John was always scared of crowded places. It wasn't just his claustrophobia, but a fear from when he was a child. An incident of an unexplained event

Somewhere in a crowd of close, and unfamiliar legs, moving at different and confusing paces, his mother has left him behind. Fear for losing his mother forever, he starts to cry out

"Mom! Mom, where are you?"

He screams and screams, as the unfamiliar and faster moving legs move in closer to him. They almost start to take on a circular pattern, as they begin to brush by him. His heart races and he closes his eyes and cries to himself, sitting on the ground. The clicking of high-heels on the ground start to dissipate, and the softer squeaking of sneakers begin to fade away. He opens his eyes to be greeted with an elevator door, surrounded with darkness. He stands up, as his curiosity wells up within him. He thinks to himself

That wasn't there before.

He walks forward and presses his hand against the smooth, cold, and steely set of doors. There's a crack in-between the doors, drawing his curiosity further into this dream-like void. He runs his finger through the crack, until he can't fit his finger through anymore, then he proceeds to move his finger down until it hits the floor. Or, what feels like a floor. He peers into the crack, and sees a shape of some sort. He squints harder, as the shape takes on some features, until it focuses into a face. It startles him, and he falls back onto the floor. The door opens up and a floating head appears to be occupying the space that's inside the elevator. Besides the face, the elevator interior looks normal, with dull brown and white walls. He asks the figure standing before him

"What are you?"

"Many call me... Buddy."


As John looks closer at the creature, the face looks that of a Chinese dragon, with a long, green mustache, and bushy, yellow eyebrows.

"Where am I?" John asks, as he is genuinely confused.

"Why, you are lost, John."

John notices, that as the creature talks, it moves its mouth ever so subtly.

"Why are you here?" John asks.

"I am here to take you back to your mother, John."

The creature's voice sounds like a deep, and thundering growl, with a high-pitched voice mixed in. Surprisingly, John is not startled by this at all.

"Follow me," the creature says, as he turns around to look at a symbol that seems to have appeared from nowhere. John walks into the elevator with the creature, as the creature speaks gibberish.

"Going up," the creature says as the symbol begins to glow with a red sheen. They get to where they want to go almost instantly.

The doors open as John sees his mother in a field of flowers.

"Go John, go to her."

He yells to her, "Mom!" and starts off to run to her.

He then stops, as something is holding him back.


The creature screams as the elevator fades away.

"I wanna be with my mom!" John cries out. He fights so desperately, but what's holding him, doesn't let him go.

The vision of his mother fades away into a ledge. He appears to be on a roof, now. With someone holding him back from going off the edge. He looks back, and sees his mother, crying, and red-faced with a police officer holding his arm, with great strength. John stops himself, and he runs back to hug his mother. He cries and cries, as he realizes what happened.

Even now, seventeen years later, John is still scared of crowds. He still puzzles whether what has happened was real or not.