“Day 126. Subject is still in stasis.” The wizard scribbles in his journal as he talks aloud. “I wonder if you sleep. It’s a long time to be in there and must get boring.” The wizard taps his paper and adjusts his glasses as he swallows the last of his breakfast, an apple turnover, again.I don’t sleep. I mean… he’s got to know that. Maybe we should get a scientist in here instead? I don’t really do anything. I have no idea how I see. He held a mirror up to me once, I can’t remember what day it was. I mean none of this makes sense. Am I in a stone casing? My whole body is made of marble. I’m thinking though. Does that mean my brain is in there? I’m not hungry, but I’m not full. It makes no sense. I hope he figures something out soon. The dude mainly draws sketches and makes potions at his workbench. He walks me through them every time so I know what to expect. It’s kinda nice. Like when the doctor tells you that you’re going to feel a small prick, except his are a little more wild.”Now you’re going to feel a sharp pain in your hand. Have you ever been hit by a flaming arrow? It’s kinda like that… well it’s exactly like that. The potions weren’t working so, we’re going to see if this works.” The wizard loads a bow into a crossbow and casts a spell on the arrowhead. It lights up in a burst of bright red and orange. “This is going to hurt a little bit. Or not at all, I still don’t know if you feel pain or not.”I don’t.”Okay Etri, on the count of three.” He closes one eye and aims at my hand from about five feet out. He’s a little guy, so this is going to send him flying backward. “One… two… three…”The arrow shoots forward and hits me in the hand full speed, bouncing off like rubber. It hits a nearby fence and the whole thing burst into flames. The wizard, as predicted is on flat on his butt around a foot back from where he shot the arrow. He jumps to his feet and quickly sprays the nearby fence with water from his magic wand.The farmer who’s fence he hit pokes his head out from an above window. “I swear to GOD Dale! He’s dead! He’s gone! Give it up! Go the fuck home!”Huh, didn’t picture the Wizard for a guy named Dale.”Sorry sir! It won’t happen again!” Dale nervously hid his wand behind his back like a child who had just kicked a ball into his neighbor’s backyard.”Next time you touch my property the royal guard is going to come down here and kick your ass!” The farmer retorted before slamming his window shut.”I’m sorry you had to see that Etri,” Dale seemed upset, understandably. This failure seemed to hit a bit harder than the others. “I know you’re in there but no one believes me. I can’t keep this up much longer. This would be huge for my career. If I could free you the King would take me in his court for sure. I could finally provide for my kids. We’d be able to move out of my father in laws house and I’d make something of myself. I know you’re in there. I can sense it. You have to give me a sign. Until then I can’t keep working on freeing you anymore.”Maybe it was that my last hope was fading away or that he was doing it for his family, but today his words really struck a cord with me. I actually was overcome with a sadness? I never got to process my transformation, and I was far away from those I love. Zari does not even know I’m here.”Please Etri, give me a sign!” Dale sighed as he closed his journal. “Something, anything, show me you’re alive.”He kicked my leg in frustration and began to walk away. I started to tear up. I think he’s really leaving, and I’m going to be stuck here, forever. Dale looked over his shoulder one last time, and his jaw near hit the floor.”A tear!” Dale screamed. “One single tear! Etri, a tear is rolling down your face.”He was right. I felt it, i felt that one tear roll down my cheek, and the skin was free in the air.”Etri, whatever you’re thinking about, keep it up. Sad sad thoughts. Or happy? Whatever it is, keep crying!” Dale opened up his cart and began crafting something at his enchantment table. “If you can free your mouth, I have a potion that can flood you with emotion, causing you to sob uncontrollably.”So as Dale worked, I thought of my mom and dad. They died years ago, and my sister was left to fend for herself when I disappeared. I hope she’s okay. Oh and Zari! I kept thinking of Zari. I miss her so much. My mind was clearer now. I was Etri, the greatest warrior in all the land! Loved by my allies and feared by my enemies. No… I AM Etri and I am alive!My mouth is free. I let out a triumphant roar. Dale runs over in excitement and pours a mysterious elixir down my throat. I burst into tears. All of a sudden my mind flashes back to my last memory. It was the Dark Phantom, turning me into stone.”You’ve never known hell Etri. Now you will. It’s time you understand my sadness.”I collapse to my knees. I am finally free. Dale embraces me.”I did it! He’s cured! He’s alive! Say something, please!”I laugh. “You mind if I could get some of those apple turnovers you’re always going on about? I’m starving.”