A False Awakening

For the first time in weeks Anna did not dream of wandering through an icy waste. No, tonight she dreamed of rain. Incidentally, when she awoke, it was raining outside. The lights of the city were blurred and fuzzy through the droplets covering the window. The phone rang and Anna pounced from her warm bed and into the small kitchen. " Hello?!" she said, unable to keep the excitement from her voice. " Hi Anna, It's Glinda" A little bit of disappointment crossed anna's mind, three days in a row since her sister called. " I am not feeling well today, and have to cancel our appointment...I'm sorry for any inconvinience, if it's an emergency you can call my friend at the hospital" There was a click and the line went dead. Anna sighed before hanging up the phone, dragging herself into the tiny living room, she layed down on the old sofa and stared at the celing. Without much thought, Anna drifted off to sleep once more.

She smelled smoke. Something was burning. Anna's vision cleared and she looked around. The cabin in which she stood was very small indeed. Judging by the furniture and absence of light bulbs, she was not in any recent century. Anna remembered the smoke and looked around for the source. The cabin seemed to be fine, there wasn't any fire here. Cautiously, she proceeded outside into the street. A young and frightened looking woman bumped into her. " What's going on?" The woman looked Anna up and down, bewildered. " Haven't you heard?" The woman whispered. " They say there's a witch in town, the men are looking for her now" Without any other word, the woman ran down the street and disappeared into a cabin. Anna stood alone in the middle of the street, in her pyjamas and slippers no less. At the end of the street, Anna could see the flickering of torches, and a mob stopped to stare at her. One man at the head of the mob stepped forward and crossed himself, screaming. " There she is! see what she wears?!" The mob yelled and ran forward, flailing their pitchforks and torches. A feeling of dread washed over Anna like an icy wave, there was no way she could escape all these people.

The mob circled around her, all of them looked at her with fear and disgust. " What have you got to say for yourself witch?" cried a man who stepped away from the circle to face her. " I-I'm not a witch" The mob rang with laughter. " Then why are you wearing those hellish robes?" Anna looked at her feet, purple slippers, grey sweatpants and a light blue tank top was all she wore. " These...are my pyjamas." Again there was more laughing. " No woman I've seen has worn nightclothes like that!" shouted one of the men. " I'm not a witch, this is just a-" The man cut her off. " A what? You think you can decieve us?" Anna shook her head " No! I-" The man struck her across the face, the blow sending her to the ground. " I know the devil has his claws in you, you cannot try to trick us hag!" Anna tried to wipe her eyes, which stung from the smack. " Please, I'm not a witch!" The man hauled her up by her hair and looked her in the eye. " The river will decide that" There were cheers from the crowd as Anna screamed in terror. " No! Please! Stop!" The man dragged her though the muddy street, she could see mothers hiding their children in the doorways of homes. At the riverbank, the man dropped her and pushed her into the water.

Anna sobbed as the man rolled up his sleeves. " If you really aren't a witch" The man proceeded to say. " Then you'll survive." The man placed a hand on the back of Anna's head and another around her waist. " NOO!" Anna screamed, louder than she had ever screamed in her life. Water exploded around her face as she was forced under the surface. She fought and kicked against the man, she wouldn't be able to hold her breath much longer. Anna was able to get to the surface for a brief moment, not one of the men looked at her with pity. Another sob erupted from Anna's lips as she went under again. Water slammed into her lungs, spots formed in her vision, she was going to die. In her struggle, the man's hand slipped and Anna took her chance. Like a wild horse she kicked at the man, her heel connecting with his nose. Anna bolted further into the river and began to swim. She heard splashing behind her as some of the mob pursued her. Anna clambered onto the other side of the river and sprinted through the reeds and into the dark woods.

Stopping only for a moment to catch her breath, anna leaned against a tree. " Find her NOW!" bellowed one of the mob. they were coming up the bank towards her. Tears streamed down her face as she ran further into the woods. The trees whipped past her as she bolted forward into the night, branches and thorns cut at her face and arms.  The mob was relentless in the chase and continued to pursue their prey. Anna tripped over a root, giving a small gasp. " Over there!" shouted the men, and the bobbing torches grew nearer. Panicing, Anna rolled into the bushes under a small outcropping of tree roots. With bated breath she watched as the feet of the men walked past her. One of them stopped suddenly, and inhaled as if he had caught a scent. To Anna'd horror, the man slowly began to lower himself, getting on his hands and knees. Anna shut her eyes and tried to move farther back. Anna could smell the alcohol on his breath, she knew he smiled even though she could not see it. " Shh, It will be ok" Anna opened her eyes slightly, and saw the man reach in to stroke her face. Anna spat at the man before she felt the earth move underneath her. Anna was falling into darkness, the mob was no more. Just beofr she felt the painful ending, Anna awoke.

But she was not on the couch, nor was she in her living room. In fact, she wasn't even in her house. From a light far above her, she could see that she was in a cave.

The End

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