Napoleon

It was the early 1800s on a day that was bright, sunny, and absolutely gorgeous.  I sat at a large, grand piano on a green lawn right at the edge of the woods – the beautiful backyard of some wealthy family.  I played the piano, my fingers running along the keys, and as I did so, I was aware of the scent and shape of blossoming flowers.  It was such a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere.  My audience was only several people who were not overly attentive, but just casually listening or wandering about – the ladies dressed in their elaborate nineteenth-century gowns, flapping their fans and politely chatting, a few children running across the grass, and just one or two gentlemen strolling here and there in their black suits with coat-tails.

I was approaching the last line of my piece – a left-hand run across the keyboard – when I heard loud thumping noises interjecting into my music.  It sounded like the marching of a whole troop of soldiers.  I wanted to look up to assess the oncoming threat, but even more so, I wanted to finish playing the piece.  However, the urgency I felt towards the oncoming danger was too strong to resist and I dashed off the run in a blundered hurry.

Looking up at a trail that twisted into the serene […] woods, I saw an army marching straight towards us – in the uniform style – rifles, boots, and coats – typical of that time.  “It’s Napoleon’s army!” I cried in a panic.  “Napoleon’s army’s come to invade us!”  I ran from the piano to a group of women who sat on a stone garden bench.  Sitting down with them, I saw that one of my stuffed animals – an Easter bunny I named Jellybean – sat at my right.  I hugged her close to me, and all of a sudden, in a strange way, she became like the children.

The next thing I remember was everything was chaos and people were being slaughtered everywhere.  We were all running across gently sloping hills of that same green-lawn grass bordered by the delicate, whispering beauty of those same woods.  But the presence of the house, the patio, the backyard feel, and definitely the piano – were all gone.  It was just wide open space – seemingly a giant field of trim lawn across which we ran hectically, in every direction, in a panic for our lives.  We no longer wore our fancy clothes, but only the dullest, most typical things of the blandest colors – brown shirts, gray pants, tan colors – peasant clothes.  In front of me, I saw vividly, a soldier stab a man in the lower back, the sword sliding straight through the man’s body, emerging from his belly in a bloody burst as his eyes bulged and his mouth gaped open in pain.

Suddenly, the soldiers began to shoot arrows, and these arrows rained down upon us.  I caught one in my lower back but I kept running – the thing jutting out behind me.  Lucky it missed my spine, I thought.  It was a long and painful thing sticking out of my back, and it hindered me as I ran.  I reached behind me and broke off the arrow above my flesh, but a larger part of it was still inside of me.  Lucky I can still run, I thought […].

Then I noticed that it wasn’t arrows the soldiers were firing anymore, but giant, wooden javelins […].  There was a female commander wearing peasant[] clothes, and at her command, the soldiers behind her launched their javelins into the air.  I found myself running with a group of about a dozen others, all scrambling about in a confused frenzy – not knowing what to do.  I don’t quite remember what happened – there was a mistake – an accident […].  But suddenly, I saw a javelin mistakenly pierce through the female commander’s body – the head of the weapon slicing through her heart from behind and piercing through her chest.  The soldiers gasped and blamed us for their mistake, seeking vengeance by firing [a] […] torrent of wooden spears upon us.

We screamed […] [and] we turned and fled towards the edge of the woods.  For some reason, I did not turn like the others.  I ran backwards, facing the onslaught of javelins that flew just inches from my body until I reached the woods with the others.  There, I turned and fled into the forest, the great trees surrounding me.  Everywhere, people were scattering among the trees, dodging into the darkness.  I could still feel the arrow in my back and the presence of the javelins chasing us into the woods.

All the while, throughout all this, the sun was shining brilliantly, the sky was a clear blue, and the weather was perfect.

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Vampires

[…] There were a lot of vampires – everywhere – and I had to try and kill them.  I remember being inside what looked like a castle courtyard – the walls of which were made from brilliant yellow stones.  Positioned […] along the walls, like sentry, were rows of vampire archers – all, or most, of whom were female.

With me in the courtyard were [female] vampire slayers dressed in red and wielding axes of sparkling crimson – axes whose blades were large and whose handles were long – executioners’ axes.  They twirled these shimmering red axes […] with great skill as they prepared for the battle.  But […] [they were] greatly outnumbered as vampires in long, black leather coats leapt from the walls in countless numbers and attacked the slayers.

I, too, held an axe, but it was small – just fit for the hand – and it had no bright hue, just a wooden handle and a sharpened metal head.  Nor did I wear an outfit with a spectacular scarlet tone – just brown pants, boots, and a white shirt.

Overhead, the vampire archers began shooting their arrows down upon us in great torrents.  That was when I ran from the courtyard, sprinting down a passageway graced […] with a series of yellow-stone arches.  But between these arches, lined above against the wall, were more vampires shooting their arrows at me.  I kept running and they did not strike me.

