The hallway was never-ending. It sloped up-up-up, never stopping to give me some air. The concrete walls seemed to close in on me as I ran, screaming, up, up towards the sky and up towards heaven. Up to where my mother is and my grandmother and my great-grandmother and my great-great-grandmother. Up, where generations upon generations of my clan, the MacLennans, are now.
Ainsley needed my help. She was lying unconscious below me, bleeding steadily from a cut in her arm. Her arm was broken. Her back was broken too. I had promised her that I would take her somewhere amazing before her surgery.
Ainsley has scoliosis. She has it so bad she was getting surgery for it tomorrow to get metal rods put in her back. She won’t be the same after so I promised her to take her somewhere amazing. This hallway was the only thing I could think of. Airy, bright, with concrete graffiti walls and barred windows every so often, I thought it was beautiful But now, below me, Ainsley is somewhere, stuck, bleeding with broken bones, unconscious. I needed to help her. I told her I could run up the hallway, and continue to run until I reached something or someone that could help us. Right now, I don’t know if Ainsley is dead. Or alive. Is she awake? Is she ok? Will she be helping herself heal when I get back? Uncle Finn would kill me if I came home without her.
Ainsley and Uncle Finn are my only living relatives in this country. As am I to them. We love each other. Ainsley is three years younger then me, but we are best friends. People wonder how we get along so well. A sixteen year old and a thirteen year old? Really? But we stick up for each other.
I continue to run, faster, faster until my lungs are begging for air. I am light-headed and parched. I need to reach someone to help me. I must have run three miles. And before that, at least four with Ainsley so I am far, far away from anything I know. All that I know is that this hallway spirals around our city, reaching up, up, up.
I’m reaching the top. I can tell because the last window I reached, I could see the city below me. I run the last few meters and reach a door. I don’t know where the leads. But I’m going to open it. I need to. For Ainsley. For home. For my family above. For my heritage. For my life.
I run and hit the door hard. It flies open on rusty hinges. I tumble forward, barely catching myself from rolling over the edge. I stand up carefully and take in my surroundings. I’m standing on a precipice. A balcony above the city. I am in the clouds. I am the clouds. I am falling. I cannot help Ainsley now. She will have to help herself. I see my family. I see everyone. I pass Ainsley. She is already here, smiling at me. I feel a jolt and then I am standing on the top of the hallway again. I see my family smiling at me. It’s all over. I am home now.