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The Girl Who Fell

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scene 1) “Auto Rock” by Mogwai
Everything is red. The street lights, the sky, the clouds, the air itself. The atmosphere is bleak and claustrophobic, like I’m stuck in a cave even though I’m actually in the sky. I’m looking down at a small portion of a gloomy, crimson city. There are a few black apartment buildings and streets, crosswalks, normal things, but what catches my attention are the dumpsters. Titanic they are, hundreds of feet long, and dozens of them lined up end to end along the sides of the streets, going on forever in both directions, each of them filled with neatly tied garbage bags.
As I’m puzzling over the purpose of these dumpsters, a flicker of movement catches in my peripheral vision. I look up and to my right, down the endless row of trash, and the “dream-cam” zooms onto a dark figure. Its falling from the clouds a few miles up; a limp, lifeless body. It reminds me of the ‘falling man’ from 9/11, the solemn aura it casts. Its falling too fast for me to do anything, so I simply absorb the helplessness of the situation. The person is probably already dead, I think to calm myself, then suddenly the oddity of a person falling from the sky slaps me across the face. The “dream-cam” pulls me closer to where it will land and I allow curiosity to calm my nerves.
The figure falls directly into one of the massive dumpsters and the trash bags seem to cushion it. There is almost no sound at its impact and I begin to think that whoever it is may have even survived the fall if they were alive in the first place. I’m taken to a different angle, this time viewing the scene with my very own legs thrust into the bags of trash. From my viewpoint, I can see the figure’s head and arm among the bags in the opposite side of dumpster and I instantly recognize her. She’s the girl from camp, a college-age lass that counselled me all those summers, blond with a nose I always thought pretty.
I pull my legs out of the bags in attempt to get to her, but am stopped by a completely unexpected noise: laughter. I look out over the edge of the dumpster and see two persons, one being in a wheelchair -- another surprise. Though they’re laughing, their voices are deep and obviously male, and this place being unfamiliar and perhaps dangerous, I turn and jump to the next dumpster, burrowing into the black bags. I pray they don’t find me, but to my dismay, they must have noticed my rustling because the laughter immediately stops. Next thing I know, they’re also in the dumpster (though I have absolutely no idea how they got up here, especially since one of them is in a wheelchair), among the bags and staring down the girl that fell from the sky.
“Is she alive?” the standing one asks.
“I don’t know. Try and pull her out,” says the one in the wheelchair.
They look to be brothers, maybe even twins. Caucasian with shoulder length, jet-black hair. The crippled one has his in a half ponytail and they obviously don’t bathe by the amount of grease embedded in their scalps. They both have sharp tribal tattoos etched into their thick arms, and they lack shirts, though the standing one has a hoodie tied around his waist.
My eyes are barely over the rim of my dumpster and I watch helplessly as the brothers start to dig her out of the trash. Though their countenance is intimidating, I’m not sure that they’re dangerous, so I begin to contemplate approach. Just as I’m getting the guts up to jump out, I see the girl start to move, and as they start to drag her from bags, she wakes up. By the sound of her breathing, I can tell she’s trying to writhe out of what she thinks is nightmare.
The brothers back off and she manages to get herself on her feet. She swipes the sweat from her forehead as she recalibrates to the new surroundings. For some reason, I can’t seem to pull myself out of the dumpster, I’m frozen by the intensity of the situation.
“Where am I?” she creakes. Her voice is raspy, like she hasn’t said a word in ages. The brothers only continue to stare as she takes a 360 of the place, wrapped in her own arms and shivering. She makes me realize how cold it is and then I notice the fog emerging as the brothers’ breath.
She takes a few steps toward me so I sink lower into the trash that’s already up to my shoulders, then I’m saved by the man in the wheelchair who coughs. The girl turns and asks again, “Where am I?”
“Ma’am,” replies the cripple, “you may not believe me if I tell you.”