This […] took place in broad daylight – the sunshine filling every corner.  The next thing I remember was completely the opposite – a scene filled with darkness and light like that which comes from dim candles.  I was sitting at a table richly set with tablecloth, elegant platters, [an] array of decorative flowering, and wine poured into jewel-studded goblets.  I was at this table with three vampires and I, too, was a vampire.  The three were discussing what meal they would like to have next and it seemed […] they were going to decide on bringing a human in.  I disliked the idea but kept quiet, reaching over for my goblet to take a drink when I realized that it was filled not with wine, but with blood.

[…] I found myself walking with these three vampires inside a church – behind […] the pews.  The lights were all off and I lagged a few steps behind two of the vampires while the third – the leader – walked a bit behind me, but almost next to me.  He seemed to sense my dislike for being a vampire and he said prideful things, trying to make me see how great it was to be a vampire.

Then I felt my face wrinkle into a terribly frightening scowl, the folds of which twisted across my features as fangs jutted from my mouth.  It made my face feel heavy and uncomfortable.  My neck also began to feel somewhat strange, as if something was choking it.  I raised my hand to touch my throat and realized that there was blood all over it – oozing […] onto my tight shirt collar.  Gasping for air, I frantically grabbed at the collar and tried to pull it away.

[…]

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Die Twice

It was the wee hours just before the break of dawn when I woke […] and sat up in bed in that transparent darkness that fills one’s room in the early mornings.  It was exactly the way I wake up every morning – to that exact same lighting (or lack thereof) – before getting ready […].  I got out of bed and saw that my body was still lying down beneath the covers.  I felt […] light and weightless as I floated to the guest room where I saw my mother sitting on the bed, crying.  I was floating above the ground in front of her, but she didn’t see me.  I called out to her several times before she turned to me – finally seeing me hovering in the air – and gasped.

And then it was as if I was being sucked into the dawning sky – through the ceiling and through the roof – and I felt free but, oddly […] hindered as I flew amongst the gray and deep blue clouds.  I remember liking […] flying through the air, but then I became sad because I never got to do all the things that I had wanted […].

And then I had a […] passing thought that this must all be just a dream and I woke up, sitting up in bed in that familiar darkness just before dawn […].  I was so relieved that it was all just a dream – that, in fact, I hadn’t really died.  I got out of bed, glad to see that I hadn’t left my body behind, and proceeded with my morning routine.  I noticed that the light in my bathroom was on and as I walked in, I saw that my mother was in my bathroom, standing at the sink counter.  My makeup was spread […] in a mess in front of her.

“I’m sorry […],” she said to me, her face expressionless as she stared straight ahead into the mirror.  “But I’m going to have to kill you.”

I pretended like I was okay with it, coming forward cheerfully and putting the makeup away.  But deep down I was crushed and afraid. […]

My mom walked out of the bathroom and into her bedroom where she sat down in the darkness at the edge of her bed.  “I’m sorry,” she said […].  “But I have to do it.  You have to die.”

And I had a sinking feeling […] before I woke […] and sat up in bed, my eyes meeting once again, for the third time, that familiar, translucent darkness just before dawn.  I […] wondered whether or not I was really awake this time.  I turned around to make sure I couldn’t see myself still lying in bed.  I walked out into the hallway and saw that my bathroom light was thankfully off. […] It wasn’t until I finally reached school that I became convinced that this time I really was awake.

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Execution

It was as if we were all part of some strange society living under a dictatorship.  There was a […] building […] that I lived in or worked in […].  It was a huge, expansive building that was built with a lot of white and […] glass – quite sleek and modern […].  There was another part of the building – an extension – that was just the opposite.  It was a tremendous outdoor ring that resembled the ones the Romans used […] to entertain themselves with gladiators and fights – and executions.

[…] this strange government ordered the execution of a large group of mostly women […].  I was among the ones to be executed […] in the ring by a firing squad.  It was the night before our execution and we were […] crowded in a corner of the ring musing over our fate.  They were […] talking and I shouted, “Wait a minute!  Why do we have to be executed?  Just because we’re women?”  But they looked at me like I was a lunatic and ignored me.  I kept trying to make them listen, but they wouldn’t.

My parents quickly accepted that I had to be killed.  They were the ones that took me down to the ring.  They started to sell my belongings out on the streets […].

The next day there was a huge line that twisted through the halls of the strange building – a line of people waiting to be shot to death.  I was standing in line, quivering over my fate […].  I saw several of my friends who weren’t going to be killed passing […] by me without even stopping to offer their sympathies.  “Help me!” I cried out to them.  “I’m going to be executed!”  But they just ignored me and kept right on walking. […].

Then [Ana] appeared beside me and she laughed […] and said something that didn’t quite make sense.  “Your mother works in the institution,” I said to her, because I remembered seeing her mother.  “Surely, you can help me.”

[Ana] wasn’t acting very logically, but she did help me.  She led me out of the line and […] through a hidden door in the wall.  And thus I made my escape.

[…]

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