one in their right minds would put them all over where anyone could see them. And hey, I had that dream thing too." Lizzy's face lit up.
"You do!" she jumped up turning to face Noma right as she finished the braid.
"Hey hey, just sit down." Noma stood up then jumped on the top bunk of the bed and sat down.
"I said used to." Lizzy jumped up sitting next to her. "I stopped."
"Why should I tell you rat. Its not like it matters to you. Its my damn life so jack off and live your own." Lizzy caught it. Personality change. "But hey, I'll tell you. Noma stopped having those dreams when I came along. I protect her. I am the tough side of her. I fight off the demons inside. After I could tell she was still not happy. Then I made the other one, the little kid-ish part. She was made to lighten Noma."
"So all I have to do is form a personality, a new
one, that will get rid of the problem?"
"No, thats not what I'm saying at all, and just saying that makes you sound crazy. But remember what she told you. They are what you make them. The only reason they can hurt you is because you only try to run you don't turn to fight them."
"I can feel it. Shes about to return." A woman rose up from the rock she had been sitting on. "This time I wont let him stop me from getting to her, she will be mine." Her blonde hair flowed in the wind. Her blue eyes looked over the wasteland. The cliff she stood on looked over the entire empire of dust. The only buildings not completely destroyed were close to it, except the palace. The palace was maintained to a working condition. It was located in the middle of the land.
She put her feet to the edge, looked down, then stepped off the edge. She landed on the back of a large scaled creature. It looked to be a mix between a dragon and horse. She pulled on its mane as the great beast flew higher into the clouds, which held its own relm. This relm was much darker. The clouds from the ground looked gray almost white, but from the top their true color shown, black. The dense back color so thick a castle was built among them. She directed the beast to the castle by moving its mane in the directing she wanted it to move.