It began with a dream. Nadalia awoke early in the morning, startled from a dead sleep by a dream. The dream haunted her long into the morning hours, long into the afternoon and evening hours too. When night came, she fell into a restless sleep, only to dream the same dream again.
The dream began in forest. She was being stalked, chased by something or someone she couldn’t see. Nadalia ran and ran, further and further into the forest, but still she was pursed. When it seemed her body had no more breaths in her, she reached the edge of a cliff. She began to consider which direction to run when someone grabbed her from behind. Nadalia couldn’t see who it was, and she didn’t know what they wanted, but yet she did. They wanted her, her freedom, even her very life. She fought with everything in her, and for a moment she was free. It didn’t last long, and as she felt her coat being grabbed one more time, she lunged for the cliff. Being dead was better than loosing your freedom. She felt her body falling, falling faster and faster until the ground was upon her. When her body struck the cold hard ground, she awoke with a start.
She was out of breath and scared to death. The dream was so real, she could still feel the person behind her, feel the cold snow upon her face, taste the blood in her mouth as her body hit the ground and her mind went blank. She shook her head and tried to pull herself back to reality, back to today. She stood up and walked to the bathroom. It was a small bathroom off the side of the room she shared with 19 other girls. Thankfully it was free for once.
She went into the bathroom, closed the door, and locked it. She turned on the faucet and splashed water on her face. It was refreshing, helped her awaken from this horrible nightmare. Leaning against the sink, she took deep breaths and tried to prepare herself for the day ahead.
They told her that it was better for her here, that outside the camp, life was barren and dead. They told her she was important, needed to make the community run and be a better place. She didn’t understand. When she was younger, she had believed them, but now, as a young teen, she began to question what they were doing. There were girls that left and never came back, and her friend Peter told her the same thing happened in the boys side. They worked long hours, for room & board, with barely bread, water, and maybe soup to get them through the week. Something didn’t seem right to her.
She could remember a better time, a time when her parents were alive and cared for her in a small house in the woods. That was before the holocaust came, the bright lights, the burning fire, the destruction and then the soldiers. Always the soldiers were there now, guarding them, forcing them to work. Those who didn’t work paid the price, outcast from the group so that they were no more. Surely there must be more to life than this.