Kensi Amberdusk found herself in a strange place.
This isn’t my house, that’s for sure, she thought. But it felt oddly familiar.
She remembered lounging around the living room and the softness of the multicolored carpet as she walked the floor. She recalled eating meals at the dining table and watching her favorite TV shows while sitting on the comfortable sofa late at night. And then there was the kitchen… She baked cookies and made pizza from scratch there.
Kensi walked back towards the living room and went up the stairs. She walked along the corridor, towards the East Wing. There were many rooms, but one of them looked familiar.
I slept in there, she remembered. That one’s mine.
As she entered the room, someone quickly grabbed her aside and placed a hand over her mouth. She didn’t even have time to scream.
“Do not fear,” the voice said. “I am not an enemy.”
It was a firm but gentle voice. A man’s voice.
“I will let you go, but you must stay calm and quiet. Can you assure me that is what you will do?“ he asked.
Kensi nodded. Slowly, he let her go. The man had shoulder-length dark hair, a beard, and intense grey eyes.
“We are not safe here,” he warned.
And at that moment, the lights went out and the emergency lights along the top of the walls shone dimly around them. Kensi heard footsteps. The sound was coming closer. They were coming for them. These creatures, whatever they were, growled as they went.
“We must leave this place. Make haste!” he commanded.
The man handed Kensi a sword, grabbed her hand, and they ran toward the stairs as fast as their feet could take them. Unfortunately, the creatures were faster. One of them lunged and grabbed Kensi’s left ankle.
Reflexively, Kensi swung her sword and hit the horrible looking hand on her ankle, effectively cutting it off with a single blow. She kept running until she reached the bottom of the stairs. As she turned to glance at their pursuers, she saw just how terrifying they looked.
“ORCS! Here?!” she cried in surprise and alarm. “Orcs!!! Why in the world am I being pursued by orcs?! This is so not Middle Earth.”
She and the man stood with their backs against each other. Despite her panic and fear, Kensi faced their attackers and fought skillfully with her sword.
“I don’t know what the heck is going on and how I learned to use the sword, but I’m definitely not going down without a fight!” she said defiantly.
“Indeed we will not! Help is on the way. We must try and stay alive until then,” said the man.
They were driven to the living room, and the orcs had them surrounded. Kensi and the man slashed and sliced, dodged, blocked, thrust and parried. She even managed to sneak in a few kicks and punches she learned from a brief muay thai class she attended one summer.
They fought bravely indeed, but however skillful they both were with their swords, the orcs were just too much for them. One of the orcs saw an opening and thrust his sword into her abdomen; a sharp, searing pain rippling through her from the wound.
Kensi Amberdusk woke with a start, clutching the left side of her abdomen.
A nightmare. It was just a nightmare, she thought, relieved. Strangely, however, she could still feel the pain inflicted by the orc’s sword.