I look around, trying to get my bearings. I don't recognize this place, yet it's vaguely familiar. There was clearly a battle, or perhaps more of an ambush, an act of terrorism. The carnage and destruction are unspeakable. The loss of innocent lives is oppressive. I'm drawn to a young man, he holds a dying version of his own likeness in his arms; tears are streaming down his face. I can sense the death that is taking the other.
The dying man speaks softly, I’m only able to hear a few words... merge... absorption... the only way... save our people. The young man is shaking as he rolls the dying man onto his stomach, his arms stretched out at 90-degree angles from his body. He lies down next to him, on his side with his back towards the dying man. How odd I think, to turn your back, in such a way, on your own dying twin.
In one swift and fluid motion the young man rolls himself onto the back of the dying man. But no, he isn't on him, the dying man has vanished, the young man, laying on his back now, where the dying man once was, screams in pure anguish and agony into the night sky. I cover my ears, the sound tears me apart; it's more than I can bear.
I hear myself screaming as I bolt upright in bed, my body is covered in a cold, chilling sweat; my hair is clinging to my head and shoulders, soaked as though I’d just stepped out of the shower. I'm shaking and the tears are streaming down my face.
Mom rushes to the side of my bed, “Amanda, are you ok? You were screaming, what was it? A nightmare?”
"I... Yes... I don't know. I don't understand. How do such abstract dreams that make zero sense feel so damn real? It was horrific. The pain was unbearable, but it was a different sort of pain. Physical, yet not like a cut or bashing your head." I pause to think back to the obscure dream I'd just had, how on earth do you describe that? "It was more like an internal pain. Like something inside of me was dying the most excruciating death you could ever imagine." I'm still shaking. Mom holds me in a tight embrace. "The freakiest part is that it felt more like a memory than a dream. Yet it was set in some kind of ancient time."
Mom looks at me and strokes my cheek, "Take a deep breath sweetie, you'll feel calmer."
As usual, she's right.
“Come, let’s get ready, things will get better soon, I promise.”
I look at her incredulously, how can she possibly think that? If anything, things are going to get infinitely worse.