The Falls, the Gallery, and the Drones

I had a hard time trying to go to sleep last night and it greatly frustrated me.  And so I guess that was why I dreamt about trying to fall asleep but being unable to.  I was wandering across a mountainous terrain of white rocks broken quite occasionally by beautiful, cascading waterfalls and pools of water.  I remember I was looking for something beneath these elusive beds of small, delicate flowers – some engraving, I think.  The flower beds were odd in that when I reached them on a white rock face next to a clear pool, they would appear and I could lift up the entire bed like a blanket to peek beneath it.  But as soon as I moved away, the flowers blended their pale colors into the white rock on which they grew and thus disappeared.

I crawled along these rocks among all these streams and waterfalls until I [lay] down upon one of the rocks, beneath a blanket of some sorts – perhaps it was beneath one of those clear, almost invisible, flower beds.  I remember thinking that if I looked under my blanket, I’d see a stream of water running just past my feet and a bunch of flowers next to my lower leg.  I pulled up my blanket to peek beneath it, and indeed this was the way it was – I was sleeping on white rock with a stream and flowers beneath my blanket.

But I kept tossing and turning and couldn’t fall asleep.  I then found myself in a house I’ve never seen before but that I recognised as my house in the dream.  I was trying to sleep on the couch in the living room – a dark room with a tall ceiling and a large fireplace set with clocks.  I remember there being pillars somewhere and a dark kitchen on the other side of a counter.

I then had to go to school.  I remember having to go on a field trip, I think, to see an art museum – a fellow student’s work in particular.  Going through the hallways was odd – like a rollercoaster ride through wooden, mining tunnels – very convoluted but not quite as dark as mining tunnels would be.  It was sort of like I was riding on one of those carts used to transport coal in mines.  But I remember colors and other people whizzing by me.  […]

I arrived in a main gallery room – with quite a few display cases and a head sculpture swirled with shades of purple.  It was a grotesque piece, with many faces on the head – I remember I had a sort of repulsion towards it.  This was the fellow student’s art piece – propped up on a white pedestal in the middle of the room.  Another girl from my high school was also at the gallery – one whom I wasn’t quite close friends with – I cannot remember who it was or if she exists in real life at all.  But I [went] up to this girl and I asked her how much sleep she got the night before.  She answered something which I have now forgotten and then returned my question.  “None!” I said.  “I am so tired!”  I thought I had just kept tossing and turning all night for about seven hours.

The next thing I remember, I think I was some strange, nymph-like creature flying around in a sort-of grey, wooded terrain in a square path – or a square room that was truly not a room at all.  I flew fast and deft[ly] – maneuvering beneath bare branches and over grey, fallen logs.

When I stopped, I was in a small house – with a typical appearance – white-washed walls and the usual furnishing.  But the many people who filled it weren’t all truly people and neither was I – although we appeared so from the outside.  We had a master who was derived from me and from this master […] derived all his other followers.  Our job was to protect him and serve him – but I think we were part of some larger operation, some larger goal, or purpose.  There were those among us who were truly part of the enemy and who sought to kill our master.

Once, one of the people in the house leapt forward to destroy the master, but several of his followers stepped forward and annihilated him with supernatural powers – a glow of pink sparking from their raised palms.  I stood by and watched – weaker of the followers even though they were, in truth, all derived from me – even the master.  Suddenly, another murder attempt was made on the master’s life – a man in a dark suit, plunging through the crowds with a large, bloody knife – a strange sort of medieval ax with an intricate blade.  Directly in front of me, he lunged towards the master with the ax raised above his head.  Gasping, I leapt forward and grabbed the man’s grip on his ax, struggling desperately with him.  Petrified I was that he would send the blade into my heart as he seemed to be winning the struggle while the other followers looked on with stone faces and robotic postures.  I cried out that they should help me.  I think it was the master who finally commanded that they do so – and they utilized their powers to destroy the attacker.

I then found myself in the kitchen, sitting cross-legged on the counter in front of the master and several other followers who were all preparing a meal – chopping vegetables in particular.  The master was the only one who acted human – the other followers all seemed very robotic – like mindless drones, with very precise, perfect movements […].  I was complaining to the master about how none of the other followers lifted a finger to help me.  “Well,” said he in an almost casual manner, “if you’d get a figure.”  He was commenting on the shape of my body – or lack of shape, rather.

