I need to get out. This room gets smaller by the hour. Bullets hurdle above me and their torturous sound fills every empty space within me. Raging and thrashing like the sea, blood surges through my veins and my breath quickens. Oh, to breathe. How did William live with this torture during the war? That’s right, he didn’t live. Neither will I - not as long as the bullets and legions assail me in this tiny cottage. The bullets. They’ve stopped again. Stopped sporadically like they have all day as I sit here curled up by the coat rack for protection. What babies the enemy troops are! Thinking they can bring me out of his home. My stomach groans. Of course, I haven’t eaten in days, but why should I expose myself to these treacherous murderers? My mouth is dry and the pain in my abdomen is becoming too much to bear. And the bullets. They’re gone, yet the violent pounding still echoes in my mind. Oh, food. Maybe it’s worth dying, to get some nourishment. At least I would be freed of the imprisoning echoes those bullets have created. That waiting, devilish army can’t see I’m scared, though. I must control my breath as I pass that open window in the kitchen. William would want me to be smart about this. In his letters, he mentioned tribal drums and how they echoed within his mind to temper his breath. I attempt that, but nothing stops the echoes of bullets. Still, I start dragging myself to the kitchen. I freeze. The world will collapse if I drag myself another foot. I’m shaking violently. One more meter and this world will collapse on itself. The wood is so frail and paper thin - so close to snapping beneath my starved body. “Never look down, Abigail, you won’t get anywhere.” William used to say. So I look forward. But, it’s so far away - that kitchen. Miles away and continually fading! The feeble floor following it and continuing into infinity. But, I won’t look down. I won’t disappoint Will. I reach the pinnacle of my senses. I stand - both feet are shakily on the brittle floor. And it starts to crack and I feel myself falling. I scream, but all that comes from my mouth is the sound of bullets. I fall into a pit and it consumes me.
The blackness that once surrounded me fades into an antique farmhouse. The sound of the bullets... Oh, wait, the sound of the rain dances on the tin roof and I can smell its musky perfume through the open window by the kitchen. I stand up, running my fingers through my hair. It is wet. A pang of hunger stabs me as I stumble across the room to the fireplace for support. Post-war magazine articles are scattered throughout the room. William’s picture is on the mantle, beside what remains of his bullet-ridden uniform.
I’m so sorry Will...I’m trying so hard to bring you back...
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