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You wake up beneath a blanket of inky sky dotted by small, twinkling stars.  You sit up groggily and look around.  You are sitting in front of some low bushes with a castle wall behid them.  In front of you is a dusty yellow path leading off to the rifht and left.  Beyond that is a field bordered by trees.  To the left the path goes down hill and over a foot-bridge.  To the right the path climbs steeply up a mountain.

The voice speaks softly, seductively from within your mind.  "You must take the mountain path.  We must reach our destination before sunrise."  You feel your will melting away in a bubbling fountain of pleasure.  It would be so easy to obey this voice.  So peaceful.  So pleasurable.  So terrifying.  Your will makes a feeble attempt to re-assert itself.  A thousand prisoners.  You are caught between conflicting desires.  Pain and despair.  The tension within you is rising--something's going to break!  A thousand captured souls.  That pleasurable unknowing haze is pulling you back gently.  "Take the path," the seductive voice urges, "Go up the mountain."  Your will is dissolving quickly.

By:  Porphyra

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