It was sort of a casual conversation and I was half-joking when I said, “What!  I have figure!  Why, look at – she doesn’t have as good a figure as I and yet – !”  I indicated one of the followers who was bringing an armload of vegetables to the counter.  Then the drones all began to chop the veggies – extremely fast and precise in their work so that I was taken aback and dismayed at their ability – that I could never work up to their level.

I remember once pleading with the master, saying something like, “Have pity on me, whose body you once inhabited.”

The entire drone house had quite a disquieting feel to it – very white and bare were the walls.  There was more to it, I’m sure, but I cannot recall […].  I think I remember something about the ax-murderer being locked in the basement or in one of those underground shelters you enter from the outside of the house – or perhaps it was me locked away.  I also vaguely remember blood somewhere – standing out in its red hue amongst the white house. […]

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Suicide Hall

I was here in college – but it looked nothing like Berkeley.  Instead, it was a large, convoluted wooden building through which many students including myself wandered.  I was with my roommate and her friends, but then I left them to join my old friends from high school – I was so happy to see them again. […]

I remember wandering into the Suicide Hall where numerous students have killed themselves over the years and their bodies [lay] still upon the floor.  But the bodies were strange in that they were petrified in their final, struggling moments so that they seemed like grotesquely frozen statues.  They were of an odd, brownish-yellow color and the blood which spurted frozen from their bodies was like [cheese].  Others were also wandering through this Suicide Hall laughing and joking – perhaps they were going to kill themselves.  But the site repelled me and I walked from the room.

[…]

[…] Outside the windows I remember seeing a gigantic and elaborate swing set towering into the sky filled with students swinging and laughing and playing. […]

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Truth Tower

[…]

The first thing I recall was arriving upon an unusual place – […] [the] terrain was composed entirely of rocks.  It was nighttime but there were several white lights which illuminated certain areas of the rocks – like lights belonging to a city, or perhaps to a circus camp.  This place must’ve been some sort of habitation – a dwelling for hundreds – for I arrived upon it along with many others who swarmed ahead of me to join the crowds already present.  At my side was a grown man and my furry dog – a golden retriever […].  I noticed a white beam of brilliant light descending from the night sky like a spotlight to illuminate a whole area of rock beside me.  The light had a kind of attraction to it, tempting to step into – but I knew it would be fatal if I did.  Overhead, I noted another full, round ball of light, shining like a tremendous star.  I followed its beam, which I knew to be the Truth, to where it shone upon a tower that was much like a lighthouse.

Quick!  To the tower!  And my two companions and I scurried to it, frantically digging around its base to dislodge it, or perhaps to reveal something there.  Why would anyone go anywhere else when here is so plainly the Truth? I wondered, for everyone save for the three of us were plunging into the glow of the large, fatal light illuminating such a vast area of rock.  But this fatal light was so attractive and I understood.

As we dug, the dog mistakenly dislodged a clump of dirt that hindered any further excavating and made it impossible for us to continue on.  I turned to the man and told him […] what the dog had done – signaling that it was of no use to continue.

[…] I then remember being inside of a twisted, convoluted building whose hallways turned in and out of each other.  I was lost and couldn’t find my way out.  While I was wandering, I had a brief, passing thought that this was my college.

At some point, I acquired a child in my care – a toddler of about three years of age – a young girl with pale skin and golden hair whom I liked very much.  The man was gone and I think the girl was a transformation of the dog.  The girl was somber and quiet, with a precocious air about her.

We made our way to what looked like a whole twisting series of locker room shower stalls where multiple women were attempting to sell us hair products […].  While we were wandering, I remember these were the people we tried to avoid, for their products were dangerous and we must try not to touch the substances and we must never use them.  This I knew, but many people nevertheless bought and consumed the products.  However, the only way we could possibly find our way out was if we bought what the ladies sold us – for beyond their shower stall shops was the exit.  Thus, I bought what they offered, careful not to try any free samples, and I loaded the items into a large, clear plastic shopping bag.  I also bought something for my little girl.  “This is for her to wear when you put the gel in her hair,” one of the saleswomen said, indicating one of those large aprons hairdressers wrap around you before they cut your hair.

“Yes, thank you,” I nodded and bid the women farewell as I exited with the child.

