Check your reality pulse.
|Amanda looked around. Ragged tents flapping in the wind under an iron-grey sky. Nearby, the sound of rushing water. The Rappahannock River, thought Amanda. I’m at Chancellorsville. Virginia. I’ve been here before.
Suddenly, a wagon drawn by a galloping horse with wild eyes careened from behind a tangled thicket and bore down on Amanda. She leaped away. The bouncing wagon passed, overflowing with blood-soaked blue uniforms. One boy gaped in silence at his left leg, a stump just above the knee. He’s not even screaming, thought Amanda. How odd.
She turned and saw overturned metal pots on the ground. Helmets. Underneath them, men in foxholes. The helmets were layered in snow, the men motionless, waiting. She looked around. Bastogne, she thought. I’m in Belgium. The Battle of the Bulge. I’ve been here before.
Suddenly, a jeep roared toward her, then swerved. A man with an M1 carbine, lieutenant bars on his helmet, screamed at her, “Out of the way! Take cover, for God’s sake!” What am I doing here? Amanda thought.
She awoke with a jolt, turned, and felt the pillow against her cheek. She squinted at the digital clock on her bedside table. Good grief, she thought. I’m going to be late. But what a strange dream!
After a hurried shower, she pulled on her crisp whites and pinned on her badge: Amanda Philpitt, RN. Luckily, she lived only a block from the hospital, a quick walk. Outside, she was halfway through the intersection when she heard screeching tires. She turned, and the car screaming through the red light was upon her.
Amanda’s eyes snapped open. She looked down. No blood. She shook her head to throw off the final image of her dream, then turned and saw the clock. Yikes, she thought. This time I really AM late.
(Word count: 300)