House of White

There were about twenty or thirty of my classmates […] riding in a yellow school bus.  We were running short on oxygen so we […] had to try not to breathe too deeply.  […] we were lost […].

Then an old man stopped our bus and said […], “You can come to my house.”  We were […] relieved and thought that we were saved.

[We] […] journeyed together across a wide open field of yellow, withered cornstalks before reaching a very white house.  […]

Upon entering […], I was struck [by] how large [the house] was – but also, at how bare and empty […] – the […] starkness of it, like a new house whose owners [hadn’t] moved in yet.  There was a huge, empty room in the back – the walls bare and white – with a shiny hardwood floor.  The only furniture was a black grand piano in the middle […] [where] the old man sat, playing classical pieces.  […] the people from my class – were wandering […] through the house.  The entire place was filled with a white light that illuminated every empty, naked corner.

I remember trying to [leave] […], but I couldn’t find the door out.  I led [Alice] to one of the doors […] [which opened] to a series of white staircases that intersected […].  Quickly, I closed the door, somewhat scared.  Then I led [Alice] to another door that was […] black.  I had the most […] ominous feeling as I opened it – but, for some reason, I felt I had to open it anyway.  Behind it was […] an endless hole in the ground.  [Alice] pressed against me, telling me to go ahead.  “No, [Alice,]” I said, shutting the door.  “We’re not going down there.”

The house was strange in that its rooms and staircases always seemed to be shifting.  We came upon a rectangular room [that was] bare except for a couch […].  There was a heap of [dark] coats lying over the couch covering something horrifying […].  I couldn’t see what it was […], but I just knew it was something frightening.  […] I quickly led [Alice] away so that she wouldn’t have to see [it] […].  I remember thinking that it might have been a dead body lying under there.

[…] I realized that this was a house about […] overcoming our fears.  Only then could we get out.  […] I led [Alice] up a flight of white stairs.  I knew that the stairs didn’t lead anywhere […].  At the top, the stairs just stopped.  But there, at the small landing, next to a white door, stood a strange woman[,] […] erect with a fixed grin on her face.  [Blood-red] lipstick […] outlined that joker’s grin […].  She reminded me of a mannequin but she was real and she frightened me.  It was like she was laughing at me.  I punched her across the face.

The next thing I knew, I was falling […] from the flight of stairs until I hit a mattress […].  I rolled to the side […] as [Alice] fell from above and hit the mattress beside me.  […]

Then […] we were back in the room with the couch. […]  I was so afraid of lifting off the coats, but I knew I had to in order to get out […].  I had a cane in my hand and I used it to lift the covers up a little so that [Alice] and I could just peek [under].  We couldn’t see anything.  “There,” I said, hastily.  “There’s nothing.” […]

The next thing I remember, I [had escaped] the house and [was] running down the street in a neighborhood that was typical and yet strange – like […] The Twilight Zone. […] [Alice] was with me, but at the same time she wasn’t.  I could feel her presence […], but I didn’t see her.  I was frantic and horrified […].  I felt like I was trapped and I screamed, “How do I get out of this place!”

A man in a […] soldier’s uniform stepped up to one of the houses […] to deliver the newspaper.  I ran […] to him and cried, […] “Please!  Just let me see the newspaper!”  I caught a glimpse of the date and it read:  March 18, 2000 in big bold print across the top.

I thought, What!  This isn’t the future!

A woman appeared […].  She was dressed in a white blouse and a brown skirt […].  She had on heels and a large overcoat, with brown hair curled around her made-up face.  She looked like she was from the forties or fifties.  The soldier said something to her and she began to talk […] mechanically, […] her eyes staring straight ahead, “This neighborhood must get ready for the Nazis… Nazis… Nazis…”

I ran away […], sprinting down the street in a panic, [and thought], “The war lasted fifty years here?!”

[…]

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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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