Terrified, my eyes widened as tears prickled behind the eyelids and I tried to capture a few clean breaths. My body was slowly becoming weak, the smoke infecting me with its slow taunting spread. Suddenly the smoker stopped; lowered the cigarette to stub it out. The last few embers were beaten down, and I felt the noose around my neck tighten one last fatal time. As I felt a last splutter of breath escape my lips, we plunged into a cold, unending darkness and I closed my eyes, waiting for it all to be over.
Last night I dreamed I was standing alone in a cold, gaping darkness. A darkness that seemed unending until the harsh click of a lighter echoed through the abyss and filled the shadows with its intense light. A single enormous flame spurted upwards and flooded the plane around me with relentless waves of heat, flickering at my body with red-hot tongues. Using my jacket sleeve as a protection for my eyes, I peered forward into the flame to see where it had come from.
Suddenly from behind a cigarette appeared and leant forward into the lighter, thirstily lapping up the fire until the end had stolen some of the flames. Then from behind a face appeared, one I vaguely recognised but in my slumber was unfocused so as to hide from me. Lips latched around the opposite end of the cigarette and inhaled deeply, greedily feasting on the contents within. The embers flared a blood red that gleamed mockingly in the darkness, and as the user exhaled a rush of ash and smoke tumbled out of the edges and surrounded the both of us in a dark, menacing cloud..
A storm of thick ash engulfed me, filling my lungs and pricking at my eyes until I was bent over coughing, tears streaming out of my eyes in tiny waterfalls. My throat wailed and shrivelled in pain from the torments of the smoke, and as I looked up to call out to the looming face in front of me my voice caught and came out only as a raspy whisper. Desperately I coughed to try to clear my throat so I could warn the face of the smoke’s dangers but it simply poured through my throat, seeping through my blood like poison and scratching and scraping at my insides. I forced my eyes open despite the burning hot ash that fluttered dangerously around me so I could watch the huge figure above.
His face was covered in ash that engrained itself like an iron-master forging fiery patterns into his skin until it was gnarled and sunken. The flicker of flames against his cheek gave him an almost skeletal appearance as he suckled ravenously on the seemingly never-ending cigarette. Smoke coiled and curled around his features, creating a thick noose around his neck that slowly tightened with each breath of smoke that quivered outwards from his wrinkled lips. His pupils had nearly swamped his whole eyes and were as dark as our surroundings, filled with a malicious desire for the devilish taste of the cigarette. He was drawing his own death sentence without even realising it, and as I tried to call out to him I noticed suddenly the smoke held me in a noose too and my throat was clenched so tight I could not utter a single syllable. I flailed my arms and legs around me in a frantic attempt to free myself from its iron grip to no avail.