However, it was not freedom that I entered upon.  I was still within this odd building except in an area I had not seen before.  Here, numerous people were great in their age and suffering […] because, I gathered, they could not die.  They were addicted to the products the women had sold to them – products which were greatly to blame for their malady.  Here, I met […] a group of about fifteen to twenty people who were, like me, non-users of the products – their numbers quite small compared to the hundreds of users.  All the users were kept inside of a rather large, round hall with rows and rows of chairs much like an auditorium.  We, the non-users, were outside of this auditorium, in the hallway that curved around it.  One of the non-users stepped forward, and he introduced me to what I was seeing.  There was a spot along the hallway, near the wall of the auditorium, where the […] ground rose slightly in a curved path lined with great rocks and packed earth.  Along this unusual path was a lighted spot of soiled white – like a miniature, unclean bathtub.  “This is where they put on the mousse,” said the non-user.  He was younger than the previous, middle-aged companion who had dug with me.  This one was about my age – late teens or early twenties.  We moved along the path to another lighted spot.  “This,” the man began.  But I failed to pay attention – I was distracted by a woman who appeared at the entrance to the shower-stall rooms.  She was the ruling authority figure of this building.

She proceeded to yell at us non-users – perhaps we were trying to escape but had been caught in the act.  Quickly, we all ducked down behind the line of rock and dirt.  Many, knowing that they had already been spotted, rose back up to face the chastisement.  I was at the head of the line and I stayed down with the child beside me.  However, clinging to the rocks, she began to slip, her face twisting in fear as she whimpered softly.  Holding tightly to the rocks myself, I freed my left hand and grabbed […] the girl’s arm, grabbing it tightly for her life.  At one point, I remember her losing her grip entirely and I struggled to maintain my hold on the rocks under both of our weight.  But she was able to pull herself quietly to safety, scrambling back onto the rocks, and I wondered if our presence had been revealed to the ruling lady.  Alas, it had been, for she called out my name and ordered that I and those with me were to stand up.  I rose along with the rest of the line.

She must have taken us inside the auditorium, for that was where I remember being in next.  The entire place was filled with people young and old, and at the lady’s direction, many openly, and seemingly sincerely, shared the reasons why they enjoyed “being used as experiments.”  I was shocked at what I heard.  I even saw many familiar faces among the users – classmates that I had respected.  How could they be a part of this group?

And then I recall the ruling lady making prisoners of us non-users.  I was sent by myself into a small room to have my chains put on.  Upon entering it, I saw my little girl sitting in a small chair at the center of this white room with a lock from a high school locker in her hand.  She was the one putting the chains on.  I was elated.  Easily, I persuaded her to set me free along with my friends (about five other girls).

Before I knew it, the girls and I were running through the strange, convoluted hallways with people chasing after us.  I remember it was crucial for us to find an amulet – or perhaps it was a set of amulets – and to bring it (them) to the Truth tower at the break of dawn, for the coming dawn was our only chance ever to escape from this place.

We ran to what looked like a public bathroom with interconnected stalls – but there were no toilets.  The entire place was dark – the only light coming from outside the door-less entranceway.  Quite a few of the girls were trapped – one in each stall – and I tried to divert our pursuers as they entered […] by running and dodging through the stalls, trying to keep the pursuers from my friends.  As this “game” went on […] each of us girls took turns distracting our enemies until, at last, we somehow found a way to break loose and to continue our chase through the strange corridors.

We happened upon a narrow corridor that curved and tapered into the outer walls of the stone building.  It was a dead-end, but I watched as one of the girls (possibly myself) crawled into the narrow end of the hallway and pulled something forth, exclaiming, “I found it!”  It was the amulets we had been looking for!  The hallway was too narrow for us to run into, so we backed out of it, taking a short flight of steps up to a landing surrounded by four walls (or perhaps it was just a singular circular wall) so as to make a small room.  It was furnished with a red rug thrown on the stone floor with several antique-looking pieces of ornamental tables set against the walls.  There were also paintings with intricate, golden frames and a mirror or two adorning the walls.  Most clearly, I remember a large window, or perhaps it was a doorway, leading to the outside.  From the bottom of the steps, I watched as the girls entered this room, all elated at their find – lifting it into the air.  “It helps us fight! […] Because women don’t fight very well!”  And then, I expected them to explode from the little room that was like a cage surrounding them – to suddenly burst forth unto freedom.  But no such thing happened.

[Then] I was in the room, a passive observer, when the pursuers caught up to the girls and the two sides began to fight.  Except, it was odd now, because many of the combatants were no longer human-looking but more like strange monsters.  The creatures looked like they were made of cactus plants, their hands not hands at all but razor sharp cactus blades.  I think one of the fighters had a sword and he or she sliced up one of the cactus monsters which I realized was one of my girl friends.  […] I figured all the girls to be dead with [me] being the lone survivor.  Briefly, I pictured myself escaping from this strange place by myself – piloting a spaceship through outer space.