Scene 2) “Bodysnatchers” by Radiohead
I’m walking down the sidewalk just close enough to hear the three’s conversation, but I intend to go unnoticed. It feels good to be out of the giant dumpsters, and now that I’m walking and my blood is pumping, it isn’t quite as cold. It looks like we’re headed outside the city, which makes sense because it doesn’t seem like much of a city population-wise. I haven’t seen one other person besides the twins and the girl, nor a car or any sort of man made movement, just the wind or a rat.
“This way. We’ll go to the Old Man’s house for some pizza,” offers Wheelchair as he throws the rims of his wheels ahead of him, “Meanwhile, somebody’s gotta tell ya what’s goin’ on.” Suddenly, Wheelchair whips his chair around and stops directly in front of his brother and the girl. “Look into my eyes,” he demands the Girl.
“Just checking.” Wheelchair heaves himself around and continues onward, leaving behind a trail of mystery. “You see, this is No Man’s land. The Abyss. The Pit. You didn’t fall from the sky, you fell from the ground. Got it?” He wheels himself ahead of the two and doesn’t bother to look back at her.
The Girl glances at the brother walking next to her, the Standing one, “I’m not sure I understand,” she says.
Stander, the brother by her side, says, “Some call it Sheol, or Tartarus, Hades, but you probably know it by it’s more common name--”
“Hell,” spews Wheelchair.
Hell?
“It’s a little hard to swallow at first, but you’d better chew fast because that’s just the beginning,” Wheelchair says a matter of factly. He is ruthless. He doesn’t even look back to see that the Girl is shivering again, this time out of fear.
The next few lines of information are being delivered at quite an alarming, rugged pace, so I’ll rephrase them for you. Yes, Wheelchair means “Hell” as in the place “bad people” go when they die. Often described as a fiery pit, or the dark abyss under the surface of the earth.
Here’s the crazy part.
Nazis.
What do Nazis have to do with anything, you ask? According to Wheelchair and his brother, Nazis have taken over Hell. They’re not sure how it happened, but somehow the tyrants ended up in charge of the place. Perhaps so many of them ended up here that they outnumbered whatever was here before, or maybe Hitler committed suicide for a reason other than pure cowardice. Maybe they’re not even the Nazi’s from earth. No one knows. Whatever the case, they’re here, and there’s no sign of the previous inhabitants.
“How did you get here?” the Girl managed to spit out. I can see from the “dream-cam’s” perspective that she’s very pale, however, she isn’t shivering anymore and is walking a little bit straighter. Its odd how well she’s taking this, unlike me. I just want to get out of here.
“Just like you, dollface,” says Wheelchair, “My brother and I woke up in those dumpsters.”

Scene 3) “The Missing Frame” by A.F.I.

I’m watching them enter a rickety, old house from about a quarter mile away.
What I like to call the “dream camera” is showing me a slow, dramatic pan of the property from left to right. The “dream-cam” is what shows me different angles of a scene, or allows me to view one from impossible perspectives (like earlier when I was up in the sky). The “dream-cam” is almost like a person. It likes to entertain me. Right now it’s focus is shifting from the house to the people walking up to the porch, then back to the house, like its teasing me.
In case you’re wondering: yes, we’re in a dream. At least I think we are, its been getting hard to tell lately.
The “dream-cam” draws me even closer to the house and I find myself catching the front door as Stander attempts to slam it shut. Luckily, he doesn’t notice me. I push through the doorway and follow the three up the stairway right in the front hallway.

I decide its probably about time I reveal myself, but because I’m not exactly sure how to go about it, I simply step into the upper room the staircase led us to and wait to be noticed.

“Hey, Old Man!” exclaims Wheelchair. He reaches as far as he can out of his chair to embrace a tall man in his 60s.

“Welcome, friend!” replies the Old Man. He’s wearing overalls over a flannel shirt, and a denim ball cap. What I’m assuming is his wife, a sweet looking lady in a modest dress, is taking pizzas out of their boxes and serving them on paper plates.

Wheelchair and Oldman continue to talk while the Wife gets Stander and the Girl settled at the table. The dim chandelier hanging low over the table gives off a pub-type atmosphere. It’d be a place where one would play pool or cards, but no. This is a simple house in Hell, and we’re having pizza for supper.

By the time all five of them are at the table, I’m still leaning against the door waiting for them to notice me. I’m beginning to think they never will. The distinct smell of pepperoni and green olive pizza (my absolute favorite) taunts my howling stomach. So I sigh, and, giving up on a subtle entrance, I make my way over to an empty chair next to the Girl to serve myself a couple pieces. I sit down calmly waiting for the outburst.

