"Bestow me with courage and the strength to face the unknown".   My day began as it always did, words flowing in my head speaking to a spirit I trusted.   I was not the bravest kid on the block, or the strongest.   In my mind, danger lurked in every corner and I called upon Tharos, the ancient god of warriors when I was alone.
The leaves were spinning and swirling in the air and at my feet.   It was October, and school had started just about a month ago. I did not take the bus because I lived close to the school.   Before I left, mother reminded me to be careful and not talk to strangers.   Even though she meant well, this made me even more afraid since when I was alone, I imagined bad things. I reassured myself, she was just saying something parents are supposed to say.   But that morning one of my biggest fears came true. I came to a stop sign, looked both ways and began to cross the street.   As I did, a black van came screeching around the corner, and the door slid open. I was forced in by two strong men in black jackets and white masks. Once inside, the van door slammed shut and the van turned hard. I was shoved into the back and lost my balance.   My head hit something hard, and then it was black.
That was all I could remember before I arrived here in a world I did not understand. I awoke in what looked to be a jail cell. It had strangely colored walls with bumps on them. There was a window that had thorn bars on it, but I could not look out. The building was set on the side of a cliff that fell about 200 feet down to the water. The water was pitch black and looked like oil. There was an odd light in the sky, and I had no idea what was going on. I was scared, but comforted by Tharos who encouraged me to be strong.   After what felt like hours passed, a man like creature came to get me. With a smooth gesture of his hands, the doors opened to my cell. He grabbed my arm and led me up stairs which opened to a rounded courtyard with large pillars and doors between...