She was used to a world that radiated tranquility and peace. A world where the ground was a carpet of green grass, soft mud and slippery moss; where the air was fresh and felt like nectar in her lungs; where the trees were tall and evergreen. In her world there was always a sense of home, of being right where you belong.
This world was all grey.
Storm clouds hung low in a slate grey sky and seemed to press down on her, making her gasp for air. It was bitingly cold and despite her warm coat, she shivered. The wind blew in sharp gusts, with a force like she had never experienced and cause her brown, beady eyes to water. An acrid smell hung in the air and every breath she took burned her lungs. She coughed and spluttered and her head throbbed. She was miserable and sick to her core.
Yet, she kept on walking. She could not bring herself to rest in this place, with its menacing grey structures that loomed above her and seem to jeer at her helplessness.
Under a flickering streetlight, in a pool of blood, lay a man. His sandy hair was turning red and his clothes were soaked in blood.
It was like a scene from a murder-mystery play with bad lighting. It was like he was a little red island in a dark grey sea.
He lay with his back to her so she went over and nudged him, gently at first and then with more force. He rolled onto his back and she saw his terror-stricken, glazed eyes. Glistening red wounds covered his torso.
She froze, filled with horror but unable to take her eyes off the macabre scene. She wanted to run, but couldn’t feel her legs. She wanted to scream but only a squeak came out. She was young, innocent and naive; the gruesome sight seemed more like a nightmare than reality.
At that moment the wind died down and all was silent for a while. And then came the sound of dogs, howling with all their might. Fear tore at her heart and she ran, as fast as her slender legs could carry her, away from the dead man.
In a street corner, under another flickering lamp, stood a man and a woman. He wore dark clothes that enabled him to blend right into the grey surroundings. The woman wore a short skirt, fishnets and boots- the hallmarks of her profession. They were having an argument and their angry words were the only sound to be heard in the otherwise quiet street.
Feet aching, she came to a stop near them, unable to take another step. The man noticed her first and commented on her beauty. He did not have a pleasant face and the lack of light made him look even more sinister. And with all the war paint on her face, the woman did not look friendly or comforting.
Grinning maliciously the man lunged at her but she leaped aside in time. The man hit the ground but was unharmed. He sat up and looked around with a dazed expression on his face. She looked to the woman to see if she would help but the woman appeared unconcerned. Panic-stricken she turned on her heel and ran. In her haste she stumbled over a pile of garbage and then cut her belly on a piece of sharp metal. Bleeding profusely, she dragged herself over to some cardboard boxes a good distance from the man and the woman. She sat down and leaned her head against the boxes, her heart pounding and her breath coming out in shallow gasps. She was hurt, terrified and confused. Thankfully, the man seemed to have forgotten about her. He did not pursue her.
In an attempt to comfort herself, she closed her eyes and imagined herself back at home. She imagined herself lying on the soft, green grass under a crystal blue sky, with the sun warming up her entire body.
Her body relaxed, her breathing stabilised and she drifted off into a deep sleep....
A medical student walked briskly down the street; he did not like this part of town and had only taken this route as it was the fastest way to get home.
He saw her sitting in the midst of the cardboard boxes, covered in blood, her eyes shut. He walked over to her, kneeled down and felt her pulse. It beat faintly, indicating that she had only moments left to live. Her wound was deep and she had lost a lot of blood. She would die before they could reach a hospital.