(44 year old, Female) I had been called up to do my part for the War. Conscription had been dispersed over the whole population which meant I only had to serve for two days. I was deployed along with my sister. We shared a room in the hotel that was our barracks. The first day, I had to ride a bicycle a long ways down a deserted, pock-marked highway to reach the barricades where the War was. I crouched down behind the bags of sand and overturned cars with the other recruits. None of us really knew what we were supposed to be doing. Occasionally we would stand up and fire a gun off toward the “War.” The War itself was darkness, an opaque, inky blackness. That’s how we could tell we were at the War and not just stopped anywhere along the road. No one could really see what was happening inside the War, whether our bullets were hitting their targets, or whether there were targets in there to hit. It was a long day.
Back at the hotel my sister complained about a neighbor of hers, that the neighbor had been a better shot.
The next day I didn’t want to go back to the War, though I knew I had only one more day to serve before I could go back home to my husband and to my family and everything familiar and nice. When I got outside, I discovered my bike was gone though I couldn’t remember if I had just left it somewhere or whether someone had stolen it. There was no one to report it to anyway. I started to walk, half-heartedly toward the darkness on the horizon, toward the War. I grew hungry and I stopped in a restaurant. The restaurant was very similar to–identical, in fact– to a restaurant back in my home town. I luxuriated over breakfast, sipping a second cup of coffee until I realized in a panic that I was technically AWOL, that if I was caught I could be court-martialed and shot. I got up and rushed out the door. I started running down the pock-marked highway toward the darkness. As I awoke, I had just tripped on a pothole left from an artillery shell and had begun to fall slowly toward the ground.