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Viewing Single Post From: You Could Have A Dream About Losing Your Friends
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Can you hear me?
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In her Junior year, Emma had to do a group assignment in Social Studies about an event in recent history. It was pretty simple: make a poster about something that had happened anywhere between the past few years to now. Yet, it managed to be one of the most difficult group projects she’d ever done. It wasn’t that she was exhausted. Exhaustion was always an issue with assignments, yeah, but that wasn’t the problem. The issue wasn’t the people she worked with, either. They were cool, hardworking people.

The problem was that the subject they had been randomly selected for was Survival of the Fittest. At first, Emma thought while it was not a pleasant topic, they could still finish it pretty easily. She was proven wrong once she actually did some research. It was probably the worst thing she ever had to look up. She read about other atrocities in class, sure. All kind of wars, pain, and suffering. But somehow, realizing that these were kids, just like her, was the worst part. Any one of them could have easily been like her classmates, or her friends. Even like her family. Emma had read somewhere that one time, somewhere over 250 students, plus their teachers, were abducted. What really put it into perspective was getting an idea of how many people that was. Cochise had assemblies from time to time, usually on Wednesday. As she waited for one to start a few days after the project was assigned she couldn’t help but look at all the people around her.

250 or more people would mean a lot of missing seats. How many schools had an assembly after an abduction like that? How many empty chairs were conspicuously unoccupied over the years? How many people were taken away to die? She didn’t want to find out the exact number who lived and died through such horror. Just the estimate of 250 for one incident was enough.

She couldn’t imagine what it would be like, having to kill your friends. The clips themselves couldn’t be viewed, too illegal. But there were a few survivor stories, like the National Geographic article with Kimberly Nguyen.

Emma was used to having nightmares. In fact, she’d had particularly vivid dreams her entire life. For a long time, everyone thought that it didn’t mean much. She did have night terrors, too, but she only knew about that when someone told her about it in the morning. Of course, she found out during her diagnosis that vivid, surreal dreams were something to be expected. Add in the sleep paralysis, and it meant one thing: for the next few weeks, Emma’s night time experiences were full of images of being murdered by someone she loved.

So when she first woke up inside an auditorium of some kind, with her and her classmates tied to a chair, she thought she was having another dream like that. She could vaguely remember it being hot out before they set off on their trip. Historically, Emma didn’t do well in hot weather. It made things harder to stay awake. So maybe she fell asleep on the bus.

Her heart had raced as she realized where things were going. But she remembered a trick someone had told her if she had dreams like that. There was something called “lucid dreaming,” where if you realized you were in a dream you could be able to change things in it. It sounded like something she’d experienced before in her dreams, but recently she’d tried doing it on purpose. It worked like a charm, and it made her sleep paralysis and odd dreams a bit more tolerable. Just a bit. Whenever she experienced it, it felt a bit like changing the channel to something you enjoy more.

Emma, in hindsight, knew it was a silly delusion. But in her panic, she swept into full denial and tried to change that channel. She imagined Mr. Graham turning into a giant coyote and ripping out of his chair to protect everyone. He’d be a big, friendly coyote who’d save everyone. A second later, she pictured herself getting super powers and stopping Greynolds before he approached the chair with Mr. Graham in it. A few more seconds, and she tried to will the military into showing up at the last minute before they could do anything to anyone.

Nothing budged. Greynolds still pulled out a gun, and he… he shot Mr. Graham. He shot their teacher. That’s when Emma realized she wasn’t dreaming. Her last bit of denial didn’t last. She couldn’t change a thing.

She wasn’t sure what they gassed them with, but it hadn’t felt good waking up. How long had she laid on her back, staring at the ceiling while slipping in and out of consciousness? It felt like hours. A few times she had attempted to at least sit up, only to fall back asleep again. She was making more progress waking up, though. At some point, she pulled herself up, her back against the wall. Her brain still hadn’t caught up, so she only fell back asleep. Several times her head would snap back up, with her eyes wide, then her head would droop again. It took some time before she could keep her eyes open.

Her eyes still felt groggy, but she could focus more. Was this some kind of operating room? Did they put her into a hospital? Maybe.

Suddenly, everything clicked into place. Emma still remembered what happened, but now everything fully hit her. They killed Graham, and they were forcing them to cross a line that was reprehensible in every sense. Emma felt her shoulders tighten and shake, as nausea swept over her. It wasn’t just the gas.

She wasn’t sure what to do. Maybe it was the gas, maybe it was panic, maybe it was something else. Mom and Dad had given her an idea of what to do in cases like this, and yet, she was stuck. She knew one thing, though.

“I’m not killing,” she said quietly, a tremor to her voice.

It was obvious. There were a ton of reasons why. It was a disgusting thing to do. People had families who’d miss them. She had a leadership position at the school, and she’d have to set an example. Students killing each other would reflect poorly on the school, too. And what would her family think? How would Mom and Dad feel, knowing that she’d hurt someone? What would Sabrina think, or her cousins-


That snapped Emma further into alertness. She was definitely on the trip too. Maybe some of her cousins were there, as well. She didn’t want anyone to die. Not her sister, not her cousins, not her friends. Not anyone. Emma felt tears run down her face.

But she tried to stay calm.

Emma’s legs shifted a bit. She finally could move them a bit more, which was good. Still wasn’t sure what it was they drugged them with. It felt like some kind of anesthetic, which it probably was. It wasn’t a good idea to try to figure that out now, though. It wasn’t that important, or at least she didn’t think it was.

She turned her head to the left, and to the right. It ached to do so, but her suspicions were confirmed. Operating room. It looked run-down, though, like nothing had been in use for a long time. There were a lot of boxes and chairs strewn about, too, which was strange. She noticed something about one of the chairs, though. It had some kind of black object laying on top. Emma’s eyes blinked behind her red frames for a beat, until she realized what it was. A bag? Hers?

Emma placed her hands and knees on the ground, and slowly crawled towards the chair. The strap hung off the chair, like some sort of vine. The nausea and drowsiness still followed her, making it more difficult to keep her balance even in this position. Small colorful shapes danced in the corner of her vision. But she kept going. Had to. Opening that bag would mean accepting what’s happening, but at least there would be something useful.

Her hand touched the strap. Emma bit her lips a bit. They were a little dry. But she pulled the bag down. It slid off the chair and onto her right arm, making a loud thud. She cried out. It didn’t hurt that much, but it was still enough of a jolt.

While she didn’t realize it yet, someone could probably hear her from the other rooms.

Coming to a V7 near you.
Bree Jones- "I'm not exaggerating when I say that my fish are smarter."
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In Loving Memory

Kami's Promise for v6 (doing this again)

Let's show that private threads aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on island in V6. If I started a thread, you are welcome to join it.
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