Then, I saw a girl (I think she was [me]) running towards the room from outside the large window.  Only now, the window, as well as most of the room, was reduced to mere rubble.  The girl came from the Truth tower, exclaiming, “I found it!  I found it!” […].  A tall, thin, and lanky man emerged from the ruins of what had been the window.  He seemed late in his years, or perhaps his life had made his features so – for he was gaunt and his skin wrinkled […].  He was the only surviving “girl.”  I felt a sense of relief, for the girl I assumed to be me didn’t have to make her escape journey all by her lonesome self.

[…] Where’s your dog?, I think the old man asked.  “Oh, I left it by the tower,” and the girl briefly departed to fetch it.  She quickly returned with a small, white, long-haired dog that I think was a transformation of my little girl with the precocious air.  The girl I thought was [me] led her two friends to the base of the Truth tower where she began digging, brushing aside the dirt to reveal an opening at the side of the tower.  This small, archway of an entrance had about four imprints directly on the dirt floor inside – imprints that were to be fitted with the amulets the girls had found.  […] the imprints were like keyholes and the amulets the keys to [operating] this tower that seemed like an ancient spaceship suited especially for our escape.

The old man bent to look at the imprints.  “The ancient kings put those there,” he told me.

It was just after the break of dawn and I was anxious that we might be too late or cutting it too close.  But somehow, I knew that it was alright – that the three of them were able to use the Truth tower to make their escape.

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Hercules

I was watching a movie on television except I was inside of it – not participating in it but just within it.  I saw a man – a warrior – wearing odd, intricate armor with a detailed headpiece like something out of a fantasy novel.  He was walking along a most peculiar sort of bridge – a long, slender thing that turned and twisted across the dark surroundings much like a pathway.  This odd bridge was made out of a kind of reddish-brown rock and dirt that matched the twisted mountains in the background.  However, the most unique aspect of this bridge were the arches that curved over it – built of the same rock material.  The setting was such that this intriguing bridge looked not a touch out of place – it fit in perfectly with the dark tones of the sky and the deep red hues of lava that flowed beneath it, covering the entire land.  I got a close-up view of the warrior and saw that he was upon a horse – a white one with an elaborate bridle.  Suddenly, the man lifted his face to the skies, alerted of a possible threat of danger, and his headpiece moved mechanically over the sides of his face as he prepared for a potential combat.

The next thing I remember, he was standing at the foot of a waterfall.  The sky was clear and a leafy, green forest showed itself at the edge of the blue waters.  He was standing within these waters, up to his waist, his helmet off and his long, dark hair hanging in damp, wild strands around a toughened face.  His features were not particularly good-looking […].  He did not seem like the warm, genuine character he is often portrayed as – but instead, like a man hardened by his life, void of any ability to express warmth and affection.  His heart was full of vengeance […], for his younger brother had been murdered.  In front of him, his sister appeared – a beautiful woman in red, flowing garments, also standing in the waters at the base of the falls.  I remember she had long, red hair intertwined with silken ribbons.  She tried to persuade him not to seek vengeance for, I think, the perpetrators were also family.  But the man (Hercules, I now realized) showed no signs of complying.

Suddenly, I saw a giant orca leap from the waters, ascending into the air.  Then I was inside of a cave looking out.  There were two men inside – the perpetrators who were scrambling about as the orca appeared at the mouth of the cave followed immediately by a wall of water which blocked the cave’s entrance, trapping the two men within.  The water did not spill itself into the cave but simply remained where it was, as if behind great glass panes.  I watched as the orca swam away – a dark silhouette within a deep ocean.

The rest of the dream involved the two brothers trying to escape from their prison […].  At one point, I think I became one of the brothers – or perhaps, briefly, I remember once thinking myself Hercules.  Trying to find my escape, I recall climbing out of the cave, along its steep sides.  I think I was looking for a way to rescue my brother who was still waiting for me inside – for the plan was for me to return.  I remember clinging to the slippery, moss-covered rocks, making my way around until I was almost to the cave’s mouth, when I came upon shelves of books which I felt compelled to rescue.  I tried carrying them by the armloads but they fell to the ground and I was only able to salvage one – Le Petit[] Prince.  I dashed back to the cave and slid it onto a shelf but I saw that I already had a copy of it.  I might’ve taken it out again – I don’t remember – but I think I tried convincing my brother to help me rescue the books.  As we were attempting to do so, the cave began to collapse. We were clinging to the outside of it, trying to salvage the last of the books – only the cave no longer appeared to be a cave, but instead, appeared more like an ancient Greek structure with white pillars – much smaller, though, almost diminutive in comparison to the actual buildings.  This structure started to cave in, the pillars crumbling and the roof threatening to fall in.  With all my strength, I held it up – just a second longer, so the books could be evacuated.  I was Hercules, I could do it, I thought.

