|Moon Spots in the Forest, Winter by Arkhip Kuindzhi|
I am seated across from my step-father, although I can not see him, he is grayer and older. His presence is sunken and lost in age. I reach out to him, yet he is distracted by the television as usual. We are on cushy, white sofas. I am drinking beer from a glass bottle. As the night gets dark, the ceiling windows illuminate with moonlight cast on the laminated wooden floorboards. He is asleep. I toss the beer bottle across the kitchen in the direction of the cellar door. As soon as I do this, I realize I have to retrieve this bottle. I head down the basement steps, only to find the basement completely empty. I have never seen the basement empty since we moved into this newly built home in 1998. The basement is my step-father's refuge, full to the brim with musical equipment, records, books, boxes and a weightlifting set. It is bare. I find the bottle amid other beer bottles swept asunder in the cobweb corners of the concrete foundation.
I find myself sporting an Eskimo jacket, though militarized. I am in the center of a battle field which slightly resembles my readings on the Great War; World War I. Barbed wire and trenches are masked by the deep snow. I sprint effortlessly across the tundra, murdering my enemies with broken pieces of wood, spears left without whittling, leaving a lacerated, dirty wound. I stick the wooden shaft beneath the snow in the hard-packed, frozen dirt as I would with a peculiarly serrated WWI knife used specifically to infect its victim. Suddenly, I face a formidable foe. As I swing the a vampire-slaying weapon into the torso of my enemy, he lifts his weapon, a broken wooden shaft as well, in a circular motion. I am impaled in the stomach with swift intention.
Bleeding and helpless in the open tundra, I become delirious. The enemy who's mortal blow has impacted my vital organs lies dead, as an insignificant speck of bloodless flesh and white cloth on an ocean of ice. I turn to face the horizon. Curiously, I am led into a domestic home. I find my way through a corridor. I am in an enclosed, outdoor court. A small altar rises with a light bowl at its apex. As I move with delicate strength, on the edge of my last breath, I approach the bowl. I want to see inside to its contents. Before I can see over the lip, I feel the presence of a man in the uniform of a soldier in the War of Alaska entering a side door. I wake.