Where to restart

So, somehow it’s been a few weeks since my last post. I honestly have no idea how that happened. During that time I’ve been on leave (during which I actually went away) and have had various wonderful and awful things happen.

I’m going to gloss over most of those though.

What I can start with is the fact that I’ve been learning Japanese using Duolingo. It’s been interesting, with a fairly high level of frustration in certain areas. Mostly it’s been going into the sentences, things like “John is American” are not exactly simple to figure out from the hiragana and unfortunately I forget what some of them sound like now and again.

Which isn’t a problem when I’m translating to English, but it’s a huge problem when I’m translating to Japanese. Now with other languages (French for example) when you put in the French words it reads them for you. But for some reason they don’t do that for Japanese, a language that uses what could very well be an alien alphabet when I’m under pressure.

So that’s been interesting as I said before.

Beyond that I’ve still been gaming. I’ve been getting better at both Dota and CS:GO, with the former getting to the point where I’m actually getting a little more confident. The latter isn’t going badly either, although competitively I’m still facing more losses than wins.

Anyway, for now that’s all the updating that I’m going to spill, but below is hopefully the last bit of that dream that I started in the previous two posts. I hope that it doesn’t feel as awkward as the previous section.

 

After what seems like hours of the mindless meandering we arrive in a room which is unlike the others. It lacks the mind-boggling perception of the corridors we took to get here and standing on a table in the middle of the room is a doll’s house, front up hiding its contents.

Slowly we approach the model, my companion seemingly wary of it. I can’t help but understand that feeling as I feel my own heart pounding in my chest, fear clutching at my throat and making it hard to breathe.

Once we’re close enough to inspect it I lean forward and look in through one of the windows. To my horror I see someone moving around inside, checking the windows and staring out at us but apparently not seeing us.

I realise as she pauses at another window that it is the girl from the foyer, except she is unarmed now and wearing a pale blue dress not unlike the one Alice is depicted in in most of the Alice in Wonderland renditions.

“This is a problem.” my companion states matter of factly, looking around the room as if looking for something specific. I turn to look at him, inviting elaboration.

“We have to destroy this model to get out, but when we do the real house will start to collapse. We’ll be able to get out fine, but if we start without her knowing, she could die.” he explains coolly.

“Can’t we get her out?” I respond curiously, leaning closer to the glass as if to try and let her know we’re here.

“Not without going in ourselves.” he replies grimly, “and even then it’s not likely we’d make a clean escape. The best option right now is to leave her be and hope.”

“There must be something we can do.” I can hear the whine in my voice, the hatred of helplessness coming through but he just shakes his head.

“There isn’t always a solution to everything.” he says, walking over to a corner table and ripping off a leg. He returns to the house. “Which side of the house is she in?” I point to the last window I saw her at and he nods.

“Luckily on the same side that we are.” He says before swinging the leg down on the opposite side of the house. A crunching crash shatters the silence and the floor seems to lurch under our feet again. I somehow manage to keep my balance and take off after him as he begins to sprint into the corridors again.

I can hear the house starting to fall, the initial crash now followed by various creaks and smaller crunches that I can only assume are floors, walls and ceilings becoming nothing but rubble. As we run I wonder whether we’ll be able to make it out in time.

As if in answer the ceiling above my head starts to droop and then falls away, the board landing on the floor just behind me before the walls collapse in as well.

“Almost there.” my companion reassures me and sure enough as we round the next corner the entrance hall comes into view. We rush down the stairs, having to dodge the steps that disappear before us but somehow make it to the door and out just in time. There we wait, watching for the girl.

The house collapses with no sign of her.

I stand there staring blankly at the rubble, unable to believe what I had gone through or the fact that the girl was gone. Slowly I start to walk towards the broken building, wondering where to even start.

“I see you two survived.” I hear the commander’s voice behind me, obviously talking to my companion but I ignore it, focusing on not losing my footing as I venture into the rubble and over it, looking everywhere for some hint that she could be here still.

Some time later I finally find her. In what I can only assume was a stairwell she lay sprawled on the floor on her back. She looked like she had been knocked out by falling debris, bits of roof and ceiling lying all around her, a large gash in her forehead. Strangely she’s still wearing the Alice in Wonderland dress.

I move over to her and check her for other injuries before slowly lifting her and moving to carry her out.

Standing on the rubble, looking over me with a glint of approval is my companion. I glare at him, anger bubbling inside me for no reason I can find as I make my way over the rubble and to safety.

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