Evan watched her bedroom turn to pastel colors, things not turning nightmarish for once. It’d all been nice, and it felt like it was lasting longer than normal. But then it all fell around her, all at once. The monsters and darkness crept from everywhere, the dream dissolving into a nightmare that she couldn’t escape. Only when everything went black did she feel a peace, the pain that felt so real before now fading until she was asleep.
She blinked to find herself staring up at a star-filled sky. Evan had managed to collapse under a scrawny, bare tree. Although it’d provided some shade, it wasn’t enough as Evan was quickly telling. She sat up carefully, her body sore, especially her arm that was still splinted and bandaged. Evan’s face felt hot and tingly, her lips dry and cracked. How long had she been out there? She looked around, but nothing looked immediately familiar. Evan got to her knees, struggling to stand up and brush the dust from her sweatshirt and shorts. “Where am I?” she asked aloud, though her voice was raspy. All she had to do was find the lab or the gas station, right? She knew the lab would be ideal, but Rizzo had said she could come to the station any time. If she showed up, surely he’d be able to help her get back home. Evan swallowed hard, trying to get moisture in her mouth as she looked around for any sort of landmark while also making sure some wild animal hadn’t been eyeing her while she’d been passed out.