I don’t remember whether or not my brother and I succeeded, for that is all I could recall of the dream.

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Columbine

I was in my school, except it did not look the way my school looks – I didn’t notice this, of course.  I remember walking down a flight of metal stairs that resembled an indoor fire escape.  There were a large number of students crowding down these steps, making their way to their next class.  There seemed to be a commotion coming from the upper floor, near the top of the stairs, and all of a sudden all the students got real anxious and scared, shoving each other to make it to the bottom of the staircase as fast as possible.  Reaching the bottom floor, I passed a boy my age who stood transfixed, his head tilted up and his eyes looking up through the metal frame of the staircase in the direction of the commotion.  “What’s going on?” he whispered dreadfully.

I scurried to find my next class – that if I reached it I might be safe.  Somehow, I was on the second floor again, completely lost and unable to find my way.  Then I think I asked someone who pointed me in the direction of a classroom right around the spot where I had been frantically turning in circles.  Oh, it was right here all along, I thought.  Upon entering [the classroom], it was distinctly bright, filled with a sunny-yellow color.  I must have been early, for there were only one or two other people in the room.  I waited a[]while, and pretty soon the classroom was relatively filled.  The teacher began the class and started a conversation regarding the commotion […].  “That’s why we are all here,” she said.

Then I looked over at the doorway and saw a student dressed in black standing right outside with a machine gun in hand.  I knew he had been the cause of the commotion, or at least was associated with it somehow.  He pointed his gun into the classroom and began firing in rapid succession […].  All the students leapt from their chairs to duck beneath their desks.  I cowered between a desk and a wall before I realized that all the students around me were dead.  […]  I began to check my body to see if I had been shot, and indeed I had been.  A bullet had grazed my lower back, near my spinal cord, and the wound began to sting as I realized its presence.

The next thing I remember, I was trying to make my escape out the window onto the flat roof protruding from the lower floor.  The boy with the machine gun was gone, but I was still searching for safety.  On the roof right outside the window was a rock band playing music that […] somehow revitalized me […].  In my search for safety, I climbed onto the rooftop.  The band was gone.  Instead, on the ground below me, standing at attention like soldiers awaiting their orders, were three students dressed in everyday attire – regular shirts and jeans.  They were calm and happy – here, I thought, with them I could find safety.  I scurried down to stand at the end of their line next to a rather big, rotund boy.  I think […] a smaller, skinnier girl [stood] next to him and another girl next to her.  Just when I thought I was safe, a student gunman appeared some distance in front of us and began firing.  Instinctively, I ducked in back of the rotund boy, using his body as a shield against the bullets.  In the next instant, all three students were dead on the ground.  But I was still alive and relatively unscathed.  I thought the gunman might not notice me or leave me for dead, but he saw me, or perhaps another of his friends […] pointed me out to him.  Either way, I was discovered and became the target of his shooting.

I don’t recall what happened after, but I think here I got a flash of the [occurrences] in another part of the building where I wasn’t physically present but was only an invisible observer.  There was a group of about ten to fifteen men in what looked like a warehouse.  There was one gunman lurking somewhere between all the shelves of supplies, hunting the unarmed group of men.  But the men got it in their heads that if they all charged simultaneously at the gunman, they could kill him and thus save the students present elsewhere in the school, even though they understood that some of them would have to be sacrificed in the process.  Thus, when they spotted him at the end of an aisle […], they charged forward with screams […] [amidst] flying bullets.  They all reached him and crushed him against the wall, killing him.  As they moved away, some giving each other high fives with broad grins of victory on their faces, I noticed some [lay] dead upon the ground and one man’s face I noted in particular – twisted and deformed in death, it had a yellowish hue to it and a troll-like quality to its features.  I noticed that this man’s right eye was missing – somehow gauged out or blown away while he heroically sacrificed himself for the sake of others.