They still don’t notice me! I’m making all kinds of gestures and noises, but am receiving no reactions whatsoever. I’m beginning to think that my very presence is hidden behind the “dream-cam”, like I’m in a cube of sound-proof glass, which is odd because I’m still able to take and eat pizza without them noticing me or the missing food.
After calming down, I take a few minutes to process and adjust. It’ll take some getting used to not being seen. It’s surprising lonely, but I shake the uneasiness off my shoulders and tune into the conversation at hand. The Old Man looks to be explaining more of this place’s history to the Girl.
“See, after the Nazi’s moved on in, they started “recruiting” people to help with their project; like you, me, my wife, and the boys,” he flicks one of his hands at the brothers who are completely engrossed in their greasy meal, “we all fell from the sky, Miss, just like you. Now, there’s a crucial piece to this situation the boys probably didn’t inform you of. It may be a little hard to hear, so I need you to say you can handle it.”
I look over at the Girl and see that she hasn’t touched her pizza, and she’s beginning to look a little pale again. She nods.
“Out loud, please. You need to know this, little Miss.”
“Yes. I can handle it,” she spits.
Old Man nods and smiles, “Why don’t you take a bite of that pizza, hm? You’ll feel better.”
He takes a long breath and leans into his chair, stretching his arms behind his head. Then he leans way over the table, just enough that the little light from the chandelier actually hits his face and reveals something quite strange. One of his eyes is colored an unnatural, marine blue. The Girl looks up from under her eyebrows with a pizza halfway in her mouth. For a few tense seconds, I swear she is going to hurl, but much to everyone’s surprise, she tears a cheesy chunk from her piece and calmly continues chewing.
“There are a few of us like you, Miss, but the most of us are like me. The Nazi’s took my eye and replaced it with this blasphemy,” he pointed at his left eye, “This is how they control this place. The people. Within this eye resides cameras, microphones, GPS, and a plethora of other evil contraptions. We all get used to having foreign objects forcibly placed in our own bodies, but never we never forget this: technology changed people, and it continues to change people.”
The Girl just stares, slowing chewing her food.
“That’s enough for today,” says Old Man. His wife caresses his arm as he catches his breath. I find myself wanted to ask, “What is “The Project”?” and, “can they see us right now through the technology in your eye?” I can tell there’s more we need to know, something important, something he didn’t tell the Girl Who Fell.

scene 4) “I’m Still Here” by Christa Black

It all happened so fast.

We enjoyed a few hours of peace, laid lax all over the dining room, laughed when the brothers groaned with stomach pains (from too much pizza), and absorbed stories of Old Man’s previous life above. Then it happened.

Old Man went silent.

Then he attacked.

Stander and Wheelchair managed to hold him off while his wife and the Girl ran down the stairs and out in the front yard. I watched as the brothers threw Old Man onto the table, breaking it, and ran after the girls. I followed.

Now we’re outside, the brothers are fighting about what to do, the Wife is crying, and the Girl looks stunned. She’s just standing there, an accurate picture of confusion among chaos.
Dream-cam shows me that Old Man is getting up from under the rubble of the table and making his way downstairs. My emotions guilt trip me into warning them, but I know that I can’t, the most I can do is pray and try to withstand the horror.

“I can hold him off,” sobs Wife, “Last time this happened, I threw myself at him to try to bring him back and they turned it off.”

Wheelchair looks at his brother and considers, but then looks at the sobbing Wife and says, “No way, we can’t just leave you here.”

“I can do this. If anything, it will be better if you leave.”

The Girl embraces Wife and sobs a bit herself, then is pried off by Stander when the Old Man hobbles out of the front door, with not just the one, but both eyes ablaze with the eerie, blue light.

“Go, darling!” cries the Wife.

I follow the three behind the house and uphill toward what the brothers claim is a safe house. The sky is dark and tinged red, and it feels claustrophobic again.

Just when I think it won’t get any worse, Wheelchair turns around and curses. We all look down at his legs and see a faint blue light emitting from the bottom of his jeans. He lifts up his pants to reveal two completely mechanical legs, the bones and joints being chrome and the muscles marine blue like Old Man’s eye. No skin. The dim light grows brighter with every second and his dark eyes suddenly light up, blue as blue can be.

