Because the class is four hours long, there is always a break somewhere in the middle. Mike usually used this time to use the bathroom and maybe get something to drink from the vending machine. On his way out the door, one of his classmates asked if Mike could get a Coke for him. As a result, Mike didn't see the hooded man in the hallway. They collided rather roughly, but the man kept walking though not before a very anti-fur comment under his breath. Mike had gotten used to such things a while ago so he simply continued to the vending machine.
While fishing for a single in his pocket, Mike accidentally dropped his pocket knife. It was one of the few things he had left that Tom had "enchanted". Now that all of that was over though, it was simply a tool, and an eternal reminder of his friend's sacrifice. He clipped it back into his pocket and bought his drink, although they were all out of Coke. "I'll get him one next time" Mike said to himself before walking back to class.
"Hey, sorry they were all out of-" Mike said as he walked through the door of the classroom. Mike stopped mid sentence when he saw the looks of terror on all off his classmates looking towards the front of the class. There stood the hooded man from the hallway, except now his hood was down. He was bald and had some kind of symbol tattooed on his scalp. He was pointing a pistol at the professor. Hearing Mike enter the room, he turned to see who it was and smiled.
"Oh goody, another one of you abominations to send to hell." The man said as he moved to point the gun at Mike.
Mike didn't let him get that far. Without even thinking, he drew his knife and lunged over the table separating the two of them. Mike closed the gap in an instant and drove the blade into the man's chest.
A single shot rang out.
Mike was floating, surrounded by blackness. All he could hear was his heart beat. He focused on that, and it began to grow louder. There were faint sounds in the background. What sounded like clock on the wall, rustling, other miscellaneous noises, and finally a woman's scream. He couldn't be sure, but is sounded like the woman that sat next to him. Then is all stopped and he could hear music. It wasn't as loud as the other noises were, but it was there, so he focused on that. Whatever it was, it was very calming.
"Breath, breath in the air. Don't be afraid to care."
Mike didn't realized it, but he hadn't taken a breath this whole time. He inhaled deeply. It smelled funny, almost... too sanitary.
"Leave, don't leave me."
Mike suddenly realized how empty, and lonely, this place was.
"Look around, choose your own ground."
Mike's feet touched what felt like grass, and suddenly everything lit up. He was in a meadow, surrounded on all sides by a tree line. It didn't stay for long, however, as it flashed to several different points in his life, before all of this changed his life.
"Long you live and high you fly, smiles you give and tears you'll cry. All you tough and all you see is all your life will ever be."
He say many happy times in his life: playing as a child, being with his friends both new and old. He saw when different people passed away, break-ups, and many other sad moments.
"Run, rabbit run. Dig that hole, forget the sun. And when as last the work is done, don't sit down, it's time to dig another one."
Now Mike saw himself alongside Tom, fighting creature after creature, never seeming to get a rest.
"For long you live and high you fly, but only if you ride the tide. And balanced on the biggest wave, you race towards an early grave."
Mike saw all of the battle that went bad. He nearly died on more than one occasion. Then it flashed to his classroom. That's right, something happened there. 'Who is that man with a knife in his chest? Wait, that's my knife. How did- What...'
The music changed. It was fast paced, with no real melody. Just a series of electronic sounding notes repeating themselves very quickly. Something told Mike to run. Run fast. Run away. He turned around to find a long, dimly lit, industrial looking hallway. He turned back around to see the same in the other direction, except now there was a soul stealer coming towards this one. This one was different somehow. It simply filled Mike with pure terror.
Mike took off, he had never ran so fast in his life. The hallway started deforming. It was curving and warping while he was running through it. He didn't want to waste the energy to see if the beast was still following him, Mike could feel it behind him always getting closer. The lights were continuously changing their hue, while strange noises rang out from seemingly nowhere. Except that laugh, a purely evil laugh coming from behind him. Mike could faintly hear his heart beat again, slowly growing louder. It was slow, however. Far too slow to belong to someone running as fast and hard as he was. Suddenly the floor gave out and Mike was falling through the darkness. He could see the hallway getting further and further away above him.
Mike fell for what seemed like forever, though he started to question what time even was here. Where ever "here" was. But then, ever so faintly, Mike could hear ticking; it sounded like a nearby clock. Mike strained his ears to try and figure out where it was coming from. Just when he thought he pin-pointed it, bells rang out, it sounded like an alarm clock, but not quite. The sound gained more depth, and more volume. Soon it was unbearably loud. Mike clenched his hands over his ears, but it didn't help. It just kept on ringing.
Suddenly, Mike bolted upright in the bed. The ringing almost immediately stopped but the pain in his head remained. Mike brought his hands to his head in an attempt to make it stop, it was by far the worst pain Mike had ever felt. He didn't even notice the nurse lay him back down into the bed and inject something into his IV, but the pain dulled, and before he could even take in his surroundings, Mike was out cold.