And then I was at the front of the school.  The police had arrived and I felt a sense that the danger was over – help had finally arrived and we would all be saved.  A news reporter was detailing the events.  “Students are now filing out of the building,” I heard her report.  I was standing directly outside the front doors talking to a few other students when a student gunman appeared, threatening my life.  Suddenly, a girl pulled out a handgun and shot the gunman in the head, saving my life.

And then we were all sent home.  I was suddenly […] happy as I walked to my car, feeling as though nothing particularly [traumatizing] had happened – that everything was normal again.  As I was driving home, I got lost – the roads twisted and turned in and out of each other and I couldn’t find my way.  I somehow made it back to my school, but upon entering it, found that it was a church. […]

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Siren

I remember a beautiful woman was standing in a rowboat with two of her man servants who each had an oar in his hands, rowing the boat across what I assume to be waters.  One of the man servants was sitting in the front of the boat and the other was sitting in the back with the lady standing between the two.  I got the impression that she was a queen of some sorts – she had an imperial air about her, with long, dark, curly hair that fell across a body covered in a rich, deep red, silken robe trimmed with golden threads.  Her face wore a stringent expression and her eyes were painted beautifully and elaborately.  Suddenly, I became aware that they were rowing towards a shore which harbored a most strange sort of siren – male, I think he was, and instead of singing he recited powerful words, luring the [travelers] onto his shore.  The man servants frantically rowed with all their might against the siren’s call – struggling with every [ounce] of strength in them.  Finally, they were able to break free, beaching their tiny rowboat on a hard shore studded with pebbles.  The man servant who had been in the back, leapt out, heaving with exhaustion but possessed with a fierce anger.  He was breathing hard as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand before using that same hand to point at his mistress.  “The next time you think about doing something like that – !” he screamed at her, and I was surprised that he had the audacity to address her in such a manner.  The woman and the other servant were also on the shore and she turned that same stern face in the agitated man’s direction, looking upon him as though he were a lesser being.  The man cried out at her, “Feed your people!”

And then I think they sailed on, or perhaps they continued on foot.  Either way, I became the woman, for I looked out through her eyes and saw a gorgeous building on the siren’s shore as it toppled to ruins, the archaic walls and pillars falling out and turning to rubble.

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Strange Land

There was a dark tone throughout this entire dream – as if, the entire time, the weather was cloudy.  The first thing I recall was that I was at some carnival or festival with [Alana] and [Kris].  I walked towards a cluster of trees from where [Abigail] suddenly leaped, seizing me and pulling me into the trees.  I cried out for [Alana] to help me – I was being kidnapped!

[Abigail] had her arms around my waist and was carrying me like I was some living, oversized stuffed animal.  She took me to the other side of the trees to a hidden land.  There, we approached a river with wrecked cars […] on the shores, some still partway in the water – much [like shipwrecks].  [Abigail] proceeded to take me across the waters and we had already waded well in, up to our waists, when a crash-test dummy leaned out the window of one of the wrecked cars.  He warned [Abigail] not to cross the river – that to do so would mean death.  I got the impression that [Abigail] was a very valuable person in this land – a queen or a leader of sorts.  [Abigail] heeded the dummy’s warning and backed out of the river with some resentment.

The next thing I knew, I think I was rescued.  I was riding in the back of my mom’s car with my mother at the wheel when I saw [Alana] riding a bicycle along the side of the road.  We were still in [Abigail’s] strange land but were quickly making our escape.  Upon seeing [Alana], I thought, I knew she’d come to rescue me!  I told my mother to stop the car and invited [Alana] in.  Then I found myself in the front passenger seat and [Alana] in the back.  She was smiling and happy she had a ride – glad, also, that she had found me.  I asked her how she had found her way here and she told me she had crossed the river.  Upon hearing this, I became sad because I knew that crossing the river meant death.  But I didn’t tell [Alana].  I didn’t let her know that she was going to die – that in her attempt to rescue me, she had sacrificed her own life. […]

Then I remember [Alana] and I making our way across rocky, treacherous mountain paths covered with ice and snow.  We were climbing this mountain to reach a house at its very peak in an attempt to find [Abigail] there – that perhaps she could show us a way out of this strange, grey land of hers.  Funny, that the enemy should now become an ally.

We reached the house and, inside, I saw that it was an odd, convoluted thing made of wooden planks with many different floors and separate rooms.  This house was scattered with a great many Asian people of all ages – from tiny toddlers barely able to walk, to old men and women bent over sticks and canes.  [Alana] and I wandered through this house but we could not find [Abigail].

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