“Run, girl!” Stander screams, “We’re almost there.” He takes her by the wrist and leads her around Wheelchair, continuing up the hill toward what looks like a bar.

The entrance is guarded by a low-ranking Nazi with a cigar. He stands up and tries to stop Stander from waltzing in, but the tattooed man knocks the guard over and charges up a narrow staircase to the door. Wheelchair is just feet behind us. The staircase is encased by tall walls on both sides, and at the top a small, yellow door seems to cheer us on, prompting us to push through to escape.

We’re about halfway up and I look back to see that Wheelchair has, in fact, jumped out of his chair and is (quite speedily) hauling himself up the stairs by his arms. Now the guard is getting up to start running up after him who’s after us.

Stander and the Girl are finally at the door, cursing at everything trying to get it open. It’s jammed. Suddenly, I realize that I’m stuck in the middle, between the prey and his pursuit. I find myself freaking out and cursing and trying to give them ideas to get the door open, but of course, they can’t hear me. Wheelchair is just three steps away and is getting ready to pounce, so I close my eyes and brace myself.

The sounds of shattering wood, clashing of bones and flesh, and what I’m guessing are more curse words fill the air. I feel pressure on all sides and realize that I’m on the ground under a heap of people.

I manage to turn my head just enough to see Wheelchair on top of Stander with limp, steel legs across the Girl, who’s on top of me. The brothers have each other in headlocks, both of them are bleeding from the face, and the Girl is screaming at Wheelchair to come back while she tries to heave his heavy legs off her own.

My perspective suddenly shifts. In the open doorway stands the Nazi guard with a semi-automatic pistol pointed straight down at the Girl. I slam my eyes shut and...


Gunfire.

“That’s it,” I think, but I’m wrong.

I open my eyes and find quite an unexpected scene.

Wheelchair, still straddling the girl and his brother, is propped up on one arm with a pistol in the other. It’s pointed at the Nazi, and smoke rises from its nose.

The “dream-cam” takes it in slo-mo from here. The guard falls to his knees and collapses in front of the heap of us. Wheelchair turns his head, his gun still pointed at the doorway, and looks directly at me, and his eyes are black. No more blue, just human.

Scene 5) “Sing for Absolution” by Muse

I’m watching the Girl Who Fell lean against a window. Her hand acts as the cushion between her forehead and the cool glass of the school bus she’s in. She’s watching endless fields of corn roll by, endless like the dumpsters. They’re almost a pure white color, beautiful, but indicating that they are, in fact, endless fields of dead corn.

“You ever hear about Jesus?”

“What?” chuckles the Girl.

Wheelchair rolled up next to her bench, “You know, Jesus. The crazy dude who walked on water.”

“Don’t tell me you’re trying to convert me. We’re already in Hell.”

Wheelchair smiles and looks down at his legs, shaking his head. He looks back up and nods at the dead fields passing by and says, “Luke 23:43, And I assure you, today you will be with me in Paradise. Revelation 2:7, Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the Paradise of God.

“Paradise,” he repeats with a sigh, “That’s what they’re trying to recreate. I don’t know if these Nazi’s are the same Nazi’s from earth, or if the devil is just choosing to be portrayed as them -- I honestly don’t know, but I do know that this was his idea, and he’s still around somewhere.
“These fields, “The Project,” are why we’re here. The devil is not a human, or any other kind of rational being. He’s a liar. He killed our bodies, stole our lives, and destroyed our souls. Now we’re stuck here, “recruited” to work on this “New Paradise,” which is just a cheap counterfeit, like everything else he does.

“See, I wasn’t a good person. I still don’t consider myself to be one, and I’m sure that I never would have reached my own standard, let alone God’s, if I had had the chance. However, If I were able to tell everyone what I learned from my short life it would be this: People up there in the world pass up repentance every single, second of the day, but I, and every other person here in Hell, would die just to be offered that word one more time. That’s what I would say.”

Suddenly, I’m in the exact spot where the Girl Who Fell is sitting. I’m in her head. I am her and she is me, and I’m staring into the beautiful, dark eyes of a man in a wheelchair.

“Luckily for you, there’s still hope,” He says.

After all, you’re only sleeping.

I’m awake.




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