I went to Hell last night.
It was cold, very cold — ice in every direction. A sharp wind cut through my naked body, a hundred thousand needles piercing my skin like an all-over tattoo. I tried to cry out but the howling wind snatched the screams from my throat and sent them into the blue air.
Shelter. I spied a dot in the distance, a chink of red in the frigid armor. I stumbled in that direction on rebellious legs, falling face-first every few steps into the snow. It's nice in the snow. I want to sleep here. But I have to see what's ahead.
After what feels like hours of walking I finally arrive at the entrance to a cave. There is a fire inside, and a person sitting cross-legged on the far side of it. She beckons me to enter.
She is a stranger.
Don't go in there, I tell myself, so of course I do. Anything to escape the cold. As I draw closer I see she has a smooth, kind face.
Through clenched teeth I ask: "Where am I?"
She puts a finger to her lips to shush me, hands me a cup filled with blue liquid. I drink it without thinking and feel the sear straight to my stomach. Agony. Poison. I fall to my knees and wish for the comfort of the cold, the snow.
She looks at me with not-unkind eyes. "You trust too much," she says. "That was always your problem. You trust too much."