• At first, Emily was running. Running as fast as she could through a
    dark, dense forest. She didn’t know where she was, or what she was
    running from. And that is what kept her legs moving through the vines
    and rocks. She was scared.

    There were voices all around her. Actually, she didn’t know where
    they were coming rom. They sounded like they were surrounding her, but
    it was her own voices, present and past. She thought her mind was
    recreating memories, but they were all telling her to stop. Stop

    But she couldn’t. She couldn’t stop.

    Then she got to a clearing. It was huge. About the size of a soccer
    field. Only when she reached the center was Emily able to stop. She
    didn’t sit. She stood, panting.

    Emily didn’t realize it at first, but after a few minutes or so, she
    saw that the clearing was surrounded by birds. There were two kinds of
    birds. Crows and doves. The looked like they were going into battle.

    Emily straightened. She didn’t know where this burst of confidence
    came from, but she wished it would go away. She wished she would use
    some sense with a bit of fear, and keep running.

    But she stood there. She couldn’t even move. She didn’t even wince
    when when a large crow, the leader, stood forward. The leader of the
    doves did the same, and the battle began.

    It started small. A few birds here and there came out to get a good
    view of the battle field, but when the leaders of both sides flew above
    Emily, that’s when the chaos began.

    All of a sudden, there were birds everywhere. They clashed with each
    other, feathers falling like ash and snow. But all that stopped when
    the leaders started circling each other.

    Their warriors did the same. They clashed together in a circular
    formation, and started fighting that way.

    The noise they made started subtle. They attacked lightly. But as
    the battle continued, so did everything else. Blood started to
    everywhere. The ash and snow where now covered with blood, too.

    It was torture for Emily. No attacks had hit her. It was the noise.
    The caws and chips individually wouldn’t be bad at all, but together it
    was unbearable. As each minute went by, the noise got louder.

    It brought not only a migraine, but images to Emily’s mind. Terrible
    images. Images of death, the death of her friends. Of her family. Of
    strangers, of everyone. The death of herself.

    Her courage evaporated when the circular motion of the birds lifted
    her in the air. Emily crunched in a ball, trying to cover her ears,
    now that the noise was louder than a roar, but it was no use. She
    shook her head, trying to make it go away, but nothing she did worked.

    Finally, Emily screamed. As loud as she could. The battle ended.
    The noise stopped. The birds disappeared into thin air. Emily fell
    with a thud. She scrambled to her feet and started running again.

    She ran the rest of the length of the clearing and continued back into
    the forest, seeming denser than before.

    This time, she heard the voice of people she knew. She saw them, too.
    They were standing everywhere. They were telling Emily to go back.

    But Emily couldn’t. It was like before. Her legs wouldn’t stop. She
    had to keep going. And why should she go back there? Go back to that
    torture? She couldn’t even open her mouth to tell them that.

    The only voice she could respond to, which she heard at the edge of
    the clearing, was her grandmother’s. Her grandmother had died years
    ago. It was the loudest of them all. It was also telling her to turn

    “I can’t!” Emily told her. She was out of the forest and on a beach
    now. She could stop running now. When she did, wings formed on her
    back. The wind lifted her into the air.

    She was free now. Emily soared higher. She reached out and touched
    the clouds. They were cool and refreshing after the nightmare she had
    just passed through.

    And she wasn’t going back. She was going to stay right where she was
    in the time of peace and quiet.

    If only for a moment.

    There were bombs all around her, shooting up from below on the sand
    and coming from planes above her.

    She had to start some sort of dance. Step to the left twice. Step to
    the right once. Swirl around in a large circle. Last, crunch in a
    ball. Then repeat again and again and again, never leaving that
    starting point.

    That was what Emily had to do to dodge everything.

    This lasted on for what seemed like forever. She was getting tired
    and was about to give up. Then, when the bombs stopped falling, Emily
    flew away. Away from that lake.

    Emily flew past fields and rivers and forests. Past houses and cities
    and farms. Past everything. She, again, didn’t know where she was

    Until she found it.

    The mountains. Emily found the mountains. And the sun was in her
    eye, which made it look like they were glowing red. Or were the
    mountains really glowing? Emily couldn’t tell.

    And she couldn’t tell why she needed to get there. It was like there
    was some force that was drawing her closer and closer to it.

    It was nearer now. The wretched beauty amazing Emily. She stopped
    flying, hoping the wind would take her to the top.

    But it didn’t.

    It took her to the bottom. And her wings were gone. She couldn’t
    make them reappear. No matter how hard she tried.

    As she was passing she saw the true terror. The mountain was covered
    with rivers of blood, all of which belonged to men and women with brown
    hair or brown eyes. The people of the Holocaust. She wanted to get
    away from the torture, away from it all. But she didn’t know how.

    The wind was carrying her to the cave at the bottom. Emily struggled
    against it, but the wind just held her tighter until she could barely
    breathe anymore.

    Until she was there. She entered the darkness of the cave. She
    couldn’t move, but she could see a spot of light. A fire, engulfing
    her. It grew bigger and bigger until it was all she could see. . . .