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Casey’s POV

                It seemed as if a sudden gust of wind had blown all the rats away, leaving nothing but horror filled memories. I blinked, surprised when all I saw were the curious looks of students, most just staring at me as if I were crazy.

                Maybe I am.

                The rats had all gone, everyone seemingly calm as their focus shifted from the play to me. Even the actors had paused on stage, and in my peripheral vision I could see some worried faculty members making their way towards me.

                What happened? Was that just a hallucination? But I could have sworn that I felt something on my shoulder…

                With a thousand eyes still watching me, I turned behind me to see the boy with blonde hair from class looking at me strangely too.

                “Hey, I didn’t mean to startle you, I just wanted to know if you were enjoying the play.” He sounded sincere, and his eyes shone with guilt. Yet it felt like his whisper had resounded through the entire room, and I was nearly positive that everyone could hear his quiet tone. It was deathly silent in the room, almost as if time had paused.

                Then something clicked. He touched my shoulder? Was that what I felt? It wasn’t a rat?

                “Y-you put your hand on my shoulder?” I muttered in disbelief, wondering how I could be so stupid. I knew it was a hallucination, knew that a flood of rats would never happen. All rationality had left me however, once I came face to face with my deep fear of rats.

                He nodded, and I felt my face grow hot from the embarrassment. My eyes scanned the room wildly, the stares now too intense for me to handle. I felt as if the room was closing in on me, and I felt myself start to gasp and sputter, my lungs refusing to take in air.

                Oh god, how could I be so stupid? I’ve made such a fool out of myself! Freaking out like that when I knew it was a hallucination, I should have just blocked it out; I should have just ignored it.

                “Look, I’m really sorry I sc—“

                “I have to go!” I choked out, all of the attention too much to handle. I moved past the other students, shoved my way past the teachers trying to ask me questioms, but even as  I bolted out the door and up the stairs, I could still feel their eyes trained on me. I rushed through the halls, desperately looking for someplace to just be alone. I would have just left the school if I had some place to go; I just didn't want to worry my parents anymore with this latest episode.

                Memories continued to bombard me, and I could only imagine what it must’ve looked like when I stood up and screamed for seemingly no reason. But I could still see the shiny black wave as it permeated through the room; I could still hear the other students screaming and pleading for the rats to go away. It all seemed so real, it felt so real..

                “No, obviously it wasn’t real. You’re just stupid for believing in such a ridiculous hallucination.”

                “God, how much more idiotic can you get?”

                “Even we could tell, and we’re just figments of your imagination!”

                “Go away!” I shrieked, clawing at my skull, trying to get the voices out. They were like a knife to my gut after my heart had been shattered by a bullet. I didn’t understand how they could even be here right now, I took my medicine, they should be gone!

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