Smoke, hot scorching smoke, burning through her lungs with undeniable pain as she runs through the grass, grasping her dress and raising the light blue skirt above her ankles. The black cloud rises into the dark night as the glowing flames cast shadows on the plants. She can hear the screams, but little did she know it was herself screaming in horror in a shattering pitch. She dosen’t know where she is and looks around startled at her surroundings. It seems familiar yet so utterly confusing and distant. She can hear a shout, but sees no one and stares at the large plantation before her being engulfed in the flames from hell itself.
“Amelia!” She hear, turning around at the sound of her name. “Amelia!”
“Hello?” She calls out loudly, frantically looking around.
She looks to the side and see a young figure of a man with dark hair in uniform, running towards her like his life depended on it. Her first instinct was to run but something was holding her back as though her feet were glued to the earth. She didn’t move, She didn’t speak, She didn’t act.
Amelia snaps awake, her body trembling as she wipes the cold sweat from her brow and coughs, running a hand through her hair as though to rid herself of the dream completely. It was the same again. The same dream that has been playing in her mind every night for the past week and haunting her thoughts whenever I let my mind wander. What is happening to me? It almost feels like a warning, setting off warning bells in her head. Something was coming, she knew that much. The real question was; Would she be ready when it knocked on her door?
She stands up and slips on her purple slippers and walks out of the room, the wooden floorboards creaking under her feet as she pours a glass of water and gulps it down quickly, quenching her thirst. When she glances at the digital clock above the stove, it reads four-thirty in glowing red numbers, causing her to sigh as she takes a seat at the kitchen table and slouched over, burying her head in her hands.
Why was this happening all of a sudden? No sleep equals no drive and no strength and that does not help her during the school hours. If only she knew what it meant.
Amelia sees no sleep in her not-so-distant future so she goes ahead and gets dressed for school in jeans and a black top while packing up all of her school work that she left lying on the kitchen table from the night before.
“The Civil War!” Shouts Mister Reynolds gleefully. “Lasting from eighteen sixty-one to eighteen sixty-five was the bloodiest and most devastating war in american history that ended with six-hundred and twenty-thousand deaths and split the United States into two, pitting brother against brother.”
The small ceiling fan wizzes above everyone’s heads, not helping in cooling the warm and stuffy room and curing it of the hot august air. Many students daze off into space as Amelia place a hand under her head and lean against her elbow tiredly, almost glaring at her poor history teacher. He is a tall, lean man with greying hair and was almost always overly excited.
“This war officially started when confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina, gaining a victory and officially threatening the Union. Can someone tell me something they know about this war? How about you Miss Davis?” Upon hearing her last name, she glances up. “Know anything about this war?”
“Battle of Manassas or Bull Run had one-thousand seven-hundred and fifty confederate casualties,” she mumbles, getting a satisfied smile from her teacher.
“I knew that you could do it.” In response, she gives a weak smile.
And so the rest of the class droned on, him mostly having to explain the importance of the war multiple due to the lack of attention, not that they were going to pay attention the second time he said it. Here at the high school, you were lucky if someone even glanced at you while you were teaching.
“Now, as you know, you will be taking part in a reenactment Saturday that has been popular here for generations and many tourists come to watch it take place. All of you will need era appropriate costumes and be there at noon for it. Don’t forget,” he finishes as the bell rings. Amelia groans and walks over to Izzie on the opposite side of the room.
“Do we seriously have to go to that thing?” Amelia groans, clutching her stuff.
“Apparently. What color is your dress?” Asks Izzie, packing her things away.
“Blue, deep blue.”
“Mine is a gingham green one. We are going to be sweating enough to fill a pool in that heat,” she says as they leave the room. Amelia groans.
“Don’t remind me,” Scowls Amelia. “I had that dream again by the way,” she states, opening her locker and shoving her books in.
“The one with the fires and the guy?”
“By the way,” Izzie says twirling a lock of her blonde hair and leaning against the lockers. “You never said if he was cute or not.” Her saying this causes Amelia’s blue eyes to widen to the size of dinner plates and Izzie just shrugs. “Doesn’t hurt to ask.”
“Well, for your information, I never got to see his face. He was always too far away.” Izzie snaps her fingers.
“What a shame.” Amelia chuckles at her humor.
Behind them, young looking yet ancient Rosalie walks around the abandoned classroom while keeping a careful eye on the young girl Amelia. Her shoes click against the flooring as she stares at the so familiar map on the wall, getting back vivid memories.
When Amelia turns her head slightly, she sees the girl in one of the empty classrooms who looks to be about her age, in a large and deep red dress. Her hair is golden and pulled into some type of bun that had ringlets cascading down her back that cut short less than half way. She oddly reminded Amelia of Aurora from Sleeping beauty as she stares at the poster hanging on the wall.
“Who?” Asks an oblivious Izzie.
“Her,” Amelia says, pointing at the girl. “In there.”
Upon hearing those words coming from Amelia’s mouth, Rosalie vanishes from sight. No one must know she is here. No one.
“Amelia,” Izzie says with concern. “There is no one in there…”
“She’s right there! Don’t you see her?”
“Yes there is!” Izzie looks a bit frightened for a moment and Amelia looks back in the room and she’s gone. Not a trace of the girl with the ruby dress. Not even a hair.
“I think you should go eat something,” Izzie says. “It may make you feel a bit better.”
“I feel fine.”
“Please.” Amelia stares back at her friend while scowling but relents, following her brisk pace to the cafeteria for their lunch period.
Who was that girl? Her dress looked ancient but beautiful and she seemed so familiar that it was creepy. Is Amelia going insane? Has she gone mad possibly? What if it was bound to happen and she never knew and now it seems that it happened all too quickly. What if she gets sent to some sort of ‘special’ school where her future will be stripped away. This can’t be happening. No, it can’t be. Maybe it is merely the lack of sleep that is getting to her and possibly the nightmares. There has to be a reasonable explanation right? Maybe she is coming down with something, she thinks. It was coincidence that she saw the girl during the week of the dreams. This is in no ways a coincidence though.
“Hey, I’ll be right back,” Amelia says quickly while dashing away.
“Okay?” Izzie replies, but she is already too far off.
Her feet slide against the tiled hallway floor as she dashes past multiple classrooms, getting shouts from angry teachers. She skids to a stop and walks into the small classroom where she saw the girl and slowly pace the room as though the answers would appear in front of her. She can hear the small slap of her shoes against the floor as she walks up to the poster and see a map of a nation divided. This is a history class.
She gently runs her fingers along the map, thinking as she looks at the intricate lines of the states. What was she interested in?
“History will have it’s eyes on you.”
Amelia bolts around but see no one and quickly glances at the ceiling in panic. Was she going insane? She places a hand to her forehead and looks at the map.
“History will have it’s eyes on you.”
Amelia finds herself in a hospital full of patients crying in agony, their cries echoing through the crowded room with nurses bustling about. In fear and appalled, she walks forward, looking cautiously at the tray next to the surgeon as a thick and nauseating scent enters her nose, one of sickness and death that suffocates her. The tray contains various saws and scalpels and barbaric tools. Amelia gasps and takes a step back and walks through a wooden wall, only to come face to face with a corpse, causing her to let out a shriek of fright. Hanging on the wall is a scarlet and navy confederate flag hanging limply above it all in the gloomy atmosphere.
Amelia’s blue eyes shoot wide open, being met with the ceiling above as she breathes heavily. What is happening?