It was dark when I woke up. Had I seriously been unconscious for the entire day? As I sat up to try to get my bearings, I realized I wasn’t on the ground anymore. Even stranger, I had apparently been placed on a small cot inside a tiny, grey stone room. I checked under the covers and found that I was still in my underwear. In a way, that was kind of a relief; even if I had woken fully dressed, the implications of finding myself wearing something different from before wouldn’t have sat well with me.
Besides the cot, there wasn’t any other furniture in the room, just a wooden door set in the corner. But something was wrong with the door. It seemed to shimmer and glow with a variety of colors, all twisting across the surface. I tensed for a moment, expecting to deal with another form of magic, but then a shadow passed over the frame and I realized what I was seeing. Sure enough, in the upper area of the room, a stained glass window had been set in the wall. Through the tinted glass, I could make out a similarly colored wind chime hanging outside. The shifting pattern on the door was the result of the light passing through the two objects. Well, at the very least this meant that it wasn’t night yet, another small relief. The darkness of the room was simply due to the lack of any other form of light source. I supposed I shouldn’t have expected electricity in a fantasy alternative dimension, but it was just another brick cementing my realization about how messed up things were for us.
But as I stared again at the light streaming through the glass window, I saw something that quickly made our lack of Internet seem immensely insignificant. Of all the problems we had run into so far, all the horrors I had seen, this one made my blood run coldest. There, in the pattern of faded, weathered glass panels that made up the window, was an image that was disturbingly familiar. In fact, I was surprised I hadn’t noticed it immediately. In this alien and foreign world, in a dark, random room, someone had built a window designed to look exactly like something I had seen almost every day of my entire life.
It was my face.
I couldn’t get out of the room fast enough. I covered myself with the cover and practically fell out of bed. Luckily, the door wasn’t locked, because I probably would have kicked it down in my scramble to get the hell out of wherever “here” was.
Unfortunately, the next room wasn’t much better.
It was a large rectangle, more long than wide. Rows of wooden benches stretched down the length of the room, like a church, and an alter was placed at the far end. At the time, I barely noticed any of that though, because I was too busy staring at the statues that were lines up along the edges of the walls. They were all of me. Large, marble and dressed in flowing robes, yes, but still…
It was a shrine. Someone out there was seriously obsessed with me, and from what I had seen on the news, that’s never a good thing.
Either Harold had left me for them to find, or he had taken me directly to them. Either way, I was going to kill Harold the next time I saw him. And the first step to doing that was getting far, far away from the Church of Creep.
I ran for the doors, copies of my face looming over me, watching. Just like the door to the bedroom, they were unlocked. I flung them open, dashed forward, and immediately crashed into someone who had been on the other side. Hands closed in at my sides.
“Eden! You’re awake!”
I knew that voice. Well, that was easier than I thought.
“Why are you wearing a bed cover?” asked Harold.
I threw him off me. “What the hell, Harold?!”
He shrunk back immediately, the fear I had seen earlier returning to his face. “I don’t…but I…”
“Have you even looked inside this place?” I shouted. “Did you notice the statues? Or the windows?”
“Y-yeah, but you-”
“You don’t think there’s a problem with leaving me alone in a place that is like the biggest monument to freaky stalker-shit?” I vaguely realized that Harold was practically shaking, but at that point, I didn’t really care. Honestly it felt good to let loose my growing frustrations and tear into him, kid or otherwise. I was just about to say something else, when I heard other voices:
“Well, this certainly isn’t what I expected, is it?”
“In all my years, I would have never thought she would be so…”
“No, I think that was a given. I was going to say…childish”
I looked down. Harold wasn’t alone. Two small, blue cube-like creatures were standing a few feet away.
“And who do you think you are?” I asked.
“We’re the ones who built this ‘monument to freaky stalker-shit’,” said one of them.
They looked at me, as serious as they could be given their fluffy demeanor.
“And you’re the one who is going to save us all.”