When I was a kid, I was easily frightened by the little things. The bumps in the night, the creaks in the walls, etc. Whenever I was scared, I would run to my brother’s room and he would always tell me it would be alright. I grew older, of course, and the little things simply became that. Little things. As time went on, my brother began to get sick. He coughed and sputtered all day, and my parents knew we had to get him to a doctor. The doctor told us that it was pneumonia. My brother’s lungs were very weak, and I had the feeling of dread as I realized that he might not make it. We took good care of him, but eventually, at the age of sixteen, he passed away. We were devastated. My mom couldn’t handle it, and cried in her room for weeks. My dad tried to keep the family together, but could hardly manage to support himself. I was more broken than both of them. Who would tell me it was okay? How did I know it was going to be alright?

My family had to get out of the house. We couldn’t stand to live there anymore, not with my brother’s untouched room. It was still preserved from the very day we found him, lying with his eyes open, with a scared expression, his blood drying on his bed. My parents decided that instead of taking my brother’s furniture with us, we would leave it behind and let my dad’s friend take it. None of us could ever look at that room again.

Dad ended up deciding to move to a small, cottage-like house in the old part of the neighborhood. It was pretty, with aged brick walls and oleander bushes in the front. The house was also a walk away from my school, which was a big plus. I got a bigger room than I had before, and there was no room for a television in the living room, so the TV went in my room. My parents didn’t watch TV or play videogames anyway, so it didn’t matter to them. But boy, was I happy! I think I smiled for the first time since my brother’s death! I decided that after I was done organizing my new room, I would explore the woods behind our house. My parents thought that this was okay, as I was eleven and had more freedom than before. After I set up my bedside table, I grabbed a flashlight and headed out into the woods.

All I could find out there was an old well before the woods gave out to a field guarded by barbed wire. I was really disappointed, so I decided to head back home to tell the story of my failure. The only landmark I had was the well, so I tried to find it before choosing which way to go from there. I found it, and traced what I thought to be my steps. I ducked and dodged through familiar woods, until I found the well again. Had I gone in a circle? And so I went again, trying to stay as straight as possible, only moving when there was a tree in the way. But to my surprise, I ended up back at the well. I got frustrated, and tried to go a different angle. The sun was setting, and I needed to get home before my parents got worried. I ran through the woods, passing the same goddamn well at least ten times before I gave up. My flashlight was my only source of light left. I used the well as a backrest and sat down. I looked to my left to find a blood-stained knife in my hand. The cold cobblestone felt unnatural on my sweaty back. Tears began to stream from my eyes. Was I trapped here forever? Where was my brother to tell me it would be okay?