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You're beginning to feel sick.

That phrase seemed to cling onto him since forever ago, yet never seemed to return to whence it came. He never bothered to remember it’s source, either. Though, it seemed unlikely to have a concrete source anyhow.

For Jayden, he felt he was beginning to feel sick for years. Days seemed to drag on longer than the next. Every passing hour, the air seemed to grow thinner and thinner.

But, it was all the same, as it always had been.

The forest blanketing his view of the night sky, the haphazard excuses for roads that made up the maze he resided. It was home. Yet, every familiar sight seemed… dangerous. More than dangerous; it felt unreal. As if one quick look to the sky would break it apart. It seemed artificial.

Though, it was as real as anything could be. The times he had felt pain, the ever increasing moments of nausea flooding over him, Jayden did not doubt that it was reality.

Maybe it was his mind. That was ridiculous, though.

He spent a great deal of time wondering just what was the source of this nausea. It couldn’t be illness, nor could it be an unfamiliar feeling. He hoped, at least. This nausea had been around for a while with no solid starting point and whenever he tried to recall, it seemed so distant and faint Jayden passed it off as placebo. That's part of the reason why he never mentioned this to his mother.

Stepping down the stairway to the front door, Jayden took little notice of the photos on the wall. They were always the same as they had ever been. His mother... him…. Though, sometimes he could swear in the corner of his eye he could make out the faint shape of a third figure in some of the portraits. This happened more often than not, yet his heart always skipped a beat as he turned to overview the photo once more. It was his mother and he, same as always.

Sometimes Jayden would wonder if his mind was playing tricks on him, or if he was playing tricks on himself.

Passing it off as foolish, he made his way towards the front door. It was never locked, for there was no reason to do so. Cerebrott was a small community, desolate of any visitors other than the rare occasion of a family gathering streets across. Pondering for a moment whether or not to open the door, he concluded on the former and stepped outside. The sun shone through the expanses of trees despite being overcast.

His attention turning to a slight movement to his left, Jayden peered down the wooden front steps as the boarding beneath creaked ever so slightly. His eyes narrowed on the figure on the side of the street. It took a moment to match face to name but Jayden concluded that it was just his neighbor, Adam. The passerby took sight of the slightly dazed boy in return, backtracking a few steps to speak.

Adam

..!

I didn’t think to see you out of the house.

Aren't you cold?

Jayden

...

I- I'm fine.

Adam

...huh.

Adam

so... Where 'you headed?

Jayden

...I

I just wanted to take a walk.

Adam

...

Well... Have a good walk, I guess.

With that, Adam continued his trek towards the center of town. Once he was a good distance from his location, Jayden slowly opened the front door to retrieve his sweater before moving back down the steps and onto the side of the street. Without a solid destination, Jayden wandered along the side of the street as pine lingered in the air around him.

Every day was just as his mind had left it.

Yet, nothing was truly comforting. Yes, Jayden could recite by heart the roads and sights throughout his hometown, match name to the face of nearly everyone he encounters, but none of it was familiar oddly enough. As if it was merely information he knew rather than truly processed.

He made sure to keep away from town as he strayed along the trees behind the further houses. The increasing numbers of wood and declining of civilization slightly soothed Jayden’s tenseness while the sun began to set beyond the trees, only somewhat seen.